How to Become a Police Officer in Arkansas

According to the Commission of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) in Arkansas, the applicants who want to enroll in a police academy must be between 21 and 45 years of age (sometimes younger, depending on the department).

In addition, the candidate should never been accused of a felony (regardless if the charges were dropped), be in top physical state, show good moral and judgment and pass the Modified Essential Functions Test. Applicants who want to learn more details about the requirements on how to become a police officer in Arkansas are advised to visit the CLEST website.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Arkansas

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • At least 21 years old.
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have a valid driver’s license issued in the United States.
  • Shouldn’t have any felony convictions.
  • Pass background investigation.
  • Pass a physical examination and meet the physical standards.

Physical Standards

  • An uncorrected visual acuity of 20/100 or better in each eye.
  • Must possess normal color discrimination, depth perception and peripheral vision (at least 75 degrees on each eye).
  • Must be free on any hearing defect.

The MEFT test

The purpose of the Modified Essential Functions Tests is to ensure that the future law enforcement officer is able to perform all the operations needed to fulfill his job scope.

Here is a list of the physical tests that cadets are required to complete in order to be accepted at the police academy:

  • Remove a standard weight dummy from a car and transport it for 25 yards
  • Simulate shooting from various distances (15y for weak hands and 25y with steady hands)
  • Enter through a window
  • Climb and descent stairs and a 4 foot wall
  • Jump a 4 foot ditch
  • Crawl through a concrete draining gutter

Entry-level Officer’s Training

After being accepted into a police department, the new recruit will be given a 2-week orientation period, after which he will be sent to the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy for an additional 2 weeks of training. In general, the courses and training will be held Friday to Sunday for the following 12 weeks and the new recruit is required to pass the weekly examination with a score of at least 70%.

In certain police departments, such as the one in Jacksonville for instance, the recruit will be working under supervision one more week after completing the academy training.

Failing Exams

If a recruit fails to pass a weekly exam, then he will be allowed to re-take the test. In the eventuality that the student fails to pass the test again, he will be dismissed from the academy, whereas successfully passing the examination will award him a score of 70%, regardless of the grade he obtained at the re-testing.

It is noteworthy that students who do not manage to finish the training within 20 weeks from the date of employment will not be eligible to work as law enforcement officers.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Arkansas.

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