Steps To Become a Police Officer in Louisiana – Requirements to Become a Cop
How To Become a Police Officer in Louisiana
Unlike many states, Louisiana has no statewide minimum standards for becoming a police officer; each jurisdiction may set its own minimum requirements.
However the state does mandate minimum standards for police academy training through the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement POST program. POST stands for Peace Officer Standards and Training Council http://www.cole.state.la.us/programs/post.asp.
POST requires that a cadet be hired by a Louisiana law enforcement agency or municipal police force before attending a POST-accredited academy. Police officer hopefuls, therefore, will have to research the minimum standards of the particular agency that they are interested in joining.
Louisiana Police Academy Requirements
If that hurdle is met and the candidate is hired by the agency, training at a police academy will follow if the candidate meets minimum academy standards for training. These are:
- Be a United States citizen.
- Have a minimum of
- Two (2) years of experience as a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified peace officer in a full-time position, whose job duties include armed duty with the power of arrest; or
- A minimum of sixty (60) semester hours from an accredited college or university, (must provide transcript or degree); or
- Any two (2) year combination of Options 1 and 2 above, whereby thirty (30) semester hours will be equivalent to one (1) year of experience; or
- Three (3) years of continuous active military duty in the United States Military, (must provide a DD-214 or letter from current commanding officer verifying service).
- Be of good moral character.
- Pass a written examination with a competitive score.
- Undergo a physical agility evaluation, including a drug screen.
- Pass an extensive background investigation, including a polygraph examination.
- Pass an oral interview.
- Pass a thorough medical examination.
- Possess a valid Louisiana driver’s license at time of selection.
Application Process and Hiring Standards
While these are requirements to enter a POST academy, you can expect to see some general requirements to be hired by a municipal police force, even though the state has no mandated minimums. These include:
- An age limit of 21 years old or over.
- U.S. citizenship
- A high school diploma or GED.
- Physical ability to perform the duties of a police officer.
- Vision correctable to 20/20 – not greater than 20/100 uncorrected. No color blindness.
- No criminal history.
- Valid driver’s license.
- Honorable discharge from military (if applicable).
- Free from physical defects or deformities that would prohibit performance of duties.
Additional Requirements & Qualification:
Applicants who pass this level of scrutiny can expect to go through a further screening process consisting of:
- A preliminary polygraph interview.
- A Polygraph examination.
- Physical fitness testing including a 1.5 mile run, push-ups and sit-ups.
- A background investigation.
- Oral interview.
- Medical examination.
- Psychological examination.
Depending on the jurisdiction, you may also be required to take and pass a civil service examination.
How Much Does a Police Officer Make in Louisiana
According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of Louisiana makes between $27,060 – $38,820 per year. However the data collected by BLS is not very accurate since it does not take into account overtime pay or off duty paid work. These two factors, if included in the data, would have dramatically increase the average salary of a police officer in LA.
Police Officer Jobs in Louisiana
There are several law enforcement job openings in Louisiana. Simply visit our Career Job Opening or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment. Below is a list of all the law enforcement agencies in the state of Louisiana.