How to Become a Police Officer in Fresno
Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California with a population of 509,000. It sits in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley, where much of the produce in the US is grown. Fresno is also known for being the unofficial dividing line between Northern and Southern California. The Fresno Police Department (FPD) provides the city with safety and crime prevention. To join this force of dedicated officers, new recruits must meet stringent requirements. The process for becoming a cop with the FPD is outlined below.
Fresno Police Officer Requirements
To join the Fresno Police Department as a law enforcement officer, there are some minimum requirements that must be met. New recruits must be at least 21 years old, have a valid California driver’s license, have a high school diploma or a GED, and be a citizen of the US. Candidates must also have passed a police basic training academy at one of the schools in the state that is certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) commission.
The process for being considered for a position with the FPD includes taking a written examination, going through oral interviews, and undergoing medical, psychological, and polygraph examinations. Candidates are also subjected to a thorough background investigation. The FPD often hires new recruits with no prior law enforcement experience for the position of police cadet. As a cadet, new recruits work in low-priority, non-emergency situations in the field before attending basic training and being promoted to the position of officer.
For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply, find specific application information on the Fresno Police Department – Employment and Volunteer Services page.
Fresno Police Department Information
The FPD is a large force serving a population of nearly a half million people. Between 2001 and 2013 the Department saw a 28% reduction in crime, including a 40% drop in crimes against persons and a 26% reduction in property crimes.1 The FPD has also seen improvements in traffic accidents in recent years. The number of traffic incidence and fatalities has decreased.
Fresno Police Training Academy
All new recruits to the FPD must complete a basic training program at one of the state’s POST-approved academies. Fresno City College offers the Basic Police Academy to meet the needs of applicants to the FPD. The program is offered twice a year, from January to June and from June to December. The six-month long academy is intensive and requires attendance Monday through Friday for nine hours a day.
Fresno Police Salary and Jobs Outlook
The average annual salary for a cop in Fresno is $67,430.2 In addition to a generous salary, Fresno officers are offered many benefits. These include a state retirement plan, health insurance, paid overtime, sick and vacation leave, 13 holidays off, and opportunities for extra pay for hazard time, special duty, training, and being bilingual.
The growth in law enforcement jobs in California is positive. From now through 2022 the field is expected to grow by 6.8%, which equates to an average of 2,570 new positions opening up every year.3 For more information on current FPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.
More Information on the Fresno Police Department and Crime
The FPD invites Fresno residents to learn more about what they do by joining theCitizens’ Police Academy. The course includes classroom work as well as tours of police facilities and hands-on experiences. Citizens may also join the Department as volunteers through the Citizens on Patrol program. Together, these two programs help educate the public about the work the FPD does every day and helps to establish positive relationships between officers and residents.
Fresno Police Department
2323 Mariposa Street
Fresno, CA 93721
1. Fresno Police Department: http://www.fresno.gov/Government/DepartmentDirectory/Police/default.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Fresno, CA: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_23420.htm#33-0000
3. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm