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How to Become a Police Officer in Kansas City

With a population of 459,772, Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri and part of a unique metropolitan area that spans both Missouri and Kansas. Kansas City is famous for its unique styles of blues music and barbecue, but also has a wide range of cultural and employment opportunities for residents, as well as an important place in American history. The members of the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) are devoted to protecting and serving the residents of the city. The process and requirements for joining the KCPD as a sworn officer is outlined below.

Kansas City Police Officer Requirements

The KCPD strives to recruit the most qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of the city. There are several minimum requirements that must be met before a new recruit will be considered for a law enforcement position. A candidate must be at least 21 years old, be a US citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and hold a high school diploma or GED. New recruits must also live in Kansas City within the 12 months of being hired. Recruits may be disqualified for having excessive traffic violations, a past pattern of drug abuse, a dishonorable discharge from the military, or any felony convictions.

To apply to be a cop with the KCPD, those candidates who are qualified must first take a written examination and a physical abilities test. If a new recruit passes these tests, he or she may then apply with the Department. The next steps in the process include a background investigation, a polygraph examination, a ride-along experience, an oral interview, and psychological and medical examinations.

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 Kansas City Police Department – Employment page.

The Chief of Police for the KCPD is Darryl Forté. Chief Forté has been leading the Department since 2011 and is the first African-American to be promoted to the head of the KCPD. He joined the force in 1985 and worked his way up through every rank, serving in patrol, human resources, budgeting, and investigations. Chief Forté earned a degree in criminal justice from Park College and a master’s degree in management from Baker University.

Kansas City Police Department Information

The KCPD is responsible for patrolling a city of more than a half million people. There are 1,400 sworn officers on the force in addition to 600 civilian workers.1 The Department makes use of several special units to best serve and protect residents. These include canine and bicycle units, and units that specialize in sex crimes, domestic violence, vehicular crimes, crimes against children, gang violence, and much more.

Kansas City Police Training Academy

New recruits to the KCPD complete basic training at the Regional Police Academy in Kansas City. Upon successful completion recruits become certified as sworn officers. The Academy trains new cops with all the skills needed to work in law enforcement and the curriculum is set by Missouri’s Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. The basic training program is a rigorous course of comprehensive studies and takes 28 to 30 weeks to complete.

Kansas City Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

New law enforcement officers in the KCPD earn $3,130 per month during basic training, $3,444 during a six-month probationary period after training, and $$3,617, or $43,404 per year, as a fully sworn officer after probation.1 Officers in the KCPD also get benefits such as paid vacation time, overtime pay, sick leave, health insurance, tuition reimbursement and college incentive pay, and a retirement plan. The average annual salary for a cop in Kansas City is $52,510.2

Long term projections for the state of Missouri suggest that the outlook for future jobs in law enforcement is good. The growth in these jobs is expected to be 4.4% between now and 2022, which means an average of 430 new jobs in the state each year.3 For more information on current KCPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Kansas City Police Department and Crime

Any adult living or working in Kansas City and with good standing within the community can apply to participate in the KCPD Citizens Police Academy. The 12-week course gives participants an idea of what it is like to be a police officer with classroom and hands-on instruction. The Department also offers residents the chance to experience what officers do every day with the Ride Along program.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kcpolice
Twitter: @kcpolice

Kansas City Police Department
1125 Locust
Kansas City, MO 64106
http://kcmo.gov/police/

Additional Resources

1. Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.kcfop.org/
2. Missouri Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.mofop.org/

References:
1. Kansas City Police Department: http://kcmo.gov/police/
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kansas City, MO, KS: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28140.htm#33-0000
3. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm