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How to Become a Police Officer in Mesa

Mesa is a large suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, and a major urban center in its own right with a population of 439,041 people. Only Phoenix and Tucson are larger than Mesa. With this big population, as well as the students from the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University, Mesa needs to have a sizable police force. The Mesa Police Department (MPD) is a large agency dedicated to serving and protecting the residents of the city. The process for becoming a cop with the MPD is outlined below.

Mesa Police Officer Requirements

Each candidate for the MPD must meet certain minimum requirements as set by Arizona’s Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission before being invited to start the process of applying. The qualifications include a minimum age of 21 by the end of basic training, US citizenship, a high school diploma or GED, and a valid Arizona driver’s license. New recruits must also be free of any felony convictions to qualify.

The prescreening to ensure the minimum requirements are met is the first step in the process of applying for a position with the MPD. The next step is a physical fitness test and then a written test. Those with acceptable scores move on to the selection interview with at least three Department officers and then an extensive background investigation with a polygraph examination. Finally, the candidate is interviewed by the human resources hiring board and if accepted, offered employment contingent on being able to pass psychological and medical testing.

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 Mesa Police Department Jobs page.

Current Mesa Police Chief John Meza has been on the force for 28 years and was named to the leadership position in 2015. Meza long held the position of Assistant Chief and has been heralded as a great leader in the Department. He is most often praised for his ability to stay calm and quickly end a tense situation during a deadly shooting spree that occurred in the city and resulted in one fatality in early 2105.

Mesa Police Department Information

The MPD is a large police force that represents the diversity of the community it serves. In addition to a diverse staff of officers, the Department has many special divisions to better provide protection and service to the public. These include an airport unit, a self-defense training unit for women, an elder abuse team, a K-9 unit, the Red Mountain Police Division, and many other specialty units.

Mesa Police Training Academy

New recruits must complete the basic academy program at the MPD Training Section, which is held at the Public Safety Training Facility in Mesa. The curriculum at basic training is based on the standards set by Arizona’s POST Commission and includes both classwork and hands-on training. Candidates who pass the program are eligible to be certified through POST and are ready to participate as sworn officers with the MPD.

Mesa Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

The MPD offers new recruits an impressive starting salary of $50,960, which can rise to a top salary of $76,502 after years of service.1 The generous salary goes far in Mesa where the cost of living is just 1.4% higher than the national average.2 The average annual salary for an officer in the Mesa and Phoenix area is $62,360.3

The salary is just one reason hopeful new law enforcement officers might choose Mesa for employment. The growth in this field in Arizona is expected to continue on a positive trend, with more jobs opening up every year. The growth between now and 2022 is expected to move at a rate of 7.2% with an average of 460 open positions each year.4 For more information on current MPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Mesa Police Department and Crime

Residents of Mesa who are interested in learning more about the Department and what officers do can join the Citizen Police Academy. The Academy is open to residents and people working in the city who are at least 19 years old. Students of the Academy learn about the Department’s role in the community and get a hands-on look at what officers do each day. Veterans of the force are there to instruct the participants.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MesaAzPD?fref=ts
Twitter: @MesaPD

Mesa Police Department
130 North Robson
Mesa, AZ 85201
http://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/police

Additional Resources

1. Mesa Police Association: http://www.mesampa.com/
2. Mesa Fraternal Order of Police: http://lodge9.azfop.com/
3. Arizona Fraternal Order of Police: http://azfop.com/

References:
1. Mesa Police Department: http://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/police
2. Sperling’s Best Places, Mesa, Arizona: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/arizona/Mesa
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_38060.htm#33-0000
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm