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How to Become a Police Officer in Nashville

Nashville is the capital and second-largest city in Tennessee with a population of 634,464 in the city and 1,757,912 in the whole metropolitan area. Also known as Music City, Nashville has a long history of music recording and performance and is a popular tourist destination for live music, food, and history.1

For those wishing to become part of the law enforcement team in Nashville, the application, selection, and training process is detailed below.

Nashville Police Officer Requirements

To join the force of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD), new recruits must meet certain requirements. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and must either have completed 60 college credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0, have served two years of active military duty with an honorable discharge, or have worked two years in law enforcement or five years in another full-time job. Hopeful new cops must also be at least 21 years old, have normal color vision and depth perception, have a valid driver’s license, be a US citizen, and not have been convicted of a felony.

The first step in being considered for a position as a cop with the MNPD is to fill out an application that includes copies of relevant documents such as transcripts. Once an application is approved the candidate may advance to the written and physical fitness tests. The fitness test is challenging and includes sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter run, and a 1.5-mile run. Those who achieve outstanding scores on the written test and pass the fitness test will then undergo a background check. Finally, an interview will determine which qualified candidates will be offered employment with the department. New recruits must then complete 22 weeks of training at the MNPD Academy followed by six months of probation and field training.

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 now, find specific application information at Metropolitan Nashville Police Department – Become a Police Officer.

Chief of Police Steve Anderson has been a part of the MNPD for 39 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Belmont University and a law degree from the Nashville School of Law. Chief Anderson served in the United States Air Force before joining the MNPD. His previous positions in the Department include teaching law at the Academy, heading the Investigative Services Bureau and heading the Administrative Services Bureau.

Nashville Police Department Information

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is headed by the Chief of Police and divided into eight precincts: Central, East, Hermitage, Madison, Midtown Hills, North, South, and West. Each precinct is run by a Police Commander who reports directly to the Chief of Police.

Nashville Police Training Academy

The Training Academy for the MNPD opened at its current location in 1970. It is divided into four basic training sections: basic police training, physical fitness and wellness, in-service training, and confrontation management. Basic training for new officers lasts for 22 weeks and provides 950 hours of training. All cops on the force receive 40 hours per year of in-service training from the Academy.2

Nashville Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

New recruits to the MNPD earn an annual salary of $36,109 as trainees and $40,125 once training is completed.3 MNPD officers also get overtime and longevity pay, health and dental insurance, and paid vacation after one year on the force. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a patrol officer in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin statistical area is $46,100.4

According to projections looking forward to 2022, the future for law enforcement officers in Tennessee is good. A 10.9% growth in jobs for patrol officers is expected between now and 2022, which means that an average of 490 new jobs will open up in the state each year.5
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How to Learn More about the Department and Crime in Nashville

Nashville residents who are at least 21 years old and have no arrest record may get involved with the MNPD by joining the Citizen Police Academy. Those who want to join must apply and will attend a minimum of 10 out of 12 sessions to graduate and receive a completion certificate. Concerned citizens may also contact the MNPD to find out how to organize and start a neighborhood watch.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroNashvillePoliceDepartment
Twitter: @MNPDNashville

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
200 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37201
http://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department.aspx

Additional Resources

1. Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.tnstatefop.com/
2. Nashville Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.nashvillefop.org/

References:
1. Nashville Music City: http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/aboutmusiccity/storyofmusiccity
2. Metropolitan Nashville Police Department – Training Academy: v
3. Metropolitan Nashville Police Department: http://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department.aspx
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_34980.htm#33-0000
5. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm