How to Become a Police Officer in Wichita
Home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen-Lambe House, the Great Plains Transportation Museum, and many other museums, Wichita, Kansas has a lot to offer its residents. The city has a population of 386,552 and a low cost of living– 13% below the national average.1,2 Considering these factors, potential cops will find that Wichita is a great place to start their career.
Individuals hoping to become a part of the Wichita Police Department will find information on the application, selection and training process below.
Wichita Police Officer Requirements
The Wichita Police Department (WPD) employs 611 officers and 177 civilians.3 Men and women who wish to become WPD cops must:
- Be 21 years of age
- Be a US citizen
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have a valid Kansas driver’s license at the time of hire
- Be honorably discharged from the military
- Have no convictions of misdemeanors involving violent crime or the use of physical force within the past five years
- Have no felony convictions, including juvenile offenses
For a full list of drug and criminal disqualifications, click here.
All WPD candidates will have to complete a 100-question written test, oral interview, physical agility test, and a background investigation. Applicants then undergo a polygraph, psychological, and physical exam. Lastly, potential cops will have to complete “Cooper’s Run,” running 1.5 miles in 14 minutes or less.
For more information about becoming a law enforcement officer in a big city, check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. For more recruitment information, visit WDP’s recruitment page.
Wichita Police Department Information
Each of the Department’s three divisions, field services, investigations, and support services, has its own bureaus and units. WPD cops receive paid vacation and medical leave and other benefits like a clothing allowance of $700 per year and additional monthly pay for having a bachelor’s or master’s degree.4 WPD cops have jurisdiction in the city’s four quadrants: patrol north, patrol south, patrol east, and patrol west. Each quadrant is further subdivided into beats with at least one community police officer. All patrol officers work under the field services division. Other areas where WPD cops can work throughout their career include:
- Animal control
- Auto theft/larceny
- Gang/felony assault section
- Homicide section
- Property crimes bureau
Wichita Police Training Academy
After completing the application process, the Chief of Police selects police recruits to attend the Wichita Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Training Academy. While in the 24-week Academy, recruits will learn about the following topics:5
- Basic firearms
- Handgun retention
- Homicide investigation
- Emergency medical vehicle operation
- Patrol tactics
- Self defense
In June 2015, 21 police officers graduated from the program to become a part of the WPD.4 Upon graduating from the Academy, cops initially work alongside a field training officer.
Wichita Police Salary and Jobs Outlook
More than 1,170 cops are employed in Wichita, earning an average annual salary of $43,320.6. By 2022, the number of cops is projected to increase by 6.3% in the state of Kansas, resulting in 250 new law enforcement jobs.7 The exact number of classes of police recruits and new law enforcement officers hired is determined by the city’s budget and the number of cops who retire during the year. Based on the growing police force and reasonable salary, Wichita is a great place for cops to begin a career.
To view open listings for police officers in Wichita, visit our jobs board page.
More Information on the Wichita Police Department and Crime
The WPD offers a Citizen’s Police Academy to residents aged 20 and older who live in Sedgwick County. Attendees can have no felony convictions nor current warrants and must have two personal references. The Academy helps citizens better understand daily police procedures while also improving relationships between the community and police. Topics covered in the 13-week Academy include patrol operations, helicopter “fly-in,” homicide and robbery, and many others. Citizens will also tour the firearms training facility, crime lab, and the 911 emergency communications center. For more information, contact Kelly Godfrey at 316-660-3810.
Wichita Police Department Headquarters
455 N Main
Wichita, KS 67202
1. US Census Bureau, Wichita, KS: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/20/2079000.html
2. Sperling’s Best Places, Wichita, KS: http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/kansas/wichita
3. WPD Staff Personal Summary: http://www.wichita.gov/Government/Departments/WPD/PoliceDocuments/WPD%20STAFF%20Personnel%20Summary.pdf
4. The Wichita Eagle, Newest Deputies, Officers Graduate from Wichita/Sedgwick County Academy: http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article25003519.html
5. City of Wichita, Police Recruit: http://www.wichita.gov/Government/Departments/WPD/Pages/Recruitment.aspx
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Wichita, KS https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_48620.htm
7. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm