How to Become a Police Officer in Colorado Springs

Situated just east of the Rocky Mountains and at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is often listed as one of the best places to live in the country, especially among larger cities. With a population nearing 500,000, Colorado Springs is large but maintains a small-town feel and is close to the kinds of outdoor recreation that Coloradans have grown to love. With a cost of living that is just 0.90% above the national average, a police officer here can earn a comfortable living and enjoy all that the city and surrounding areas have to offer.1 The process for joining the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is outlined below.

Colorado Springs Police Officer Requirements

To be hired as a police recruit by the CSPD, a candidate must first meet certain minimum requirements. These include being at least 21 years of age and having a high school diploma or GED plus either an associate’s degree or 60 hours of college credit towards a degree. An Alternate Education Program is also available for those who have at least 30 college semester hours. New recruits must also be free of any felony convictions, must be eligible to work in the US, must have a valid Colorado driver’s license, and must not have been dishonorably discharged from any branch of the military.

The first step in the process of becoming a CSPD officer is to fill out an online application, or, if the application process is not currently open, a job interest card. Those applicants who meet the minimum requirements will then fill out a personal history questionnaire and take a written test and a physical ability test (PAT). Those who pass the tests will be scheduled for an oral board interview. From this point, applicants may be offered conditional employment as CSPD police officers. These applicants must pass a background check, a polygraph exam, and medical and psychological exams before being fully hired by the Department.

If you are ready to apply to the CSPD, you can find specific application information on the Colorado Springs Police Department website.

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.

Peter Carey is the Chief of Police for the CSPD and began his law enforcement career in 1982 with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. He joined the CSPD in 1984 as a patrol officer and subsequently worked with the vice, narcotics and intelligence divisions. Carey became the Deputy Chief in 2008 and the Chief in 2011. Chief Carey holds degrees in business management and public administration and graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Colorado Springs Police Department Information

The CSPD has been in operation since 1872. The modern Department is comprised of two main divisions: the Patrol Bureau, which is responsible for patrolling the city and responding to calls of residents, and the Operations Support Bureau. The latter is further divided into specialized enforcement, investigations, management, professional standards, and vice, narcotics, and intelligence.

Colorado Springs Police Training Academy

The Colorado Springs Police Department Training Academy is nationally accredited and is responsible for preparing all new recruits to work as full-time, sworn officers in the CSPD. Only those recruits offered employment by the Department may attend the 24-week Academy. The training program consists of demanding physical training as well as rigorous academic coursework. At the conclusion of the Academy, recruits must pass the Colorado Peace Officer Standards Test before becoming a sworn officer.

Colorado Springs Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

New recruits to the CSPD earn $22.48 per hour during training, which amounts to $3,897 per month.2 Once a new recruit has finished training and begins working as a sworn officer, the base salary goes up to $4,210 per month.2 The benefits that new cops with the CSPD can expect to receive include health insurance, a wellness program, paid vacation, sick, and personal days, and tuition reimbursement. On average, a police officer in Colorado springs earns $63,250 annually.3

The outlook for new jobs in law enforcement in Colorado is promising for those hoping to get into this line of work. Jobs growth is projected to be 9.1% between now and 2022, which translates to an average of 380 new positions opening up each year.4 For more information on current CSPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Colorado Springs Police Department and Crime

The Citizens’ Academy is one way that residents of Colorado Springs can get involved with and learn more about the CSPD. The Academy teaches participants all about what the Department does and is free to attend. Younger residents can participate in the Teen Academy to learn about the Department and what it means to be a cop.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colorado-Springs-Police-Department/133820446633849
Twitter: @CSPDPIO

Colorado Springs Police Department
705 S Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Additional Resources

1. Sperling’s Best Places, Colorado Springs, Colorado: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/colorado/colorado_springs
2. Colorado Springs Police Department: https://coloradosprings.gov/police-department
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Colorado Springs, CO: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_17820.htm#33-0000
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm