How to Become a Police Officer in Indianapolis

In Indianapolis, which is Indiana’s largest and capital city, the members of law enforcement do their best to protect the 850,000 people who call it home. With a low cost of living, at 11% below the national average, Indianapolis is a good place for cops to call home.

Prospective police officers in the city of Indianapolis should read about the city’s application and selection process, along with the training required, below.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Requirements

Before applying to become a cop in Indianapolis, hopeful recruits in Indianapolis should first make sure they meet the basic requirements there. To apply to be a cop at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, applicants must be a US citizen, be 21 years old and younger than 36, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, and be a resident of Marion County, Indiana or one of the seven adjoining counties. Applicants must not have any misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence or have been dishonorably discharged from the military. They must also be able to pass a drug test.

The requirements to be screened for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department involve ten steps. Applicants must complete:

  1. A preliminary application
  2. A written examination
  3. An oral interview
  4. A physical agility test
  5. A polygraph exam
  6. A background investigation
  7. A medical examination
  8. A psychological examination
  9. A drug screening
  10. Board approvals

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 the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department – Patrol Officer Application Procedures.

The Chief of Police for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is Richard A.J. Hite. Before taking on the post as Chief, Hite retired as Lieutenant Colonel of the Baltimore Police Department. He was named full-time Chief of the IMPD in December 2012.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Information

Established in 2007, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is made up of the former Indianapolis Police Department and the former law enforcement division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. The force includes roughly 1,700 sworn officers, 250 civilian employees, and includes approximately 195 officers for every 100,000 residents of the metropolitan area.2 The Department functions with six policing districts, including an investigations division, traffic enforcement operations, and a variety of special units. In 2009, the IMPD’s annual operating budget was over 222 million dollars.3

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Law Enforcement Training Academy

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Law Enforcement Training Academy is one of the best in the state. Recruits attend the Academy for 24 weeks, which includes 932 hours of training, in subjects such as administration, criminal justice, human behavior, law, emergency response, and police skills. Prospective officers do not live at the Academy, but attend Mondays through Fridays, mainly between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Once they complete the Academy, officers enter a Field Training Officer Program. The April 2015 Recruit Class Commencement Ceremony celebrated the employment of 52 new recruits to the Department.4

Indianapolis Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

Indianapolis police officers earn an average of $52,460 per year, or $25.22 per hour.5 In 2013 at the IMPD, probationary officers earned $39,446 per year when they started at the Academy.6 During their second year, cops made $47,651 per year, and by their third, $60,967.6 In addition, law enforcement officers at the IMPD enjoyed benefits like a car, overtime pay, vacation and sick leave, insurance, pension, and deferred compensation. The IMPD also offers college incentive pay, up to $1,250 per year for a master’s degree and $1,000 for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

The outlook for police officers in all of Indiana is positive, with a 6% growth expected in the field by 2022, or 410 jobs per year.7 With its relatively low cost of living, Indianapolis could be a good place for aspiring cops to make their home.

For more information on current IMPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

How to learn more about the Department and crime in Indianapolis

The IMPD offers numerous outreach programs for the community in which they serve. The Police Athletic League (PAL) Club offers youth services and the Explorer Program is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and allows youth a chance to explore a career in law enforcement. They also offer a Bears on Patrol program, which attempts to reduce trauma suffered by children who are victims of abuse, a Body Safety Program, which empowers children to protect themselves, and a Gun Safety Program for 2nd and 3rd graders. Find out more about their outreach programs here.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IMPDNews
Twitter: @IMDP_News

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
50 North Alabama Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Additional Resources

  1. Indiana Fraternal Order of Police: https://instatefop.org/
  2. Indianapolis Police Foundation: https://cipf.foundation/
  3. Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.fop86.org/

1. Sperling’s Best Places, Indianapolis, Indiana: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/indiana/indianapolis
2. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/csllea08.pdf
3. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, 2009 Annual Report: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/Documents/AnnualReports/2009AnnualReport.pdf
4. Nixle: a href=”https://local.nixle.com/alert/5400405/” target=”_blank”>https://local.nixle.com/alert/5400405/
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Indianapolis-Carmel, IN: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26900.htm
6. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Benefits: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/Employment/Sworn/Pages/benefits.aspx
7. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm