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How to Become a Police Officer in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) is one of the most active forces in the country. Not to imply that the city has a high crime rate, but the massive number of tourists who come to the city make street patrol and public safety a priority for the LVMPD. Currently, there are more than 5,100 members on the LV Metropolitan Police Force and the department is actively recruiting qualified candidates for service.1

In order to offer the best public service to Las Vegas residents and visitors, the Las Vegas Police Department has a strict recruitment policy and actively looks for the best candidates. Anyone looking to work as a police officer in Las Vegas must meet a number of requirements and pass quite a few physical exams before they are eligible for the police academy. The steps to becoming a Las Vegas cop are outlined in detail below.

Las Vegas Police Officer Requirements

Clark County Detention Center

Clark County Detention Center

In order to become a Las Vegas police officer, candidates must be a US citizen and at least 21 years old by the date of hire. Additionally, applicants must have 20/20 vision or 20/40 for those wearing lenses.

When applying to become a Las Vegas cop, applicants will be submitted to a thorough background check and a polygraph test. Candidates who have been convicted of a felony crime or a registered Nevada offense, has had two DUI’s or has been found guilty of a domestic violence or domestic assault charge are automatically disqualified from police service. Other individual circumstances will be judged on a case by case basis. Of course, all candidates that apply to the NVMPD will also be required to take a pre-employment drug test.

Examinations Required for Las Vegas Police Recruits

In addition to the requirements listed above, LVMPD candidates must also pass a number of physical, mental and written tests. The first step in the physical evaluation is the LVMPD New Hire Physical Fitness Exam, which is the exam that is taken prior to entering the Police Academy. The exam consists of vertical jump, agility run, sit-ups, push ups and a 300-meter and 1.5-mile run.

The second test is an oral examination. This is basically a professional job interview and candidates are expected to dress and accordingly and be on time. During the examination, a candidate’s ability to work on the police force and meet the rigorous demands of the job will be assessed through numerous questions.

Once candidates have passed the oral examination, they must continue with the process by submitting to the Life History Investigation. This process entails releasing personal background information such as family information, education, military service, previous work experience and criminal history through a Personal History Statement (PHS). Candidates are responsible for having various waivers signed and documents notarized, in addition to completing the PHS online within 10 days of receiving the instructions by email.

For more information, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our homepage and once you are ready to apply for a position, application information can be found at Las Vegas’ recruitment page.

The LVMPD is overseen by the Clark County Sheriff, who is currently Douglas C. Gillespie, a native New Yorker. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Mr. Gillespie has worked in the Las Vegas Police Department under a number of different assignments since 1980 and became sheriff in 2007. He was re-elected for the position in 2010.

Las Vegas Police Department Information

The LVMPD is overseen by the Sheriff of Clark County, who is elected every four years. The Department is divided into eight urban area command divisions including Bolden, Convention Center, Downtown, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Enterprise and South Central. Once confirmed as officers, new recruits will be assigned to patrol one of these areas along with an assigned Field Training Officer.

Las Vegas MPD also has a large number of specialized units that are divided into bureaus that may be further broken up into specific divisions such as homeland security, SWAT, Organized Crime Bureau, Gang Crimes Bureau, Robbery/Homicide Bureau, Crimes Against Youth and Family Bureau, Financial – Property Crimes Bureau, Airport Bureau, Communications Bureau, Support Operations Bureau, K-9, Traffic Bureau, etc.

Las Vegas Police Training Academy

The Las Vegas Police Training Academy is an incredibly rigorous test for LVMPD candidates. The entire training process, which takes 27 weeks, is divided into two units. The first phase is the Operations Phase that focuses on the basic knowledge, skills and abilities required of a Las Vegas Police Officer.

The second phase is the Tactics Phase, which builds on the Operations Phase, but focuses on advanced subjects such as tactics, use of firearms, and emergency vehicle operations. Physical fitness and defensive tactics training are integrated throughout the program’s entire process.

During the training process, candidates must take 10 written tests and a final comprehensive written exam, critical policy test and finally, the Nevada Police Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) test. Through the various testing, candidates should earn a maximum total of 36 test points. Written academic counseling is required of any candidate that fails to earn a test point.

Las Vegas Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

In January 2014, 37 new officers joined the ranks of the LVMPD in hopes of protecting their fine city.2 Yearly pay raises are common as are various promotional opportunities. Additionally, there is an annual education incentive payment for officers that hold an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Currently, the average annual salary of a Las Vegas Patrol Officer is $71,050.3

For more information on current Las Vegas law enforcement positions, take a look at our state job board page.

More Information on the Las Vegas Police Department

The City of Las Vegas is actively connected to its local community and the city’s law enforcement continues that tradition through many community programs. One such program is the 1st Tuesday program, which encourages local residents to participate in a community forum once a week. This process connects the residents with the assigned patrol officers of their neighborhood so that any problems can be address efficiently.

Additionally, there are many initiatives for youth involvement that are aimed at preventing gang participation, drug use and petty or violent crime. For more information on the various ongoing community programs, contact the LVMPD community programs page.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LasVegasMetropolitanPoliceDepartmentRecruiting
Twitter: @LVMPD

Las Vegas PD Recruitment Center
400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
(702) 828-3111

Additional Resources

1. Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.fop1lasvegas.org/
2. Las Vegas Police Protective Association: https://lvppa.com/
3. Las Vegas Sheriff’s Protective Association: http://www.lvmpdspa.com/home/

References:
1. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department: https://www.lvmpd.com/en-us/Pages/default.aspx
2. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department:
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29820.htm

Image Credit: Mike Russell