How to Become a Police Officer in Louisville
Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky, is home to over 700,000 residents protected by the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). Louisville is a great choice of a city to work and live in as a cop. It is home to the University of Louisville and its beloved sports teams, the Kentucky Derby, and several other cultural, arts, and historic attractions. Additionally, the cost of living here is low at 9.5% below the national average.1The process for becoming a Louisville police officer is detailed below.
Louisville Police Officer Requirements
To become a sworn law enforcement officer with the LMPD, candidates must first meet the Department’s minimum requirements and then proceed through the application steps. In order to apply, a candidate must be at least 21 years old, have no felony convictions, be a US citizen, and have a high school diploma or a GED. In addition to a high school education, new recruits must have either completed 60 college credit hours, completed active military service, served four years in the National Guard or Reserve, or been employed as a sworn officer in another agency for at least one year.
Those hopeful new recruits who are qualified to work for the LMPD may fill out an online application to get started. Recruits must then take the physical agility test and the written exam. Those who pass may be selected to be interviewed by a panel. Candidates selected then undergo a background investigation, polygraph examination, and medical and psychological examinations before being offered employment and being sent to the Training Academy.
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, find specific application information on the Louisville Metro Police Department – Become an Officer page.
Louisville Metro Police Department Information
The LMPD is a large police force and formed in 2003 when the Louisville Police Department merged with the Jefferson County Police Department. The purpose of the merger was to make the combined Department more efficient and to focus resources within the police districts. The merger ensured that each district had the resources necessary to protect residents, investigate and prevent crime.
Louisville Metro Police Training Academy
Successful candidates for becoming cops with the LMPD must complete basic training at the Louisville Metro Police Training Academy before becoming full-time, sworn officers. The Academy basic training session lasts 24 weeks and provides new recruits with over 1,000 hours of instruction on patrol operations, investigative procedures, self-defense, firearms, traffic stops, and many other necessary skill areas. Once the Academy training is completed, a new officer must then spend 24 weeks in field training, working with three different senior officers on three different shifts.
Louisville Police Salary and Jobs Outlook
New officers in training earn a starting salary of $42,420, which includes clothing and equipment allowances as well as a state incentive.2 Benefits include a retirement plan, medical, dental, and vision insurance, paid leave, and tuition reimbursement. The average salary for a patrol officer in Louisville is $44,730.3
Long-term projections suggest that law enforcement positions in Kentucky will be increasing in the future. The projected growth between now and 2022 is 32%, a much higher growth rate than the national average for police jobs.4 Candidates for law enforcement jobs in Kentucky can expect to see an average of 400 new positions available every year.4 For more information on current LMPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.
More Information on the Louisville Metro Police Department and Crime
Residents of the Louisville Metro area can get involved with the LMPD by attending one of its Citizen Police Academies. The LMPD runs a Citizens Police Academy and Latino Citizens Police Academy and Youth Citizen Police Academy to better connect with the communities it serves. The Explorer Program is designed for residents between the ages of 14 and 19 to help young people develop leadership skills and learn about community involvement. The Explorer Program has been temporarily suspended by the mayor.
Louisville Metro Police Department
633 W Jefferson Street
Louisville, KY 40202
1. Sperling’s Best Places, Louisville, Kentucky: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/kentucky/louisville
2. Louisville Metro Police Department: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/police#
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_31140.htm#33-0000
3. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm