How to Become a Police Officer in Omaha

With a population of over 400,000, the city of Omaha, Nebraska’s largest, is a city with a large and strong police force. Together with Council Bluffs, Iowa, Omaha comprises an even larger metropolitan area of nearly 900,000 residents. In the heart of the prairie, Omaha is a great place to live. The unemployment rate is low at 3.8% and the cost of living is too, at 11.9% below the national average.1 The process for joining the Omaha Police Department is outlined below.

Omaha Police Officer Requirements

The Omaha Police Department (OPD) is always looking for qualified candidates to join the force. New cops have to meet certain minimum requirements in order to apply and be considered. These include a minimum age of 21, a current driver’s license, and a high school diploma or GED. New recruits must also be in good health as determined by a medical examination and must not have any felony convictions or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.

Candidates who are eligible according to the basic requirements may begin the process of being considered for the force by taking a written exam. This is followed by a physical agility test and the scores from both are used to determine which candidates will be asked to continue with a background investigation. Those who are not disqualified may be considered for a position and may be offered employment. The final step is to complete basic police training.

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 Omaha Police Department Employment page.

Chief Todd Schmaderer has been a part of the OPD for over 20 years and has been the Chief of Police since 2011. He was born and raised in Omaha and earned a degree in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He has taught college courses as a police officer and also ran the police academy for the OPD.

Omaha Police Department Information

The OPD was first formed in 1857 and has a long and storied history. The modern OPD is a large police force with over 1,000 employees including both sworn officers and civilians and has an operating budget of $119 million.2 The department is made up of a diverse force of law enforcement officers and civilians who are dedicated to community policing as a way to prevent crime and protect residents.

Omaha Police Training Academy

At the Omaha Police Department Academy, new recruits learn all the skills needed to perform the job of a police officer in the city. The coursework includes 459 hours of basic curriculum and 301 hours of advanced training for city policing over the course of 24 weeks. After successfully completing the Academy, new officers must work for 15 weeks with a veteran officer for field training.

Omaha Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

The training salary for new recruits to the OPD is $41,537 and $49,499 for the first full year on the force as a sworn officer.2 Benefits include health and life insurance, a college incentive program, premium pay, bilingual pay, and overtime pay. The salary for OPD officers goes far in Omaha where the cost of living is relatively low. The average salary for an officer in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area is $59,630.3

For hopeful new cops wanting to work in Omaha should know that job growth in law enforcement throughout the state is expected to be positive in the future. The prediction is that the growth will be 4.4% from now to 2022 and that there will be an average of 110 new positions opening up each year due to retirements and population growth. 4 For more information on current OPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Omaha Police Department and Crime

The Citizen’s Academy offered by the OPD to residents of Omaha gives participants the chance to get to know the Department on a deeper level. The course teaches students about firearms safety, officer safety, arrest and control tactics, and many more of the day-to-day operations of the Department. Residents can also get involved and learn more by going on a Ride Along with an officer.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OmahaPoliceDepartment?fref=ts
Twitter: @OmahaPolice

Omaha Police Department
505 South 15th St
Omaha, NE 68102

Additional Resources

1. Sperling’s Best Places, Omaha, Nebraska: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/nebraska/omaha
2. Omaha Police Department: https://police.cityofomaha.org/
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_36540.htm#33-0000
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm