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How To Become A Police Officer In Nashville Tn

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Police Departments In Tennessee

Become a Police Officer in Nashville

With the great diversity of regions in Tennessee, anyone hoping to work as a cop for a local police department has a lot of options. From metros to suburbs and remote rural areas, Tennessee police work in a variety of environments. To become a police officer anywhere in the state, individuals must apply with a police department, meet all of the local agencys requirements in addition to those set by POST, be offered employment, and then pass a state training course.

Law Enforcement Programs In Tennessee

Although it is not required in all of Tennessee, having a degree makes an individual applying for a police department much more valuable in most cases. Having a degree in specific area may make a person a more desirable candidate. Therefore, it might be adventitious to pursue a college degree after high school, prior to applying to a department. Below is a list of some schools in Tennessee which offer law enforcement programs.

  • Bethel University

325 Cherry Avenue, McKenzie, TN 38201


3535 Adkisson Drive, Cleveland, TN 37320


1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, TN 38401


1 Cumberland Square, Lebanon, TN 37087


Locations in Clarksville, TN / Murfreesboro, TN / Nashville, TN

  • Dyersburg State Community College

1510 Lake Road, Dyersburg, TN 38024


1276 Gilbreath Drive, Johnson City, TN 37614


158 E Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340


Locations in Chattanooga, TN / Cordova, TN / Knoxville, TN / Nashville, TN

  • King University

1350 King College Road, Bristol, TN 37620


545 Lane Avenue, Jackson, TN 38301


807 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38126


433 West Madison Street, Pulaski, TN 38478


1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132


120 White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37209


2710 Nonconnah Blvd., Memphis, TN 38132


3904 Lonas Drive, Knoxville, TN 37909


5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134



Tennessee Trooper Or Highway Patrol Requirements

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is responsible for patrolling state highways, enforcing laws, serving motorists, investigating crash and crime scenes in state jurisdiction, preparing for disasters, and providing safety education. Prospective recruits must apply with the THP and meet the following requirements in addition to those set by POST:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a valid drivers license
  • Have binocular vision correctable to 20/20
  • Have normal color vision
  • Not have any tattoos that cannot be covered at all times
  • Not have any history of disqualifying misdemeanors or lesser charges

Trooper cadets earn a starting salary of $2,859 per month, rising to $3,163 per month after graduation from the 22-week trooper training academy.2 After 10 years of service, troopers can make a base salary of $53,928 per year.2

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Tennessee Police Jobs Outlook

Individuals hoping to find work in law enforcement in Tennessee can look forward to growth in the industry. Between now and 2026 the number of positions is expected to grow by 7.5%, with an average of 960 job opportunities each year .8 The average annual salary for sheriffs deputies and patrol officers in Tennessee is currently $44,320.1

For more information about current law enforcement openings, take a look at our police jobs board.

Police Training Academies In Tennessee

A 28

All prospective law enforcement officers in Tennessee must complete a training course at a POST-approved law enforcement academy, typically the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy . Approved Tennessee police academies include:

  • Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy Nashville, TN
  • Cleveland State Community College Basic Police Academy Cleveland, TN
  • Memphis Police Academy Memphis, TN
  • Knoxville Police Department Training Division Knoxville, TN
  • Metro Nashville Police Academy, Nashville TN

Prospective police trainees must typically be formally hired by a police department to attend a police academy. However, the academy will consider college seniors studying criminal justice with a recommendation from a counselor on a case-by-case basis. For more information about Tennessee police academies, visit the TLETA website.

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    Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission

    I am pleased to announce the phased reopening of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and POST Commission facilities. As you are all aware, current health concerns are compounded by the realities of a large residential law enforcement academy. In order to reopen as responsibly as possible, Governor Lee has approved us to begin training in very limited groups.

    Please note that all students will undergo initial Covid-19 testing and periodic screening thereafter. Students attending Specialized classes will be required to reside on campus and will not be permitted to leave campus until the completion of training. Students attending POST Transition School or Basic Law Enforcement School will be required to reside on campus and will not be permitted to leave campus during the training week. They will be allowed to return to their homes on weekends but will be retested or screened upon their return for the next weeks training.

    POST Commission employees will continue to provide support to agencies by working from home. The physical facilities will remain closed to visitors unless an appointment has been specifically arranged. If you have a question regarding LEOSA, please contact 741-4461.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About A Police Officer Salaries

    The average salary for a Police Officer is US$56,383 per year in Nashville, TN, United States Area. Salaries estimates are based on 42 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Police Officer employees in Nashville, TN, United States Area.

    The highest salary for a Police Officer in Nashville, TN, United States Area is US$72,178 per year.

    The lowest salary for a Police Officer in Nashville, TN, United States Area is US$44,045 per year.

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    Join the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

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    Qualifying To Become A Detective With The Nashville Police Department

    Education and Experience Requirements Most criminal investigators that work for Nashvilles Criminal Investigations Bureau begin their careers as police officers.

    To qualify for police officer jobs, future criminal investigators must complete at least sixty semester hours of education from an accredited college or university. Completed studies must culminate in a GPA of 2.0 or higher. However, there are three alternative qualifying pathways:

    • High school diploma and two years of active military service. Only honorably discharged military personnel are considered.
    • High school diploma and at least two years of law enforcement experience working in a patrol function. Tennessee POST certification or equivalent is additionally required for this option.
    • High school diploma and five years of full-time work experience.

    Degree Options The Nashville Police Department requires that all job candidates that lack previous work experience or military service complete sixty credits of formal education from a college or university.

    The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development determined that over 75% of jobseekers looking for criminal investigator jobs held at least a bachelors degree.

    Examples of degrees relevant to criminal investigations include:

    Other Job Requirements According to the Nashville Police Department, aspiring criminal investigators usually start their careers by meeting police officer job requirements:

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    Becoming A Police Officer In Chattanooga Tennessee

    The Chattanooga Police Department is a multidivisional, CALEA-accredited organization serving the 4th largest city in Tennessee and its more than 170,000 residents. The Uniformed Services Division alone supports jobs for nearly 350 sworn and civilian personnel.

  • Meet Minimum Qualifications/Complete Application
  • Step 1. Meet Minimum Qualifications/Complete Application

    The Chattanooga Police Department defines the following minimum qualifications for police officer positions:

    General Qualifications

    • Be 21 years of age but less than 40
    • High school diploma/GED
    • Be a United States citizen
    • Birth certificate/Tennessee state drivers license
    • Copy of DD214 if you have military experience
    • No prior felony convictions or serious misdemeanors
    • Be a Tennessee resident
    • Meet all requirements of Police Officer I
    • 3 years of law enforcement experience
    • Training in 6 specialty areas
    • Previous training in supervision/leadership

    Police Officer III

    • Meet all requirements of Police Officer II
    • 5 years of law enforcement experience
    • Training in 2 specialty areas
    • Previous training in supervision/leadership

    In order to submit your application to the Chattanooga Police Department, you may contact them via or call 423-757-5200.

    Step 2. Written Examination/Physical Ability Test

    • Reading/understanding
    • Biographical inventory

    Step 3. Preliminary Interview and Background Investigation

    Step 4. Final Interview

    Step 5. Academy Training

    • Building search
    • Traffic accident investigation

    Step 6. Field Training Program

    Previous Drug Use Criteria

    Two men now charged in the death of Hendersonville Officer Spencer ...
    • Drug use will be viewed in the context of the applicant’s age at the time of use, type of drug, how recently it was used, and the frequency of use. No illegal drug use will be allowed within 12 months of the date of application. No marijuana use within 6 months of application.
    • No sale of any drugs.
    • Could have permanent disqualification for use of heroin, LSD, PCP, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine or similar substances.
    • Any prior drug use, admitted or discovered, will be evaluated in determining employment eligibility.
    • No pattern of abuse of legal or legend drugs .
    • Must pass polygraph or CVSA concerning use.

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    How Much Does A Police Officer In Nashville Tn Make

    The average police officer in Nashville, TN makes $32,753 annually. The average hourly rate for a police officer is $15.75/hr. This compares to the national average police officer salary of $48,353. Below, we break down the average police officer salary in Nashville, TN by the highest paying companies and industries. You can also compare different types of police officer salaries in and around Nashville and a salary history chart that shows how the average salary for police officers has changed over time in Nashville.

    What Does A Nashville Police Officer Do

    People swiftly voice their unpleasant opinions about law enforcement officers. But little do they understand how much labour a law enforcement officer must perform. Police officers undergo rigorous training to get where they are today. The duties of a police officer largely depend on the location they are situated at. It likewise relies upon their specialization. Be that as it may, because of the smaller crime rates in the countryside, there is infrequently any opportunities for an individual to specialize in a specific field. Let us read about some of the obligations of a law enforcement officer.

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    Salary For Tennessee Police Officer Jobs

    The average salary of a Tennessee patrol officer is about 40,000 a year. Remember, however, that officers in large cities make much more than officers in rural areas. The above average is a state average, so depending on where one works they could be making more than the average or less than the average. The range is roughly between 32,000 a year and 47,000. Level of education can also make a difference in salary. Those with a law related degree may earn more. Those who work as detectives and also those who are criminal investigators may make up to 48,000 a year.

    Metro Nashville Governmentpolice Officer Trainee Innashville Tennessee

    Did Metro officer have probable cause to search Nika Holbert?

    Police Officer Trainee



    • Questions

    Position Description

    Attends and completes an in-service and field training program in police science. Performs related duties as required.


    $45,044.65 annual salary rate for weeks 1-24

    $50,054.02 annual salary rate for weeks 25-50

    $51,555.64 w/Associate’s Degree, $53,057.26 w/Bachelor’s Degree

    $59,260.98 annual salary rate starting at week 51

    $60,038.81 w/Associate’s Degree, $62,816.64 w/Bachelor’s Degree

    Typical Duties

    This classification spends considerable time in a classroom environment and requires some physical exertion such as running, walking, climbing, bending, stooping, stretching, or similar activities.

    Completes a basic training program that consists of courses in criminal law, firearms training, physical training, first aid, traffic accident investigation, traffic law enforcement, human relations, crime scene research, riot control, patrol procedures, departmental policies, report writing, and other related areas.

    Minimum Qualifications

    The Metro Nashville Police Department is a 24/7 operation. Employees must be able to work any day and/or shift, as needed.

    • At least sixty semester hours of course work from an accredited college or university with an overall G.P.A. of 2.0 or above

    * OR *

    • High school diploma or GED plus one of the following:

    • at least two years active military duty

    • at least two years as a full-time, certified active law enforcement officer

    • three years responsible, full-time work experience

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    How To Become A Police Officer In Tennessee

    From the big city of Memphis to the Music City of Nashville and the mountain city of Knoxville and points in-between, Tennessee is a diverse and interesting place to live. An estimated 12,890 police officers and sheriffs patrol deputies work in Tennessee.1

    The Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission sets the minimum requirements for police recruits in the state. Continue reading to learn more about these minimum requirements as well as additional requirements set by major police departments in Tennessee.

    Why A Degree At Nashville State

    • Research shows that college-educated officers receive fewer citizen complaints. They are also terminated less frequently for misconduct and less likely to use force.
    • Community policing and problem-oriented policing require problem-solving and creative thinking skills that the college experience helps develop.
    • A college education improves ethical decision-making skills, knowledge and understanding of the law and the courts, openness to diversity, and communication skills.
    • A college education helps officers become better at identifying quality information and scientific evidence. This in turn better enables them to more rigorously and regularly evaluate policies and practices adopted by their departments.
    • Police officers with at least some college experience are more focused on promotion and expect to retire at a higher rank compared to officers with no college.

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