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Facts About The Tampa Police Department

The Tampa Police Department is the second-largest police department in Florida and among the top 50 largest police departments in the United States, with over 1,000 sworn officers and approximately 350 civilian support staff positions. Tampa PD serves a population of over 400,000 residents with a per capita ratio of 2.66 officers per 1,000 residents.

Newly employed police officers are assigned to a four-month comprehensive field training program. This work/training environment develops job confidence and expertise under the direction of qualified training officers.

2nd Largest
FL Police Department
Over 1,000 Police Officers
Among Largest
50 Police Depts. in USA


Visible tattoos that do not detract from the professional appearance of the person, uniform, or the police department are authorized while on duty.  Any unauthorized tattoos (as determined by the department) shall be covered while in uniform.  For more information about the tattoo policy please ask our personnel unit.  

The P.A.T. (Physical Agility Test) is an obstacle course style assessment that the Tampa Police Department uses to evaluate applicants. 

The P.A.T. includes:

  • Exiting a vehicle/opening a trunk
  • Running 220 yards
  • Completing an obstacle course
  • Dragging a 150-pound dummy
  • Running an obstacle course (repeat)
  • Running 220 yards (repeat)
  • Dry firing a weapon six times with each hand
  • Placing items in a trunk/entering a vehicle

Applicants begin the P.A.T. seated in a full-size automobile with their seatbelt on, and their hands on the steering wheel at the ten and two o'clock positions. Each applicant wears a pull-away flag belt, with a flag over each hip, around their waist. The trunk key is in the vehicle's closed glove compartment. A handgun and a baton are lying in the vehicle's closed trunk.

Applicants must complete the course in 5m:04s.

If you have no prior military or law enforcement experience you will need to attend a Police Academy in the State of Florida. Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College and Pasco-Hernando State College all offer a full time and part-time academy in the Tampa Bay area.

The Tampa Police Department sponsors a determined amount of candidates each year to attend the Police Academy.  These candidates receive full-time wages and benefits in addition to paid tuition, equipment and books, while they are enrolled in the Academy.

No. Depending on your actual job in the military you may qualify for a two week Equivalency of Training Course.  Review the FDLE Equivalency of Training webpage or locally review the St. Petersburg College Equivalency of Training Academy.

If you were an officer in the state in which you finished the police academy for at least one full year, you may qualify to complete a two-week equivalency of training course (EOT) in Florida. Contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at (850)410-8600 or visit the website for information on the Equivalency of the Training process.

The entire hiring process generally takes 3-6 months, which is dependent on several factors, including how quickly our inquiries are answered by your previous employers, personal references, and neighbors.

Possession of an Associate’s Degree or completion of 2 years of college coursework from an accredited college or university (60-semester or 90-quarter hours) OR high-school diploma and three (3) years of prior law enforcement or corrections experience at a department of medium-to-large size OR high-school diploma and three (3) years of full-time, active military experience OR   High-school diploma and five (5) years of experience as a member of the Tampa Police Department Reserve Force OR  An equivalent combination of college education, related work experience, or TPD Reserve Force experience.

Yes. New hires having previous full-time sworn law enforcement experience, accumulated within the four-year period prior to the hiring date may be eligible to start at a higher pay grade.

  • Less than two years previous full-time sworn law enforcement experience will start at the first step of their particular classification.
  • Two years or more, but less than four years will start at the second step.
  • Four years or more previous experience will start at step three.
  • You may buy up to five years of previous experience into our pension plan.  Cost is dependent on several factors that are determined by the pension office.

  • New officers earn a base salary of $68,952 (Up to $75,000 with prior experience).
  • Senior officers (Master Patrol Officers) earn at Least $117,000 after 10 years of service.

The Tampa Police Department offers a tuition reimbursement program which pays $3,500/semester for undergrad studies, $4,500/semester for master studies, and $6,000/semester for a doctoral studies. Officers also receive additional payment for having a degree; Associates-$30/month, Bachelors-$50/month. 

Officers work a 4 day on 4 day off schedule, virtually working half of the year. In addition, Officers earn 12 paid holidays, 4 flex days, and 2 floating holidays.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Need more information? Send an email to JoinTampaPD@Tampa.gov

Contact a Recruiter

To speak with a recruiter during business hours Monday through Friday, please call Tampa Police Department Personnel at 813-276-3429 or email JoinTampaPD@tampa.gov.

You can also speak one-on-one with a recruiting officer by contacting either of the following officers:

Officer Nabil El Mehdaoui

Office Phone: 813-276-3391

Officer Stefon Filer

Office Phone: 813-276-3349


Updated: 04/23/2024