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Careers at the Tampa Police Department

Become an Officer

Thinking about a career in law enforcement? A professional career in law enforcement awaits you in Tampa, Florida.

Since the City of Tampa established its first municipal police department in 1887, the Tampa Police Department has been proud of its many accomplishments in the prevention and reduction of crime, as well as its accomplishments to the community. The department is regularly evaluated by national accreditation organizations.  Compliance with accreditation standards affirms that the Tampa Police Department is recognized as representing the very best in current law enforcement practices.

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.

The Tampa Police Department has nearly 1,000 authorized sworn law enforcement personnel positions, and more than 350 civilian and support staff personnel positions.

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

The Tampa Police Department uses a Physical Agility Course (PAT) which is an obstacle type course with segments of running, climbing over a wall, stepping over and under objects, a 150 lb. dummy drag, hand dexterity drills and a cone serpentine.

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 Junior 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 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.