Eight Tampa Police officers and a police K9 dog on Tampa rooftop

Tampa Police Recruit Scholarship Program

Police Recruit Class Feb2023

The Tampa Police Recruit Scholarship Program covers the cost of tuition, uniforms, equipment, and books needed for the Police Academy. Police Recruits in the scholarship program are paid an hourly wage of $19.50 to attend classes. Recruits are full-time employees of the City of Tampa while in the Police Academy, receiving benefits such as medical, dental, vision, and deferred compensation plans.

Police Recruit FAQs

The Tampa Police Department works to be as diverse as the community we serve. We encourage those with a variety of backgrounds of education and life experiences to apply. We are looking for highly competitive and motivated individuals desiring a rewarding career in law enforcement and community service who will help us make Tampa safer, together.

Recruit Scholarship applications are being accepted now.  Follow the link to apply.

Prior and current law enforcement or corrections academy attendees or graduates are not eligible for the Police Recruit Scholarship Program.

Some automatic disqualifiers include:

  • Anyone with an arrest or criminal record that cannot be expunged or sealed.
  • Drug use within the last two years.

The educational and/or work experience requirements are as follows:

  • Possession of an Associate's Degree or completion of 2 years of college coursework (60 semester or 90-quarter hours) from an accredited college or university or current enrollment in the remaining credit hours which will meet or exceed the required educational level;


  • 45 college credit hours and produce official documentation from one of the accepted educational  institutions which clearly states that upon successful completion of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy, and CJSTC Certification Exam, the applicant will be awarded a specified number of articulated credit hours which, when added to their existing earned credits, will meet or exceed the educational standards for employment with the Tampa Police Department as a Police Officer;


  • 3 years active duty military experience;


  • An equivalent combination of college education and military experience.

After the application deadline is closed, those who meet the requirements will be notified by City of Tampa Human Resources to begin the selection interview process. This process lasts approximately 3-6 months.

Step 1: Physical Abilities Test (PAT). Applicants must score better than the minimum required time of five minutes and four seconds (5m04s).

Step 2: Those who pass the physical abilities test are assigned to the Police Department Personnel Unit for further processing, which will include:

  • Pre-employment phone interview
  • Completion and submission of a Personal History Questionnaire
  • Panel Interview (comprised of members from the Personnel Unit, Training Unit, Field Training & Evaluation Program, and the City of Tampa Citizen's Review Board)
  • Polygraph Examination

Step 3: Those who successfully complete Steps 1 and 2, will be presented to the Chief of Police for final selections.

Step 4: Those selected by the Chief, will be required to pass the psychological exam, medical exam, drug screening, and fingerprinting.

Upon successful completion of these steps, the candidate will be offered the Tampa Police Recruit Program Scholarship and would begin the six-month Police Academy training.

Upon successful completion of the Police Academy and passing the state exam, candidates will be sworn in as Tampa Police Officers with the City of Tampa and start the six-month Field Training and Evaluation Program.

The Police Academy will begin approximately 6 to 9 months after the scholarship application closes. The exact date is to be determined.

To confirm the date or 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.

The Police Academy takes approximately six months to complete.

The Police Academy is held at Hillsborough Community College - Ybor City Campus, located at 2112 N 15th St, Tampa, FL 33605.

The Police Academy classes will primarily be held Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm each day.

Throughout the academy, Police Recruits will be paid $19.50/hour ($3,380.00/month). After successfully completing the academy and becoming promoted to a sworn Tampa Police Officer, the pay will increase to $33.15/hour ($68,952/year), with a top-out salary of $117,000/year.

Those who are selected for the Tampa Police Recruit Scholarship Program are expected to work a minimum of two years with the City of Tampa Police Department.

In the event a selected applicant does not accept an offer of employment as a City of Tampa Police Officer, or accepts employment with another law enforcement agency within two (2) years following completion of all required training, the applicant will be financially responsible to repay any and all associated costs of the Police Recruit Scholarship Program.

The Physical Assessment Test (PAT) 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 PAT 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.

Visible tattoos that do not detract from the professional appearance of the person, uniform, or 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.  

Updated: 04/01/2024