How to Become a Cop in KY & Job Overview:

Learn About Starting Salary for cops in KY, Job Openings, Disqualification Factors, Requirements & Hiring Process

The Top 3 Reasons to become a cop
in Kentucky

Usually Friendly People

when you work as a cop in KY, expect a lot of hello's from civilians, total strangers asking how your day is going, and random people striking up a conversation with you.

Kentuckian Pride

There is no greater state pride than the folks that live in KY called the "Kentuckians". If you work there, you're surely understand it. unlike other sates, They're a very United bunch.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Kentucky is by far better than any other state in the region. This means you can actually save, and your take home pay will go a lot further than just paying the bills.

How to Train to Become a Police Officer

Minimum Qualifications

Note: Police Agencies in KY will require that you pass a comprehensive background check before becoming a police officer for their agency

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be 21 years of age
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must Have high school diploma or GED
  • Must possess English language proficiency
  • Must Successfully pass the background check
  • Must pass all stages of the hiring process
  • Must be someone of good moral character
  • OWI/DUI conviction within the last 5 Years
  • Lying during the selection process
  • dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Falsifying documents about your arrest history
  • Serious drug usage within the past 1-2 years
  • Failure to pass the drug screen
  • Domestic battery convictions
  • Any Felony Convictions & serious Misdemeanors

Types of Specialized Units

Air Unit
Bomb Squad
Canine Unit
Dignitary Protection Team
Dive Team
Hazardous Incident Response Team
Honor Guard
Hostage Negotiating Team
Mounted Patrol
Peer Support
River Patrol
Special Response Team
Drug Task Force

*salary does not reflect overtime, career promotion, longevity, shift premium, educational or bi-lingual incentives, bonuses, overtime,  etc.

According to U.S. labor of bureau statistics (2018) the average salary for a police officer in Kentucky is...

$ 1 *
Average Salary

KY Compensation Percentile Calculator

The percentile wage estimate below is the value of a wage below which  certain percent of workers fall. Data collected from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)

(i.e., 10% of police officers in a given state earn a certain wage or lower — or, put another way, 90% of cops earn more than that wage);

10th Percentile
25th Perentile
50th percentile
75th percentile
90th percentile

Career Projection Breakdown

Chief of Police
Executive Assistant Chief
Assistant Chief
Deputy Chief
Senior Corporal

Find Best Police Jobs in KY

Click below to search for police jobs near me in KY. Browse jobs by city/county or zip code

Top 5 Largest & Best Police departments
To Work For in Kentucky


Jefferson County
Sheriff Dept.

With 770,517 people living in Jefferson County, the Jefferson County Sheriff Dept serve the largest county in KY.


Fayette County
Sheriff Dept

The Fayette Sheriff Dept serve a total population of 323,780 residents making it the 2nd largest county in KY.


Kenton County
Sheriff Dept.

With around 166,051 people living in Kenton, the Kenton County Sheriff Department is the 3rd largest county in Kentucky.


Boone County
Sheriff Dept.

With 131,533 residents living in Boone County, the Boone County serves the fourth largest county in the state of KY.

Requirements to Become a cop in KY

The Kentucky Peace Officer Professional Standards Act administered by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) sets the standards for becoming a municipal police officer in Kentucky, although some local jurisdictions may have additional requirements.

Police officer candidates must earn certification from a police academy or graduate from a two-year college. In Kentucky most local police departments favor applicants who have attended college and some even require a college education.

Prospective law enforcement officers in Kentucky must meet the requirements set by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (KJPSC)

The Kentucky Peace Officer Professional Standards Act administered by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) sets the standards for becoming a municipal police officer in Kentucky, although some local jurisdictions may have additional requirements.

Police officer candidates must earn certification from a police academy or graduate from a two-year college. In Kentucky most local police departments favor applicants who have attended college and some even require a college education.

KY Police Academy Requirements

 Those candidates who attend a certified police training academy will find the course rigorous and demanding. The curriculum of 760 hours in a residential setting is mentally and physically challenging. But, even before considering the education requirements of becoming a police officer in Kentucky, candidates will be screened to make sure that they meet certain other minimum standards.

Selection Process/Hiring Standards

 The minimum age is 21 by the application filing date. Holding a driver’s license is a requirement. The minimum education is a high school diploma or GED equivalent but given the partiality that many jurisdictions have for a college education, high school may simply not be enough. The education requirement is something you’ll have to check on with local jurisdictions.

Disqualification Factors

 Kentucky lists a number of factors that will prevent you from becoming a police officer. A felony conviction will disqualify you, as will any conviction of a serious misdemeanor within 12 months preceding the application filing date. Illegal drug use within those 12 months will prevent you from being hired.

In addition, you may not have been involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing or trafficking in illegal drugs or substances. Nor can you have been fired or forced to resign from any job within 12 months of filing.

 If you have worked as a security guard or similar in a labor dispute situation within two years of applying, you will be disqualified.

Police Physical Fitness Test Requirements

Kentucky also specifies minimum physical fitness requirements. You must be able to bench press 64 percent of your body weight, complete 18 sit-ups within one minute, finish a 300-meter run in 65 seconds, perform 20 push-ups and run 1.5 miles in less than 18 minutes. However, the minimums are higher in order to graduate basic training.

 Within five days of the final date of basic training, recruits must bench press 73 percent of body weight, perform 18 sit-ups in one minute, run 300 meters in 65 seconds, complete 25 push-ups and run a mile and a half in sixteen minutes, 15 seconds.

 A good source to get detailed information on requirements in Kentucky is, the website of the Department of Criminal Justice, Training Page. But try, also, the website for individual police jurisdictions for requirements specific to those agencies.

Average Salary & Pay Scale

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2018), a police officer in the state of Kentucky makes an annually salary of $45,600 per year. However the data collected by BLS is not very accurate since it does not include overtime pay or off duty details. These two factors, if included in the data, would have increased the average salary of a police officer in Kentucky.

Kentucky State Police (KSP), State Trooper Requirements*

  • * please visit KSP official web page as the information below may have changed.

The Kentucky State Police is a full service law enforcement agency with state wide jurisdiction. There are 16 posts throughout the state that serve the public.

KSP Benefits include:

  • Job Security
  • Furnished Equipment
  • Per Diem
  • Take-Home Car
  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • Medical Leave and Incremental Vacation
  • Leave 20 Year Retirement
  • College Tuition Assistance Program
  • Paid Annual Leave for National Guard and Reserves
  • State-Supported Health Insurance

Career Opportunities

There are many specialized positions in the Kentucky State Police that officers may choose to pursue:

  • Enforcement Support
  • Canine Coordinator
  • Pilot Training
  • Training Fitness Officer
  • Firearms Coordinator
  • Executive Security
  • Executive Protection Officer
  • Special Operations
  • Special Response Team
  • Driver Testing License Exam Officer
  • Legal Support Legal Officer
  • Investigations General Investigator
  • Vehicle Theft Inv.
  • Drug Investigator
  • Laboratory Photo
  • Lab Polygraph Examiner
  • Public Affairs Officer
  • Special Affairs Coordinator 
KRS 16.040 (2) requires that all persons appointed as officers shall, at the time of their appointment, be:
  • A citizen of the United States Of good moral character and in good health
  • Not less than twenty-one (21) years of age
  • Possess a valid drivers license against which no more than six (6) driver demerit points have been assessed
  • At the time of application, possess a minimum of sixty (60) college hours of credit,
  • or an associates degree from an accredited college or university, or be a high school
  • graduate with at least two (2) years of active military duty or,
  • two (2) years experience as a full-time, sworn law enforcement officer.

Application Documents Required Application must be typed or printed legibly in ink and a copy of the following attached:

  • Birth Certificate Certified copy of college or university transcripts (if applicable)
  • Notarized letter from employer in law enforcement certifying length of employment (if applicable)
  • Copy of DD214, if a veteran of the military, (or if currently active, a notarized letter from commanding officer verifying length of service)
  • High school diploma or GED certificate required if military or law enforcement experience is used to satisfy requirements

Written Examination

All applicants must choose a date and time, from those available, to report for the written examination.

Applications should be returned to the nearest State Police Post or Driver Testing Station in Louisville or Lexington. Applications delivered to these locations must be returned between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday by appointment only.

Applications may also be returned by mail or hand-delivered to the Kentucky State Police Recruitment Office, 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Examination dates and times are listed below, you must choose a date and location to take your written exam.

Applicants may be required to complete an extensive background profile All persons selected for employment by the Kentucky State Police as Cadet Troopers will be subject to a rigorous training program of twentytwo (22) weeks in duration.

All cadets are required to live at the Academy during this training period and must adhere to all rules and regulations of the Kentucky State Police. Cadets will be appointed to the position of Trooper upon successful completion of the training

Popular Articles

Police Resources

Browse The Best Police Jobs
in Kentucky

List of Police Agencies in Kentucky

Adairville PD
Albany PD
Alexandria PD
Ashland PD
Auburn PD
Audubon Park PD
Augusta PD
Barbourville PD
Bardstown PD
Barlow PD
Beattyville PD
Bellefonte PD
Bellevue PD
Benton PD
Benham PD
Berea PD
Bluegrass Army Depot PD
Bowling Green PD
Brooksville PD
Butler PD
Calvert City PD
Carrollton PD[13]
Catlettsburg PD
Central City PD
Coal Run Village PD
Cold Springs PD
Corbin PD
Covington PD
Cynthiana PD
Danville PD
Dayton PD
Drakesboro PD
Dry Ridge PD
Edgewood PD
Elkhorn City PD
Elkhown PD
Elizabethtown PD
Elsmere PD
Erlanger PD[14]
Falmouth PD[15]
Flatwoods PD
Florence PD
Fort Mitchell PD
Fort Thomas PD
Fort Wright PD
Frankfort PD
Georgetown PD
Glasgow PD[16]
Graymoor-Devondale PD
Greenup PD
Harrodsburg PD
Hartford PD
Hazard PD
Henderson PD
Heritage Creek PD
Highland Heights PD
Hillview PD
Hodgenville PD
Hollow Creek PD
Hopkinsville PD
Horse Cave PD[17]
Hurstbourne Acres PD
Grayson PD
Greenup PD
Greenville PD
Independence PD
Indian Hills PD
Jeffersontown PD
LaGrange PD
Lincolnshire PD
London PD
Ludlow PD
Louisa PD
Louisville Metro PD
Lexington/Fayette Urban County PD
Lynnview PD
Meadowvale Inter-Local PD
Middlesboro PD
Morehead PD
Morgantown PD
Mount Washington PD
Mt. Olivet PD
Neon PD
Newport PD
Nicholasville PD
Northfield PD
Olive Hill PD
Owensboro PD
Owenton PD
Owingsville PD
Paducah PD[18]
Park Hills PD
Pioneer Village PD
Pikeville PD
Pineville PD
Pipa Pasas PD
Powderly PD
Providence PD
Raceland PD
Radcliff PD
Richmond PD
Russell PD
Sadieville PD
Saint Matthews PD
Shepherdsville PD
Shively PD
Silver Grove PD
Southgate PD
South Shore PD
Stamping Ground PD
Strathmoore PD
Stanford PD
Taylor Mill PD
Taylorsville PD
Vanceburg PD
Versailles PD
Villa Hills PD
Vine Grove PD
West Buechel PD
Wilder PD
Wilmore PD
Williamsburg PD
Williamstown PD
Winchester PD
Woodlawn Park PD
Pendleton County Sheriff Dept.
Perry County Sheriff Dept.
Pike County Sheriff Dept.
Powell County Sheriff Dept.
Pulaski County Sheriff Dept.
Robertson County Sheriff Dept.
Robertson County Constables
Rockcastle County Sheriff Dept.
Rowan County Sheriff Dept.
Rowan County Detention Center
Russell County Sheriff Dept.
Scott County Sheriff Dept.
Scott County Detention Center
Shelby County Sheriff Dept.
Simpson County Sheriff Dept.
Spencer County Sheriff Dept.
Taylor County Sheriff Dept.
Todd County Sheriff Dept.
Trigg County Sheriff Dept.
Trimble County Sheriff Dept.
Union County Sheriff Dept.
Warren County Sheriff Dept.
Washington County Sheriff Dept.
Wayne County Sheriff Dept.
Webster County Sheriff Dept.
Whitley County Sheriff Dept.
Wolfe County Sheriff’s Department
Woodford County Sheriff Dept.
Worthington PD
Wheelwright PD
Adair County Sheriff Dept.
Barren County Sheriff Dept.
Bath County Sheriff Dept.
Bell County Sheriff Dept.
Boone County Sheriffs Office
Boyd County Sheriff Dept.
Boyd County Detention Center
Boyle County Sheriff Dept.
Bracken County Sheriff Dept.
Breathitt County Sheriff Dept.
Breckinridge County Sheriff Dept.
Bullitt County Sheriff Dept.
Bullitt County Detention Center
Butler County Sheriff Dept.
Caldwell County Sheriff Dept.
Calloway County Sheriff’s Department
Campbell County Sheriff Dept.
Campbell County Constables
Carlisle County Sheriff Dept.
Carroll County Sheriff Dept.
Carter County Sheriff Dept.
Carter County Detention Center
Casey County Sheriff Dept.
Christian County Sheriff Dept.
Clark County Sheriff Dept.
Clay County Sheriff Dept.
Clinton County Sheriff Dept.
Crittenden County Sheriff Dept.
Cumberland County Sheriff Dept.
Daviess County Sheriff Dept.
Edmonson County Sheriff Dept.
Elliott County Sheriff Dept.
Estill County Sheriff Dept.
Fayette County Sheriff Dept.
Fleming County Sheriff Dept.
Floyd County Sheriff Dept.
Floyd County Detention Center
Franklin County Sheriff Dept.
Franklin County Detention Center
Franklin County Constables Office
Fulton County Sheriff Dept.
Gallatin County Sheriff Dept.
Garrard County Sheriff Dept.
Garrard County PD
Grant County Sheriff Dept.
Grant County Detention Center
Graves County Sheriff Dept.
Grayson County Sheriff Dept.
Green County Sheriff Dept.
Greenup County Sheriff Dept.
Hancock County Sheriff Dept.
Hardin County Sheriff’s Department
Harlan County Sheriff’s Department
Harrison County Sheriff Dept.
Hart County Sheriff Dept.
Henderson County Sheriff Dept.
Henry County Sheriff Dept.
Hickman County Sheriff Dept.
Hopkins County Sheriff Dept.
Hopkins County Constable
Johnson County Sheriff Dept.
Kenton County Sheriff Dept.
Knott County Sheriff Dept.
Knox County Sheriff Dept.
LaRue County Sheriff Dept.
Laurel County Sheriff Dept.
Lawrence County Sheriff Dept.
Lee County Sheriff Dept.
Leslie County Sheriff Dept.
Letcher County Sheriff Dept.
Lewis County Sheriff Dept.
Lewis County Detention Center
Lincoln County Sheriff Dept.
Livingston County Sheriff Dept.
Logan County Sheriff Dept.
Lyon County Sheriff Dept.
Madison County Sheriff Dept.
Magoffin County Sheriff Dept.
Marion County Sheriff Dept.
Marshall County Sheriff Dept.
Martin County Sheriff Dept.
McLean County Sheriff’s Department
Meade County Sheriff’s Department
Menifee County Sheriff Dept.
Mercer County Sheriff Dept.
Metcalfe County Sheriff Dept.
Monroe County Sheriff Dept.
Montgomery County Sheriff Dept.
Morgan County Sheriff Dept.
Muhlenberg County Sheriff Dept.
Nelson County Sheriff Dept.
Nicholas County Sheriff Dept.
Ohio County Sheriff Dept.
Oldham County Sheriff’s Department
Owen County Sheriff Dept.
Owsley County Sheriff Dept.