Best Police Departments in Florida in 2023

Are you considering a career in law enforcement in Florida but unsure which agencies to apply to?

Below is a list of police departments that any applicant living in Florida should consider applying to.

Some are known for their superior training, diversity and others for the salary.

Regardless of the reasons, it is a great time to start looking for a career in law enforcement in the state of Florida.

Here are 10+ top sheriff and police agencies in the state that offer excellent benefits, competitive salaries, and opportunities for professional development.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

With over 3,500 employees, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Florida.

The department offers competitive pay, comprehensive medical coverage, and a generous retirement plan.

Employees can also take advantage of various training programs and tuition reimbursement for career advancement.

Additionally, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has a strong commitment to community service and engagement, making it an excellent place to work for those passionate about serving their community.

Browse Law Enforcement Job Openings in Florida

Broward Sheriff’s Office

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is another large agency that employs over 5,700 individuals across multiple divisions, including law enforcement, fire rescue, and detention services.

The department offers competitive pay, a comprehensive benefits package, and ample opportunities for professional development and advancement.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office also places a strong emphasis on community engagement, providing employees with avenues to serve and connect with their community.

Boca Raton Police Department

Working for the Boca Raton Police Department offers many benefits and opportunities for those seeking a career in law enforcement.

Boca Raton is a vibrant city located in the heart of South Florida, offering a high quality of life, diverse population, and access to a range of cultural and recreational activities.

The Boca Raton Police Department is known for its commitment to community policing, innovation, and professionalism, making it an attractive agency for aspiring law enforcement professionals.

Coral Springs Police Department

Working for the Coral Springs Police Department comes with a variety of benefits, including job security, competitive pay, and opportunities for professional development.

As a member of the department, you’ll have access to excellent health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that can help you achieve long-term financial stability.

Additionally, you’ll be part of a team of dedicated and skilled professionals who are committed to serving and protecting the community.

Working for the Coral Springs Police Department can be a rewarding experience that allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of others while also advancing your career goals.

Miami-Dade Police Department (Miami)

The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) is the largest law enforcement agency in the Southeastern United States, responsible for providing services to over 2.7 million residents.

With over 3,000 sworn officers, MDPD focuses on community-oriented policing, offering specialized units such as K-9, marine patrol, and aviation.

Prospective applicants can expect comprehensive training programs, opportunities for career growth, and a supportive work culture.

Miami itself offers a vibrant city life, with attractions such as Little Havana, South Beach, and the Art Deco District.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Orlando)

Serving the greater Orlando area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) emphasizes integrity, professionalism, and community engagement.

OCSO offers specialized units like bomb squad, SWAT, and criminal investigations.

The agency provides numerous opportunities for professional development, including leadership training and advanced technical skills.

Orlando is known for its theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, offering plenty of entertainment options for residents.

Tampa Police Department (Tampa)

The Tampa Police Department (TPD) is committed to reducing crime through intelligence-led policing, working closely with the community to build trust and collaboration. TPD offers specialized units such as traffic enforcement, marine patrol, and K-9.

Tampa is a bustling city with attractions like Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and Ybor City.

The city also offers a thriving arts scene and hosts several annual festivals.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (Jacksonville)

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) serves the largest city in Florida by land area, focusing on community engagement and crime prevention.

JSO offers specialized units like SWAT, K-9, and aviation.

Jacksonville is known for its beautiful beaches, the St. Johns River, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

The city also offers a vibrant downtown area with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (West Palm Beach)

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) is dedicated to protecting and serving the residents of West Palm Beach and surrounding areas.

PBSO offers specialized units like K-9, mounted patrol, and marine enforcement.

West Palm Beach offers a wide variety of attractions, including the Norton Museum of Art, the Palm Beach Zoo, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

St. Petersburg Police Department (St. Petersburg)

The St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) is committed to community-oriented policing and crime prevention.

SPPD offers specialized units such as K-9, marine patrol, and SWAT.

St. Petersburg is known for its beautiful waterfront parks, the Salvador Dalí Museum, and the historic Sunken Gardens.

The city also offers a thriving downtown area with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Tallahassee Police Department (Tallahassee)

The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) serves the state capital of Florida, focusing on community engagement and crime prevention.

TPD offers specialized units like K-9, SWAT, and criminal investigations.

Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, offering a college-town atmosphere with attractions like the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, the Tallahassee Museum, and the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (Sarasota)

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is dedicated to providing professional law enforcement services to the residents of Sarasota and surrounding areas. SCSO offers specialized units such as K-9, marine patrol, and aviation.

Sarasota is known for its beautiful beaches, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (Pensacola)

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) serves the residents of Pensacola and surrounding areas, focusing on integrity, professionalism, and community engagement. ECSO offers specialized units like K-9, SWAT, and marine patrol.

Pensacola is known for its beautiful beaches, the National Naval Aviation Museum, and the historic Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department

The Fort Lauderdale police department is one of the highest paying departments in the state of Florida.

One of the perks of working for Fort Lauderdale is that they have over 30 different specialty units, so potential officers have a variety of options once they are eventually hired on.

The population of Fort Lauderdale is a growing community, which means that there is an increasing need for more officers to help with that growing population.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to join a police department or sheriff’s office in Florida?

Requirements may vary by agency, but generally, applicants must be at least 19 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, be a U.S. citizen, possess a valid driver’s license, and have no felony convictions.

Applicants must also pass a physical fitness test, a written examination, a background check, and a psychological evaluation.

How long is the training academy for new recruits?

The length of the training academy varies by agency but typically ranges from 20 to 30 weeks. This includes classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firearms training, defensive tactics, and scenario-based training exercises.

Are there opportunities for lateral transfers from other law enforcement agencies?

Many agencies in Florida offer lateral transfer programs for experienced law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions.

Eligibility requirements and application processes may vary by agency, so it’s essential to research each department’s specific guidelines.

How can I prepare for a career in law enforcement in Florida?

To prepare for a career in law enforcement, consider pursuing a degree in criminal justice or a related field, participating in a ride-along program, or volunteering with a local law enforcement agency.

Additionally, maintaining good physical fitness and familiarizing yourself with the laws and regulations in Florida will be beneficial.

What types of specialized units are available within these agencies?

Specialized units vary by agency but may include K-9, SWAT, marine patrol, aviation, bomb squad, mounted patrol, and criminal investigations.

Are there any residency requirements to join these agencies?

Residency requirements vary by agency. Some departments require officers to live within a certain distance of the jurisdiction they serve, while others do not have specific residency requirements. It’s essential to research the specific requirements for each department.

How can I learn more about the application process for a specific agency?

To learn more about the application process for a specific agency, visit their official website or contact their recruiting department. They will provide detailed information about eligibility requirements, the hiring process, and any upcoming recruitment events.

What kind of ongoing training and professional development opportunities are offered?

Most agencies in Florida offer ongoing training and professional development opportunities, including advanced technical skills training, leadership development programs, and specialized unit training.

Officers may also have access to tuition reimbursement programs for higher education courses related to their field.

Can I volunteer or participate in a ride-along program to gain insight into the job?

Many law enforcement agencies in Florida offer volunteer opportunities and ride-along programs for individuals interested in learning more about the profession.

Contact your local agency or visit their website for more information on available programs and application requirements.

How do these agencies engage with their local communities?

Florida law enforcement agencies engage with their local communities through various initiatives, such as community-oriented policing, neighborhood watch programs, community events, and outreach programs.

They also collaborate with schools, businesses, and community organizations to address public safety concerns and build trusting relationships with the public.



Why Serve?

Top 4 Reasons to Become a cop in Florida


Many police departments in Florida have a diverse workforce so your gender, race and ethnicity won't be an issue.


Law enforcement agencies in the sunshine state offer amazing benefits like paid vacations, dental, health insurance & more.

Career Advancement

The units that you can join are endless like SWAT, K-9, Beach/Marine Unit, Detective Unit, and more.

No State Tax

Florida is one of only 9 states that doesn't levy personal income tax. This means your earned income will stretch further.

WATCH: How to Become a Police Officer

Requirements To become a cop

Basic Qualifications

The FDLE sets the basic requirements to become a police officer in Florida. However, each individual agency sets its own standards to determine if a candidate is suitable for the position of police officer.

The Following Will Result in Disqualification


The Hiring Process

The selection process will likely be around 2-6 months depending on the agency, as well as the complexity of the applicant’s background

Best PD by Average Salary

Top 10 Highest Paying Police Dept. in Florida

The website GOBankingRates recently conducted a study on how much police officers earn in every state.
According to the study Police Officers on Average make $58,400 per year in Florida.

*The figure below does not reflect supplemental pay for education (e.i. AA, BA, MA), experience, overtime pay, lateral transfers, incentives, etc.

Seminole Police Department
*$69k+ per Year
Boca Raton Police Services Department
*68k+ Annually
Hillsboro Beach Police Department
*$62k+ per year
Highland Beach PD
*$61k+ annually
Lighthouse Point PD
*$61K+ Annually
Fort Lauderdale PD
*59K+ Annually
Aventura Police Department
*$59K+ Annually
Bay Harbor Islands Police Department
*$58K+ Annually
Coconut Creek Police Department
*$58K+ Annually
Hollywood PD & Sunrise PD
*$57k+ annually
Coral Gables PD/Palm Beach PD
*$56k+ annually
Palm Beach Gardens PD
*54K+ Annually
  • JUST MISSED THE LIST: Hallandale Beach PD,  Miami Beach PD, Pincrest, Homestead PD,  Lauderhill PD, Miami Shores PD, Surfside PD

Find Law Enforcement Jobs in Florida

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

Sheriff Office Salary per FDLE public records

Agency County Entry Min Salary
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Alachua $38,560
Baker County Sheriff’s Office Baker $32,034
Bay County Sheriff’s Office Bay $33,500
Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Bradford $30,000
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Brevard $39,728
Broward County Sheriff’s Office Broward $48,432
Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Calhoun $29,000
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Charlotte $40,093
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Citrus $36,566
Clay County Sheriff’s Office Clay $38,000
Collier County Sheriff’s Office Collier $44,943
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Columbia $33,000
Desoto County Sheriff’s Office DeSoto $33,469
Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Dixie $29,250
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Escambia $31,726
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Flagler $36,327
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Franklin $32,000
Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Gadsden $30,000
Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office Gilchrist $30,000
Glades County Sheriff’s Office Glades $36,756
Gulf County Sheriff’s Office Gulf $36,200
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Hamilton $22,000
Hardee County Sheriff’s Office Hardee $35,000
Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Hendry $36,000
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Hernando $41,194
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Highlands $35,508
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Hillsborough $49,468
Holmes County Sheriff’s Office Holmes $25,000
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Indian River $38,950
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Jackson $31,027
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Duval $40,632
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Jefferson $31,000
Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office Lafayette $29,000
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lake $37,485
Lee County Sheriff’s Office Lee $40,000
Leon County Sheriff’s Office Leon $43,021
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Levy $32,000
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Liberty $30,444
Madison County Sheriff’s Office Madison $30,900
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Manatee $46,710
Marion County Sheriff’s Office Marion $36,640
Martin County Sheriff’s Office Martin $42,216
Miami-Dade Police Department Dade $45,073
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Monroe $46,080
Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Nassau $44,000
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Okaloosa $37,502
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Okeechobee $34,000
Orange County Sheriff’s Office Orange $46,010
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Osceola $39,500
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Palm Beach $52,688
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Pasco $43,802
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Pinellas $46,410
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Polk $44,082
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Putnam $31,000
Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Santa Rosa $34,709
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Sarasota $43,264
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Seminole $41,031
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office St. Johns $37,132
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office St. Lucie $38,722
Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Sumter $38,791
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Suwannee $32,000
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Taylor $36,465
Union County Sheriff’s Office Union $33,475
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Volusia $38,563
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Wakulla $31,000
Walton County Sheriff’s Office Walton $37,000
Washington County Sheriff’s Office Washington $32,116

Becoming a Cop Won't Happen Over Night

don't give up. Stay With It.


About The Author

The Outside The Badge Editorial Team is an accomplished group of writers, researchers, and subject experts. With their diverse backgrounds and talents, they provide valuable tips and insights to assist readers of this site.

Equipped with extensive data and knowledge, their content aims to be helpful and informative. Please report any inaccuracies in our articles so we can promptly correct them. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you!