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.
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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.
Top 4 Reasons to Become a cop in Florida
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Requirements To become a cop
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.
- JUST MISSED THE LIST: Hallandale Beach PD, Miami Beach PD, Pincrest, Homestead PD, Lauderhill PD, Miami Shores PD, Surfside PD
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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|