Steps To Become a Police Officer in Ohio – Requirements For Cops in OH

 Ohio requires all police officers to complete a 16-week basic training course at either the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/opota) or one of approximately 75 other schools in Ohio that is authorized by the Ohio Peace Officer Training to offer the basic training course.

There are two ways to enter an academy or school that offers the training. One is to first get a job with a police department and have the department send you to training at its expense. The other is “Open Enrollment,” that is enrolling before obtaining a job, on your own time and own expense.

Police Academy Schools in OH

A Google search for “Ohio schools that offer basic police training” will bring up a number of these institutions. Students will then have to contact the schools to find out if they accept open enrollment students (not all do) or only students sponsored by a police agency.

A benefit that open enrollment students may have in finding a job is that they can market themselves as already having passed the basic training course, saving the police jurisdiction the time and expense of sending a new officer to school.

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, in London, accepts only students who have been hired by a police agency. In addition to academics and skills areas of basic law enforcement, the curriculum at the Academy, which describes itself as a “semi-military style” residential academy, will include firearms and driving instruction, and physical fitness standards that must be met before graduating.

Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness standards that must be met depend on age and gender at the time of testing that will involve sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run.

Male candidates below the age of 29 will have to complete 40 sit-ups and 33 push-ups in one minute and complete the run in 11:58. Female candidates must complete 35 push-ups and 18 sit-ups in one minute and finish the run in 14:15.

Requirements & Qualifications

To find a job first, try this site to get a list of police agencies who are hiring in Ohio. Once you locate one you’ll have to meet some basic requirements to be hired, including:

  • A high school diploma or GED.
  • Be at least 20 years old when applying, and at least 21 years old at the time of appointment.
  • Have a valid Ohio driver’s license

The Application/Hiring Process

You’ll find, as is generally the case with all police agencies, that they are looking for safe drivers and will check your driving history, and good credit, good moral character and a satisfactory employment history. These will be verified through an extensive background check.

The verification process generally may include a polygraph examination, and a review of family history, employment and any military service. In addition to the above, agency will be looking for any gambling, criminal activity, substance abuse.

These minimum requirements are mandated by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and a lot more information about becoming a police officer in the state can be found on its website at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/opotc.

Average Police Officer Salary in Ohio

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of Ohio make between $49,250 – $54,140 per year. However the data collected by BLS is not very accurate because it does not record overtime pay or off duty work. These two factors, if included in the data, would increase the average salary of a police officer in OH.

Police Officer Jobs in OH

There are several law enforcement job openings in Ohio. Simply visit our Career Job Opening or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment. Below is a list of all the law enforcement agencies in the state of Ohio.