Frequently Asked Questions

1Must I already be certified to be considered for the position of Salt Lake City Police Officer?
2What are my chances of getting hired as a Salt Lake City Police Officer?
Your chances of becoming a Police Officer will depend upon the number of openings that occur and the number of candidates competing for the position. It is difficult to determine exactly how many positions will be filled during the life of the register. Such factors as budget, retirements and other unforeseen circumstances make estimates difficult.
3How is each candidate ranked on the recruitment list?

Candidates are ranked based on a number of factors. Up-to-date information about ranking and the hiring process for entry-level candidates can be found here:

Lateral police officer candidates can find information about the hiring process here:

4What is it like working for the Salt Lake City Police Department?

Salt Lake City Police Department’s Style of Policing:

The Salt Lake City Police Department is committed to Community Oriented Policing (COP), or as it is sometimes referred to: Problem Oriented Policing (POP). These styles of policing move the focus of policing from responding and reporting criminal acts to one of responding to criminal or civil problems, analyzing the causes of those problems, and then implementing a plan of action to eliminate the roots of the problem, thus eliminating the need for a continued response from officers of our department to that problem. This process requires the officers of the SLCPD to become familiar with the other agencies within the City that can be utilized to resolve the criminal or civil problem the officer is attempting to resolve.

Due to the style of policing incorporated by the Salt Lake City Police Department, we are looking for those individuals who possess analytical skills. We need individuals who have a desire to formulate and implement plans of action in response to problems—both criminal and civil—within the boundaries of Salt Lake City.

What is employment with the SLCPD like?

The Salt Lake City Police Department is the largest department within the State of Utah, and one of the larger agencies located in the western United States. Due to the size of the Department (569 sworn officers), employees are afforded numerous opportunities to work in specialized assignments; these same opportunities do not exist in smaller agencies.

During the course of a career, employees with the Salt Lake City Police Department will have the opportunity to work in a patrol division and on one of the four bike patrol squads. There are also opportunities to work SWAT, Traffic Enforcement (either on motors or in accident cars) and K-9. Additionally, the Department has an extensive investigative bureau that allows officers to work assignments in homicide, robbery, special victims, larceny/burglary, auto theft, financial crimes, and homeland security, as well as undercover in vice and narcotics. It is this ability to work many and varied assignments that provides our officers with the skills and knowledge to be some of the best law enforcement officers in the nation.

Most officers on the Department work four 10-hour shifts per week. If the officer is working a uniformed assignment, he/she will bid for the shift they will work, as well as their days off, by their seniority on the department. Thusly, the newer the officer is to the department, the less likely they are to have weekends off or a day-shift assignment; officers working investigative assignments generally work a day-shift assignment and have weekends off.

The SLCPD has two gyms located within its buildings, as well as locker and shower facilities. Officers are afforded a one-hour lunch break for each shift they work. Many of the officers use that one-hour lunch to work out.

The SLCPD has an indoor shooting range located within the Pioneer Precinct, which is available to the employees all year long; there is an outdoor range, as well, that incorporates a rifle range.

Currently, each officer has the option of participating in the “take-home-car-program.” There are restrictions as to the distance one can live from the City and still have a take-home vehicle; there is a fee associated with this program the officer must be willing to pay in order to have the take-home vehicle; the fee is based on how many miles the officer lives from the City.

Reasons to choose to live and work in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City is the capital city for the State of Utah, and it is the largest city located in Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City has become a large metropolitan city with a population of 199,723; Salt Lake County has a population of 1.3 million. Despite the size of this metropolis, the area holds the distinction of having the nation’s highest literacy rate; the fourth-highest percentage of high school graduates; and, the 11th-highest percentage of college graduates. The area has the distinction of having the seventh-lowest rate of violent crime in the nation, and has the third-longest life expectancy in the nation.

For the year 2019, Utah’s household income ranked 12th at $71,621 per household, while the average home price in Salt Lake City was at $473,750.

Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas offer numerous opportunities for entertainment. The area has several theaters that offer a full season of live theater. The Salt Lake area is host to a professional basketball team, the Utah Jazz, which consistently makes the playoffs; as well as a triple-A baseball team, the Bees; and a minor league hockey team, the Grizzlies. Additionally, there are numerous shopping centers, theaters and restaurants to serve all of your needs.

Salt Lake City hosts a nationally recognized arts festival every June, and our neighbor to the east, Park City, hosts a renowned arts festival every summer. Park City also plays host to Robert Redford’s world renowned “Sundance Film Festival” each winter.

For the outdoor-loving individual: the Wasatch Mountains are a mere 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and host to several ski areas. Area residents can take a 30-minute drive and be skiing in the best snow in the world. The area’s ski resorts receive more than 400 inches of snow annually. Additionally, the state of Utah has some of the most striking National Parks in Zion and Bryce canyons, as well as endless boating on Lake Powell.

5What happens if I am hired?
The Police Academy begins the first day on the job. The Police Academy runs 40 hours per week, Monday through Thursday, and lasts approximately 26 weeks. Each recruit is monitored and evaluated closely during this period. Recruits should plan to study three hours each night, and they must pass required written and skills-based evaluations. Recruits are required to maintain a heavy physical fitness schedule, which includes daily physical training, as well as drills, on most days. Recruits are paid their police officer salary while attending the academy.
6Is there a probationary period?
Applicants who are hired are placed on probation for twelve (12) months. New employees who voluntarily resign during their probationary period may be required to reimburse their employer for the full cost of issued uniforms and equipment. You may be required to pass a physical examination on an annual basis and participate in programs to maintain your physical fitness after being hired.
7What can I expect during the Salt Lake City Police Department Academy?

Prior to July 2006, all applicants who were hired for the position of police officer with Salt Lake City and had yet to complete the Utah State Police Academy, spent the first 18 weeks of their employment at the Utah State Police Academy.

Upon successful completion of the State Academy, the recruit returned to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Training Division to spend an additional eight to 10 weeks in further, more specific training geared toward equipping each recruit with the skills they would need to function as a competent solo officer for the City of Salt Lake.

In an effort to shorten the time each new recruit spent in training between the two academies, the Salt Lake City Police Department petitioned the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council asking for permission to provide all of the POST required training to our recruits at the City’s training facility. POST granted permission for this request, and since July 2006 all new police officers for the City of Salt Lake are trained at the Salt Lake Police Pioneer Precinct. The curriculum covers all of the mandates set forth by POST, and it covers the training necessary to function as a police officer for the City of Salt Lake. Since the training is now combined, the amount of time each recruit must spend in training has been reduced from 28 weeks to 26 weeks. This reduction in training time saves the citizens of Salt Lake City tens of thousands of dollars yearly; however, it does not reduce the amount of quality training each recruit receives. Since the Salt Lake City Police Department started hosting the full academy, each class of recruits has graduated with a class average of 90% or better on all of the tests they were required to take.

Currently, all Utah POST-certified officers who desire employment with Salt Lake City must attend a short academy geared towards lateral officers

While attending the Academy you should expect the following:

The Salt Lake City Police Academy runs for approximately 26 weeks, depending on class size, holidays and training requirements. During that time each recruit will receive approximately 832 hours of instruction to include but not limited to: Constitutional Law, State Law, City Law, use of force, defensive tactics and handcuffing skills, emergency vehicle operation, police weapons and tactics training. Additionally, each recruit will be exposed to the effects of the “pepper spray” and the conducted electrical device (commonly called a TASER) they will carry while working.

The academic requirements for the Salt Lake City Police Academy are very strict. Each recruit must maintain an average of 80 percent or better on all tests and quizzes during the academy. If a recruit fails three tests, he/she will be dismissed from training and separated from employment.

Before graduation, the recruit must pass the Utah POST “Special Functions Officer” and “Law Enforcement Officer” tests. These tests are comprehensive and cover material learned during the academy.

Each recruit is strongly urged to enter the academy in top physical condition. The recruit will run three times a week with the length of the runs increasing up to five miles. Additionally, the recruit will participate in rigorous cross training.

Once the recruit has successfully completed all aspects of the academy, he/she will enter the Field Training (FTO) Program. This program is 18 weeks in duration, and the recruit will work with a minimum of four different training officers during that time. During FTO, the recruit will be evaluated daily in 37 different aspects of the job. At the successful conclusion of the FTO Program, the recruit is certified as a solo patrol officer and is assigned to a patrol division to begin their career with the Salt Lake City Police Department.