How to start your career in law enforcement

Your local Police Department is constantly looking for dedicated, community-minded individuals to join their ranks, and become part of the force for positive change in our local communities. Before you apply make sure you can meet the hiring requirements as defined by the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

To be eligible for hiring consideration, Arkansas police officer candidates must:

  • Be a US citizen by birth or through naturalization
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a high school graduate or hold a GED
  • Hold a valid driver’s license

Required Examinations

There are a number of examinations that prospective Arkansas cops must successfully complete before, during, and after training. Before entering a training academy, candidates must complete:

  • A medical exam proving physical fitness in accordance with state standards for officers
  • A psychological exam completed by an Arkansas licensed psychiatrist or psychologist

Background Clearance

Due to their responsibilities to the public, police officers must have clean criminal records. In Arkansas, a prospective police officer may not have a felony record. The background checks for prospective officers are comprehensive and include:

  • A state and national fingerprint criminal history check
  • A background investigation to establish good moral character
  • A personal interview with the hiring department

After a candidate officer has demonstrated that he or she meets the minimum requirements, the next step is to complete officer training at an approved training facility, such as the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA).

More information can be found at or contact your local police department.

An exciting and rewarding career is waiting for you!


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