Frequently Asked Questions


Preparation and Minimum Qualifications for a Police Officer Recruit & Lateral

Police Officer Recruit and Lateral Testing

Pay & Benefits

The City of Tempe & Tempe PD

How do I become a police officer and what are the minimum qualifications? The first step is completing the online application during application windows.  You can click here to view some of the Arizona POST and Tempe PD minimum qualifications. You should also visit the Arizona POST website and read all of section R13-4-105 - Minimum Qualifications for Appointment. Back to Top

What can I do to prepare myself for the test and a career as a police officer? You must maintain high moral character and physical fitness. Applicants could work to improve their education in a variety of ways to include higher education, mastering a foreign language or attending technical schools. There are no preferred degree programs or job history. All diverse education, military and work backgrounds are welcome. Back to Top

How does the recruit testing process work? Click here for information about the testing process. Back to Top

How long does the recruit testing process take? The initial phases of the testing process occur over a relatively short period of time. The human resources department will announce a test and information will be posted on this website. Qualified applicants are invited to the testing process and will complete a physical agility test and written exam over the course of a day or two. If all phases are successfully completed, the most qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the process, which could take up to six months or longer to complete. Back to Top 

When is the next police recruit testing process? Tempe PD conducts several testing processes each year. Refer to this website regularly for information about recruit orientations, online application availability and testing dates. Back to Top 

If I have tested before so do I need to complete the entire process again? Applicants who are no longer on the eligibility list must complete all phases of the testing process even if you have participated in the past. You will be judged on the latest physical agility test and written exam. Back to Top

Can I do a ride-along during the testing process? Tempe PD does not have a ride-along program for applicants.  Applicants who progress in the testing process may be scheduled for a ride-along by a background detective. Back to Top

How many police officers will be hired during the next testing process? The number of applicants hired during each process is determined by a variety of factors including the number of police officer vacancies. This number varies from year to year based on attrition within our organization but we usually hire approximately 20 to 30 officers each year. Back to Top

What if I don’t have my AzPOST background questionnaire notarized or all the required paperwork when I arrive at the test? Applicants arriving for the test are required to have a completed and notarized AzPOST background questionnaire and certain documents including copies of a high school diploma, transcripts or GED equivalent; a birth certificate, naturalization documentation or a United States passport; and a valid government-issued driver license or identification card. These are Arizona POST requirements and those who do not have these items will not be permitted to test. Back to Top

Can out-of-state applicants participate in the recruit testing process? Out-of-state applicants participate in the same test as in-state applicants and are required to be in Tempe on scheduled test dates. Panel interviews are scheduled after the written examination. The department will make efforts to limit travel for out-of-state applicants who progress further in the process. Back to Top

I am in the testing process, why have I not heard from the police department? Once an applicant has successfully completed the online application they are eligible for one year should they pass the physical agility test and written exam. If you are moving forward in the process, you will be notified. If you are not hired during your one year eligibility, you are no longer considered and may reapply unless advised otherwise. Unfortunately, due to the large number of applicants involved in the hiring process, we are not able to respond to applicants requesting updates on their status and you should not contact the human resources or police departments to seek an update on your status. Back to Top

What is the pay and benefits for a Tempe Police Officer? Police officer starting pay is $56,742 yearly. The city offers employees a comprehensive benefits package. The benefits provided to Tempe police officers include:

  • Starting pay of $56,742
  • 14-24 yearly paid vacation days
  • 12 yearly paid sick days
  • 12 yearly paid holidays
  • Shift differential pay
  • Special assignment pay
  • Longevity pay after five years of employment
  • Yearly uniform reimbursement
  • Ballistic vest reimbursement
  • Health, dental, life & vision insurance plans
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Industrial insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts (health & dependent care)
  • Employee training & development opportunities
  • $5000 yearly tuition reimbursement
  • Public Safety Personnel Retirement System 
  • Deferred compensation plans (401k & 457)
  • Employee wellness programs
  • Employee assistance program
  • Auto & home insurance discounts
  • Deductible reimbursement yearly after three years of employment

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What is the pay and seniority for lateral police officers? Lateral police officers are compensated at a pay rate that takes into account previous years of police service. A decision related to pay will be made prior to the applicant signing a conditional offer of employment with the department. Lateral officers will not receive seniority for time worked at another police agency. Back to Top