A career in law enforcement can be exciting and rewarding. However, becoming a Colorado peace officer requires high ethical standards, personal discipline, and extensive training. To be eligible for appointment as a peace officer, an applicant must first be certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board. By law Basic certification requires successful completion of a POST-approved Basic academy, successful completion of the POST certification examination, and a background check.
Under Rule 14, every applicant must be fingerprinted and cleared through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fingerprints can be rolled by an out-of-state law enforcement agency as long as it is done on the Colorado POST fingerprint card. The academy, agency or the individual may send the fingerprint card to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, 690 Kipling, Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80215 with the $39.50 processing fee (certified check or money orders only - made out to CBI).
State law forbids POST certification of any person who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. Upon passing the basic academy, POST Certification exam, and background check, an applicant for Basic certification under Board Rule 10 will receive a certificate allowing them to seek employment as a Colorado peace officer.
Additionally, individuals with domestic violence convictions may not be eligible to serve as peace officers, due to federal laws.
Basic POST Certification Examination
In order to sit for the examination, the Board requires every applicant to have:
A G.E.D, high school diploma, or an equivalency certificate;
Current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificates or equivalents;
Colorado Driver's License or Colorado Identification card, and
Have successfully completed, within the two years prior to application, an approved Colorado Basic training course.
After receiving POST certification, an individual must meet additional requirements before being appointed as a peace officer. State law requires a physical examination and a psychological evaluation of an applicant be completed before any such applicant may be appointed. The hiring agency determines the scope of the examination and evaluation. The hiring agency also determines standards of acceptability of such results.
In addition, please note that individual law enforcement agencies may evaluate a variety of additional factors as part of their own hiring process. Some of these factors may include:
- Written employment test
- Oral board interview
- Physical agility test
- Polygraph test
- Minimum age (usually 21)
- Clean driving record
- Additional college education
- Complete background investigation, including fingerprint check, interviews of neighbors and employers
Be sure to check with individual agencies to determine their particular employment requirements. POST does not determine agency employment requirements.