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. Please note that students in training to be law enforcement officers and those whose certification is no longer current are ineligible to serve as police officers in the state of Colorado.
By law, a person must pass a certification examination administered by the POST Board, a physical and psychological examination, and a background check before he or she may serve as a peace officer in Colorado.
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 P.O.S.T. fingerprint card. Either the agency or the individual may send the fingerprint card to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, 690 Kipling, Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80215 along 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 examination and background check, an applicant for Basic certification under Board Rule 10 will receive a certificate allowing him or her 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
In order to sit for the examination, the Board requires every applicant to have:
- A high school diploma or an equivalency certificate;
- Current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificates or equivalents; 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 to 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)
- Valid Colorado driver's license
- 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.