To become a member of the police force in Missouri, applicants are required to complete police academy training at one of several regional facilities. With over 12,500 actively employed officers, Missouri is a great place to begin a career in law enforcement. Becoming a police officer requires determination and courage, but there are also many qualifications and technical aspects of training that must be mastered. Over the past several years, Missouri’s rate of violent crime has been steadily dropping and this would not be possible without the efforts of the hard-working members on the state’s police force. The types of people that are best suited for police work find a great satisfaction in serving their community, and always put the public first. As one of the most dangerous professions in the country, police officers are well-compensated for the risks they regularly face, but also find rewards in the gratitude of their communities.
Law Enforcement Training Qualifications
The minimum qualifications for becoming a police officer in Missouri require all applicants to be at least 21 years old, hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, and hold U.S. citizenship. Past these requirements, all cadets must graduate from a Basic Law Enforcement Training Center and pass the Missouri Peace Officer License Exam. To be accepted into a law enforcement training center, applicants must pass through several rounds of background checks and physical evaluations. All applicants must submit their medical histories, and those with health complications that limit their abilities to train and perform as a police officer will be turned away. The background checks that are conducted relate to criminal records and financial histories. If an applicant has been convicted of any felonies, they will be disqualified from police academy training. Several types of misdemeanors will also be grounds for rejection, such as violent misdemeanors or drug-related offenses. In financial histories, the academy will look for signs of insolvency or financial irresponsibility. This is to prevent any compromises in professional integrity and officers should not be tempted to abuse their power for personal gain. Academies accept new recruits based on recommendations from hiring agencies and referrals from ranking officers.
Popular Police Training Academies
There are several types of educational institutions that are qualified to provide basic training for police cadets in Missouri. Basic Law Enforcement Training Centers are located at regional police academies and a handful of universities and colleges. The most popular regional police academies based around St. Louis are the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, the St. Louis Police Academy, and the Mineral Area College. For applicants interested in becoming state troopers or highway patrol officers, the Missouri Highway Patrol Training Academy is based in Jefferson City. For police training at the college level, there are basic training programs available at Jefferson College in Hillsboro and Missouri State Southern University in Joplin.