Police Academy and Training

Officer standing next to police vehicle

Becoming a Denver Police Officer

Basic Recruit

The Denver Police Academy is certified to provide basic training through Colorado State P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training - Certificate # 009). The academy can accommodate classes of up to 50 recruits. Recruit training is the mainstay of the Denver Police Academy, with classes generally conducted throughout the year.

The Denver Civil Service Commission and police administration determine class size and scheduling. Before placement on an eligibility list, applicants must first complete a comprehensive selection process, including numerous tests, interviews, and a thorough background investigation through the Civil Service Commission. For more information, call (720) 913-3370.

Recruit training is a very challenging and demanding process with over 1,000 hours of instruction. Recruit officers must then pass the Colorado State P.O.S.T. examination to be certified as a peace officer in the State of Colorado. Upon graduation from the academy recruit officers are assigned to one of the six Patrol Districts where they undergo field training and evaluation. Field training lasts three and one-half months, and builds on the foundation provided by the academy to prepare recruit officers for a solo field assignment.

Recruits are are exposed to 26 weeks of intensive training on a variety of subjects, including but not limited to:

- Federal, state and municipal law
- Search and seizure
- Arrest control
- Firearms
- Physical fitness
- Emergency driving
- Report writing
- Patrol tactics and community interaction

Instructors from the Denver Police Department, the Denver District Attorney's Office, the Denver City Attorney’s Office, as well as a number of other city and private agencies provide recruit officers with professional and quality instruction.

Police recruits undergo a series of weekly examinations and participate in a vigorous physical conditioning program. They also participate in a battery of field problems, testing their ability to function under stress and to reason through a challenging issue. These are often hands-on encounters requiring recruits to interview scenario volunteers, write reports, search and take subjects into custody, operate emergency equipment, and engage in building searches.

Upon graduation each recruit officer is a qualified practitioner in basic police firearms, police vehicle operation, and The Denver Police Department’s arrest control system.

Lateral Recruit

The academy also conducts training for lateral recruit officers (persons with qualified prior law enforcement experience).

Requirements for this program are available from the The Denver Civil Service Commission or by calling (720) 913-3370.

Lateral recruits attend an abbreviated academy lasting sixteen weeks. They are held to the same standards as basic recruits and receive much of the same training. Upon graduation from the academy, lateral officers are assigned to one of the six patrol districts and must also successfully complete field training & evaluation before serving in a solo field assignment.

Reserve Recruit

Police reserves are volunteers with a strong interest in their community and the Denver Police Department. They are not paid for their services and must successfully complete a series of tests and a thorough background investigation before they can enter the program.

The Reserve Police Academy is approximately five months in duration. Classes are held at the Denver Police Academy during evenings and weekends.

Upon graduation from the academy, reserve police officers are assigned to one of the six Patrol Districts and must then successfully complete field training and evaluation.

Requirements for this program are available from the The Denver Civil Service Commission or by calling (720) 913-3370. You must also contact the Denver Police Reserve Coordinator at (720) 913-1350.