The pathway of how to become a police officer in Montana will typically start out with locating a law enforcement agency that is currently hiring. However, a noteworthy aspect is that an applicant can choose to enroll in a training program and pay for the tuition fee on his own via the Law Enforcement Officer Pre-Service program, which is similar to the standard one in terms of duration and coursework.
Both options entail that the eligibility of the candidate depends on meeting the minimum standards decided by the Montana POST. Let’s find out more about these standards.
The Prerequisites on Becoming a Police Officer in Montana
The Montana POST prerequisites include:
- 18 years (or older)
- American citizenship
- Completion of high school course (GED or an equivalent diploma)
- Additional standards
With regards to the additional standards, it is necessary to mention that the POST authorities are within their right to include extra requirements, but the candidate will only have to comply with those issued prior to his application.
This includes regulations and modifications of the minimum medical and fitness standards that are set in place by POST.
Prior Hiring by a Police Agency
The time frame from the moment when a candidate has been employed by a local law enforcement agency and the start of the basic training courses cannot exceed 1 year. Under special circumstances, the candidate could be allowed a 180-day extension to the 1 year period.
However, if he has not enrolled in the courses of a training academy within this period, he will lose the instated power (arrest, authority, etc.) and the job itself. The duration of the Police Academy training in Montana is 12 weeks.
Within this period, the candidate is expected to acquire the following qualifications:
- Human behavior
- Police functions
- Investigation techniques
- Traffic law enforcement
- Patrolling procedures
- Other law enforcement proficiencies
In essence, the pre-service program comprises of the same standards and qualifications, the only difference being that the candidate will have to pay the cost of the tuition on their own.
The price of the training is around 4,100 dollars and the duration is also 12 weeks. Unlike most states, the pre-service program is almost guaranteed to find the graduate a position in law enforcement (95% hiring rates, post-graduation).
In addition, obtaining the POST certification after having completed one of these educational pathways entails working within the same police department for over 12 months and passing the medical and fitness standards in Montana.
For more information on becoming a police officer in Montana, visit Montana department of justice website or call (406) 444-9950.
Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Montana.