Kentucky Police Academy Requirements

Kentucky is a great place to begin an exciting career in law enforcement. Working as a peace officer gives you the chance to both serve the public by doing important work, and to bring home a steady paycheck by having secure employment. There are more opportunities to work as a police officer in Kentucky than ever before. If you meet the requirements to join the force, you can choose whether you want to apply to a big city or work in a more rural location.

The Basic Training Branch and the DOCJT

In Kentucky, the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) oversees aspiring police officers. They set the rules for what people have to do in order to even begin a career in law enforcement. The Basic Training Branch oversees the new recruits. All new recruits in the state go through a training program that is twenty-two weeks long. This ensures that all new recruits receive the latest training and that they are all taught to handle certain situations and problems in a uniform way.

A Physically and Mentally Demanding Career

It isn’t easy to be a police officer. New recruits can expect police training in the Basic Training Branch to be tiring and emotionally draining. Trainers want to simulate the stresses that new recruits encounter when they are on the road as peace officers. Officers have to meet certain minimum qualifications before they can even attend the Basic Training Branch entry-level training course. Expect to have to prove your physical fitness. There are a number of tests you have to perform in order to show that you can handle the varying physical demands of a career on the force.

Age and Status Requirements

To even get started in a career as a peace officer in the State of Kentucky, you must have reached at least twenty-one years of age. You can be older, but not younger. You must have finished high school. Your operator’s license must be current and valid. Your criminal record must be quite good, with no felony convictions, and you must be a citizen of the United States.

Things to Expect

The Kentucky DOCJT performs background checks on people wanting to attend police academy. That means they take your fingerprints. Expect to have to pass a drug test and also to sit for a polygraph examination. Get that far and you can sit for an interview with people making the decision. Expect to do a lot of paperwork.

Mandatory Disqualification

There are certain things that mean you automatically can’t work as a police officer in Kentucky. A few small crimes here and there are generally okay, if you’re honest about them, but if you have a felony or a violent crime you’re probably out of consideration automatically. The same is true if your military discharge is anything less than honorable.

Department Variations

Specific requirements vary from agency to agency. The DOCJT oversees the main training program for new recruits, but it’s up to you to apply to the agency you want to work for. Different agencies have different minimum criteria. If you want to work the Highway Patrol, for example, you need college credits. They recommend at least sixty. If you have visible tattoos, that’s a problem.

Begin Training Today

If you meet all of these requirements, you’re probably wondering how to make sure that your career in law enforcement is a successful one. Those who have been to police academy before you recommend that you begin preparing as soon as possible. It’s never too early to work on your physical condition and it’s never too early to work on learning all of the laws that you need to know. When you start police academy, things move quickly. You’re expected to learn a lot in a short period of time. You can do yourself a favor by giving yourself more time to master these difficult concepts and learn what to expect in training.

Fortunately, the experts have come together to create a guide for you. They made the book Prepare for the Police Academy and it is a great way to learn all of the things you need to know to make your training a success. Learn why it matters what you do before you even arrive at your first day of training. Be the first to raise your hand when trainers discuss search and seizure or constitutional rights. Receive valuable tips to ace that physical fitness exam. This guide is available at

If you meet these requirements and pass training, you can work as a law enforcement officer in Kentucky. Work hard to prepare for your physical and academic tests. Begin preparing as early as possible. Enjoy your new career.