Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any age or physical limitation on who can apply?

You must be at least 21 years of age to be hired; there is no maximum age limit. Candidates often worry about their height, weight, vision, hearing or health history. As long as you are fit enough to take and pass the physical ability test and pre-employment medical exam, get through the Academy and are able to perform all the functions of day-to-day police work - there are no physical limitations on who can apply.

Do I need to take a Physical Fitness Test?

Yes, The State of Idaho requires a successful completion of the standard physical Fitness test Physical Readiness Test (PRT) Administration

The Idaho Patrol Officer PRT is comprised of a battery of five events:

  • Vertical Jump (14” Minimum Passing Standard)
  • One Minute Sit-Ups (15 Minimum Passing Standard)
  • Maximum Push-Ups (21 Minimum Passing Standard)
  • 300-Meter Run (77sec Minimum Passing Standard)
  • 1.5-Mile Run/Walk (17:17min Minimum Passing Standard)

Physical Readiness Standards (PDF)

What are the requirements to be a Boise Police officer?

The minimum requirements to become a Boise Police Officer are as follows:

Entry Level Officer

  • Graduation from high school or possession of GED certificate.
  • Must be either a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least five years and have legal authorization to work in the United States as of the date of the first examination.
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Successful completion of the examination process which may include a physical agility test, written communication exercise, written examination, oral board interview, background investigation, truth verification exam, psychological examination and evaluation, interview, and medical examination and drug screen.
  • Graduation from Boise Police Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy.

Are officers required to be residents of the City of Boise?

No, you can live wherever you wish.

Do most officer come from a similar Background?

No, the backgrounds of our officers are varied and diverse. Some of our officers have decided to proudly continue a family tradition of service. Others knew they wanted to be police officers ever since they can remember and come to the department with college degrees in Criminal Justice, although this is not required. Others have a prior military background or have transferred to the department as a lateral hire from another agency. Still others are attracted to this career through their interactions with police officers in social work or law careers. But many of our officers have backgrounds and interests not at all related to law enforcement and have decided to go into policing as a second or third career.

Am I too old to be a police officer?

If you can meet the physical demands of the job, it is never too late to start your career in policing. Many of our officers have had other careers, and their prior fields have been as diverse as social work, piloting commercial aircraft, information technology, law practice, engineering, and professional athletes. Many of our officers go into policing because they want a job where they can see immediate results of their efforts and make a difference in people’s lives every day.

How Long is the training process for officers?

LATERAL-ENTRY All officers will attend the Boise Police Academy. The Lateral officers will do a modified academy. While attending the academy, you will also learn Boise Municipal Laws, policies, procedures, and services specific to Boise. This will be followed by Field Training for Lateral Officers.  All certified law enforcement officers from outside of the State of Idaho must take and pass the Police Officer Equivalency test administered by the Idaho State Peace Officers Standards and Training. Recruits are NOT housed at the academy and will be responsible for their own housing.

ENTRY-LEVEL Will attend the Boise Police Academy where you will learn all the skills and knowledge specific to Law Enforcement and the Laws of the State of Idaho and the laws specific to the City of Boise, department policy and procedures and services specific to Boise. After completing advanced training, you will enter the Field Training Program, with an experienced officer who will evaluate your performance in the patrol division. Recruits are NOT housed at the academy and will be responsible for their own housing.

Is there a way to skip for fast track some of the training?

No. You will probably find that some of your skills from prior careers are useful when working as a police officer, however, the only career that is applicable to this job is as a current certified law enforcement officer with a different agency. The only way to fast-track some of your training is if you meet the criteria of an exceptional lateral.

What are the work hours of a patrol officer?

Patrol Officers work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. Patrol officers work on a rotating schedule that includes weekends and holidays, and officers are assigned to one of three watches:

Day Shift: 0600-1600

Swing Shift: 1400-0000

Night Shift: 2100-0700

Officers work 4 10hr days in a row, and then have 3 days off.

Is there anyway to skip patrol and go directly to a specialty position: Bike Unit, Homicide Detective, Etc.?

No. Both entry-level and lateral candidates must have time as a patrol officer before transfers or promotions. Having experience with the unpredictable and diverse nature of events that come with patrol work is absolutely vital background knowledge before making a transition to any other type of police work. Modern policing is very complex, and every city is very different, so it is also important that you learn the specifics of this department and this city before any transfers.

People choose to go into policing because they love the job. In fact, many patrol officers find that they love the work so much that they choose to stay in patrol for their entire career.

What Career Opportunities are available Within the Boise Police Department

Police officers have the ability to work several different specialized assignments during their career. They have the opportunity of moving within the department while learning new skills on the job.

Patrol Teams, Airport Division, Training Division, Motor Unit, Bike Patrol, Bomb Squad, Detective Division, Neighborhood Contact Unit, Homicide Unit, Intelligence Division, K9 Unit, Narcotics Task Force, SWAT Team, School Resource officers, Special Victims Unit, Arson Investigator, ETC.

What happens if I am hired?

The Police Academy begins the first day on the job. The Police Academy runs 40 hours per week, Monday through Thursday, and lasts approximately 20 weeks. Each recruit is monitored and evaluated closely during this period. Recruits should plan to study each night, and they must pass required written and skills-based evaluations. Recruits are required to maintain a  physical fitness schedule, which includes daily physical training, as well as drills, on most days. Recruits are paid their police officer salary while attending the academy.

While attending the Boise Police Academy you should expect the following:

The Boise Police Academy runs for approximately 20 weeks, depending on class size, holidays and training requirements. During that time each recruit will receive approximately 800 hours of instruction to include but not limited to: Constitutional Law, State Law, City Law, use of force, defensive tactics and handcuffing skills, emergency vehicle operation, police weapons and tactics training. Additionally, each recruit will be exposed to the effects of the “pepper spray” and the conducted electrical device (commonly called a TASER) they will carry while working.

The academic requirements for the Boise Police Academy are rigorous.  Each recruit must maintain an average of 70 percent or better on all tests and quizzes during the academy. If a recruit fails three tests, he/she will be dismissed from training and separated from employment.

Before graduation, the recruit must pass the Idaho POST Peace Officers Standards and Training tests. These tests are comprehensive and cover material learned during the academy.

Each recruit is strongly urged to enter the academy in top physical condition. The recruit will have weekly physical fitness training. Additionally, the recruit will participate in rigorous cross training.

Once the recruit has successfully completed all aspects of the academy, he/she will enter the Field Training (FTO) Program. This program is 14 weeks in duration, and the recruit will work with a minimum of four different training officers during that time. During FTO, the recruit will be evaluated daily in different aspects of the job. At the successful conclusion of the FTO Program, the recruit is certified as a solo patrol officer and is assigned to a patrol division to begin their career with the Boise Police Department.

Is the Boise Police Academy a Military or Stress academy?

No the Boise Police Academy is a Classroom based learning environment.

Does Boise Police has a part time or auxiliary volunteer program?

No, Boise Police does not have part time or auxiliary volunteer officers.  Citizens can be a volunteer for non-sworn activities within the Police Department and the City of Boise.

Tattoos, Facial hair, Piercings, Grooming standards?

Yes, but there are a few restrictions to follow

  • Facial hair is authorized but needs to be kept tidy, clean, and professional.
  • Tattoos, Body Art, and Brandings- An employee shall not have any tattoos, body art, decorative hardware, or branding on the head, face, neck, scalp, hands, or visible teeth (excluding orthodontic appliances); unless authorized by the Chief. Any pre-existing tattoos, body art, or branding on any of these areas will either be removed or covered by cosmetics or clothing. While on duty, excessive tattooing, body art, or brandings shall not be exposed or visible (including through the uniform). “Excessive” is defined as any tattoo, body art, or branding that exceeds one third of the exposed body part.
  • Any visible tattoos, body art, or branding that are obscene, advocate or symbolize gang, extremists' groups, drug use, or sexual discrimination shall not be permitted, unless authorized by the Chief.

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