Police Officer Requirements – Arkansas

MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR EMPLOYMENT OR APPOINTMENT OR CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT

  1. Subject to the provisions of A.C.A. 12-9-106(e), no individual shall serve, be employed or otherwise function as a law enforcement officer in this State who is not certified by the Commission at the appropriate classification for the position held by the individual. The Commission has determined that it is in the best interest of the State of Arkansas for the temporary employment period to be restricted further than that stated in A.C.A. 12-9-106(e). Accordingly, an individual may serve, be employed or otherwise function as a law enforcement officer for a term of nine (9) months from initial employment or appointment as a law enforcement officer provided the provisions in Regulation 1002, Subsection 3(a-k) are met and verified on the Initial Employment Report (F-1) submitted by the employing agency. Furthermore, the Commission has determined that it is in the best interest of the State of Arkansas to extend this period by a maximum of three months for an absolute maximum of twelve (12) months. Therefore, upon the finding of extraordinary circumstances, the Commission, by majority vote, may extend this period by a maximum of three (3) months, for an absolute maximum period of twelve (12) months. (See Regulation 1008 for exceptions.) All requests for extensions must be submitted and received by the Commission prior to the end of the nine (9) month period, or any extension thereof. No individual who has been decertified by the Commission shall be eligible to serve, be employed or otherwise function as a law enforcement officer in this State unless the Commission shall have by majority vote agreed that the individual shall again be eligible to so serve.
  2. Verification of minimum employment standards must be maintained by the employing department.
  3. Every officer employed by a law enforcement unit shall:
    1. Be a citizen of the United States. (See Specification S-1)
    2. Be at least 21 years of age. (See Specification S-1)
    3. Be fingerprinted and a search initiated of state and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record. Procedure is prescribed in Specification S-2, Fingerprint Record Check.
    4. Be free of a felony record. A felony record shall mean having entered a plea of guilty, been found guilty, or otherwise having been convicted of an offense, the punishment for which could have been imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or a state penitentiary. The fact that an individual has received a pardon, or their record has been expunged shall not release the individual from having a felony record for the purposes of this regulation. (See Specification S-2)
    5. Be of good character as determined by a thorough background investigation as prescribed in Specification S-3, The Background Investigation.
    6. Be a high school graduate or have passed the General Education Development (GED) Test indicating high school graduation level. (See Specification S-4)
    7. Be examined by a licensed physician and meet the physical requirements prescribed in Specification S-5, Physical Examination.
    8. Be interviewed personally prior to employment by the department head or his representative, or representatives to determine such things as the applicant’s motivation, appearance, demeanor, attitude and ability to communicate. Commission Form F-11, Qualifications Appraisal Guide, or other appropriate form may be used to record the interview. (See Specification S-6)
    9. Be examined by an individual licensed to practice psychiatry or psychology and qualified to perform such evaluations in the State of… Arkansas, who after examination finds the officer to be competent and recommends the agency hire the individual. (See Specification S-7)
    10. Possess a valid driver’s license.
    11. Successfully complete a CLEST firearms qualification and review departmental policies, specifically policies covering the use of force, criminal law, and emergency vehicle operations. (No officer may carry a firearm in the course of employment or in the performance of official duties until this requirement is met and documented on the Initial Employment Report (F-1) submitted to the Office of Law Enforcement Standards.
    12. For continued employment, must successfully complete a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of CLEST certified training annually, to include firearms qualification and Racial Profiling.
  4. It is emphasized that these are minimum standards for employment or appointment. Higher standards are recommended whenever the availability of qualified applicants meets the demand.
  5. The minimum standards for employment or appointment must be complied with as contained herein before employment. The decision to employ an applicant should depend upon the results and recommendations received by the investigators and examiners, except, for items (3)(g) and (3)(i). In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a determination to hire or not hire individuals should be made prior to the examinations required by (3)(g) and (3)(i). An offer of employment, if any, is to then be made contingent upon the successful completion of (3)(g) and (3)(i).
  6. Law enforcement officers who have complied with the minimum standards for employment or appointment who terminate their employment and are reemployed by a law enforcement agency within six (6) months following their termination date, may transfer the required documentation… evidencing compliance with the standards to the files of the new agency. The only pre-employment requirement that the new employer will be required to complete is a new background investigation and oral interview. The employing agency may require the officer to meet any or all pre-employment requirements, again, if they so desire.
  7. If an officer is determined by the Commission to be in noncompliance, the Commission will notify the director of the employing agency by certified letter. The Commission shall give the individual and the employing agency a reasonable amount of time to remedy the deficiency. If at the end of that period, including any extension thereof, the individual remains in noncompliance, the individual will not be eligible to function as a law enforcement officer until proof of compliance is presented to the Commission by the agency director or his representative. In addition, at the end of the period allowed by the Commission for the individual to remedy the deficiency, including any extensions thereof, if the officer remains in noncompliance, the officer will be removed from the agency payroll and will not be eligible to be employed in any capacity as a law enforcement officer until compliance is met and proof is furnished to the Commission by the agency director or his representative. In the event the agency refuses to remove the officer from the payroll and/or continues to allow the officer to serve as a law enforcement officer, the Commission shall seek an injunction prohibiting the agency from employing and/or using the officer and prohibiting the officer from acting as a law enforcement officer.
  8. Any individual who fails the required training course, as set out herein, or is expelled from the required training course, will not be eligible to serve as a law enforcement officer for twenty-four (24) months following the date of failure or expulsion from the training course.
  9. Any individual who fails to meet the physical or mental minimum standards of this Regulation, shall be individually reviewed to determine if said person can perform the essential functions of the duties of a law… enforcement officer, with or without reasonable accommodations. The employing or appointing agency shall first determine if the individual can perform the essential functions of the duties of a law enforcement officer. If the agency believes that individual can perform the essential functions of the duties of a law enforcement officer, with or without reasonable accommodations, the employing or appointing agency shall request the Commission to determine if said person can perform the essential functions of the duties of a law enforcement officer. If the Commission determines, by a majority vote, that the individual can perform the essential functions of a law enforcement officer, with or without reasonable accommodations, and the employing or appointing unit and/or the individual agrees to the reasonable accommodations, then the Commission shall waive the minimum standard in question.

SUMMARY

Minimum Age: 21 years of age

Minimum Education: High School Diploma or G.E.D

Citizenship: Must be a US Citizen

Other Requirements:

  • Be fingerprinted and a search initiated of state and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
  • Be free of a felony record.
  • Be of good character as determined by a thorough background investigation
  • Be examined by a licensed physician and meet the physical requirements prescribed
  • Pass psychological exam
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Successfully complete a CLEST firearms qualification and review departmental policies