The Mesa Police Department is currently hiring Police Officer Recruits and Police Officer Laterals.

Police Officer

Recruit and Lateral

Minimum Requirements
  • Must Be a US Citizen
  • 21 Years of Age by Academy Graduation
  • High School Diploma, GED
  • No Felony Convictions or Offenses That Would Be a Felony If Committed in Arizona
  • No Dishonorable Military Discharge
  • No Marijuana/Edibles/Concentrates in the Past 2 Years
  • No Dangerous Drugs in the Past 7 Years (no more than five 5 times total)
  • No DUI Within the Last 3 Years
  • Arizona Class D Driver’s License by Hire Date
  • No Poor Pattern of Driving (multiple tickets, suspensions)
  • Great Communication Skills
  • Excellent Character
Pay and incentives
Starting base pay for Recruits**
  • $66,940 annually or $32.18 per hour.


Starting pay for Laterals**

Based on prior years of experience. Top out pay approximately $94,436 annually or $45.4 per hour.

  • 18 months to 3 years’ experience – $32.18/hr. $66,939.60
  • 3 to 4 years’ experience – $32.42/hr. $67,441.92
  • 4 to 5 years’ experience – $33.41/hr. $69,494.88
  • 5 to 6 years’ experience – $34.43/hr. $71,613.36
  • 6 to 7 years’ experience – $35.47/hr. $73,775.52
  • 7 + years’ of experience – $36.55/hr. $76,025.04


In addition to the base hourly rate, here are some other incentives we offer:
  • Police Officer Recruit hiring bonus of $3,500.*
  • Police Officer Lateral hiring bonus of $5,000.*
  • Police Officer Recruits can receive a Bachelor’s degree incentive of $500 or a Master’s Degree incentive of $1000. Degrees must be completed prior to hire date.*
  • Bilingual officers can receive a $25 biweekly payment for certification at the basic level, or a $50 biweekly payment for certification at the intermediate level.
  • Shift Differential Pay is $1.75 per hour. Officers can earn up to $3,640 per year
  • Police Jiu-Jitsu and/or Fitness Incentives up to 20 hours per year which equates to approximately $725.60 per year for each (based on mid-range officer pay).
  • Field Training Officer (FTO) pay is 5% of the officer’s regular hourly rate.
  • Officers receive 5% of their hourly rate for Special Assignment Pay.
  • Case Carrying Detectives can earn up to $2,204.80 (2.5% of their hourly rate) per year.
  • Patrol Officers can earn up to $1,500 per year for Patrol Incentive Pay.
  • Overtime compensation will be paid at one and one-half (1-1/2) times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • College tuition reimbursement up to $8,124.00 annually.
  • Uniform allowance of $1200 per year.

*Hiring incentives are paid upon completion of the field training program.

**effective 7/01/2023

How do I apply?

Click APPLY NOW to complete and submit the appropriate application online.


If your application is accepted, you’ll be asked to create a background information profile that will be reviewed by our Hiring Unit. Upon review, the Hiring Unit may then invite you to start the testing process.



Testing is held every other month but is subject to change. Expedited testing may be available for Lateral applicants from out of state.


For information on the waiver test qualification process and timelines please visit AZPOST (www.azpost.gov).

Hiring Process

Currently the average time from application submission to conditional job offer is approximately 30-60 days. The more thorough your application is, the faster we can get you through the process.


☑ 1. Apply

Visit the Mesa Police Department Recruiting website (joinmesapd.com) to apply for Police Officer Recruit.


☑ 2. Complete AZ Post

Complete AZ Post Personal History Form on the AZ Post site, or my.azpost.gov. Select the option to share this document with the Mesa Police Department and save your AZ Post Form ID Number for future reference. Directions to complete this step will be emailed to the applicant after step 1.


☑ 3. Take the Written Test

Once you apply, the City of Mesa Human Resource Department will provide you with instructions on taking the written test from NTN (National Testing Network). If you fail the written test, you can retest in 90 days.


☑ 4. ATTEND MESA (Mentoring Every Successful Applicant) DAY (3 hours)

At MESA day an applicant will spend 3 hours with us and have the opportunity to complete the POPAT course and either pass it or acquire skills and techniques to pass it within the next 9 months. MESA day also allows applicants to discuss strategies and tips on being successful on the eSOPH stage of the application.


The Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test course contains the following five events:

  • 500-yard run
  • Scaling a 6’ chain link fence followed by a 25-yard sprint
  • Scaling a 6’ solid wood fence followed by a 25-yard sprint
  • 99-yard obstacle course
  • 165 lb. “dummy” drag


Click here for instructions on POPAT (Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test).  You will receive an invitation to start the background once you have attended a MESA event (See available dates here). The background will be finalized once you have a passing score for POPAT. You have 9 months to pass POPAT before your background file expires.



☑ 5. Complete eSOPH Profile

Once you pass the written test and attend a MESA event, the Mesa Police Department Hiring Unit will send you an email invitation to start your background process using eSOPH (electronic statement of personal history). You have 30 days to fill out all questionnaires thoroughly and have the waiver notarized. Once you complete eSOPH, your file will be assigned to an investigator. 



When you meet standards, your investigator will contact you to set up your background interview. Please wear professional business attire. After the interview, you’ll complete a 20-minute typewritten assessment.


☑ 7. Polygraph

After you complete the background interview, you may be scheduled for a polygraph exam. This exam will take approximately 2 hours. Business casual dress is acceptable.


☑ 8. Sergeant’s Interview

After approval by the Hiring Review Board, you are on the eligibility list for up to one year. You may be contacted for a Sergeant’s interview. Wear professional business attire.


☑ 9. Conditional Offer

After you receive a conditional offer, you’ll be scheduled for both a medical and psychological evaluation. Upon successful completion of the evaluations, your position in the academy will be finalized.

Medical Exam

Candidate must undergo a complete medical examination that meets the standards of AZPOST. Minimum vision requirement for a Police Officer Recruit is 20/20 corrected or 20/200 uncorrected.

Visual Acuity
  • Soft Contact Lenses (SCLs) are recommended to correct to 20/20.
  • CLASS la; No restriction or accommodation is required.
Visual Acuity
Acceptable with correction
  • Soft Contact Lenses (SCLs) are required.
  • Class lb; Restriction/accommodation required: must wear corrective lenses.
Visual Acuity
20/200 or >20/200
  • Class ld; not acceptable for performing the duties of a police officer.
Post Corrective SurgeryAcceptable with stability
  •  Candidates <35 years old must show two documented examinations with stability within the last 6 months.
  • Candidates >35 years old must show at least two documented examinations with stability within the last 12-24 months.
Psychological Exam

If candidate is given a conditional offer of hire, then a psychological assessment must be completed. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the candidate’s overall psychological fitness to function as a sworn officer. There are three components involved in the evaluation process: a clinical interview, the administration of psychological tests, and a review of the individual’s background.


☑ 10. Pre-Academy

A week before you start the academy, you will attend a pre-academy orientation where you will attend a security briefing, select benefits, obtain your PD ID card, and complete a full fitness assessment.


☑ 11. Start the Academy!

The Mesa Police Department holds three academy classes per year: January, May, and September. Each academy is 26 weeks.

Click here to download or print the Police Officer Recruit Hiring Process.


How long does the hiring process take?

Currently the average time from successful completion of written exam to conditional job offer is approximately 30 to 60 days. The more thorough your application is and the more responsive you are to the background investigator’s requests, the faster we can get you through the process.

Academy Information

For Police Officer Recruits.


We host 3 academies per year at our own training facility. They usually start in January, May and August. You must be at least 20 years of age to apply and turn 21 by the time you graduate the academy.


The Mesa Police Academy is 26 weeks long and the Field Training Program is about the same depending on how well you do.


If selected, we put you through the academy at no cost to you. In fact, we hire you while starting you at our base salary of $30.00 per hour ($62,418 per year).

Specialty assignments and promotional opportunities

Depending on the position, officers interested in specialty assignments can transfer to a specialty unit after 1.5 years. Officers must have at least 1.5 consecutive years experience as a Mesa Police Officer to be eligible to transfer. (Some positions require more experience). Members must meet minimum qualifications established for the position, have a performance appraisal of “Successful Performance,” and not be on “Disciplinary Probation” or “Special Evaluation.”


Specialty Units and Assignments for Sworn Officers Include (but are not limited to):
  • Criminal Investigations Unit Detective
  • K-9 Unit
  • Hazardous Devices Technician (Bomb Squad)
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Bike Unit
  • Street Crimes Unit
  • Homicide Detective
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • School Resource Officers
  • Traffic Unit
  • SWAT
  • Crisis Negotiator
  • Recruit Training Officer
  • Advanced/Proficiency Skills Training Officer
  • Mental Health Support Team
  • Community Relations Officer
  • Special Victims Unit Detective
  • Pilot
  • Tactical Flight Officer
  • ATF, FBI and US Marshal’s Task Force Detectives
  • Public Information Officer
  • Gang Unit
  • Financial Crimes Detective
  • Community Action Officer
  • Vehicular Crimes Unit
  • Major Crimes Unit
  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Unit Officer
  • Intelligence and Counterterrorism Unit Detective
  • Range Officer
  • Honor Guard
  • Human Exploitation & Trafficking Detective
  • Internal Affairs Detective
  • Domestic Violence Unit Detective
  • Fusion Center Detective
  • Real Time Crime Center Detective
  • Digital Forensics Unit/ICAC Detective
  • SONET Detective
  • Organized Crime Detective (Interdiction & Asset Forfeiture)
  • Wellness Officer
  • Field Training Officer
  • Policy Compliance Detective


Promotional testing (Sergeant/Lieutenant) usually occurs once a year depending on openings.

Police Officer - Lateral

Additional Information:

Lateral Qualifications

A Police Officer – Lateral is an individual who is currently, or was previously, a certified peace officer in Arizona or another state and would like to transfer to the Mesa Police Department. Potential laterals include the following:

  • Currently / Previously employed as a police officer in Arizona and has successfully completed the Field Training Program / Probation.
  • Currently / Previously employed as a police officer in the United States and has successfully completed the Field Training Program / Probation, has had 2 years of employment in a patrol capacity, and cannot have been separated from their last agency for more than 1 year.
8-week lateral transition program

Do police officer – laterals have to go through the academy?


No, but we do have an 8-week lateral transition program. This program is like advanced officer training which our current officers experience throughout their career. We understand you have already attended an academy and the para-military style approach is not necessary at this stage of your career.


The Lateral Transition Program focuses on the introduction of the Mesa Police Department’s policies and tactics to seasoned officers who opted to transfer to Mesa PD. The lateral officers in training undergo the same skills development programs as the Basic Police Academy recruits, focusing on the training techniques and policies of our Department.


Upon graduation from the program, you will be assigned to the Field Training Program.

Long Distance police officer – laterals
For Laterals Only:


I don’t live close to Mesa. How many trips will I have to take for the hiring process?


Most likely, 2 trips.


If you elect to participate in expedited testing and complete your background information profile, we can complete the following stages of testing during your first trip:

  • Physical Fitness
  • Firearms Qualification
  • Background Interview
  • Polygraph


NOTE: Expedited testing will require at least a 3 day stay in Mesa.


If you are given a conditional offer of hire, a second trip will be needed to complete the Medical and Psychological evaluations.


If needed, we have information to help with discounted hotel rates for applicants who are travelling to test. However we do not pay for relocation/moving. We do not have a residency requirement, meaning you do not have to live within the city limits to work here.


Hiring Bonus

Mesa Police Department offers a hiring bonus to New Recruits as well as Lateral Officers.  Apply now or contact a recruiter to learn more.


Available for New Recruits.


Available for Lateral Officers.