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

Police Officer

Recruit and Lateral

  • 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

Starting base pay for Recruits
  • $62,418 annually or $30.00 per hour.
Starting pay for Laterals

Based on prior years of experience. Topped out officers make $88,058 annually or $42.33 per hour.

  • 18 months to 3 years of experience - $30.31/hr. ($63,052.08)
  • 3 to 4 years of experience – $30.53/hr. ($63,510.72)
  • 4 to 5 years of experience - $31.47/hr. ($65,454.48)
  • 5 to 6 years of experience - $32.42/hr. ($67,441.92)
  • 6 to 7 years of experience - $33.41/hr. ($69,494.88)
  • 7 + years of experience - $34.43/hr. ($71,613.36)


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.

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).

For police officer recruits and police officer laterals

Written Test
The written test can be taken online. Instructions for the online test are emailed to the applicant by our Human Recourses Division. The test is administered through the National Testing Network (NTN). We do not charge to take the test, however NTN does offer a practice test for a fee.

Physical Fitness
The Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT) 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
Our hiring staff and recruiters offer practice sessions for applicants that may need extra help with POPAT. Currently, we practice every Tuesday and 1 Saturday a month. Please contact a recruiter if you are interested in practicing for the POPAT.

The Firearms Assessment is the AZ POST “semi-auto” handgun course. Applicants are required to meet Mesa PD’s shooting standards and score 220 pts. Applicants who are not successful and do not pass qualification will have one additional attempt at the course to achieve a passing score.

Background Investigation/Interview
All information is verified through criminal history checks, employer checks, personal references and credit checks.

Polygraph Exam
This exam will determine whether the information the candidate provided on their application is true and accurate. The applicant is made aware of all questions prior to the exam.

Review Board
Human Resources Hiring Review Board consists of a Sergeant, Lieutenant and Commander. Each person will have a recommendation on each applicant with final approval being held by the Human Resources Commander.

Conditional Offer
If an applicant successfully passes the testing process and is approved for hire by the review board, they may be offered a conditional offer of employment. Conditional Offer is contingent on passing both the medical and psychological exams.

Medical Exam
Candidates must undergo a complete medical examination that meets the standards of AZPOST. Minimum vision requirement for Police Officer Recruits and Police Officer Laterals is 20/20 corrected or 20/200 uncorrected. (Insert Table)

Psychological Exam
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.

A lot of that depends on the applicant (how thorough the background packet is and how responsive the applicant is with their background investigator). It currently takes approximately 30-45 days from the time the applications is received to a conditional offer (provided the applicant meets all requirements).

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).

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:

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.

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.

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.