Basic Info for Becoming a Police Officer

Police Chief

Paul Noel
(865) 215-7000

800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37915

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
Visit to Apply


• Twenty-one (21) years of age
• Legal citizen of the United States
• Valid driver’s license
• High School graduate or equivalent
• No felony convictions


If you are between 17 and 20 years of age and would like to become a Knoxville Police Cadet please click here.


• 1 to 3 years of service [10 (8 hour) days annual leave]
• 3 to 7 years continuous service [15 (8 hour) days annual leave]
• 7 to 12 years continuous service [20 (8 hour) days annual leave]
• 12+ years continuous service [24 (8 hour) days annual leave]
• Sick leave [12 (8 hour) days per year (accumulative)]
• Holidays 9 paid holidays
• Pension plan eligible for retirement at 50 years of age with 25 years of service
• $500 annual uniform allowance
• Longevity pay
• Health insurance - individual and family coverage is available
• Life insurance equivalent to one and one-half times annual salary up to $50,000 plus $25,000 one time death benefit in line of duty
• Long-term disability insurance plan
• State pay supplement may be awarded for successful completion of in-service training
• Career Development plan which provides for advancement through the merit promotion system
• Deferred Compensation Program
• Wellness program
• Employee Assistance program
• Educational Tuition Reimbursement program
• Educational Incentive program


Liberal drive-home vehicle policy (25 mile radius), provision of duty weapon and body armor, numerous training opportunities, career development plan, employees assistance program, etc. 


• An Application submitted
• Civil Service written exam and physical performance test
• Interview and tentative selection
• Orientation
• Background Investigation, Psychological, Medical Evaluation, Review Panel
• Recruit Academy
• Academy Graduation
• Field Training Officer Program


Basic Recruit Training consists of 24 weeks of intensive instruction and testing in areas that cover all aspects of law enforcement including, but not limited to the following: City, state and constitutional law, firearms, police driving, arrest procedures, accident investigation, officer survival, physical fitness, defensive tactics, report writing, diversity training, and criminal investigation training. The KPD Academy is located in Knoxville, and is nonresidential, so you can return home daily. Our academy typically operates during daytime hours, Monday – Friday. Following completion of Basic Recruit Training and certification as a Police Officer, the new officer will be required to complete a 16-week FTO (Field Training Officer) program before being given a work assignment.


• Patrol Operation
• Major Crimes Unit
• Family Crimes Unit
• Property Crimes Unit
• Organized Crimes Unit
• Forgery and Fraud Unit
• Internet Crime Against Children Task Force
• Safety Education Unit
• K-9 Unit
• Recruitment Section
• Bomb Squad
• Neighborhood Bike Unit
• Motorcycle Unit
• Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit
• Repeat Offender Squad
• Crime Suppression Unit
• Training Unit Staff
• Administrative Staff
• Supervision

Special Teams are not full time assignments. Teams are in addition to the officer's regular duty assignment.

• Special Operations Squad
• Bomb Squad
• Marine Unit
• Search and Recovery
• Honor Guard
• Peer Support Team
• Crisis Negotiation
• Mobile Field Force
• Patrol Rifle Officer


Click here to check and see if the City is hiring and/or to apply online.

If you are interested in working at the Knoxville Police Department, please contact a recruiter at 865-215-7111 or send email to [email protected]


All uniformed officers must enter the Knoxville Police Department in the classification of Police Officer recruit. While enrolled in the Knoxville Police Academy, Officers have the opportunity to describe any law enforcement experience they possess outside the Knoxville police department. Information regarding outside experience is submitted on a form provided to each recruit. The information provided in this form will be used to determine whether an officer may be accelerated through the police Officer career path.

During an officer's first year in the Police Officer Classification, a panel will review the officer’s law enforcement experience obtained outside the Knoxville Police Department. The amount of experience determined by the qualifying panel may be used to accelerate Police Officers through the Career Development Plan. All officers must serve at least one year in each level of Police Officer series. Once this required period has been served, any Officer who possesses enough law enforcement experience and meets all applicable minimum requirements to move to the next level of the series may sit for the appropriate examination when it is posted. 


We now offer a Lateral Entry program for certified officers! Applicants must be certified and have at least 3 years of continuous service in a law enforcement capacity (security, corrections, military police, etc. does not meet minimum qualifications). There is a 2.5% salary increase for each year of service, up to 5 years!

• Applicants must possess at least three (3) years of consecutive, current POST certified experience at a single agency to be eligible for the lateral entry program. You must attach a copy of your POST certification to the online application.
• Applicants must have reached their 21st birthday before the application can be accepted. Applicants MUST attach a copy of valid birth certificate to their application.
• High School graduate or equivalency. Applicants MUST attach a copy of their High School Diploma or GED to the application.
• Applicants must not have any background disqualifiers
• Applicants are required to possess or be able to obtain a valid Tennessee Driver’s License.
• Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen, or a Permanent Legal Resident of the U.S. who is an Honorable Discharged Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and applies for or obtains U.S. Citizenship within six years 

We are an equal opportunity employer