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Omaha Police Department (OPD) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state of Nebraska – with close to 1,000 full-time sworn officers. It is also one of the few police departments in the state to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). OPD seeks to incorporate community policing philosophy, which is aimed at preventing crimes before they take place. The department has been significantly effective in making the city one of the safest cities in the state and in the country, with crime rates lesser than over 40 other similar-size cities. Below, you can learn more about Omaha police department test and how you can enlist in the police academy.
Motto: “To Serve and Protect”
History: Founded in 1857, Omaha PD was the first municipal law enforcement agency to be established in Nebraska. Since its founding, there has been 26 line of duty deaths in the Omaha Police Department.
Size: Omaha PD extends its jurisdiction over an area of 142 square miles, in which a population of just over 450,000 people reside. The city has been divided into 5 precincts, and these precincts are further subdivided into 73 smaller districts for more efficient patrolling.
Headquarters: 505 S 15th St., Omaha NE 68102.
Divisions: The department is divided into 5 major bureaus: Uniform patrol bureau – which carries out patrolling and answers calls for service in the city; criminal investigations bureau – responsible for investigating reported cases of violence, theft, a felony; professional oversight bureau – which overlooks the functioning and internal affairs of the department; police services bureau – which is responsible for the functioning of specialized units and allocation of finances; executive services division – which carries out planning, research and is responsible for recruiting and training officers.
How to become an officer: Candidates must take up the OPD Police test, which comprises a written examination, a physical ability test, a structured oral interview, and a thorough background investigation. The written examination is aimed at assessing candidates’ problem-solving capabilities, grammar, vocabulary, and logical thinking skills. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and candidates must secure at least 70% in order to pass. The Physical ability test (PAT) is designed to simulate the physical aspects of being a police officer. The test consists of 12 stations that have to be collectively completed in 3 minutes and 59 seconds. The stations of the PAT are: exiting a patrol vehicle, climbing stairs, chest to the mat drill, climbing a 4-foot wall, climbing over a 6-foot fence, dragging a heavy dummy, weaving around obstacles, jumping through a window frame, breaching a door, jumping over a 5-foot long obstacle, crawling through a culvert, and a long-distance run. A 5-7-pound vest must also be worn by the candidate during the PAT.
Average salary: $47,919-$50,000 annually, rising with experience and position.
Police academy: Candidates who successfully pass the Omaha Police department test are admitted into the academy. The training is for a period is for 24 weeks, during which candidates acquire core competencies required for the job. The basic training is conducted in classrooms and candidates must attend a minimum of 459 hours, as per the directives of the state. The department adds another 301 hours to the basic program. The classes are intended to impart skills like report writing, operation of firearms, Criminal investigation tactics, patrol tactics, self-defense best practices, and emergency vehicle operation skills. The classroom training program is followed by a field training program that spans a duration of 15 weeks.
Registration: Further information on the Omaha police exam can be found on their website. Competition for places within Omaha police academy are currently high.
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