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Tucson Police Department (TPD) is the third-largest law enforcement agency in the state of Arizona, with 870 full-time sworn officers and close to 200 civilian personnel. It has one of the highest officer-to-civilian ratios in the state. The department has received an accolade for taking extensive measures to lower the crime rate in the past decade.
Mission Statement: “To serve the public in partnership with our community, to protect life and property, prevent crime, and resolve problems.”
History: Tucson police department was formed in 1871, around the same time as the founding of the city. Between 1871 and 1921 TPD did not have an institutionalized flow of authority, and had thirty different marshals and a handful of chiefs of police. However, with time the department became more organized and hired thirty-three commissioned officers by 1921. In the 1920s, the police department became part of the civil service system. Up until 1930, the resident voters elected the chief of police. In 1930, the city council began appointing the chief of police.
Size: TPD covers an area of just under 240 square miles, and polices a population of around 520,000 people. The city is divided into 5 operational divisions for more efficient and systematic patrolling: operations division south (ODS), operations division west (ODW), operations division midtown (OMD), operations division downtown (ODD) and the operations divisions east (ODE).
Headquarters: 270 S. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701
Divisions: TPD is divided into 4 main bureaus, each carrying out a specific function: Investigative services bureau – that overlook criminal investigation, traffic investigation and curbing of gang uprising and organized crimes; field services bureau- which patrols the city and attends to calls for aid; administrative support bureau – which is responsible for allocation of funds and grants, management of human resources and transfers; analysis, engagement, and oversight bureau – which carries out research and analysis and is responsible for community engagement programs.
How to become a deputy: Candidates are required to take 4 physical fitness tests and 2 written examinations during a single application process. The physical fitness tests can be taken by the candidate until he/she qualifies. Only those who pass the physical fitness test will be allowed to take up the written examinations. The written examinations contain 100 questions in total and candidates are expected to score a minimum of 60% in order to qualify. Questions are designed to assess the candidate’s problem-solving capabilities.
Average salary: $47,132-$49,000 annually, rising with experience and position.
Police academy: Candidates who successfully pass the Tucson police department test, are admitted into the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center (SALETC). The training lasts for 17 weeks. The training program is intensive and covers a wide curriculum, designed to equip recruits with knowledge as well as practical skills.
Registration: More information regarding the Tucson police exam can be found on TPD’s official website. As the department recruits only when there are vacancies, competition for places is high. Only the best applicants, who meet the requisite standards, are invited to attend training at the police academy.
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