Lateral Police Applicant

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The Great Falls Police Department is a member of the Montana Law Enforcement Testing Consortium and follows all direction and by-laws set forth. Those rules state that in order to be considered eligible for hiring, both lateral and entry-level applicants must successfully complete the initial testing process which is conducted by the MTLETC.

To be considered for hiring as a lateral police officer, you must be a full-time, sworn police officer who has completed a State certified police academy, or you must have a (Peace Officer Standards & Training) POST certificate that is valid, and you are within 3 years of the date of separation from your last police agency. Although most police academies meet POST standards, officers will need to include the number of hours they actually attended, since 350 hours of Basic Academy training is the minimum required.

Reciprocity – To apply for reciprocity, a law enforcement officer with out-of-state experience and training who has been hired by a law enforcement agency in Montana must have:

  • completed a law enforcement officer basic course in another state
  • served at least one year with a law enforcement agency
  • successfully completed a one-year probationary period with their prior employer

Legal Equivalency Basic Course
Officers who have been granted reciprocity based on their law enforcement qualifications and experience in another state must attend the Legal Equivalency Basic Course, which is offered three times a year.

This course includes education and training in:

  • Montana Legal Update
  • Domestic Violence
  • Use of Force Guidelines
  • Firearms Proficiencies

POST certified officers with prior experience may qualify to start at either the 1 year or 2 year rate of pay. Pay scale detail.

Military: Military Police or Security Forces training is not considered POST certified so you would need to follow the entry level police applicant process. It should be noted that the Veteran’s Administration does pay for law enforcement academy attendance in most circumstances. The Great Falls Police Department is a recognized registered participating agency with the Veteran’s Administration.

Eligible officers who are considering the Great Falls Police Department are encouraged to contact Lt. Jack Allen at (406) 455-8556 and arrange a visit to the department. We feel it’s important that you have a clear understanding of our structure, organization, call load, equipment, and expectations. At the same time, it gives the lateral applicant the opportunity to see if they feel comfortable in a new police environment. Spouses are also encouraged to attend since their acceptance of this change in career is critical.

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