Become an Officer

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The Clearwater Police Department seeks qualified candidates to become police officers. If you are interested in joining us, fill out our career interest form located below. If you have further questions, contact Cpl. Melody Phelps in our Personnel & Training Unit at 727-562-4183 or at

Police officers




How to Apply

Step 1.To be considered for employment by this agency, you will need to complete a comprehensive background investigation through PASS.

This process is necessary for in-state and out-of-state candidates. The Clearwater Police Department exclusively uses the Police Applicant Screening Service (PASS) to conduct all of our background investigations on potential candidates. 

If you are not yet certified in the state of Florida, but are certified in another state, you may qualify for an equivalency of training course. This two-week certification course will allow you to earn certification in Florida. Please visit St. Petersburg College for further information regarding this option.

If you have not attended an academy, but are interested in a career in law enforcement, you may visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a list of requirements for state certification, along with other information.

Step 2.Fill out the career interest form.

Career Interest Form

Step 3.Once the chief of police has decided to fill any vacancies, your PASS file will be examined, and a pre-interview will be scheduled with qualified candidates.

This is why it is imperative you complete a file with PASS. After the pre-interviews are conducted and you meet the criteria set forth by the agency, you will be placed on an eligibility list to begin the formal interview process.

Step 4.If you have already completed the PASS process, please send a follow-up email containing your PASS file number and a current copy of your resume for review.

Please make sure your PASS file is updated as well. Failure to do so could result in a delay in the process.

Step 5.Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

You may email Sergeant DiVincent (, or Corporal Phelps ( for additional information or questions.

Hiring Criteria

For those seeking employment as sworn personnel, the hiring criteria are as follows:

Step 1.Must be at least 19 years old

Step 2.No illegal use of controlled substances, which include the following:

  • Use of marijuana within the past six months.
  • Habitual use of marijuana (more than 10 times).
  • Illegal use of other controlled substances.
  • Bought, sold or offered to sell any controlled substance.
  • Illegal use of any controlled substance as a police officer or reserve police officer.
  • Use of alcohol not compatible with required moral character (three or more alcohol-related arrests)

Step 3.Excessive traffic offenses that resulted in driver license suspension as follows:

  • No conviction of a criminal traffic charge within the last five years.
  • A minimum of three years from date of last suspension for excessive points/or cause.
  • No suspensions for financial responsibility within the past 18 months and the applicant must prove insurability.

Step 4.Excessive traffic violations not amounting to suspension/revocation.

Step 5.Three or more moving violations within the last two years will be just cause for deferring processing.

Step 6.Deliberate omission and/or falsification of the personal history form.

Step 7.Any theft that would constitute a felony crime.

Step 8.Gambling that results in arrest and/or conviction.

Step 9.Detected and undetected felony crimes as an adult. Juvenile cases will be judged on an individual basis.

Step 10.Delinquent indebtedness.

Step 11.Must be certified or certifiable per the requirements in F.S.S. 943.13 and have a minimum of 60 semester hours of college credit from an accredited college or university, or have received an honorable discharge from active duty in one of the armed services, having successfully completed a regular enlistment of at least three years without early separation, or are currently certified as a law enforcement officer, having successfully completed two years of service, not including academy attendance.


The Clearwater Police Department is committed to creating and maintaining one of the elite law enforcement agencies in the United States. An important part of this commitment is our ability to provide our officers with the compensation, benefits, support and resources they continuously answer the call.

Details of the benefits and programs we proudly provide officers include:

Starting Salary Top Salary
Police officer with high school diploma or
equivalent (as of 06/2022)
$59,441 $88,031
Associate’s degree
(two years of college)
Bachelor’s degree
(four years of college)
Tuition Refund Program Undergraduate $1,500 Annually Graduate $1,800 Annually

*Represents current benefit levels. Benefits are subject to modification by collective bargaining.

  • Sworn employees are granted 13 paid holidays a year and earn two weeks of vacation time after the first year, three weeks after six years, and four weeks after 15 years of service. In addition, they receive 12 days of earned sick time annually. Vacation time and sick time are capped at 320 and 1,560 hours, respectively.
  • A shift differential is paid at 5 percent for the evening shift, and 10 percent for midnights. Assignment pay is 5 percent for corporal, detective and K-9.
  • Health insurance is 100 percent paid for employees, and a portion paid for dependents. A Life Scan Wellness Exam is also included.
  • All uniforms and equipment are provided.
  • Sworn employees are members of a non-contributory supplemental pension and have a 10 percent contribution to their standard pension.
  • Employees are vested in city retirement after 10 years of service and are eligible to retire once they reach 20 years of service, or 55 years of age with at least 10 years of service.
  • Salary credit may be given for prior full-time, sworn law enforcement service. One step per two years of service.
  • Group Life Insurance of $2,500 is paid by the city of Clearwater.