Recruitment Information - Police Officers

If you are interested in being a Gainesville Police Officer or are interested in other employment at the Gainesville Police Department, you can submit via online an application, visit the following link:

Apply for Available Positions

Testing Dates

2024 Application Deadlines 2024 Testing Dates Testing Type
April 25th May 14th Certified / Non-Certified
May 23rd June 11th Certified / Non-Certified
June 22nd July 16th Certified / Non-Certified
July 25th August 13th Certified / Non-Certified
August 22nd September 10th Certified / Non-Certified
September 26th October 15th Certified / Non-Certified
October 24th November 12th Certified / Non-Certified
November 21st December 10th Certified / Non-Certified

Testing Criteria Definitions

  • Certified: Out of State, Federal, or Military Police Officers with a minimum of 2-years’ experience. Or, State of FL Police Officers with a minimum of 18-months experience.
  • Non-Certified: Candidates who hold no law enforcement certification and require sponsorship for the police academy.
  • Seated: Must be seated in a State of FL police academy at the time of testing.

Periodic testing will be held for both Certified and Non-Certified Police Officers (in state / out of state) and persons currently enrolled in a Florida Police Academy. Please visit the City of Gainesville’s Employment page often, as our testing processes and venues are subject to change.

Visit Apply for Available Positions to submit your initial application. Then, go to Background Forms and thoroughly complete the Background Data Packet, Background Waiver, and Physician Recommendation forms.

Selected candidates will be informed, soon after the closing date, where to mail their background forms along with a (to be determined) postmark date. Background forms mailed after the pending postmarked date will not be accepted. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these files.

Career Development

The Gainesville Police Department is a progressive police agency which offers a vast array of opportunities for career development. After completion of the Field Training Program, you will normally be assigned to uniformed patrol duties where career development begins. Depending upon experience, education, training, and departmental needs, you may be eligible to compete for vacancies in the specialty units.

Promotional Opportunities

There are several levels to which eligible sworn members of the Gainesville Police Department may be promoted. Members demonstrating competency and longevity of service to the Department may be eligible to compete for the ranks of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. Department members are selected for promotion without regard to sex, race, creed, color, or age except as provided by law.

Benefits and Compensation

  • State of Florida educational salary incentive pay up to $130 a month.
  • The State of Florida does not have state income tax.
  • Specialty pay is paid for certain duty assignments.
  • All uniforms are furnished with an annual dry cleaning and leather allowance.
  • Annual clothing allowance is paid to personnel assigned in eligible plain-clothes positions.
  • All required duty equipment is provided.
  • Authorized overtime is paid at 1 1/2 times your regular hourly rate.
  • Compensation is paid at 1 1/2 times your hourly rate for court time with a 3 hour minimum.
  • Comprehensive health insurance program (includes dependent coverage).
  • 25 year (no age) retirement plan payable upon retirement with a “Drop Plan” provision at 25 years.
  • Educational assistance at 100% tuition reimbursement for up to 18 credit hours per year.
  • A “take-home” car plan is provided for officers residing within Alachua County.
  • A free term life insurance program of up to $50,000 (based on salary).
  • A full service City credit union is available.
  • Thirteen paid holidays a year, including three of which are scheduled by the employee.
  • Vacation: Based on length of service. Entry-level employees receive 80 hours annually.
  • Sick Leave: Based on length of service. Entry-level employees receive 48 hours annually. Sick leave is cumulative and may be applied towards 32 bonus vacation hours if no sick leave is used.
  • Bereavement Leave: Up to 3 days leave in the event of a death in your immediate family.
  • Military Leave: Up to 17 days a year for military reservists and additional leave if needed in accordance with applicable laws for active military service.

Salary Information

Starting salaries are based on levels of education and experience. Newly-employed police officers will typically work a 40 hour week and receive pay biweekly (26 pay periods per year). Note: Florida has no state income tax.

Non-certified Police Officer Starting Salary
Minimum Starting Salary: $42,000.00

After successful completion of the Basic Recruit Course and the State Certification Exam, non-certified officers are promoted into the Certified Police Officer Job Classification, and are given the related salary increases.

Certified Police Officer Starting Salary
Minimum Starting Salary: $50,000.00

Military Veterans

Qualified Military Veterans may earn an additional $1,030.00 per month, while training in the Police Academy*. This compensation is a Federal Program and is in no way connected to the City of Gainesville.

*Montgomery GI bill - (Active Duty who complete an enlistment of three years or more. Ch. 30 of title 38 U.S.C.). Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional information.


All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements in order to apply for a police officer position:

  • Must be at least 19 years of age.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Applicant must have a High School Diploma or GED 
  • At least one year of work experience (cumulative); or
  • Previous community service/volunteer service will be considered in lieu of work experience



Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Certification required at the time of appointment.

Certain scheduled employment process dates may be restricted to specific eligibility requirements.


Applicants cannot have any of the following:

  • Use, possession, or cultivation of cannabis within one year of testing.
  • Use, possession, or cultivation of any other illegal controlled substance within three years from testing date.
  • Any felony conviction or any conviction in another state that would be considered a felony in Florida.
  • Any conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, false statements, perjury, or domestic violence.

Training Process

Non-certified police officers will initially be assigned to the police academy for Basic Police Recruit Course training conducted at the Santa Fe College's Institute of Public Safety. The Police Academy is a 24 week course, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. During this program, officers learn criminal and constitutional law, firearms skills, patrol tactics, defensive driving, investigative techniques, domestic violence investigations, human diversity, and other related subjects.

After successful completion of the Basic Police Recruit Academy, non-certified police officers must take and successfully complete the State law enforcement certification examination. Upon receipt of the Florida Law Enforcement Officer Certification, the officer will be promoted into the certified police officer job classification, and will be assigned to a structured Field Training Program. During field training, probationary certified police officers are assigned to a variety of actual police activities under the supervision of an experienced field training officer. As the program progresses, new officers are assigned more complex tasks while working various shifts. Upon successful completion of the Field Training Program, new officers will be assigned to work in a solo status in Patrol.

Progressive training is of great importance to the Gainesville Police Department. In-service training is provided to each sworn officer. Advanced criminal law, tactical police driving, discretionary use of firearms, officer survival tactics, and interpersonal communications are just a few of the topics taught.

In addition to the regularly scheduled training, each officer is eligible to attend advanced training courses offered at the Santa Fe Community College Institute of Public Safety. Many advanced training courses are approved for career development salary incentive.

Career development and other specialized police training courses are also available through the Institute of Public Safety, as well as other recognized training centers throughout the nation.

Applicants must successfully complete each phase of the examination and screening process.

1. F-BAT – Florida Basic Abilities Test

The F-BAT is a cognitive skills, multiple choice exam required for entry into a Florida Certified Police Academy and is not required if you are already certified. Applicants who are required to take the FBAT exam must pass.

2. Writing Sample

Applicants will watch a video twice and write a narrative report of what they observed on the video. The writing sample will be graded for spelling, sentence structure and grammar.

3. Physical Abilities Course

Applicants must successfully complete the physical abilities course with three attempts on each component of the course. To see a layout of the physical abilities course click here. The course includes the following components:

  • Manipulate a seat belt and exit a vehicle
  • Negotiate fences (4 and 6 feet high)
  • Negotiate stairs
  • Climb through a window
  • Drag a simulated person (150 lb sled) 50 feet
  • Negotiate staggered obstacles
  • Run approximately 440 yards
  • Low crawl
  • Bend and stand while negotiating obstacles
  • Properly dry-fire a firearm with minimal barrel movement

To prepare for the Physical Abilities Course, click here to view our PAC Prep Video with recommended cardio and body strengthening exercises.

For a demonstration of the Physical Abilities course, click here to view our PAC Video.

4. Oral Interview

This examination evaluates the applicants’ interpersonal, problem-solving and decision-making skills. The oral board is comprised of three department members and must be completed with a minimum passing score.

5. Background Investigation

Applicants must pass a thorough background investigation which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Criminal and civil records
  • IRS and credit records
  • Drivers license history
  • Current and previous employers
  • Current and previous landlords
  • Current and previous neighbors
  • Personal references

6. Final Interview

Once the preliminary background investigation is complete, those considered for employment will be invited for an interview with the Chief of Police and members of Command Staff. This interview allows the Chief of Police and Command Staff the opportunity to interact with potential employees. This interview does not carry a weighted numerical score.

7. Medical Examination and Psychological Examination

Applicants who proceed to the conditional job offer phase must pass a physical and psychological examination. The medical examination includes but is not limited to an EKG, vision screening, drug test and health assessment. The psychological examination includes a written psychological examination and screening by the departments Employee Assistance Program provider.

8. Polygraph Examination

Applicants must successfully complete a polygraph examination administered by a certified Polygraph Examiner. The primary focus of this component is to assist in determining the accuracy of information provided by the applicant during the selection process.