No Better Place

Help shape the next great Southern city.

Be a part of the new face of policing. One deeply rooted in service. One that prizes diversity. One that believes the best training makes the best officers. One driven by a desire to help.


A city with an unbeatable cost of living. A job whose list of benefits and perks just keeps going.


Annual Salary During Academy $36,593
Starting Annual Salary $40,000
With Bachelor’s Degree $43,000
Police Officer Salary $40,600-$54,810

*Lateral Entry Salary: Applicants will receive a 2.5% pay increase for every year of current POST certified experience up to a total of 12.5%


When it comes to cost of living, Knoxville is quite literally unbeatable.

is Equal to
Washington DC $1,041,970 $76,960
Chicago $517,211 $57,841
Atlanta $370,059 $49,304
Nashville $342,111 $47,434
Cleveland $284,000 $46,474
Knoxville $263,568 $40,000

Job Benefits

Holiday / Sick / Vacation


A city with an unbeatable cost of living. A job whose list of benefits and perks just keeps going.


Our Ideal Canidate
  • Is 21 years old by the start of the Police Academy.
  • Has a high school diploma or GED.
  • Is a US citizen.
  • Has a valid driver’s license.
  • Has no felony convictions.
  • Is in compliance with our tattoo policy. (Check Policy)
  • Has been Honorably Discharged if they served in the military.
  • Can pass a mental and physical exam and background check.
  • Above all, shows integrity and good moral character.
Apply Here
Learn from the best

A Premier Academy

The KPD Police Academy in 2004 became the first municipal academy to receive full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. We are also a TN POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission) certified training facility. And our requirements and facilities stand out.

The Police Academy is comprised of almost twice the amount of required training hours due to the extensive and wide-ranging training our recruits receive. That training includes hundreds of hours of patrol procedures, physical training, firearm safety, and emergency vehicle operation—but there’s also training in constitutional law, human relations, ethics, stress management, and more.

The academy campus houses a state-of-the-art firearms center that includes multiple pistol ranges, a 100-yard rifle range, rappel tower, 360-degree indoor live-fire shooting facility, and computerized simulator. The driving track includes a sophisticated skid pad, large skills area, and city response course, complete with street signs, markings, and traffic lights. A roadway that simulates highway and interstate driving encircles the track.

Because of the enhanced level of training offered, veterans who attend the Police Academy are eligible to receive GI Bill benefits. Additionally, numerous colleges and universities have evaluated our training course and have offered officers up to 36 college-level credits for its completion.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply to be a police officer or police cadet?

Police officer and police cadet applications are typically accepted during 2 one-month periods each year. Check our calendar to see when the next application period opens.

How old do I need to be to become an officer or cadet?

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the start of the academy to apply as a police officer; for police cadets, it’s 18.

Do you allow lateral transfers from other police departments?

Absolutely. Applicants must be certified and have at least 3 years of continuous service in a law enforcement capacity (security, corrections, military police, etc., do not meet minimum qualifications). Accepted candidates participate in an abbreviated academy. There is a 2.5% salary increase for each year of service, up to 5 years.

Who should I contact with questions about my application?

Email the recruitment office at

Can I ride-along with an officer?

KPD does offer a ride-along program, and we encourage those who are interested in joining the KPD to sign up for a ride-along. Some restrictions apply. Contact a recruiter for additional information.

The Academy

How long is the police academy, and do you have to live there?

Our academy is approximately 22 weeks long. The schedule is generally Monday-Friday during normal business hours, and recruits return home each day. Recruits are paid during the academy.

Will I be paid while attending the police academy?

Recruits are paid employees with benefits upon beginning the academy.

What type of training will I receive in the academy?

We believe the best training makes the best officers. Our department and academy are nationally accredited. This ensures that our recruits receive the highest level of training and are best prepared to begin a career in law enforcement. Recruits can expect to receive training in firearms, driving, cultural diversity, crisis intervention, response to resistance, search and seizure, arrest procedures, criminal law, and more.

The Job and Benefits

Are officers assigned their own vehicles?

Yes, and our liberal drive home policy allows officers to take their vehicle home within a 25-mile radius.

Is there a Tuition Reimbursement Program?

Yes. Officers can receive up to $3,000 per year for college tuition reimbursement. Officers who have or obtain a Bachelor’s degree receive a 7.5% salary increase.

What shifts do KPD officers work?

Patrol officers work a fixed day, evening, or night shift. Shifts are four days on and three days off. Work days and off days alternate every 28 days to ensure that officers have weekends off every other month.

More questions?

Just ask a Recruiter


A. Uniformed employees are permitted to have visible tattoos, providing that the tattoos are only visible on the arm(s) and the leg(s) while wearing any authorized KPD uniform.

B. Tattoos will not be permitted to be visible from the line where the wrist meets the hand and through the end of the fingers.

C. Tattoos will not be permitted to be visible above the collar bone.

D. Visible tattoo(s) that are inappropriate in nature will not be permitted. Tattoos considered inappropriate include, but are not limited to:

1. Any tattoo that contains nudity

2. Any tattoo that contains vulgarity

3. Any tattoo that symbolizes gang activity

4. Any tattoo that is sexually suggestive

5. Anything racial, sexist or ethnically motivated.