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 $51,415
Starting Annual Officer Salary $56,685
Police Officer Salary $56,685-$84,951

*Lateral Entry salary based on years of current POST certified experience


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

Take Home Vehicle Program

As a perk of the job, KPD Officers are assigned take-home vehicles at the discretion of the Chief of Police. KPD-issued take-home vehicles are insured and gas is provided.

Real Estate Assistance

Wallace Real Estate has launched its KPD Heroes Relocation Program to assist current KPD employees as well as new hires moving into the Knoxville area with all of their real estate needs.

As part of its Relocation Program, Wallace Real Estate is offering full concierge services, which includes the following: expert help finding a new rental property or making a new home purchase; full listing services for home sellers; and complete home services, assisting in the logistical matters that come with moving into a new home, such as securing a moving company, connecting utilities, internet and cable, and obtaining home insurance and warranties.

Wallace Real Estate is also offering substantial savings on home closing costs, with an average savings of $2,500 on a home purchase for KPD employees and new hires.

In addition to Wallace Real Estate’s relocation program, Homes for Heroes is solely dedicated to serving the needs of local first responders and their families. Homes for Heroes has over 4,000 qualitied real estate and mortgage specialists in all 50 states, most of whom possess a background in emergency response.

Homes for Heroes offers a variety of real estate services, including moving logistics and home purchasing, in addition to significant closing cost discounts.

Knoxville has 20 licensed H4H agents available to serve current and future KPD employees. Visit for more information.


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 or permanent legal resident.
  • 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?

Applications for police recruit, police cadet and lateral transfer officers are accepted year-round on a continual basis.

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 2 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. Lateral transfer starting salary is based on years of POST-certified experience.

Who should I contact with questions about my application?

Email the recruitment office at [email protected]

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 fiscal year for college tuition reimbursement.

What shifts do KPD officers work?

Patrol officers work a rotating shift that allows for the maximum number of days off per month, including every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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.