Missouri Law Enforcement OnLine Help Page

What would you like to know?  Are you interested in joining the world of Law Enforcement but do not know where to begin?  We hope this page will help you.  If you have something to add to this help page let us know, we will be glad to share your ideas with the rest of the readers. For more info check out the Department of Public Safety (D.P.S.) page or the Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Program page.

What are the steps involved in becoming a peace officer?  (the short version)
Missouri is a little different than some other states.  Requirements depend on the agency/city/county status.  State agencies have different requirements.  Different sized cities/counties also have different requirements.  The following is the basic information, you may need more training than listed below depending on where you want to work.  If you know where you want to work check with them first.

1.  You must be 21 years old to become certified as a peace officer in Missouri.

2.  You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. College is helpful and needed for the higher paying departments.

3.  You must be a United States citizen.

4.  You must be a resident of Missouri.  (Out-of-State Applicants /Transfers see info page)

5.  You must graduate from a P.O.S.T. certified training center and meet and the certification requirements of sections 590.100--590.180, RSMo. (click to download PDF file for Chapter 590 RSMo from DPS) Effective August 28, 1996,  peace officers have to be trained and certified before they can be employed as peace officers with full arrest powers..  Certified peace officers or reserve officers must have a minimum of 470 hours of approved basic training, unless exempted under state statute. Applicants applying for certification in a first class county with a charter form of government, must have a minimum of 600 or more hours of approved basic training. Training centers are located throughout the state.  The cheapest one and fastest to complete that we have found is in Warrensburg, MO.

6.  Once you complete the course you need to find employment.  Once employed you must meet the Continuing Education Requirements by completing 48 Hours of training within a three year period starting August 28,  1996.  The 48 hours are divided between the following areas: Legal Studies - 4 hours required, Interpersonal Perspectives - 4 hours required, Technical Studies - 4 hours required, Skill Development - 0 hours required, Electives - 36 hours in any area you wish. If you are not employed as a peace officer for a period of five years your certification shall expire.

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to
safegaurd lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against
oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the
constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that
does not bring discredit to me or my agency. I will maintain courageous and calm in the
face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the
welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will
be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or
hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept
ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs,
aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for
crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and
appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force
or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public
trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in
acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will
cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of

I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and
will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and

I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before
God to my chosen profession...law enforcement.


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