TPD: Becoming a Member - FAQ
Q. Can I work as a Dispatcher (PSCO) part-time or while I am going to school?
A. Yes, once you complete your training and probationary period. Training is a minimum of eight months followed by six months probation.
Q. What typing requirements are there for Dispatchers (PSCOs)?
A. As a Dispatcher/PSCO, you will be trained to do several tasks: answer 9-1-1 calls, operate teletype, operate emergency radio channels for police and fire calls, and receive requests from citizens via multi-line telephone system. Most of these duties will require you to type information into the computer system while speaking over the radio or telephone.
Q. Must I be certified in law enforcement to be hired as a Police Officer?
A. Yes. All applicants must complete the basic Law Enforcement Academy curriculum and must pass the FL LEO Certification Exam.
Q. How often are Law Enforcement Academy classes held?
A. Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy offers day classes starting in January and July. Night classes are also available. That information can be obtained from their website or by calling the Academy.
Q. If I have received a speeding ticket recently, will that disqualify me for a Police Officer position?
A. Applicants cannot apply for the Police Officer position until 180 days after the disposition of a traffic case involving a moving violation (e.g., speeding, traffic signal violation, careless driving, failure to use due care.)
Q. If I am a certified officer in another state, what must I do to qualify for a position in Florida?
A. Civilian law enforcement officers and military law enforcement officers with at least one year of street experience can qualify for the FL Equivalency of Training (EOT) process. To see if you qualify, visit the FDLE website. If you qualify, you must take the EOT Class at a certified law enforcement training academy and pass the FL LEO State Certification Exam.
Q. Is it possible to become a part-time Reserve Police Officer while finishing college or working elsewhere?
A. No. Reserve Police Officers must meet all the qualifications for hire that are required of a Patrol Officer. In addition, Reserve Officers must have completed the Field Training Program and become "Solo" qualified. Current funding does not allow for this training.
Q. Can I use my G.I. Bill benefits while training to become a police officer.
A. Yes. You are considered a full-time student while attending the day classes, or part-time student if attending the night classes of the Academy. During your Department Orientation Training and the remainder of your probationary period, you qualify for On-the-Job-Training (OJT) Benefits that are paid directly to you each month from the Veterans Administration Office that holds your military records. Recruiting personnel will assist you in applying for these benefits.