Join Our Team

Being a Columbia Police Department Officer is answering a call that is greater than one’s self. The City of Columbia has consistently ranked in the top 20 cities in America to live because of the low cost of living, low crime rate, and the education level of the community. As of the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau figures, Columbia has a population of 115,276 people and it continues to grow! The city has five major hospitals, an outstanding public school system, and multiple state and city parks. There are several higher education opportunities including the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College, as well as satellite campuses including Bryan College, Central Methodist University, Moberly Area Community College, and William Woods University. These factors combined make the City of Columbia the best place to live, work, and play!


Become a Columbia Police Officer


Columbia Police Department

  • Has an authorized force of 165 officers
  • Has 33 civilian personnel
  • Sworn officers work a 12-hour day schedule (which means officers only work half the days of the month!)
  • Department has an annual budget of approximately $20 million. 
  • Specialized areas include: Criminal Investigations Division, Domestic Violence Enforcement (DOVE) Unit, Traffic Unit, K-9 Unit, Downtown Unit, Vice Narcotics Organized Crime (VNOC) Unit, Street Crimes Unit, Community Outreach Unit, Internal Affairs Unit, School Resource Officers, Public Relations Unit, and Training and Recruiting Unit.

Salary Range

Frequency Minimum* Midpoint* Maximum*

*Figures updated December 2015

Current shift differential is 65 cents per hour from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. A clothing allowance for plain clothes assignments is provided. Uniformed officers receive an equipment allowance rolled into base pay.

Retirement Package

Officers may retire at 25 years of service at 50% of their highest three year average.  Every year worked after 25 years is an additional 2% per year. Benefits from the plan are in addition to your benefits from Social Security and supplemental deferred compensation plans.


Educational Assistance

Columbia police officers can participate in a tuition reimbursement program.



  • Uniforms and Equipment (handgun, duty gear, bulletproof vest, etc. More than $8,000.00 per officer)
  • Dry cleaning of uniforms
  • 2 weeks vacation / year (3.08 hours per pay period) for first four years. Increased by 2.5 days every five years through 20th year.
  • Seven set holidays and four floating holidays per fiscal year.
  • Accumulated sick leave (18 days per year), no maximum accrual
  • Sick leave buyback – At the end of the fiscal year, you may sell accrued unused sick leave hours in excess of the number of hours normally worked in a 26 week period (1040 hours) back to the City. The City will pay you 50% of your hourly rate for each hour sold back.


Candidates must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age by hire date
  • Have 60 or more credit hours from an accredited college; OR 30 or more credit hours from an accredited college AND two years federal active duty military service with an honorable discharge or in good standing with reserve status; OR 30 or more credit hours from an accredited college AND a minimum of two years of employment as a full-time certified peace officer (at least 30 hours per week average). College credit in Criminal Justice or related field preferred. 
  • Be eligible to receive a Missouri POST Certification (Class A Peace Officer License)
  • Not have any serious criminal record entries
  • Maintain a valid Missouri driver’s license and safe driving record
  • Maintain CPR certification
  • Have an excellent work history and attendance record
  • Must reside within a 30 mile straight line radius of the City of Columbia and be eligible to work in the United States.

Eligible candidates must:

  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass a drug test
  • Pass a psychological test
  • Pass a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer test
  • Pass a medical physical
  • Become POST certified as eligible for employment as a peace officer by the State of Missouri within six months of employment
  • Successfully complete Police Training Officer (PTO) program

For more information, contact:

Human Resources Department

City of Columbia PO Box N Columbia, Missouri 65205 (573) 874-7235