Many officers now working in Montana began their law enforcement careers in other states. As a certified peace officer, you may be eligible to work as a public safety officer in Montana without having to retake basic training.
While there is no statewide information available on the annual rate of job openings for Montana’s many law enforcement agencies, attendance rates at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy provide an estimate of the number of new officers hired each year.
The starting salaries for Montana public safety officers range from approximately $22,000 to $35,000 a year, depending on the agency.
In order to meet equivalency in Montana:
After being hired by an agency in Montana, out-of-state officers must complete all components of equivalency testing and training within their first year of employment. To initiate equivalency testing, you and your department training officer must contact POST and arrange to have your training record reviewed.
If POST finds that you are eligible for equivalency, both you and the Academy will be notified by POST. It is your responsibility to contact the Academy to get registered for the next Legal Equivalency Course.
To maintain powers of arrest, officers trained out of state must complete all components of the Legal Equivalency Basic Course within their first year of initial appointment as a peace officer in Montana (Section 7-32-303 of the Montana Code Annotated).
Equivalency is a four-step process:
Remember, your knowledge of general law enforcement practice and procedures will be examined. If you fail, you will have to retake basic training in Montana to be certified.
You should also be aware of the following:
Since there is no central file for local job announcements in Montana, you must make direct contact with the agency you would like to work for. It is your obligation to meet any established application deadlines and requirements for open positions.
You may refer to these websites:
The certification process for law enforcement officers in Montana begins only after an individual has been hired. As an officer with out-of-state training, you must be hired by a Montana law enforcement agency before you can obtain a Montana Basic Certificate.
By reviewing these guidelines and staying in direct contact with the criminal justice hiring agencies in the jurisdictions where you would like to relocate, you may improve your likelihood of finding employment as a law enforcement officer. As elsewhere in the United States, law enforcement in Montana is a demanding occupation. If you are willing to dedicate your efforts towards long hours and hard work under difficult conditions, your application will be welcome in Montana.