Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of our team! We think you'll find our department to be progressive, community oriented and focused on excellence.  The University of Georgia Police Department is comprised of approximately 96 sworn law enforcement officers, 15 communications officers, and support staff that bring the total agency personnel to approximately 125.  The agency provides a full spectrum of police services to the campus, including 24/7/365 patrol and emergency response by the Patrol Division, targeted traffic safety enforcement by the Traffic Division, criminal investigative services by the Criminal Investigations Division, and Advanced Service Teams that include Special Response Team, the Bomb Disposal Unit, the K-9 Bomb Detection Unit, the Mobile Field Force, the Crisis Negotiation Team and the Critical Incident Response Team.


The University of Georgia Police Department maintains an open pool of applicants for the position of Police Officer. Those meeting the minimum qualifications are welcome to apply. 

To apply as an officer, you must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • A citizen of the United States
  • A high school graduate or GED recipient
  • A licensed driver
  • Without any felony convictions

If you meet these qualifications and wish to apply, follow the directions below.  This information is designed to answer many of the most frequently asked questions related to employment with the UGA Police Department.  If you have difficulty applying or simply need a question answered after reviewing this information, please call (706)542-5813, or contact a hiring representative at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Is the UGA Police Department currently hiring?

Current vacancies can be found on www.UGAJobSearch.com.  If no vacancies are shown on the website, the department will gladly accept the UGA Police Department Application for Employment (explained below) for Police Officer positions in anticipation of future hiring needs.

A complete application consists of two parts:

  • UGA Police Department Application for Employment
    • This application is specific to the UGA Police Department and must be completed according to the included instructions and delivered or mailed to the UGA Police Department, 286 Oconee Street, Athens, Georgia 30602 (Attention: Applications).  The application document can be printed from the link above, or a paper copy can be obtained at the UGA Police Department between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.  Incomplete or improperly completed applications will not be processed and/or retained for consideration.
  • UGA Application for Classified Employment
    • This is an on-line application which is necessary for overall employment with the University of Georgia.  It must be completed on-line through the UGA Job Search website, accessible through the link above.

What happens after I apply?

Properly submitted applications that are found to contain no disqualifying information after review are entered into an open pool of Police Officer applicants.  If an application is found to be incomplete or found to contain disqualifying information, the applicant will be notified in writing that they are not currently being considered for employment.

The basic steps in the hiring/screening process are:

  • Physical Agility Exercise
    • Physical agility involves a series of tasks combined into a single, timed exercise to ensure that the applicant is capable of performing the basic physical elements of the job of a law enforcement officer. Physical agility exercises are scheduled periodically. If your application is properly submitted and does not contain disqualifying information, you will be contacted and informed of the next scheduled exercise.
    • Physical Agility Exercise Guidelines
  • Oral Interview Board
    • The review board consists of a formal interview with three members of the UGA Police Department Leadership Team. Applicants are considered for an oral interview after successfully completing the Physical Agility Exercise.
  • Pre-Employment Background Investigation
    • If the applicant is recommended for further consideration after the interview board, a pre-employment background investigation will be initiated.
  • Conditional Offer of Employment
    • Based on the hiring needs of the department, conditional offers of employment are made at the discretion of the Chief of Police, typically during or after the background investigation phase.  In order to satisfy the conditional factors, the applicant must gain approval on the following three screening mechanisms:
      • Pre-employment Psychological Screening
      • Digital Voice Stress Analysis (DVSA) Screening
      • Pre-employment Drug Screening

What is the current starting salary/pay structure?

The current starting salary for Police Officer and Communication Officer positions is $43,000 (with a $1,000 raise after the completion of the police academy, a $1,000 raise after the completion of field training, and $2,000 raise after the completion of two years of service for Police Officer positions, and a $1,000 raise for Communications Officer positions after the completion of two years of service).  The current incentive structure is shown in the table below.  Any annual raises awarded by the institution would be in addition to these incentives.

Sworn Personnel Pay/Incentive Structure

Rank \ Title Salary Increase Requirements
Police Officer $45,500 Starting title & salary
SPO I +$1,000 Upon academy graduation or Upon hire for previously sworn personnel
SPO II +$1,000 Upon completion of PTO (Field Training) program
SPO III +$2,000 Two years of service and completion of specified training, with no discipline resulting in days off without pay, and documentation as minimum of “average contributor” in all categories on the last performance evaluation closest to eligibility

 

 Communications Personnel Pay/Incentive Structure

Rank \ Title Salary Increase Requirements
CO I $45,500 Starting title & salary
CO II +$1,000 Two years of service and completion of GA POST Communications Officer certification, no discipline resulting in days off without pay, and documentation as minimum of “average contributor” in all categories on the last performance evaluation closest to eligibility

 

Educational Incentives (Applies to all sworn and non-sworn employees of the agency)

Degree Obtained Salary Increase Requirements
Associates Degree +$1500 Employees of the UGA Police Department are eligible for education incentives of up to $3500, as shown to the left.  This incentive is not a one-time bonus.  For new employees, the incentive is reflected in the starting salary.  For existing employees, the incentive becomes annualized into their salary upon completion of a qualifying degree.
Bachelor’s Degree +$1,000
Graduate Degree +$1,000

 

The table below demonstrates what a given officer’s expected salary would be over the course of the first two years of employment, based on education levels.  Any annual raises awarded by the institution would be in addition to these figures.

  No Experience Academy Completion PTO Completion Two-Year Point
No Degree $45,500 $46,500 $47,500 $49,500
Associate’s Degree $47,000 $48,000 $49,000 $51,000
Bachelor’s Degree $48,000 $49,000 $50,000 $52,000
Graduate Degree $49,000 $50,000 $51,000 $53,000

Frequently Asked Questions

What employment benefits are offered?

Employees of the University of Georgia have a number of options pertaining to health, dental, vision, life, and other insurance options.  Additionally, several retirement plan options are offered, to include the Teachers Retirement System. For comprehensive information on employee benefits, visit UGA Human Resources

Additional benefits include:

  • All uniforms, weapons and equipment are provided.
  • Tuition Assistance Program, applicable to any University System of Georgia institution.
  • Paid vacation, holiday and sick time.
  • Potential for promotion.
  • Diverse training and special assignment opportunities!

What does the Field Training Program consist of?

The Police Training Officer (PTO) program is an approximately 15 - 18 weeks long community-oriented policing course teaching new officers to use their resources to complete calls for service.  PTO incorporates contemporary methods on adult education and a version of the problem-based learning (PBL) method of teaching that was adapted for police. Most importantly, it serves to ensure that academy graduates’ first exposure to the real world is one that reflects policing in the 21st century.

Does the UGPD Offer Ride-Along Opportunities?

Currently, due to on-going health and safety precautions related to Covid-19, the UGPD ride-along program is on hold.  When conditions allow for the ride-along program to once again be conducted safely, we will provide notification here.  We strongly encourage those who are interested in employment with UGPD to take advantage of this opportunity to get a firsthand look at what a typical shift entails for a UGPD officer.  Once the program is re-instated, the required documents that must be submitted and approved prior to the ride-along can be obtained here.

What shifts do UGPD Officers work and how do they rotate?

UGPD Patrol officers work eight-hour shifts, with a typical work week consisting of five days on and two consecutive days off.  The three shifts that make up a 24-hour period are Day Shift (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), Evening Shift (3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) and Midnight Shift (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.).  Once a new officer has completed Field Training, they are assigned to one of the three Patrol Teams based upon the need for personnel resources.  The teams (Alpha, Bravo and Charlie) remain together and rotate through the three shifts on a regular four-month cycle.

Can I attend college classes while working?

As with any fulltime job, UGPD officers understand that the job is our priority while we are at work.  However, many UGPD officers have either completed or are actively pursuing a range of advanced degrees.  While there is no option to attend classes while on shift, the pre-set shift rotations allow for officers to plan ahead and schedule their classes accordingly when taking in-person classes.  Many officers also take advantage of the various on-line degree programs available to further facilitate the scheduling of classes.

Are there opportunities to earn overtime pay?

Under normal circumstances, the University of Georgia campus plays host to numerous sporting events, concerts, meetings, and other special events throughout the year that typically require the presence of UGPD officers in some capacity.  The Police Department coordinates with event organizers to ensure that the appropriate law enforcement resources are provided.  This provides many opportunities for officers to earn overtime pay by working these events.  With Covid-19 in mind, the expectation would be that as the institution gradually returns to more normal levels of activity, the number of overtime opportunities would also gradually increase to more traditional numbers.  All overtime worked by UGPD officers is coordinated by the agency and is paid (at time and a half the officer’s base hourly) rate through the institution along with the officer’s normal salary.

How does the UGPD staff large scale and special events on campus?

Each year, the University of Georgia hosts a number of very large-scale events that require extensive coordination between many campus units, to include the UGPD.  Perhaps the most familiar of these events would be home football games, where the campus can see well over 100,000 visitors on gameday Saturdays alone.  Other large-scale events may include graduation ceremonies, concerts, and public demonstrations.  Large scale events often require the assistance of every single personnel resource that the UGPD has available.  It is vital to have the understanding that the men and women who choose public service must sometimes be available to perform the essential duties that allow the institution to have safe and successful events.

What happens if I am not selected for employment?

In the event an applicant does not meet the minimum qualifications or is removed from consideration at some point during the process the applicant will be notified in writing of the change in status of their application.

 

Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 706-542-5813 if you have any additional questions!