The Boise Police Department is changing its hiring standards for new recruits.
BPD announced that applicants will no longer have to have 60 college credits before applying.
“While we value higher education, we understand that given different life circumstances it may not be a viable or logical option for many people to attend college prior to pursuing a police career,” said Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee.
In 2019, the department formed the Training, Education, and Development Division (TEDD) to ensure officers are getting the best training. Through that process, BPD says it explored hiring practices used by other police departments and found that its college credit requirement limited the applicant pool. The standard is also higher than what Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) requires to be a police officer.
“More than the completion of formalized education, what matters most about an incoming officer is their content of character, their moral fiber, and ethical fortitude,” Lee said. “First and foremost, we are looking for applicants who are committed to equally serving and protecting every member of our community.”
With the college credit requirement nixed, BPD says it will be looking for applicants with at least three years of full-time employment or other relevant life experience. If the applicant is hired, the department will guide them toward getting 60 college credits in 5 years. TEDD has a partnership with the College of Western Idaho that allows officers to get college credit through their BPD Academy training. There are also options for officers to continue their education at CWI and even transfer to BSU to get a Bachelor’s Degree.
“Policing is an evolving profession, and we recognize the need to hire people who are willing to adapt and learn along the way. During our hiring process we want to equally value someone who attended college and someone whose eagerness to provide or explore took them in a direction other than college,” said Chief Lee.