The Gila River Police Department is one of the fastest growing tribal law enforcement agencies in the country. While patrol duties are one of our most important functions, we have several specialty units and other opportunities for officers to expand their training and experience in law enforcement. Community oriented policing is paramount to our success and is highly encouraged in all positions and ranks at our agency.
All of our officers are AZPOST certified to enforce state law and sworn through the Gila River Community Court to enforce tribal law. Many of our officers are also certified to enforce certain federal laws on the community. We cover over 600 square miles ranging from desert to housing to industrial areas. Our population includes not only community members who live and work on the community, but also a large number of visitors to our shopping, gaming enterprises, and businesses.
The Gila River Police Department is actively seeking candidates for Public Safety positions. Please click on the link to see open positions and test date information.
How to begin your career in Law Enforcement
STEP 1: Apply online
STEP 2: Physical agility test
Applicants will receive a letter inviting them to take the physical agility test. The test is not adjusted for age or gender. All applicants must pass every portion of the test. The physical agility test consists of:
- 29 push-ups within one minute
- 31 sit-ups within one minute
- 1.5 mile run within 15 minutes and 20 seconds.
STEP 3: Written test
Applicants who pass the physical agility test will be offered the opportunity to take the written test. The written test is administered directly following the physical agility test and consists of 100 questions to include subjects such as mathematics, reading comprehension, mapping, critical thinking and grammar. The test will be scored on site and successful applicants will be set up with a date for an oral board interview.
STEP 4: Oral board
Applicants will be interviewed by a panel of Gila River Indian Community employees. Qualified applicants will proceed in the hiring process.
STEP 5: Background questionnaires, back ground interview and investigation
Applicants are given the AZPOST background packet and Gila River Indian Community Police Department Personal History Questionnaire for Peace Officer Packet. Additional hiring documents are also requested from the applicants. The packets must be completed and returned to the department for review. Qualified applicants will then be contacted to set up a background interview. A thorough background investigation will be conducted on all applicants. The information will be used to determine your Suitability for a law enforcement position as defined according to AzPost, 25 CFR, Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention of 1990, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 3207, Crime Control Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 13041, Gun Control Act, as amended, 18 U.S.C.922 (g) and Security requirements for a law enforcement position. All background investigations must be adjudicated and Suitability determinations based on 5 CFR 731.105 (competitive service) and 441 DM 5.5 (expected service).
STEP 6: Polygraph examination
Qualified applicants will be scheduled for a polygraph examination which is administered by a trained professional.
STEP 7: Psychological evaluation
Applicants will be evaluated by a licensed psychologist for Police Officer suitability.
STEP 8: Medical examination
Applicants will undergo a medical examination by a licensed physician. Applicants will submit a urinalysis test at this time. (steps 6-8 may be scheduled in any order)
STEP 9: Completion of the background investigation
Suitable applicants will be notified by human resources and given a conditional offer of hire.
STEP 10: Command Staff Interview
Following the conditional offer of hire, applicants will be set up for an interview with the Chief of Police, Commander or Designee.
Applicants may be disqualified at any time during the background investigation and will be notified by the human resources office. The number one reason applicants are disqualified is for falsification, deliberate misstatements and omissions that are relevant to the background investigation.
What to expect next
- Recruit Officers will attend a 16-18 week Police Academy (depending on holidays) of the departments choosing. Upon successful graduation of the Police Academy, Officers will enter a Post Academy and Field Training Program.
- Lateral Officers will begin a Post Academy and Modified Field Training Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply if I have no experience in law enforcement? Answer: Yes, Law enforcement experience is not necessary but prior law enforcement experience can earn an applicant preference points during the hiring phase.
Do I have to be Native American to apply? Answer: No, Everyone is welcome to apply.
Do I need a college degree? Answer: No, although if the applicant wants to advance in his/her career a college degree may be required for other positions within the department.
What if I have an arrest or criminal charge on my record? Answer: Applicants must not have any Felony convictions, or a misdemeanor offense other than a traffic violation within one year preceding the application. The applicant must have never been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any felonious offense, or any misdemeanor offenses, under Federal, State, or tribal law involving crimes of violence; sexual assault, molestation, exploitation, contact or prostitution; crimes against persons; or offenses committed against children.
What is the age requirements? Answer: Applicants must be 21 years of age prior to graduation from police academy. There is no age cut off to apply.
What are my employee health benefits? Answer: Some of the benefits include medical, dental, vision, mental health services, retirement though the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System of the State of Arizona, life insurance, vacation leave, sick leave, education leave and paid holidays. Contact the Gila River Indian Community Human Resources office for details.
Does the department accept out of state applications or out of state law enforcement certifications? Answer: Yes, the department will do its best to accommodate out of state applicants during the testing process, but travel and other expenditures are at the applicants cost. Officers with out of state Law Enforcement certifications can apply and upon hiring may be eligible to be certified via the AZPost Waiver Process to become certified in Arizona if all minimum requirements are met.
How long does the background process take? Answer: The background investigation varies on a case by case basis but usually takes between 3 to 6 months to complete.
How long is the academy? Answer: The Gila River Police Department currently utilizes the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center (SALETC) located in Tucson, Arizona. SALETC is a 16 week 640 hour academy and provides lodging and meals.
What happens after the academy? Answer: Upon graduation from the police academy, officers will report to the department for Post Academy Training and a 18 week Field Training Program. Upon successful completion of the Field Training Program Officers will be granted solo officer status.
Are there specialty units? Answer: Yes, The department has multiple opportunities to advance your career within the department. Some units include the Field Training Officer Program, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Traffic Unit, K9 unit, Gang Enforcement Unit, Special Investigations Unit, Tribal Rangers, Special Response Team and the School Resource Officer Program.
Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board Minimum Requirements
R13-4-105. Minimum Qualifications for Appointment
- Except as provided in subsection (C) or (D), a person shall meet the following minimum qualifications before being appointed to or attending an academy:
- Be a United States citizen;
- Be at least 21 years of age; except that a person may attend an academy if the person will be 21 before graduating;
- Be a high school graduate or have successfully completed a General Education Development (G.E.D.) examination;
- Undergo a complete background investigation that meets the standards of R13-4-106. A person may begin an academy before the results of the fingerprint check are returned. However, the academy shall not graduate the person and the Board shall not reimburse the academy for the person’s training expenses until a qualifying fingerprint check return is obtained;
- Undergo a medical examination that meets the standards of R13-4-107 within one year before appointment. An agency may make a conditional offer of appointment before the medical examination. If the medical examination is conducted more than 180 days before appointment, the person shall submit a written statement indicating that the person’s medical condition has not changed since the examination;
- Not have been convicted of a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in Arizona;
- Not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces;
- Not have been previously denied certified status, have certified status revoked, or have current certified status suspended;
- Not have illegally sold, produced, cultivated, or transported for sale marijuana;
- Not have illegally used marijuana for any purpose within the past three years;
- Not have ever illegally used marijuana other than for experimentation;
- Not have ever illegally used marijuana while employed or appointed as a peace officer;
- Not have illegally sold, produced, cultivated, or transported for sale a dangerous drug or narcotic;
- Not have illegally used a dangerous drug or narcotic, other than marijuana, for any purpose within the past seven years;
- Not have ever illegally used a dangerous drug or narcotic while employed or appointed as a peace officer;
- Not have a pattern of abuse of prescription medication;
- Undergo a polygraph examination that meets the requirements of R13-4-106, unless prohibited by law;
- Not have been convicted of or adjudged to have violated traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles with a frequency within the past three years that indicates a disrespect for traffic laws or a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highway;
- Read the code of ethics in subsection (F) and affirm by signature the person’s understanding of and agreement to abide by the code.
Applicants will also be subject to the minimum qualification and guidelines set forth in 25 CFR, Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention of 1990, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 3207, Crime Control Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 13041, Gun Control Act, as amended, 18 U.S.C.922 (g) and Security requirements for a law enforcement position. All background investigations must be adjudicated and Suitability determinations based on 5 CFR 731.105 (competitive service) and 441 DM 5.5 (expected service).
Gila River Police Department (520) 562-7111