Lakewood recognizes the value of hiring experienced and trained police personnel through a lateral entry program. Lateral applicants must meet the hiring requirements for new recruits, including possessing a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Lateral applicants must have an active peace officer certification with no break in service and at least three years of police patrol experience. The experience must have occurred in a similar environment; note, policing experience such as federal, railroad, private police, military and collegiate law enforcement will not be considered.
While each lateral applicant’s qualification and performance are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, most Colorado certified laterals spend two weeks in a police academy setting and most out-of-state laterals spend less than two months in a police academy setting. Lateral agents are eligible for an abbreviated field training program as short as six weeks.
Lateral agents complete a reduced probationary period of one year, subject to their performance. Lateral agents are eligible to compete for certain specialized assignments after successfully completing probation and are eligible for all specialized assignments and promotion to sergeant after two years of service.
Lateral agents are awarded an 80-hour vacation bonus. Lateral agents begin receiving the pay of a three-year agent upon entry to the Academy.