What are the minimum eligibility requirements for a police officer in SC?
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Must be 21 Years of age
- Must be a high school graduate or possess equivalency
- Must have steady/reliable work history
- Must hold valid, current driver’s license. (If hired you are required to become a South Carolina resident and must be able to obtain a valid South Carolina Driver’s License)
- Must not have any driver’s license suspensions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), leaving the scene of an accident, reckless homicide, or involuntary manslaughter in the last 5 years
- Must not have record of any felony or criminal domestic violence
- Must not have record of a crime of moral turpitude or misdemeanor carrying a possible sentence of more than 1 year
- Must not have defaulted on a student loan
- Must have a good credit history
- Must have an honorable discharge from the U.S. military, if applicable
- Must pass a background investigation to include a clear criminal record
- Must pass pre-employment screenings (drug test, vision, hearing, psychological exam, polygraph, stress, and pulmonary function tests)
How do I begin the application process?
What are the steps to your hiring process?
Apply, accept our invitation, successfully pass a written test, pre-employment questionnaire, polygraph, oral board interview, medical physical/drug screen, and psychological evaluation.
Will I be required to pass a physical fitness test?
Prior to certification by the SC Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA), all Class I law enforcement officers must successfully complete a Physical Abilities Test (PAT). Click here for additional test information.
Do you have an age limit for hiring new officers?
We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome all candidates over the age of 21 who meet the above requirements to apply.
If I am hired as a law enforcement officer, what happens next?
Once hired, you will begin the certification process to become a SC Class I law enforcement officer.
For detailed information, please visit SC Criminal Justice Academy Pathway to Law Enforcement Certification.
How long is the SC Criminal Justice Academy?
New officer certification through the SC Criminal Justice Academy is a 12-week course. The first 4 weeks are conducted at SPD and the final 8 weeks are conducted at SC Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) in Columbia, SC.
Previously certified officers or out-of-state laterals who qualify will usually attend a 3-week training course – generally 2 weeks at SPD and 1 week at the SCCJA.
How long is your hiring process?
The hiring process may be 8-10 weeks, sometimes longer for out-of-state applicants.
As an out-of-state applicant how many trips will I need to make to Sumter during the hiring process?
2 – An initial visit for the written test and polygraph, and a second for oral interview board, medical physical/ drug screen, and psychological screening.
Once I graduate from the Academy, what happens next?
New officers will work one-on-one with a Field Training Officer for 12-16 weeks. While receiving field training, you will be assigned to various divisions—Patrol, Investigations, and Training.
Out of State and Other Certified Officers
I am a certified police officer in another state. Will my certification transfer to your department?
Yes. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy offers a modified certification process for out-of-state certified officers. Once hired by the agency, the Recruiting Unit will forward your training file for evaluation by SCCJA. If all prerequisites are met, you will complete a 3-week course in lieu of the standard 12-week program.
I am a certified police officer in the military. Will my certification transfer to your department?
Yes. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy offers a modified certification process for certified Military Police. Once hired by the agency, the Recruiting Unit will forward your training file for evaluation by SCCJA. If all prerequisites are met, you will complete a 3-week course in lieu of the standard 12-week program.
I am a certified corrections officer. Will my certification transfer to your department?
Yes. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy offers a modified certification process for Certified Class II Corrections Officers. Once hired by the agency, the Recruiting Unit will forward your training file for evaluation by SCCJA. If all prerequisites are met, you will complete a 3-week course in lieu of the standard 12-week program.
Salary and Benefits
Are new officers required to pay for training at the SC Criminal Justice Academy?
No, all mandatory certification training is paid for by the department and you will receive salary and benefits while completing your certification.
What fringe benefits does Sumter Police Department offer?
As an employee of the City of Sumter, you will receive health/dental insurance benefits, paid vacation, and sick leave, 12 annual paid holidays, employer contribution to the state retirement system, cafeteria plan options including long and short term disability, and optional Tax-Deferred Savings Plans.
Sworn officers with the Sumter Police Department are also eligible for officer incentives including home buyer assistance, tuition assistance, advanced training bonuses, and annual service appreciation drawings. For more information, please visit the careers page.
What is the SC Police Officer’s Retirement System?
SCPORS is a defined benefit retirement plan managed by the State of South Carolina for public safety employees. You may access additional information by visiting the state’s Public Employee Benefit Authority portal.