Some interesting tidbits:
- Gulfport officers are more than twice as likely to have a college degree when compared to their colleagues around the state.
- Almost half of GPD officers have at least ten years on the job.
All Florida Agencies Combined
City of Gulfport Population
State of Florida Population
Law Enforcement Experience
Less than one year
Comparable data not applicable
More than 25 years
Comparable data is not available
These facts are reflected in our hiring and promotion policies. Police applicants must possess 60 college credit hours or they must have prior law enforcement or military experience. In order to test for promotion to sergeant, candidates must have an associate's degree. To be considered for appointment to lieutenant requires a bachelor's degree, and it is preferred that the chief of police have a master's degree.
Education is valuable in this high-liability profession, but it cannot be the sole ingredient to a successful policing team. As noted above, almost half of GPD officers have at least ten years' service. That kind of experience gives us a tremendous base of knowledge about the community, and combined with the academic credential and a diversity that fairly represents our population, I think we're exactly where we need to be.