Police Department Employment

Helena Police Department logo

The department employs both sworn and non-sworn positions. All job postings will be posted on the City of Helena Human Resource Employment page

**All police officer applications will need to be submitted through the Human Resources link**

Want to become a Police Officer?

Police Officers assigned to the Patrol Division are responsible for responding to calls for service within the city limits, providing preventative patrols, enforcing state laws and city ordinances, performing traffic enforcement duties, conducting preliminary investigations, preparing documentation for trial, and testifying in court. 

Officer Candidates

Officer Candidates must have knowledge of:

  • Occupational hazards and standard safety practices necessary in the area of law enforcement
  • Principles and procedures of record keeping
  • Principles of basic report preparation
  • Techniques used in public relations
  • Basic mathematical principles
  • English usage, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation
  • Safe driving principles and practices

Minimum Qualifications to be an Officer

Minimum Qualifications to be an Officer with the HPD (Not POST Certified):

  • Have a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Have a valid MT driver's license or the ability to acquire one within six months of hire
  • Successful completion of the basic course at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy or P.O.S.T. certification
  • Successfully pass a criminal background check and driving record check

Minimum Qualifications for Lateral Transfer Officer with the HPD (POST Certified):

  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Applicant MUST be POST certified. POST certified means: the applicant has attended a 12-week Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy or out of state equivalent. 


Step 1: Submit application.   Applications and required additional materials (refer to posted job announcement) can be submitted on the City of Helena's employment page. 

After submitting an application on the City of Helena employment page and meeting successful criteria during the review of the application, applicants will be contacted by the Helena Police Department in order to complete the next step in the hiring process.

Step 2: Testing.  The testing portion will encompass a written test and a physical fitness examination.

The written exam requires a passing score of 70%. This is a 4-part test. You must pass each part to move forward in the process. 

The physical fitness requirements are established through the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. You must pass both segments of this process to include the written and physical fitness assessment to be considered eligible and move forward in the hiring process.

Step 3: Interview.  Once testing has been completed and applicants have passed both the written test and the physical fitness exam the applicant will then be contacted and scheduled for an interview with the interview panel (consisting of non-department and department members).

NOTE: An interview is contingent upon passing both exams.

Testing Dates: 

New Officer Testing (NOT P.O.S.T. CERTIFIED): If you are currently NOT P.O.S.T. certified you are considered a "new officer". New officer testing/schedule is as follows:  

  • Saturday, April 27, 2024: Testing. Written test, physical fitness examination (must have a passing score of 70% on the written and pass the physical fitness exam to move on to the interviews) will occur on Saturday, April 27, 2024. 
    • Must successfully complete the written before you move onto the written.
    • If you successfully complete the written test you will move onto the physical testing directly after the written test (same day).
  • Sunday, April 28, 2024: Panel Interview. Panel interviews will occur on Sunday, April 28, 2024. If you have successfully passed the physical fitness and written test you will be notified of your interview time.  

    Lateral Testing (MUST BE POST CERTIFIED):  If you are currently a P.O.S.T. certified police officer we will be offering testing on a date TBD.


Interview and Hiring Process

Interviews are a two-part process. Once you have passed all of the above testing, an interview will be scheduled. Applications will be reviewed, and a panel will be assembled for oral interviews. Depending on where you rank for oral interviews you may be asked to come back for a final interview.

Once a final interview has been completed and a hiring list is compiled, a background investigation will be initiated. If candidates are successful in passing the background investigation, a Conditional Offer of Employment could be made, provided there are openings.

Upon acceptance of an officer position the candidate must perform and pass a medical physical, drug test, and psychological exam.


Training/Working Conditions

Field Training:

Newly-hired officers must complete a 12-month probationary period.

If not POST certified at the time of hire, officers must complete the 12-week Peace Officer Basic course at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.

All new officers must also successfully complete a 14-week Field Training & Evaluation Program where they are trained and evaluated by veteran department Field Training Officers through field work and daily patrol duties.

Work Conditions:

Patrol officers are assigned to a 4-day on/3-day off shift, working 10-hour shifts. Probationary officers may be assigned to any shift based on department needs and should expect to work all patrol shifts throughout their probationary period.

Officers are eligible to bid for a requested work shift after completion of their probationary period. Shift bids are for 6-month periods and are awarded based on seniority.

For further information on our hiring, application, or testing process please contact Captain Randy Ranalli at 406-457-8838 or by email at rranalli@helenamt.gov.


City of Helena Benefits

The City of Helena benefits include:

  • Medical, dental, vision, prescription, and life insurance options
  • 20-year Montana Municipal Police Officer Retirement
  • Health savings account options
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Supplemental benefits available through AFLAC and Mutual of Omaha
  • Paid holidays, sick leave, vacation leave, and parental leave
  • Longevity pay

HPD benefits include:

  • Initial uniform and equipment issue
  • Uniform allowance