Residents Visitors Business Leisure I Want To...
Public Safety
City Services
Online Services
Thornton Police Department - Career Opportunities 

Thornton Police car


The City of Thornton offers quality services for approximately 121,000 residents. The Thornton Police Department is headed by Chief Jim Nursey and operates under three divisions (Administration, Detectives and Patrol), each headed by a Deputy Chief. The police department is composed of 161 commissioned police officers and 73 non-commissioned employees. The police department strongly emphasizes community involvement and is committed to providing high quality law enforcement services.


Our Core Value

  • Ethical Behavior - We provide high quality professional and ethical services to the community and the members of the police department. We are mindful and respectful of the extraordinary authority and power given to us by the citizens we serve.
  • Safety - We recognize the preservation of public safety and maintenance of a high quality of life as our primary mission. We are mindful and respectful of the impact our actions and decisions have upon individual rights, freedom, privacy and safety.
  • Teamwork - We embrace the concept of a policing partnership within the community. We identify community expectations and deliver on commitments in a timely manner.
  • Accountability - We take personal responsibility for our actions and attitude. We actively complete our assignments and meet commitments while demonstrating a high degree of ownership to the people we affect.


Thornton Police badge on American flag


Officer Hiring Requirements

  • Age - You must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application.
  • Certification - Individuals must possess a Colorado P.O.S.T. certification.
  • Education - Candidate must be a High School graduate or possess a G.E.D. certificate to be eligible.
  • Lateral Entry - Lateral applicants must have a minimum of three (3) year’s experience as a Law Enforcement/Peace Officer in a patrol capacity.

Officer at scene of accident


Testing Procedures

  • Applications/resumes are reviewed by Human Resources.
  • A written examination with a passing score of 75% on the "Cognitive" portion of the exam.
  • Oral Board Examination with passing score of 70%.
  • Background investigation to include: Reference check, Driving record, and Polygraph examination/Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA).
  • Interview with the City of Thornton Chief of Police or his designee.
  • Psychological Evaluation.
  • Physical Examination and Drug Test.

Line of motorcycle officers


Department Training and Probation Period

A recruit must successfully complete an in-house academy and a sixteen-week Field Training program. Officers are kept up to date with the rapidly advancing methods of modern police work. Each officer receives 80 hours of in-service training annually.

Each officer must serve an 18-month probation period.

Employee Benefits


Annual Salary Scale for 2009

  • Starting Police Officer Pay - $49,799
  • Top of Pay Range - $70,329
  • Lateral Officer Pay - Starting pay will be commensurate with years of patrol experience.

Police Officer Pay Progression

Police Officers will receive an increase in pay as they progress from Police Officer II to Police Officer IV. Merit pay increases may also be awarded to officers based on performance.

Advancement Opportunities

With only 55% of the City’s land currently developed and as steady growth continues, it is projected that the City will double in size. This expected growth would also provide an excellent opportunity for career advancement.

Sick Leave

Each employee accrues at a rate of eight hours per month.

Paid Vacation - Vacation Accrual

  • 0 to 5 years of service, accummulate 8 hours per month, 96 hours annually
  • 6 to 10 years of service, accummulate 10 hours per month, 120 hours annually
  • 11 to 15 years of service, accummulate 12 hours per month, 144 hours annually
  • 16 to 20 years of service, accummulate 14 hours per month, 168 hours annually
  • Over 20 years of service, accummulate 16 hours per month, 192 hours annually

Police officers with their bicycles


Holiday Pay

Each employee will receive 80 paid holiday hours per year.

Medical Insurance

The City offers group health, dental and vision benefits to all regular employment and probationary full-time employees.


Sworn Police Employees make a pre-tax contribution of 9% of their base salary, to the ICMA Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RC) Police Pension Plan (401 plan). The City also offers a Deferred Compensation Plan (457 plan), through ICMA-RC. The City will match half of an employee’s voluntary (pre-tax) contributions up to a maximum of an additional 2%.


Each officer is completely outfitted upon appointment (excluding a firearm and footwear). Each officer also receives a uniform allowance of $788.00 annually.

Career Opportunities

The Thornton Police Department offers several different career opportunities to its officers. Examples of some of the programs in place at the Thornton Police Department:

  • SWAT Program
  • Crisis Negotiations
  • Range Officer Program
  • Detectives
  • Drug Recognition Program (DRE)
  • North Metro Task Force
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor Program
  • Traffic Unit
  • Community Relations Unit
  • School Resource Officer Program
  • Field Training Officer Program
  • Public Information Officer
  • Armorer Program
  • Cadet Program
  • Transport Officer
  • Training Unit
  • Honor Guard Program
  • K-9 Program
  • Senior Citizen Program
  • Video Services Unit

Officer instructing SWAT class


To Apply

Call the Thornton Police Department Recruiting Line at: (720) 977-5270


Contact the City of Thornton Human Resources Department at: (303) 538-7245


Visit their web sight: Thornton Human Resources

Honor guard outside Police Department building


City of Thornton
9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, CO 80229
Contents ©2014 City of Thornton
All rights reserved