Lateral Officer Information

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Yes, we hire lateral officers!

We currently have lateral officers from numerous other parts of Montana. We also have laterals from California, Florida, Colorado, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, Kansas, Maryland, and Georgia.

  1. Lateral level police officers are experienced, certified police officers who have worked for other law enforcement agencies either in Montana or another state.
  • If not POST certified in Montana, lateral candidates should first refer to the Montana Department of Justice Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) office for additional requirements for applying as a lateral police officer.
  • If not currently employed with a law enforcement agency, lateral candidates must still be certified as a law enforcement officer either in Montana or another state.
  • Lateral candidates must have worked for a law enforcement agency for at least one full year.
  • Federal law enforcement officers, military police officers, correction/detention officers, jailers, special or reserve officers/deputies or similar positions do not qualify to apply as a lateral candidate.
  1. Under the Bozeman Police Protective Association's contract, lateral officers are eligible to receive up to 5 years of credit for prior experience when determining their starting rate of pay. At the Chief of Police's discretion, officers can begin anywhere from what a 1 year to a 5 year current Bozeman Police officer is paid.
  1. If applying as a lateral officer, a phone interview will be conducted during the screening process to determine eligibility as a peace officer.
  1. Out of state applicants applying as a lateral do NOT need to contact POST or obtain any Montana certification before applying. The first step is to apply directly to our agency.
  1. If hired as a lateral, officers will be exempted from attending the Montana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Program, but will be required to submit their certifications and pass an equivalency exam.