Lateral Officer FAQs
Do I have to go back through a law enforcement academy?
If you qualify for the lateral officer position, we accept your
current training and you will not be required to go back through
an academy. After becoming certified Peace Officers in the state
of Arizona, lateral officers will complete a 4-week post
academy. During this training officers become familiar with
policies and procedures, paperwork, etc., which would be unique
to the Mesa Police Department.
Do I have to go
back through an FTO program?
Lateral officers attend a form FTO program. The FTO
program typically takes new officers 20 weeks to complete;
however, it is designed to work at your own pace. Most lateral
officers complete the FTO program prior to the 20 weeks.
What are the AZ POST waiver requirmenets?
What happens if I fail the AZ POST waiver
We prepare lateral applicants to be successful in completing the
AZ POST waiver examination and it is not something that we
generally encounter. At the department's discretion, the lateral
applicant may take the waiver examination a second time.
Dependong on the circumstances, the lateral officer may also be
asked to attend the academy.
Will my law
enforcement training carry over to the Mesa Police Department?
Your national certification will usually carry over.
Some of the class specific to your state may not transfer to
Does my seniority carry over or do I have
to start all over again?
As a lateral officer, you may carry up to 50% of your
years of experience as a sworn officer, which would be
transferred when applying for specialty assignments. Most
lateral officers are eligible to transfer into a specialty
assignment upon completion of probation (15 months).
Will any of my retirement carry over to the Mesa Police
Officers in Arizona comply with the Arizona Public
Safety Retirement System. Through that system, an officer may be
eligible to purchase prior experience and apply it towards
retirement. For further information, please visit
Does any of my military
experience apply to the retirement system?
Applicants may purchase up to four years of military
experience and apply it towards retirement. For further
information, please visit