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Career Opportunities Join American University's Police Department

About American university

American University is a private, co-educational, and Methodist affiliated institution famous for academic programs in international service, public policy and public affairs, international law and human rights. American University is located in a residential neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC and was chartered by Congress in 1893.

American University is cosmopolitan and globally diverse, with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 140 countries represented. Seven percent of undergraduates and 13 percent of graduate students are international.

About the Department 

American University Police Department (AUPD) is a component of the University’s Office of Finance & Treasurer. The department is compromised of the following units:

  • Police Operations and Communications (Police Officers, Dispatchers)
  • Police Administration (Administrative Staff, Recruitment, Property & Evidence, Finance)
  • Investigations and Threat Assessment (Investigators)
  • Physical Security (Access Control, Technology Campus Security & Lockshop)

Officers are commissioned by DC Metropolitan Police Department's Security Officer Management Branch (SOMB) who conducts a background check and issues the University Special Police Officer Commission. University Special Police Officers are required to attend 250 hours of basic training. Training provided by the DC Consortium of Universities Campus Public Safety Institute may be substituted for the requirement. University Special Police Officers have arrest authority on all property owned and controlled by American University.

To inquire about any openings, e-mail: 

Reporting and Shift Assignment:

  • Each officer reports to a Sergeant
  • Officers are assigned to 1 of 3 shifts in accordance with departmental need
  • 8 Hour Shifts, Fixed Days Off
  • Overtime (mandatory and voluntary) throughout the year


  • Patrol via Car, Bicycle, & Foot
  • Write Incident Reports
  • Investigation, Arrest, & Student Conduct
  • Crime Prevention & Community Policing

Uniform & Equipment

  • Navy Blue BDU Uniforms
  • Non-Lethal Weapons/Equipment (e.g., OC Spray, Baton, Handcuffs, Flashlight)
  • Uniforms and equipment are provided by the Department at no cost to the Officer.

In-Service Training

  • Bi-annual Legal and Defensive Tactics Update
  • Crisis Intervention, Self-Defense, Instructor, Field Training Officer Specialty Training

Reporting and Shift Assignment:

  • Reports to the Sergeant
  • 8 Hour Shifts, Fixed Days Off
  • Dispatchers are assigned to 1 of 3 shifts in accordance with departmental need
  • Overtime (mandatory and voluntary) throughout the year


  • Answer and log emergency and non-emergency phones
  • Dispatch appropriate response via radio
  • Maintain a log of department activity in the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system
  • Send emergency alerts to the campus community
  • Monitor CCTV and security alarms


  • Navy Blue Flying Cross BDU pants, Boots and Gray 5.11 Polo shirt supplied by the department


  • In house training for new dispatchers (e.g., Human Resources Orientation/Training, Uniforms, Familiarization, APCO Certification and 9-12 week field training)

American University's Police Department offers a variety of specliazed roles for students interested in law enforcement, communications & outreach, emergency prepardness, logistics, etc. Many of our students have gone on to become police officers in the department or work for other security agencies including but not limited to the United States Secret Service, United States Capitol Police, and Metropolitan Police Department,

Openings for specialist positions will be posted on the student jobs page as they become available here.

University police officer badge and department crest.
  • AU offers a great comprehensive benefits package competitive with most government agencies. The benefits package include Medical, Dental, & Vision Insurance from the following vendors: CareFirst BlueChoice (PPO), Kaiser Permanente (HMO), and Delta Dental.
  • AU also offers 200% retirement match after 1st year of employment. For example, you contribute 1%, AU will contribute 2% for a total of 3%.
  • Family & Medical Leave Group
  • Legal Group
  • Auto/Home/Life & Pet Insurance
  • Tuition for you, your spouse, domestic partner or children

  • 100% salary paid for short term disability

  • Annual, Sick and Holiday Leave
    AUPD is open and operating 24-hrs/day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. University Police Officers and Dispatchers are considered essential personnel and do not get traditional holiday leave. During holidays, Officers and Dispatchers working during those days are paid overtime rate of time and a half. During winter break (the week of Christmas to New Year’s, Officers and Dispatchers working during that time are paid at a double time rate.


Our assessment tests are powered by HireSelect and are vetted through the Department of Labor. Applicants will have to complete the following:

  • Initial Screening Interview Questionnaire
  • Police Sample Writing Assessment – Assesses Basic Writing Skills and Reading Comprehension
  • Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) – Assesses Basic Reading and Math Skills
  • Employee Personality Profile (EPP) – Assesses Personality Traits and Customer Service Skills

After completing the online assessments, results will be evaluated by the AUPD Recruitment Team. If selected to move forward in the process, applicants will be invited by AUPD Recruitment Team to come in for an in-person panel interview.

If selected for the position, applicants will receive a conditional offer of employment contingent upon successful completion of a background check and drug screening.

All applicants who advance to this step must complete an background check consists of the following:

  • Dispatchers: HR Criminal Background, Drug/Medical, and Reference Check
  • Police Officers: Drug/Medical Check and HR/In-depth Criminal Background Check by a Background Investigator

Upon successful completion of background investigation and reference check, applications will recieve an final offer of employment and a start date. Note: Background investigations can take from 2-5 weeks.