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Welcome from the Chief
Chief Randy Nelson
On behalf of the men and women of the Thornton Police Department, I want to thank you for your interest in our department. As you may have already read, our mission is to serve and protect our community. This is more than just a statement for us; it is our primary objective and reason for existing. We are here to help our citizens and work together to improve our community. It is my honor and privilege to serve as your police chief. I am very proud of the men and women of the Thornton Police Department, both sworn and non-sworn. These hardworking individuals are here to assist you and are dedicated to providing professional police services to the City of Thornton.
– Acting Police Chief Cliff Brown


Police Officer Pay Range: $65,518 - $90,847

Lateral Officer Pay: Commensurate with years of patrol experience

Police Officer Recruit Pay: $60,926

Police Officer Pay Progression: The City of Thornton has a step and merit pay plan in place for Police Officers. Step increases are received on anniversary dates contingent upon successful performance and availability of budget dollars. Merit pay may also be awarded on performance.

Paid Vacation/Vacation Accrual:

Years of Employment

0 through 2

3 through 4

5 through 7

8 through 9

10 through 12

13 through 14

15 through 19

20 and over

Hours Accrued Per Month









Hours Accrued Per Year









Sick Leave: Each employee accrues sick leave at a rate of eight hours per month.

Holiday Pay: Each employee will receive 10 paid holidays plus two floating holidays.

Medical Insurance: The City of Thornton offers group health, dental, and vision benefits to all regular full-time employees.

Retirement: Sworn officers hired on or after July 11, 2017 will make a pre-tax contribution to the Fire and Police Pension Association (FPPA) Defined Benefit Plan of 9.5% of base pay in 2017 which will increase ½% per year through 2022 to 12%. This mandatory contribution is in lieu of social security. In addition, the City offers a Deferred Compensation Plan (457 plan) administered by ICMA-RC. The City will match one-half of an employee’s voluntary (pre-tax) contribution up to 1 percent.

Uniforms: Each Officer is completely outfitted upon appointment (excluding a firearm and footwear). Each officer also receives a uniform allowance of $884 annually.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Sworn officers at the rank of Sergeant and below have the right to bargain collectively with the City with respect to wages, rates of pay, hours, grievance procedures, working conditions and all other terms and conditions of employment except pensions and public management rights.

Multilingual Pay: Employees who meet certain proficiency requirements as determined by Human Resources in Spanish, Hmong or American Sign Language are eligible for multilingual pay. Pay is determined based on proficiency level.



The Thornton Police Department In House Recruit Academy is an academy designed to train and certify recruits on Thornton-specific skills, tools and municipal codes. Using a foundation of CIT-focused strategies, our academy consists of range training, defensive tactics and intermediate tools, EVOC training to include PIT certification, and report writing training. After successfully completing the Recruit Academy, officers will attend an academy graduation where they will be sworn in by a district judge. Recruit Officers will then begin their phase training. Our FTO program has the option of acceleration for lateral officers based on performance. Recruit Officers will be assigned to three different Field Training Officers through their phase training which will expose them to a wide range of skills and abilities. After successfully completing Field Training, officers will begin their solo assignment on an assigned shift.

Academy FAQs:

A. All new hires are required to attend and participate in the full 10 weeks of training.
A. Primarily the academy is during day shift; however, there are some classes that require an alternate schedule.
A. No. Officers will be issued CCWs upon successful completion of the academy.
A. The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm or the Glock 17 (9 mm) are the only authorized weapons. However, laterals with extensive experience with another weapon may conduct an interview with a Range Officer to determine if another duty gun is appropriate.
A. There is no defined fitness regimen or requirements during our Recruit Academy.
A. The department will provide all the necessary gear except your boots and your handgun.

Join Our Team!

The Thornton Police Department is a progressive department whose defined core values of Leadership, Accountability, Teamwork, Safety and Tradition guide us towards our vision of being the standard of excellence in law enforcement. The City of Thornton is currently the sixth largest city in the State of Colorado. With only 55 percent of the City of Thornton land currently developed and as steady growth continues, it is projected that the City will double in size. This expected growth will provide an excellent opportunity for career advancement. With 243 currently authorized sworn police officer positions, and 76 non sworn positions, we are currently the fourth largest metro police department.

A key factor contributing to the success of the Thornton Police Department is our dedication in pursuing top candidates to join our team. We believe in hiring the best, recognizing that you will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. We value all members of our organization and create an environment that encourages teamwork, diversity, innovation and excellence.

The City of Thornton possesses a productive work culture where you will be encouraged to continually strive to develop and improve yourself personally and professionally. By joining our team you are choosing to be part of an exciting profession that delivers unparalleled job satisfaction.

Thornton PD

Hiring FAQs:

A. We only accept online applications during active recruitment periods. Follow us on social media to stay current with our hiring schedule.
A. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license with safe driving record, and a Colorado POST certification. If applying for the recruit position, the CPOST is not required.
A. Typically a process lasts 3-4 months from application to date of hire.
A. You can anticipate two to three trips to Thornton during the hiring process. The written test, oral board and CVSA can be scheduled on the same day or within a few days. After a successful background check, applicants will be required to come back out for a Chief’s interview, psychological test and physical screening. While every effort is made to schedule these within a few days of each other, it does not always work out that way.
A. We require that an applicant has not smoked or ingested marijuana three years from date of application.
A. The City of Thornton follows all regulations as stated in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 which legalized CBD that is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight). However, after using CBD, there is a potential for you to fail a pre-employment drug screening if there is a high enough THC content. As such, we recommend against the use of CBD.
A. Our policy is that visible tattoos are prohibited. Officers who have tattoos below the sleeve are required to wear long sleeves.
A. Facial hair other than sideburns and mustaches are prohibited. Mustaches shall not extend more than one inch below the corners of the mouth or beyond the natural hairline of the upper lip.
A. If you were disqualified by the written test, you must wait six months to reapply. If you were disqualified by the psychological exam, you must sit out one recruitment process.
A. Currently the Thornton Police Department does not have a residency requirement.
A. If we currently have an application posting open, no. If we are not accepting applications, then you will need to contact the recruiter for the pre-ride along assessment.
A. Application/ Written Test/ Oral Board/ CVSA/ Background/ Chief’s interview (ride along)/ Psych Medical and Drug test. If you no-show to the written test or the interview, you must sit out one recruitment process.
A. We currently offer evening, and weekend dates and times to complete our written test. We are also currently working with several academies to complete “CAPS” testing (Cooperative Academies Process and Selection). This includes a team consisting of Human Resources and members of the Thornton Police Department who go to these academies to complete the written test and subsequent oral boards at the individual academy. This is a two day process that reduces the amount of time applicants miss from the academy and is more efficient in the hiring process.
A. At the application stage your application is thoroughly reviewed for completeness, accuracy, grammar, and stability. Please ensure that the application is completely filled out. If there is a blank box, it raises red flags. Attention to detail is a priority in this career, start off on the right foot by ensuring you are making the right impression. Please also accurately put the “reason for leaving” your previous employers. We often find out that “better job opportunity” is code for “termination or resigned in lieu of termination.”
A. We use the IO Solutions NCJOSI2 written test. You may purchase study guides and practice tests here: https://iosolutions.com/ncjosi2-preparation-materials.
A. One of the most common mistakes is applicants don’t show any investment in the agency they are applying with. If you want the board members to be invested in you, be invested in the City and Agency that you are testing with. Have a good amount of knowledge about both the city and the department.

Another mistake is the applicant doesn’t “sell themselves” or does not show confidence during the interview. As an applicant, you should know your personal history the best to be the best candidate possible. Everyone has different life experiences, use those experiences to your advantage of who you are and how that has molded you into the best police applicant.

When answering questions, be honest. The questions are not designed to trip you up, we just want to know what YOU would do. Unless you have prior experience, we know that you do not know our policies or our procedures. We are looking to see how you come to a decision. Do not answer a question with what you think the board is looking for.

One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is being deceptive. We understand everyone is not perfect. We realize everyone has made mistakes, we just want honesty out of our applicants. This starts with your application and reasons for leaving employment or drug use. Too many applicants have felt they can hide or “they won’t find out.” We do VERY thorough background investigations and will always find out. Be up front and disclose everything.

Lastly, show your personality. We are looking to hire a person, not a robot. We want to see excitement and energy that you are bringing to the table.
A. A CVSA, or computer voice stress analysis is the truth verification device the Thornton Police Department uses instead of a polygraph. The test usually takes around 2 hours and the applicant does not have to be attached to any machine. The truth verification is designed to truly, verify truths.
A. A background investigator will thoroughly examine all of the information that you provided in both your application, personal history statement, and your CVSA. The investigator will call you to complete a face-to-face interview at the beginning of your background. The investigator will contact all of your references, as well as some people that you may not have listed. This is designed to gain an accurate understanding of your character. We will also contact all of your employers and even visit those employers to look at your employment records. The background investigator will also check your criminal history, driving history, and local records of any place you have lived. Lastly, the investigator will conduct a home visit to your residence to speak with you and your significant other if available.
A. Even if you have had a record sealed, we still have access to that record as part of your background investigation. This goes to not being deceptive, we will find out what actually happened, just be honest and up front.
A. Yes, we will look at all employment files, to include previous internal affairs files, training files, and note any disciplinary or corrective actions that have been taken.
A. We take each incident on a case by case basis and look at the circumstances, and keep an open mind. Just because you have received discipline in the past does not immediately disqualify you. Just be open and honest about the incident(s).


By joining our team you are choosing to be part of
an exciting profession that delivers unparalleled job satisfaction.


Field Training Officer


Crisis Negotiation Team

School Resource Officer

Traffic Unit

K-9 Officer

Impact Team

Range Instructor

Emergency Vehicle Operations Control (EVOC) Instructor

Defensive Tactics Instructor

Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)

Training Unit

High Density Housing Team

Honor Guard


Professional Standards Unit

Community Relations

Public Information Officer

Background Investigator

Recruiting Officer

Planning and Research


Property Unit

Persons Unit

Victim Services

Special Investigations Unit

Crime Scene Investigators

Property Evidence

North Metro Drug Task Force


A key factor contributing to the success of the Thornton
Police Department is our dedication in pursuing top candidates to join our team.

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    Officer Kimberly Twinem

    Call/Text: 720-202-9671

    "The vision of our department is to be recognized as the standard of excellence and that excellence begins with hiring the best candidates to join our team!"



The Thornton Police Department is a progressive department whose defined core values of Leadership, Accountability, Teamwork, Safety and Tradition guide us towards our vision of being the standard of excellence in law enforcement.
Marilee Bella


"I am very proud of the men and women I have had the opportunity to work with and honored to be a part of an organization that serves its community with integrity and professionalism."

Read More...Why did I choose this profession? Honestly, while growing up I had no idea I would become a cop. The tipping point came while I was having a conversation with my husband about being a police officer. He was a sergeant at the time and during our relationship he would tell me about his day and the exciting things he was able to see and do. I’ll never forget that day he said to me “I think you would be a good cop” and my response to him was “Hmmm, okay I’ll try it”. As luck would have it, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department was to begin a POST academy for the deputies they had just hired and they had opened the academy to 5 civilians. I was fortunate to have made the cut from a long and arduous interview process, so at 25 years old off to a part time, non-sponsored, academy I went.

Not long after graduation I was offered a job with the Thornton Police Department. The funny thing is, is I grew up in Thornton! Who knew I would be back in my old stomping grounds where yes, while growing up, there was an occasion or two where I had the “opportunity” to speak with a Thornton cop. (Being the youngest of 5 kids and the only girl it was inevitable that those “opportunities” would arise.) I am proud to say I am in my 26th year working as a police officer for the Thornton Police Department. During that time I have had numerous assignments and some of those are; Field Training Officer, worked in our Youth Services Unit, I have been on bike patrol and on mounted horse patrol, I have been a member of our Honor Guard, I have worked in detectives and my current assignment is watch commander in the patrol division.

It am very proud of the men and women I have had the opportunity to work with and honored to be a part of an organization that serves its community with integrity and professionalism.
Clarendon Tate


"The City of Thornton is a great place to work and the citizens are very supportive and often, will approach me thanking me for my service. It’s an honor to serve such a supportive city."

Read More...Since I was a child, I have always wanted to be a Police Officer. My childhood babysitter always used to say she knew I would be a police officer one day since I always used to play with a police car toy, even if I had to fight other kids for it.

While in high school, I always had the urge to be in a career that was selfless and gave back so I decided to pursue a degree in criminal justice and become a police officer or join the military. After graduating from college and while working for an excavation company, I applied for several police jobs and after being turned down twice, I decided I would join the United States Marine Corps. Just before taking the ASVAB test, I received a call from Westminster PD offering me a job, which I gladly took.

In my law enforcement career, I have worked as a Police Officer with the City of Westminster, as a Parole Officer with the Colorado Department of Corrections and currently as a Police Officer with the City of Thornton. The City of Thornton is a great place to work and the citizens are very supportive and often, will approach me thanking me for my service. It’s an honor to serve such a supportive city. I continue to do this job, even when sometimes I want to hang up my badge, because of the citizens I serve and the great co-workers I serve with. I hope to make a difference in each person’s life I come into contact with, whether on or off duty.

Now after being in law enforcement for eleven years, married for nine years and a father of three, I feel the Thornton Police Department is a great place for me and my family to setting in and call home.
Troy Jones


"Growing up I always thought about being a teacher, a cosmetologist, an attorney, seems like everything but a police officer. One day I did a ride along, and I fell in love with it!"

Read More...As a first generation American, my focus was always to excel academically and to grow into a strong, independent and professional Hispanic woman, regardless of where my dreams took me. I quickly learned that I loved giving back to the community. The difficult and sometimes painful challenges and experiences I faced regularly due to my ethnicity and learning English as a second language quickly turned into my motivation to make a change.

In November of 2014 I was hired on as a police officer with the Thornton Police Department. I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoy working in the same community I grew up in. I have to admit, the best part of my job has to be seeing the excitement of children, particularly of little girls when I hear, “Look, it’s a girl police officer!” The most unforgettable experience has been hearing those very same words in Spanish. I know that not only little girls in general, but little girls having to face societal and cultural expectations have an example that anything they want to achieve is possible.

Every time I put my uniform on, my #1 goal is to help others, my #2 goal is to help improve and maintain a better relationship between the police department and the Hispanic community. Oftentimes language becomes a barrier, negatively impacting the partnership we have. A lot of valuable information is lost during interactions due to language barriers, which can easily cause mistrust from the community.

For now, I am enjoying my time on patrol, learning every day as much as I can.

Jesenia Ledesma


"I knew the Thornton Police Department was the place for me immediately upon speaking with the recruit coordinator. Learning about the mission, vision and core values, I was sold."

Read More...After 22 plus years in the United States Air Force, I knew when I retired that I wanted, no, I needed to find a career that would have the same Core Values as those I lived my life by during my time in the Air Force. Having spent most of my time in the Air Force as a Security Policeman, becoming a civilian police officer only made sense. When I was initially hired by a Sheriff’s Office I couldn’t have been more excited to start this new career and continue to serve. Upon graduating and starting, I felt as though I needed more; I felt I could do more.

So I applied with and got selected to become a Thornton Police Officer. I knew the Thornton Police Department was the place for me immediately upon speaking with the recruit coordinator. Learning about the mission, vision and core values, I was sold. I felt the camaraderie the moment I walked through the front door. I knew what I wanted in a career and I found it with the Thornton Police Department.

Now that I’m coming up on a year with Thornton, I could not be happier. I can honestly say that I may not have been one of those kids who always dreamed of becoming a Police Officer but I can say that I couldn’t dream of doing anything else.


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9551 Civic Center Dr
Thornton, CO 80229
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P: (303) 538-7245