My name is Cédric, 26 year old-man from Belgium working as a police officer in the capital city.
Through some discussion with family and friends and because I've always had this kind of dream of living my life in the US, I began to think : "What would it be if I became a police officer in the US ?".
I saw a couple of months ago a documentary about a French guy who did this couple of years ago (but of course there is no way I can get my hand on this video again..) and it gave me the idea to start searching.
I have read that some agencies (mostly local, because Sheriffs and Federal require US citizenship) were ready to employ non US citizens based on some conditions.
At this stage, I don't have much preference about where to go, maybe to go on East Coast. But I could do things step by step. Even if it means joining the military to make things easier. In my opinion, foreigners have to serve the country they want to live in. And that's by far the best thing I could have done in my own country. I hope I'll have the opportunity to serve under the US flag.
If you have some information about it or you know someone who did pretty much the same thing that I'm planning to do, feel free to answer me. I'm already thanking you for your time and looking forward to discuss the subject.
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You're right: whether a non-citizen can become a police officer is determined at the state level, then local level.
It looks like if a state requires citizenship, then all its cities do too, so you could compile a list of states that don't require citizenship and then find which counties or cities in those states also allow it. In Maine, you only need a Green Card to become a state trooper, but to become a police officer in Portland, Maine's largest city, you need to be <18 months from becoming a citizen. In general, you'll need a Green Card at the minimum.
If you're set on becoming a police officer in the US, you could find work in the US in something related, like security, until you have permanent residency or citizenship. If you serve in the US military, you could be eligible for expedited naturalisation for just a year of honourable service. You could even apply for your Green Card while serving.
I found this recent article about becoming a police officer without citizenship.
Hope it helps!