Becoming a Police Officer in North Little Rock, Arkansas

The 193 sworn officers of the North Little Rock Police Department fight crime and actively participate in supporting community members in this Arkansas city.

If you’d like to join them, use this guide to learn what steps you’ll need to take to become a police officer in North Little Rock.

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit Your Application
  3. Written Examination
  4. Physical Agility Test
  5. Interview
  6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination
  7. Physical, Visual, and Psychological Examinations
  8. Attend Law Enforcement Academy for Training


Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for North Little Rock Police Officer Candidacy

To be considered for a job as a police officer in North Little Rock, you must meet several requirements:

  • You must have a driver’s license that is valid.
  • You must not have had any felony convictions for drugs.
  • You must not have used a prohibited substance (excluding marijuana) or abused a controlled substance
    • After you were over 21
    • During the previous 10 years
  • You must not have the following convictions:
    • Any felonies
    • Any domestic violence
    • Violent misdemeanors within the previous 10 years
    • Misdemeanor weapons within the previous 10 years
    • Non-violent misdemeanors within the previous 24 months
  • You must have excellent vision:
    • It must be at least 20/100 before correction
    • You must be able to correct it to 20/20
    • You must be able to discriminate colors
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Your age at the date you are hired must be:
    • At least 21
    • Not over 45
  • You must be either a high school graduate or have a GED equivalent.

Step 2. Submit Your Application

Once you have determined that you meet the basic qualifications to become a police officer in North Little Rock, you must submit an application and sign up for test dates for your written and physical examinations. Testing dates will be announced at least six months in advance.

You can pick up your application and submit it to:

NLR Police & Fire Training Center
2400 Willow
North Little Rock, AR 72114

Or you can request that one to be sent to you in the mail.

Along with your application, you will have to submit:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Your DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Your driver’s license (current and valid)
  • Any transcripts for college courses or training you have had (if applicable)

Step 3. Written Examination

You will have about three hours in which to take the written Law Enforcement Candidate Record exam.  This test examines your

  • Memory
  • Perceptual skills
  • Verbal comprehension
  • Vocabulary

You will also get to describe your work and educational background and give your judgments and attitudes on things related to police work.  Be sure and bring photographic identification to this exam.  You will be notified by mail about two weeks after taking this test whether you have passed it or not.  If you have not passed it, you can retake it after you have waited a year.

Step 4. Physical Agility Test

You will also have to take a test of your physical endurance to determine if you are physically fit enough to be a police officer in North Little Rock.  Tips for taking this test include:

  • Do not do anything physically strenuous the day of or before this test.
  • Sleep well the night before.
  • Drink a lot of water the day before and then drink moderately 3 hours before this test.
  • Do not eat a lot of food or drink a lot of water within 3 hours of the test.
  • Restrict your intake of caffeine on the test day.
  • Wear a comfortable type of athletic shoes:  you cannot wear shoes with cleats.

Before you can take this test, you will have to have a liability release form notarized.  Both the forms and a notary will be available on the test date.

This test will involve performing six tasks while wearing body armor and a duty belt.  They include:

  • Sprinting 100 feet on an L-shaped course
  • Climbing 3 flights of stairs, then going back down them
  • Testing your physical restraint with a force-training machine
  • Running or jogging 450 feet
  • Dragging a 170 pound dummy for 30 feet
  • Pulling a trigger 12 times (dominant hand), then 11 times (other hand)

You will have 3:54 minutes in which to complete these tasks.

Step 5. Interview

Once you have passed both the written and physical tests, you will be invited for an interview.  You will have to provide documentation for your educational or previous law enforcement background at this point.

Your score on the interview will be based on:

  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Criminal history
  • Demeanor
  • Dependability
  • Driving history
  • Education and experience
  • Motivation

How you did on your writing sample from the written test will also be incorporated into the score from you interview.

Step 6. Background Check and Polygraph Examination

An eligibility list will be created based on the scores from the interview.  After you have scored well on your interview and been placed on this list, the department will thoroughly investigate your background.

It is important that you be complete in providing your information to the department.  For instance, you must provide addresses for every place you have lived previously.  You must list all of your traffic violations, not just those within the past 3 years.

Part of this process involves a polygraph examination.  You will be asked about the information you provided on your application and F-3 form, along with anything that has been discovered about you during the background check.

Step 7. Physical, Visual, and Psychological Examinations

Once you have passed your background check and are in a good position on the eligibility list, you will be given a conditional job offer.

To determine if you meet the physical standards necessary to become a police officer in North Little Rock, you will be given a thorough physical examination.  This will involve blood work and urinalysis, including a drug screen.  Your vision will also be checked to make sure that you conform to the standards required for hiring.

You will also be examined by a psychologist to evaluate how suitable you are to become a law enforcement officer.  This will include taking a written test and being interviewed for an hour.

Step 8. Attend Law Enforcement Academy for Training

After you have been found free from any physical or emotional condition that would impair your ability to be a police officer in North Little Rock, you will undergo 480 hours of basic police training over 12 weeks at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.

This will involve instruction in the following areas:

  • Investigation
    • Criminal
    • Accident
  • Defensive tactics
    • Firearms
    • Non-deadly
  • Law
    • Criminal
    • Traffic
    • Civil liability
  • Safety techniques
  • First aid
  • Crisis intervention
  • Crime prevention
  • Cultural diversity

As a police officer in North Little Rock, your salary will start at $2,500 a month.  You will be a patrol officer for a year.  After that, you may apply for more specialized positions.

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