Law Enforcement Careers in North Carolina

As of 2011 the crime rate in North Carolina had fallen to a 33 year low.  The rates of violent crime and property crime both went down substantially from 2009 to 2010.  Part of the reason for that is the rigorous policing carried out in North Carolina by the State Highway Patrol, county sheriff’s departments, and municipal police departments.

Two areas of crime that are not measured in those statistics are prescription drug and methamphetamine abuse and fraud.  Crime in these categories has been growing.  North Carolina is a staging site for drug shipments to Northern states.  Law enforcement jobs in North Carolina entail being on the front lines of intercepting such illegal trafficking.

How to Become a State Trooper with the Highway Patrol

The State Highway Patrol in North Carolina has jurisdiction over the entire state except for military and federal installations.  It is responsible for covering over 78,000 miles of roadway with 1,820 troopers who enforce the state’s traffic laws and guide motorists during hurricane evacuations and chemical spills. The highway patrol also has an air wing, and its helicopters assist with pursuits and emergencies.

During 2012, North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers arrested over 23,000 people for driving while impaired.  They investigated over 99,000 traffic collisions during that year.  In 2011, they intercepted over 176 kilograms of cocaine and over 30 kilograms of marijuana along with over $1.5 million in currency.

State Troopers received awards in 2012 for rescuing passengers from a submerged vehicle and helping a man who was combative and needed medical assistance.  Investing in public safety is a key to maintaining such effective policing, and a hiring freeze for North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers has been lifted.  The agency is accepting applications for training for law enforcement jobs in North Carolina that will begin in July 2013.  They will continue to accept applications for the next patrol school.

 

Those seeking jobs as State Troopers in North Carolina must be at least 21 years old and cannot be older than 39 on the first day of Basic School.  They must have a high school diploma or possess a GED and cannot have any felony offenses or serious misdemeanor convictions.  Good eyesight is a requirement.  Uncorrected vision in each eye cannot be more than 20/100 and must be corrected to 20/20.

Training to become a State Trooper in North Carolina is 29 weeks long for those who do not have previous law enforcement experience.  Graduates are then sworn in as Probationary Troopers.  Once assigned, they undergo on the job training for twelve more weeks with a Field Training Officer.

How to become a Deputy Sheriff in Guilford County

Guilford County residents who live in unincorporated areas are served by one of the largest Sheriff’s Offices in the state—the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.  It employs over 480 people between the Operations Bureau and the Detention Bureau.  More than 190 people were arrested in Guilford County during the first week in February 2013.

To obtain jobs as Deputy Sheriffs in Guilford County, applicants must be residents of the county or one of the contiguous counties.  They must be at least 21 years old at the time of application and have a high school diploma or GED.  Applicants must not have had a felony or serious misdemeanor on their record.

How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Mecklenburg County

Unincorporated areas of this densely populated county are served by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office who made over 21,000 arrests during 2012.  February 2013 arrests were made in Mecklenburg County for assault, robbery, DWI, drug possession, trespassing, breaking and entering, and larceny.

Those who seek jobs as Deputy Sheriffs in Mecklenburg County must possess Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) certification and not have been convicted of a felony.  Applicants must have at least a GED and undergo a rigorous background screening.

How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Wake County

Wake County residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county are served by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.  This office has several divisions, including ones for property, persons, and juvenile crimes, along with Intelligence and Fraud units.  Sweeping arrests for drug possession were made in mid February 2013.

How to Become a Police Officer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Covering over 430 square miles, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is the largest such department between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. and had over 1700 officers in 2011.  This department has an aviation unit, a bicycle patrol, a canine unit, a SWAT team, and its own bomb squad.  Recent arrests in February 2013 have involved breaking and entering cases at a local dry cleaners and a residence.

Those who seek jobs as a Police Officer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg undergo a battery of examinations and several interviews. Basic Law Enforcement Training to become a Police Officer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg takes 22 weeks and consists of over 900 hours of training.

How to Become a Police Officer in Durham

Police officers in Durham are responsible for protecting the lives and property of the over 233,000 residents of the city.  The crime rates for homicide, burglary, robbery, and larceny in Durham dropped over the first nine months of 2012 as compared to the previous period in 2011.  In February 2013, Durham Police Officers arrested two teens for a January shooting.

The hiring process for Durham Police Officers typically takes 4-6 months.  Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in Durham must be at least 21 years old within 30 days of their projected graduation date from the academy.  They must have at least a high school diploma or GED, and applicants with some college experience are preferred.  Applicants cannot have any felony or domestic violence convictions and cannot have had a serious misdemeanor or DWI/DUI conviction within the past five years.

How to Become a Police Officer in Fayetteville

The Fayetteville metropolitan area is the fifth largest in North Carolina, and the Fayetteville Police Department is responsible for the safety of over 374,000 people.  There are approximately 365 sworn law enforcement personnel that work in one of 26 police zones in the city.

Fayetteville has some unique issues such as having a high transient population that contributes to an increasing crime rate.  To mitigate this, the Fayetteville Police Department has a 2013 Community Wellness Plan and works closely with the community to address neighborhood quality of life issues.  The department is forming a permanent Gun and Gang Violence Unit.  In February 2013, police officers quickly arrested a suspect in a shooting at a local restaurant and arrested a suspect for a second-degree murder case from November 2012.

The Fayetteville Police Department is recruiting applicants that are both new to police work and those with a BLET certificate for the 2013 Police Academy that begins in July.  Interested candidates are invited to schedule a ride-along with a local patrol unit.  Those who seek jobs as a Police Officer in Fayetteville must undergo a background check and cannot have had any felony convictions.

How to Become a Police Officer in Greensboro

The 673 sworn law enforcement officers of the Greensboro Police Department are responsible for the safety of residents of the third largest city in North Carolina.  Greensboro had a decrease in the number of murders and rapes in 2012 as compared to 2011, although the total number of violent crimes stayed about the same.  February 2013 arrests by officers of the Greensboro Police Department included that of a man charged with an assault and two teenagers who had robbed a local man at gunpoint.

To obtain jobs as Police Officers in Greensboro, residents can apply to the department to receive training at the police academy starting in September 2013.  Applicants undergo a thorough background check and a rigorous screening before they are chosen for this program.

How to Become a Police Officer in High Point

The High Point Police Department overseas the safety of the over 100,000 residents of the city.  The department splits coverage of High Point into north and south geographical areas.  They are closely involved with the community and have several programs that facilitate citizens finding out about incidents in the city.

The violent crime rate in High Point is at a ten year low and has decreased over 9% from the previous year.  The High Point Police Department solves a substantially greater percentage of violent and property crimes than the national average.  Investigations in the first 60 days of 2013 involved the death of juveniles in a late night swim, a deadly crash between a train and a car, and an attempt at ID theft at a local business.

Those seeking jobs as Police Officers in High Point must have at least a high school diploma or GED with some college experience being preferred.  Applicants must be at least 21 years old at the completion of their training.  They cannot have any felony, DWI, or serious misdemeanor charges or convictions.

How to Become a Police Officer in Raleigh

The crime rate in Raleigh is lower than most cities of its size, partly due to the efforts of the Raleigh Police Department.  In 2011, they had 777 sworn officer positions covering over 140 square miles in this fast growing city.  Police Officers made over 19,000 arrests during that year and responded to over 516,000 service calls.  Arrests in February 2013 included a woman who is charged with murder, three individuals charged with robbery, and another individual charged with a separate robbery.

Many Police Officers in Raleigh work in specialized units targeting drug trafficking, family violence, and gang suppression.  There are also K-9 operation, cyber crime, and tactical operations units.  Individuals with law enforcement experience who are seeking jobs as Police Officers in Raleigh are encouraged to apply for position in the 2013 winter lateral academy.

How to Become a Police Officer in Wilmington

This port city of over 100,000 inhabitants has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. for both violent and property crime.  To combat this, the Wilmington Police Department has a number of special units, including a Special Operations Division that consists of an airborne unit, vice and narcotics, a canine unit, a criminal conspiracy unit, a bomb unit, a crisis negotiation team, and a SWAT team.  Arrests on one day alone in February 2013 involved crimes of assault, drug possession, and DWI.

Those who seeks as Police Officers in Wilmington must undergo a thorough background check, a written test, and test for physical ability.

How to Become a Police Officer in Winston-Salem

With over 230,000 inhabitants, Winston-Salem has one of the highest crime rates in the country.  This is combated by the over 561 sworn members of the Winston-Salem Police Department.  The violent crime rate was slightly lower in 2011 than it was in 2010.

Those who wish to become Police Officers in Winston-Salem must be at least 20 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED.  They cannot have had any felonies or serious misdemeanors.  Training to become a Police Officer in Winston-Salem is about 28 weeks of basic training for rookies.

North Carolina Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, an occupational information guide compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median North Carolina law enforcement salaries as of 2010 were:

  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $57,870
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $45,100
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $39,080

Salaries among Detectives and Criminal Investigators in North Carolina

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Asheville NC
140
52470
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC
490
63980
Durham-Chapel Hill NC
100
46540
Fayetteville NC
180
Estimate Not Released
Goldsboro NC
40
41410
Greensboro-High Point NC
270
59010
Greenville NC
60
50440
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC
120
42420
Raleigh-Cary NC
560
60250
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
450
78600
Wilmington NC
180
57990
Winston-Salem NC
100
52600
Northeastern North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
250
43810
Other North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
360
42970
Western Central North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
210
39160
Western North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
240
40340

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in North Carolina

The salary among police officers in North Carolina varies from city to city. As an example, the starting salary for police officers employed by the Asheville Police Department is between $31,739 and $32,903.

The Gastonia Police Department offers police officers (certified and non-certified) these starting salaries based on their educational accomplishments:

  • Police Officer I, high school degree only: $30,234 (midpoint of $35,864)
  • Police Officer II, Associate’s degree: $33,410 (midpoint of $39,611)
  • Police Officer III, Bachelor’s degree: $37,052 (midpoint of $45,958)

The Raleigh Police Department pays its police officers a starting salary of $34,281.

Salaries among Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in North Carolina

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Asheville NC
830
39590
Burlington NC
250
40140
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC
4940
46760
Durham-Chapel Hill NC
730
40030
Fayetteville NC
660
41540
Goldsboro NC
270
36610
Greensboro-High Point NC
1290
42030
Greenville NC
320
45460
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC
580
36220
Raleigh-Cary NC
1680
44950
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
4140
48610
Wilmington NC
870
40310
Winston-Salem NC
910
Estimate Not Released
Northeastern North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
1250
35220
Other North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
1580
37560
Western Central North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
1400
34730
Western North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
1100
35710

State Trooper Salary in North Carolina

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the state trooper salary in North Carolina is paid according to rank:

  • Highway Patrol Trooper: $33,190 to $52,063
  • Highway Patrol Trooper (Senior): $34,474 to $54,460
  • Highway Patrol Trooper (Master): $35,761 to $57,006
  • Highway Patrol Sergeant: $40,125 to $65,204
  • Highway Patrol Major: $56,393 to $94,037

Salaries among Police Supervisors and Detectives in North Carolina

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Asheville NC
170
55410
Burlington NC
90
53170
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC
950
69600
Durham-Chapel Hill NC
210
58660
Greensboro-High Point NC
330
63250
Greenville NC
80
58180
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC
170
48080
Raleigh-Cary NC
500
69170
Rocky Mount NC
80
54350
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
430
72660
Wilmington NC
160
60010
Winston-Salem NC
190
Estimate Not Released
Northeastern North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
270
53230
Other North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
320
52170
Western Central North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
310
50270
Western North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
250
47560

Back to Top