Becoming a Police Officer in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD, 704-336-7600) and its more than 120 officers and civilian staff serve the more than 750,000 residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, the 21st largest city in the United States.

If you want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Charlotte, you must understand all of the steps required to do so. Follow this guide for an understanding of what it takes to be eligible for Charlotte, North Carolina police jobs:

  1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment
  2. Submit a City Employment Application
  3. Take the Police Officer Examination
  4. Take the Physical Ability Test
  5. Complete the Application Packet
  6. Complete all Remaining Police Testing
  7. Complete Basic Law Enforcement Training

 

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment

If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Charlotte you should first determine if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. These include:

  • You must be at least 21 years old at the time of application.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED, although the Department encourages candidates to possess an associate’s degree.
  • You must either possess or have the ability to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license.
  • You must be a United States citizen.
  • You must have an honorable discharge from the military (if applicable).
  • You must have no visible tattoos or brandings that cannot be covered with a long-sleeve uniform.
  • You must reside in North Carolina or South Carolina at the time of appointment.
  • You must be able to read on a 10th grade level.

Step 2. Submit a City Employment Application

The first step to becoming a police officer in Charlotte is to submit an online City application (The Department will begin accepting applications in May 2013). Once the CMPD determines you meet all minimum eligibility requirements you will be invited to take the Entry Level Police Officer Examination.

Step 3. Take the Police Officer Examination

The Entry Level Police Officer Examination includes four parts and 169 questions. All candidates who pass the examination are invited to participate in the Job-Related Physical Ability Test.

Step 4. Take the Physical Ability Test

The Physical Ability Test is a pass/fail test. You must complete all sections of the test within 6 minutes and 18 seconds or less.

The sections of the test include:

  • 200-yard run (back and forth a distance of 50 feet 6 times)
  • Step-up 20 times
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 sit-ups

You will be given a street address at the beginning of the test. Upon finishing the test, you will be required to recall the street address. If you cannot, you must repeat the 200-yard run. You will be required to present a valid driver’s license and waver/medical release form before taking the test.

You can prepare for the physical ability test by reading the Preparing for the Physical Ability Test.

Step 5.  Complete the Application Packet

Candidates who pass the written and physical ability tests will receive an application packet from the CMPD in the mail to complete. You must complete the application in full and return it, along with the required documents, which include:

  • A color photo of your head and shoulders
  • One copy of your birth certificate
  • One copy of your driver’s license
  • Two copies of your Social Security card
  • A copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
  • A copy of your high school transcripts
  • A copy of your college diploma (if applicable)
  • A copy of your college transcripts (if applicable)
  • A copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • A copy of your divorce decree (if applicable)
  • A copy of your Selective Service Registration Card (for male applicants, ages 18 to 25)
  • A copy of your military discharge DD-214 form (if applicable)
  • A copy of your naturalization papers (if applicable)

You must also include court documents (and any other associated documents, including police reports, arrest reports, summons, etc.) if you received any citations or criminal summons or were arrested for any criminal offense. You can obtain these documents from the Clerk of Courts where the offense took place.

Upon completing the application, you must have the Application Booklet (F-3) and the Authorization to Release Information forms notarized.

Step 6. Complete all Remaining Police Testing

Only the most qualified candidates are chosen to complete the employment process and are assigned a recruiting officer who will begin a comprehensive background investigation.

In addition, the remaining testing will get underway. In particular, you will be required to take a polygraph exam; a psychological screening; a medical exam; and a drug screening before you can be begin Basic Law Enforcement training as a new recruit.

Step 7. Complete Basic Law Enforcement Training

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Training Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program (BLET) is 22 weeks long and consists of more than 900 hours of training (The State of North Carolina requires just 604 hours of training.).

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