Becoming a Police Officer in Durham, North Carolina

The Durham Police Department (919-560-4600) and its 512 sworn officers are responsible for upholding criminal and civil laws, providing safety education, and protecting and safeguarding lives and property in Durham, North Carolina.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a cop in Durham by meeting the department’s police officer requirements:

  1. Meet Recruiting Requirements
  2. Attend an Open House Event
  3. Take the Written Test
  4. Take the Physical Fitness Evaluation
  5. Meet with Oral Review Board
  6. Undergo Background Investigation
  7. Complete All Remaining Employment Testing
  8. Attend the Police Academy

 

Step 1. Meet Recruiting Requirements

Before pursuing Durham police jobs, you should determine whether you meet the recruiting requirements as set forth by the Durham Police Department. In particular, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 21 years old (within 30 days of graduating from the police academy)
  • Have adequate vision and hearing
  • Have an honorable discharge from the U.S. military (if applicable)
  • Have no domestic violence convictions
  • Have no DUI/DWI convictions within the last 5 years
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have no serious misdemeanor convictions within the last 5 years
  • Meet credit requirements
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate (some college is preferred)
  • Possess a valid driver’s license with no suspensions within the last 3 years

Step 2. Attend an Open House Event

Individuals interested in becoming a police officer in Durham are encouraged to attend an open house informational session (You can review the Open House Calendar here.) to familiarize themselves with the employment process and to receive a City of Durham application for employment (You can also view the application here).

All open house informational sessions are held at the Durham Police Headquarters on 505 West Chapel Hill Street. If you reside out of state, you can contact a recruiter at 919-560-4575 for more information.

Step 3. Take the Written Test

Provided you meet all minimum requirements for employment, you will be given a time and date at which to take the written test. Only those candidates who pass the written test are eligible to take the physical fitness test.

Step 4. Take the Physical Fitness Evaluation

The Physical Fitness Evaluation is a pass/fail test that includes the following components:

  • 300-meter run (within 82.9 seconds)
  • 1.5-mile run (within 17 minutes)
  • Bench press (maximum capable of lifting)
  • Push-ups (as many as possible in one minute)
  • Sit-ups (as many as possible in one minute)

Step 5. Meet with Oral Review Board

Only those candidates who pass both the written test and the physical fitness evaluation are eligible to continue the employment process, which includes meeting with an Oral Review Board.

Step 6. Undergo Background Investigation

Only those candidates recommended by the Oral Review Board are eligible to continue the employment process, which includes undergoing a background investigation.

Step 7. Complete All Remaining Employment Testing

Upon the successful completion of a background investigation, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, at which time the remaining employment testing will take place.  Remaining employment testing includes a medical screening; a psychological evaluation; a polygraph examination; and a drug screening.

Step 8. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits must successfully pass the new recruit training program through the Durham Police Academy.

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