Becoming a Police Officer in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Raleigh Police Department consists of 777 sworn police officers, all of which work collectively to provide public safety and community services to the residents of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Individuals who want to learn how to become a cop in Raleigh must satisfy the department’s police officer requirements as outlined in this guide:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirement
  2. Complete an Application Packet
  3. Take the Reading Comprehension Exam
  4. Take the Physical Ability Test
  5. Meet for Initial Interview and Polygraph Exam
  6. Meet with Oral Board
  7. Complete all Remaining Employment Testing
  8. Receive Final Offer of Employment from the Chief of Police
  9. Attend the Police Academy


Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Before applying for Raleigh police jobs, you should first ensure you meet the minimum eligibility requirements set forth by the Raleigh Police Department. In other words, to achieve Raleigh police jobs you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old (when sworn in)
  • Have 20/20 corrected or uncorrected eyesight
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Possess a high school diploma or the equivalent certificate
  • Have no visible tattoos or body art that is visible when wearing the Department-issued uniform

Step 2. Complete an Application Packet

The Raleigh Police Department has two applications packets, both of which can be downloaded and printed:

It is important to read all upcoming Academy information for open hiring dates and closing dates.

Once you have downloaded, printed and completed the application, in full, you must gather all of the required documentation, which includes:

  • Certified copies of all civil record checks driving records, and criminal record checks in all of the counties in which you have resided as an adult (Contact the Clerk of Courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles in the appropriate counties/states to obtain this information.)
  • Copy of military form DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Copy of naturalization papers (if applicable)
  • Color copy of your original birth certificate
  • Color copy of your Social Security card
  • Color copy of your valid driver’s license
  • Copy of college diploma (if applicable)
  • Copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Official college transcripts (if applicable)
  • Official high school transcripts (sealed)

Using the enclosed checklist found in the application packet, ensure you have all parts of the application completed and signed and that all documents are included. Once you have done so, mail the packet to:

Raleigh Police Department Recruitment Office
6716 Forks Road
Room #331
Raleigh, NC 27615

Step 3. Take the Reading Comprehension Exam

Provided you meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements for Raleigh police jobs and have properly completed your employment application packet, you will be contacted by the Recruitment Office with a date and time to take the reading comprehension exam. You will need to present a valid photo ID before you can take the test. All candidates must be able to read at a 10th grade level to pass the reading comprehension exam.

Step 4. Take the Physical Fitness Test

Individuals who pass the reading comprehension exam will have the opportunity to take the Physical Ability Test immediately following the written exam. The Physical Fitness Test is based on the Cooper’s Institute Guidelines. The test involves the following:

  • Height and weight measurement
  • Bench press
  • Sit-ups (one-minute)
  • Push-ups (one-minute)
  • Vertical jump
  • 1.5-mile run
  • 300-meter run

Step 5. Meet for Initial Interview and Polygraph Exam

Upon successfully passing both the written and physical testing, the Recruitment Department’s command staff will review your application packet and test results. Provided you meet the Department’s standards for employment you can expect to be contacted by a Recruiter who will schedule a date and time for a polygraph exam and initial interview.

Step 6. Meet with Oral Board

The Command Staff’s Oral Board will meet with all qualified candidates for an oral interview. Only the top candidates will receive a conditional job offer.

Step 7. Complete all Remaining Employment Testing

Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, you will be scheduled to complete all remaining employment testing, which includes:

  • Fingerprinting
  • Medical exam and drug screen
  • Psychological exam

Step 8. Receive Final Offer of Employment from the Chief of Police

Upon completing all remaining phases of the employment testing process, your final background summary will be presented to the Chief of Police for a final decision of employment.

You should expect the entire application process to take anywhere from 3 to 8 months.

Step 9. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits are required to complete 26 to 30 weeks of basic law enforcement training and then 18 weeks of field training upon graduating from the Academy.

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