Becoming a Police Officer in Burlington, Vermont

Since 1865 when the police chief was known as the “first constable,” the Burlington police department has grown to where it is today, comprised of 100 sworn officers who work in positions such as school resource officer, detective, and forensic specialist.

To join the ranks of those officers who uphold the motto “Freedom and unity,” you will need to be one of the top candidates for Burlington police jobs. Following this step-by-step guide will prepare you to become a cop in Burlington:

  1. Basic requirements
  2. Application
  3. Tests
  4. Panel interview
  5. Psychological interview
  6. Polygraph examination
  7. Background investigation
  8. Medical examination
  9. Training academy


Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Burlington

When considering whether to join the ranks of the Queen City’s finest, you should first make sure you meet the minimum requirements for becoming a police officer in Burlington:

  • At least 21 years old by the time of hire
  • Normal hearing and vision, corrected or uncorrected
  • No recent illegal drug use
  • High school diploma or GED
  • College degree, honorable military service, or law enforcement experience desired
  • Have or obtain a driver’s license upon hire
  • No felony or assault/domestic violence convictions, or a poor driving record

Step 2. Application

Once you have confirmed you meet the minimum requirements to become a cop in Burlington your next step will be to fill out an application, doing so completely and legibly. Include all required documentation with you application, sending this, a letter of interest, resume, and the personal history information packet to the Burlington police recruitment officer. The personal history packet is a questionnaire that will be used to determine if you have any immediate disqualifying factors in your background, and to generate questions for your background history investigation and polygraph test.

Step 3. Tests

Your application will be reviewed to see if it complete, legible, and competitive. If so you will be scheduled for two tests before you have your first interview: a written aptitude exam and a physical fitness test. The written aptitude exam is a test of basic skills such as reading comprehension and writing ability. The physical fitness test requires you to meet the standards set by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council that includes events in:

  • Sit-ups
  • Bench press
  • Push-ups
  • 1.5-mile run

Step 4. Panel Interview

If you testing results and application package place you towards the top of candidate eligibility and there is an opening for Burlington police jobs, you will be invited to the police department for a panel interview. Your previous work experiences and ethics will be examined as well as your motivations for wanting to become a Burlington police officer.

Step 5. Psychological Interview

After a successful panel appearance the Burlington police department will schedule you for an interview with a psychologist. Your ability to handle stressful situations and make quick, objective decisions under pressure will be evaluated, and you will also be screened for any mentally detrimental conditions.

Once the department gets word of a positive interview and all your paperwork is well in order, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, dependent upon your completion of the following steps.

Step 6. Polygraph Examination

Your polygraph examination will include questions from the personal history information packet you submitted with your initial application. Subjects raised during this examination will be your:

  • Personal history
  • Driving record
  • Financial record
  • Educational history
  • Military service record
  • Previous employment history
  • Criminal record

Step 7. Background Investigation

Your background investigation will examine elements raised from your personal history information packet, polygraph examination, and panel interview. A background investigator will additionally make a records check to confirm information you have attested. Interviews with people who known or have known and observed you over periods of time will also be conducted.

Step 8. Medical Examination

Your final step before hire will be to successfully pass a medical examination. This is to be conducted by a licensed physician who will give you a complete and thorough medical physical, checking to make sure you do not have any pre-existing conditions or complications that might interfere with your job as a Burlington cop. You will also be evaluated on certain required conditions for employment, including:

  • Normal or correctable vision to 20/20 with color and depth perception
  • A drug test which you are required to pass
  • Hearing test
  • Confirmation you are physically capable of performing your job duties

A final command review will be conducted of your application and evaluations up to this point. You will meet with senior Burlington PD hiring officials who may ask you additional questions before you will be eligible to begin the training academy.

Step 9. Training Academy

Your last step to becoming a certified police officer is to complete Vermont’s Criminal Justice Training Council’s full time basic training. The Burlington police department will assist you with registering for this 16-week academy where you will live and train Monday through Friday. You will need to complete a written and physical ability test, both similar to your pre-interview tests from step three. Your daily routine will include training, classroom work, and physical fitness activity. Academy training includes a focus on:

  • Communications
    • Courtroom
    • Conflict resolution
    • Report writing
  • Law
    • Alcohol
    • Criminal
    • Motor vehicle
  • Investigative Techniques
    • Crashes/accidents
    • Evidence collection
    • Interrogation
  • Patrol Techniques
    • Community policing
    • Driving maneuvers
    • Firearms and non-lethal force

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