Becoming a Police Officer in South Burlington, Vermont

The South Burlington police department seeks to live out its core values of loyalty, integrity, teamwork, professionalism, and respect. That is why it is its stated objective to recruit and nurture the most qualified police officers the department can find.

South Burlington police jobs are obtained in a competitive process that proceeds through a selective application process. If you would like to join the venerable ranks of this department, use the following as a step-by-step guide for how to become a cop in South Burlington, Vermont:

  1. Minimum requirements
  2. Application
  3. Entrance tests
  4. Oral board interview
  5. Background investigation
  6. Interview with the chief
  7. Medical examination
  8. Police academy


Step 1. Minimum Requirements

Becoming a police officer in South Burlington will mean working for a progressive agency that has seen a number of firsts in the state of Vermont. The South Burlington PD was the first police department with a DARE program, the first to be recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, and the first to use computer aided dispatching. Meeting police officer requirements in South Burlington is the first step in seeing if you are qualified for this job:

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 20 years old
  • High school diploma
  • No felony, domestic violence, or sexual crimes convictions
  • In good physical shape
  • Preference given to:
    • Associate’s degree or higher
    • Two year of Military service with an honorable discharge
    • Two years of previous law enforcement experience

Step 2. Application

Once you have confirmed you meet these basic requirements you can fill out an application. Make sure to do this legibly and include all requested documents and signatures. Also include a cover letter and resume, though your resume is not a substitute for filling out your application in its entirety. Complete applications can be dropped off at the South Burlington police department or emailed to the deputy chief.

Step 3. Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council Entrance Tests

All South Burlington police jobs require applicants to complete three pre-interview tests at the Vermont Police Academy. When you receive notification that your application will be considered you must reply that you would like to be scheduled for these three tests, which are:

  • Entrance Exam: This is a 100 question multiple choice test on the basics of math, writing abilities, reading comprehension, reasoning, and vocabulary.
  • Physical Fitness Test: This is a measure of your basic level of fitness which you must pass at a certain level. The test is calibrated for age and gender. You will partake in four events, and in this case the passing scores are given for a male aged 20-29:
    • Sit-ups: 38 in one minute
    • Push-ups: 29 in one minute
    • 1.5-mile run: 12.63 minutes
    • Bench Press: 99% of body weight

  • Psychological test: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a personality test given to many law enforcement and government agency employees across the country. You do not need to prepare for this, only answer all questions truthfully.

Step 4. Oral Board Interview

If your application and scores are deemed to be in the top percentage of candidates then you will be invited to the police station for a board interview. You will be required to answer questions put to you by police officials regarding your previous employment and motivations for becoming a police officer in South Burlington.

Step 5. Background Investigation

If you make a good impression on your oral board interviewers your background investigation will commence. This is a thorough process that may take several weeks to complete, and for which you will be required to submit your fingerprints. A background investigator will check to make certain all your basic requirements have been met, and this will include an investigation of your:

  • Education history
  • Employment history
  • Credit report and financial history
  • Driving abstract and check of traffic violations
  • Criminal records check at the local, state, and federal level

Step 6. Interview with the Chief

Not only should your background investigation make no disqualifying findings, it should also confirm that you are of an upstanding moral character who has a positive ideological motivation to become a cop in South Burlington. The chief of police will review your application and test results with you and may ask additional clarifying questions. If all goes well you will receive notice of a conditional offer of employment, contingent upon your successful completion of a medical exam and training academy.

Step 7. Medical Examination

This will consist of a through medical physical, vision and hearing evaluation, and drug test. If you fail your drug test you will be immediately disqualified, and you must also meet normal hearing and vision standards, including color vision and depth perception.

Step 8. Training Academy

The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council’s full-time basic training academy is your final step on the way to becoming a fully certified South Burlington police officer. For 16 weeks excluding weekends you will live on-campus where you will learn and practice everything you need to know to successfully become a police officer in South Burlington. Depending on your experience the academy may be extended a few weeks. Your training will include the topics of:

  • Courtroom demeanor
  • Report writing
  • Motor vehicle law
  • Alcohol services education
  • Collision and crime scene investigation
  • Interview techniques
  • Hate crimes investigation
  • Stress management
  • Police ethics
  • Physical training
  • Firearms and non-lethal self defense

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