How to Become a Police Officer in Delaware

Becoming a Police Officer in Dover, Delaware

Chief of Police James Hosfelt maintains that Dover’s relatively low crime rate is “directly attributable to quality employees, proactive policing, innovative equipment and community partnerships.”

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To join the ranks of the Dover Police Department you must take the following steps:

  1. Qualify
  2. Apply
  3. Physical Ability Test
  4. Written Exam
  5. Oral Board
  6. Background Investigation
  7. Chief’s Interview
  8. Academy/Training

Step 1. Qualify

You must meet these minimum qualifications to become a police officer in Dover:

  • U.S. citizen
  • High school graduate (or GED). Preference given to those with a college background.
  • Valid Delaware driver’s license
  • Reside in Delaware (by academy graduation)
  • Vision not more than 20/200, correctable to 20/20 in each eye
  • No felony convictions
  • No DUI’s in last five years
  • No abusive use of alcohol

Step 2. Apply

Fill out an application to fill out an application and get a test schedule. You can also call or e-mail Sergeant Glenn Virdin (; Tel. 302/726-7116 ) for additional information, including when the next :How to Succeed at the Hiring Process” meeting will be held at the Dover Police Department.

Step 3. Physical Ability Test

You are required to pass a physical ability test consisting of the following elements:

  • Sit-ups. You must do 29 or more sit-ups in one minute.
  • Push-ups. You’ll be asked to do as many push-ups as you are capable of doing. You must complete at least 25 to pass.
  • Run. You must run 1.5 miles in less than 16 minutes, 28 seconds.
  • Sprint. You must dash 300 meters in 71seconds or less.

You must satisfy all of the minimum standards regardless of age or gender.

Step 4. Written Exam

The written exam questions are designed to evaluate your observation, memory and problem-solving capabilities, as well as your situational judgment, aptitude for learning police materials and verbal/reading comprehension.

Step 5. Oral Board

You will be questioned by members of the police board who will assess your personal appearance, poise, alertness, how you organize thoughts and your ability to express yourself in a clear, articulate manner.

Step 6. Background Investigation

There will be a professional investigation of your residential history, employment record, driving record, credit standing and past encounters with police. Your family, neighbors, co-workers and present/past dating partners will be contacted.

Step 7. Chief’s Interview

You will meet personally with the chief of police who will observe your appearance, demeanor, bearing, communication skills, enthusiasm and feelings about the job.

Step 8. Academy/Training

Dover has its own police academy and you will attend its multi-phase training program for approximately six months, followed by 10-weeks of field training during which you will be paired with a senior officer for on-the-job experience. After a two-year probationary period you will be eligible to move into a specialized area if you wish.

 Dover Police Department Salary and Opportunities

The Dover Police Department has competitive salaries, an excellent pension plan, liberal vacation and sick leave policies, health insurance for you and your family, vision care insurance, free uniforms/dry cleaning and college tuition assistance.

Following your two-year probationary period you might opt to work in a specialized division or unit, such as:

  • Vice or Organized Crime
  • K-9 Unit
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Motorcycle Section
  • Community Policing
  • Emergency Services
  • Special Operations Response Team
  • Youth Section
  • Special Enforcement

Becoming a Police Officer in Newark, Delaware

Newark is the third largest city n Delaware and the home of the University of Delaware. The Newark Police Department serves the city’s 31,618 (2011) residents.

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In order to become a police officer in Newark you must successfully complete the following requirements:

  1. Meet Minimum Requirements
  2. Apply
  3. Written Exam
  4. Oral Interview
  5. Background Investigation
  6. Physical Agility Test
  7. Interview with Chief of Police
  8. Pre-employment Physical and psych evaluation
  9. Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements

In order to apply for available police officer jobs in Newark you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be 21 years old by the time of appointment
  • Have at least an Associate’s degree or have completed half the university hours needed for a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have a valid driver’s license and at least one year’s driving experience
  • Weigh no more than what is right for your height and be physically strong enough to perform the rigorous duties of a police officer
  • Have 20/100 vision, correctable to 20/20, with normal color vision
  • Have no felony convictions

Step 2. Apply

Applications are only accepted when there is a job opening. Look for openings at the City of Newark website or call their human resources department. When there is an opening, download an application from the department’s site.

Answer all questions completely and honestly and mail to address indicated. Applicants are processed as a group

Step 3. Written Exam

You will be notified of the time and place to take a written exam which covers general knowledge, basic math, reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and situational judgment. You must earn a grade of 70% or more to pass.

Step 4. Oral Interview

If you are among the 35 candidates with the highest scores you will be invited to an oral interview at which your appearance, manner, bearing, motivation and oral expression will be assessed. The interviewers will be looking for the following attributes considered critical for police officers:

  • Good initiative
  • Good judgment
  • High motivation
  • Compassion
  • Common sense

Step 5. Background Investigation

There will be a thorough investigation of your background, including your school record, driving history, past employment, personal relationships, credit score and overall behavior. You will be disqualified if the investigation reveals derogatory information related to your character or conduct.

Step 6. Physical Agility Test

You will be perform exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and running to test your agility, speed, endurance, flexibility and strength.

Step 7. Interview with Chief of Police

The three candidates with the highest cumulative ratings will be interviewed by the chief of police who will assess such things as your ability to communicate effectively, your motivation, self-assurance and professionalism.

Step 8. Pre-employment Physical and Psych Evaluation

You will be examined by both a physician and a police psychologist to be certain you are physically and mentally suitable for the physically rigorous and often mentally stressful responsibilities of a police officer

Step 9. Academy

You will spend approximately six months training at the Newark Police Academy where the curriculum includes both academic classes and field exercises. You will have a probation period of one year following graduation from the academy.

The Newark Police Department is an equal opportunity employer that offers competitive salaries and an excellent benefit package.

Becoming a Police Officer in Wilmington, Delaware

The Wilmington Department of Police was recently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, assuring compliance with state-of-the-art standards in policy/procedures, administration, operations and support services. Wilmington is authorized to deploy as many as 289 officers on foot, bicycles or in patrol cars.

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This guide describes the eight steps you must take to become one of these dedicated police officers:

  1. Application
  2. Orientation
  3. Physical Ability Testing
  4. Written Exam
  5. Oral Interview
  6. Polygraph and Background Investigation
  7. Chief’s Interview
  8. Physical/Psychological/Drug Screening
  9. Training

Step 1. Application

Click here to fill out an online application. You must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify. Answer all questions completely and truthfully and be sure to attach required documents. Failure to do so will result in the application being rejected.

Step 2. Orientation

When your online application is submitted you will be given the date and time of the next orientation meeting. If you mail your application form you must call the Wilmington Recruiting Officer, Sergeant James Gestwick, at (302) 576-3177 to request information about the orientation. The meeting is mandatory; you cannot continue the recruitment process without attending it.

Step 3. Physical Ability Testing

You will be required to take a physical ability test that includes three muscular endurance components and one aerobic endurance component. Muscular endurance elements are:

  • Your maximum number of push-ups in one minute
  • Your maximum number of sit-ups in one minute
  • How high you can vertically jump from a standing position.

The aerobic endurance test is:

  • How fast you can run or walk 1.5 miles

The standards that you must meet or exceed for each component are relative to your age and gender. You must present a signed physician’s authorization before taking the test.

Step 4. Written Examination

The multiple-choice examination focuses on general education questions dealing with English comprehension, grammar, spelling, basic math and situational questions that assess your judgment and problem solving ability. For example, a domestic violence call might be described and you will be asked to choose the best among four possible responses. Helpful hints for taking the test, as well as sample questions, will be available at the orientation meeting.

Step 5. Oral Interview

You will be personally interviewed by a police officer. Wear business attire and treat it as you would any important job interview.

Step 6. Polygraph and Background Investigation

Being truthful is the most important factor. You will be immediately disqualified if the polygraph reveals untruthfulness or if the background investigation turns up something in your school, financial or past employment records that you lied about or omitted either from your application form or during the oral interview. Honesty is far more important than small mistakes you might have made in your past.

Step 7. Chief’s Interview

You will be personally interviewed by the Wilmington Chief of Police who heads the department you hope to work for. Christine R. Dunning is the current Chief of Police.

Step 8. Physical, Psychological and Drug Screening

You will be examined by a physician and a psychologist to determine that you have no physical or mental impediment that would prevent you from serving effectively as a police officer.

Step 9. Training

You will spend approximately five months (excluding weekends) attending the Wilmington Police Academy. There will be academic classes covering all aspects of law enforcement, plus field exercises in such things as physical fitness, driving, firearms, arrest control and strategic tactics. After graduation all new recruits will have an 18-month probationary period.

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