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How to Become a Police Officer in North Dakota

Becoming a Police Officer in Bismarck, North Dakota

The Bismarck Police Department (701-223-1212) is tasked with providing law enforcement and other community services to the citizens and visitors of Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota.

This guide serves as an instructional manual on how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Bismarck:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Take the Law Enforcement Exam
  3. Submit Law Enforcement Exam Score and Complete Online Application
  4. Undergo an Oral Interview
  5. Undergo a Background Investigation
  6. Receive a Conditional Offer of Employment
  7. Complete a Polygraph Exam
  8. Complete a Psychological Test
  9. Undergo a Medical Exam
  10. Undergo a Drug Screen
  11. Complete Academy and Field Training Programs

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Before you apply for employment with the Bismarck Police Department, it is important to first determine if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for becoming a police officer in Bismarck. In particular, you:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have (or have the ability to obtain) a North Dakota driver’s license
  • Must possess an associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university and a GPA of 2.0 or better
  • Must have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • Must have no convictions of domestic violence
  • Must have not used or possessed marijuana in the last 2 years
  • Must have not used or possessed anabolic steroids in the last 5 years
  • Must have never used or possessed illegal drugs or illegally used or possessed prescribed/non-prescribed controlled substances

Step 2. Take the Law Enforcement Exam

To become a police officer in Bismarck, you must first pass the written Law Enforcement Exam (conducted through Job Service ND), which is designed to test your judgment and logic; your verbal ability; your ability to follow directions; and your inductive and deductive reasoning.

You must complete the Law Enforcement Exam Application and send it, along with $25 (money order only, made payable to the City of Bismarck), to:

Burleigh County Human Resources
P.O. Box 5518
Bismarck, ND 58506-5518

The exam application includes all upcoming testing dates. You may request a specific testing date by indicating it on your application. You must bring your photo ID with you on your testing date. All tests are administered by Job Service North Dakota, 1601 East Century Avenue in Bismarck.

The Bismarck Police Department requires a minimum score of 75 percent to be eligible for Bismarck police jobs.

Step 3.  Submit Law Enforcement Exam Score and Complete Online Application

To apply for Bismarck police jobs, you must complete an online application and scan and upload a cover letter, resume, and all related documents, including college transcripts, licenses, etc.

You must also forward your law enforcement exam score to the City of Bismarck Human Resources Department to 701-222-6470 (fax) or 221 North 5th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501.

Step 4. Undergo an Oral Interview

You will be contacted by the Human Resources Department with an interview date and time if you meet all of the Department’s minimum requirements for employment. You must score a minimum 75 percent score on your oral interview to continue with the employment process. Before the oral interview begins you will review your background packet with an accreditation officer and complete a written essay.

Step 5. Undergo a Background Investigation

You will be ranked and placed on the Department’s certified hiring list upon completion of your oral interview. You will also be notified of your ranking on the list. Top candidates will then undergo a background investigation, which can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days to complete.

Step 6. Receive a Conditional Offer of Employment

Select candidates, upon completion of a background investigation, will receive a conditional offer of employment, at which time the remaining employment testing will take place.

Step 7. Complete a Polygraph Exam

Only those candidates who pass the polygraph exam are eligible to move on with the employment process.

Step 8. Complete a Psychological Test

Only those candidates who pass the psychological test are eligible to move on with the employment process.

Step 9. Undergo a Medical Exam

You must take and pass a medical exam, given by a physician at the UND Center for Family Medicine in Bismarck.

Step 10. Undergo a Drug Screen

The final step of the employment process includes passing a drug screen.

Step 11. Complete Academy and Field Training Programs

All new recruits with the Bismarck Police Department must complete mandatory Police Academy and Field Training programs.

Becoming a Police Officer in Fargo, North Dakota

The Fargo Police Department’s 145 sworn officers provide law enforcement services to the more than 105,000 people who call Fargo, North Dakota home. Learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Fargo. This guide provides the step-by-step instructions you need when seeking a career with the Fargo Police Department.

  1. Meeting requirements
  2. Physical fitness test
  3. Entrance exam
  4. Interview
  5. Additional screening
  6. Background check
  7. Conditional job offer
  8. Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements

Candidates who want to attain Fargo police jobs must first determine they meet minimum employment requirements. Minimum employment requirements, as set forth by the Fargo Police Department, include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have in-resident alien status.
  • You must have 20/20 vision (corrected or uncorrected).
  • You must have a valid driver’s license (or have the ability to obtain one).
  • You must have completed a two-year educational program at an accredited college or university resulting in an associate’s degree, 60 semester credits, or 90 quarter credits.
  • You must be at least 21 years old at the time of employment.
  • You must have no felony convictions or Class A misdemeanors.
  • You must have a honorable discharge if you served in the military.

Step 2. Take the Physical Fitness Test

The Fargo Police Department accepts applications about three times a year. You can contact Human Resources Generalist Shaun Crowell at 701-241-8162 to inquire about testing/application dates and to sign up for the entrance exam and physical fitness test, which are taken on the same day.

You can read more about becoming a police officer in Fargo by reading the Police Officer Applicant Handbook.

The physical fitness test is administered by members of the Police Department and is taken at the Fargo South High School Sports at 2001 17th Avenue South. The test consists of performing the following:

  • 300-meter dash (in 66 seconds)
  • 29 sit-ups (in 60 seconds)
  • 1.5-mile run (in 14:54)
  • 27 push-ups (in 60 seconds)
  • Flexibility (sit and reach)

You must pass all components of this test to be eligible to take the written entrance exam. You must submit a signed consent/waiver before you can take the physical fitness test.

Step 3. Take the Entrance Exam

The entrance exam is a video-based test, along with a personal history questionnaire and a personal inventory questionnaire.

On the day of the entrance exam, you are required to bring your current driver’s license, along with a completed Background Investigation Packet, completed cover sheet, and a $25 check or money order made payable to the Fargo Police Department. Testing for the entrance exam is held at the Skills and Technology Training Center at 1305 19th Avenue.

You can expect to be contacted in about one week with your test scores.

Step 4.  Complete an Oral Interview

The oral interview, which is scheduled upon receiving notification that you have passed the written test, is conducted by a panel of officers and civilian members of the Fargo Police Department.

You must receive a score of at least 75 percent to move on to the next phase of the employment process.

Step 5. Participate in Pre-Hire Screening

The next phase of the employment process is the pre-hire screening, which includes participating in an interview with the training sergeant. You can expect your background investigation packet, personal history questionnaire, personal inventory reports, criminal history reports, and credit reports to be reviewed at this time.

Step 6. Undergo Background Investigation

Upon the successful completion of the background investigation, you can expect to be placed on the Candidate Eligibility pool, which is then provided to the Chief of Police for consideration.

Step 7. Receive Conditional Offer of Employment and Undergo Remaining Testing

Select candidates may receive a conditional offer of employment, at which time all remaining testing will take place. Remaining testing may include a polygraph exam, a psychological exam conducted by a licensed clinical psychologist, and a medical exam.

Step 8. Attend Law Enforcement Basic Training

All new recruits must complete North Dakota Law Enforcement Basic Training’s Police Training Officer (PTO) Program and subsequent field training program through the Fargo Police Department.

Becoming a Police Officer in Grand Forks, North Dakota

The Grand Forks Police Department, which is the third largest municipal law enforcement agency in North Dakota, has 82 sworn officers who are responsible for providing law enforcement and traffic patrol services to the citizens of Grand Forks.

Individuals with aspirations of becoming a police officer in Grand Forks must adhere to the selection and employment process of the Grand Forks Police Department. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Grand Forks:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Eligibility Requirements
  2. Submit an Employment Application
  3. Take the Written Test
  4. Take the Physical Agility Assessment
  5. Undergo a Background Investigation
  6. Complete an Oral Interview
  7. Receive Placement on Hiring Register and Interview with the Police Chief
  8. Receive a Conditional Offer of Employment and Complete Employment Testing
  9. Complete Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Eligibility Requirements

Before submitting an application for employment, you must first determine if you meet minimum employment requirements for Grand Forks police jobs. In particular, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or have resident alien status
  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and an acceptable driving record
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of college credits with at least a C average
  • Have on felony convictions
  • Have no Class A misdemeanors in the last 3 years
  • Have no Class B misdemeanors in the last year
  • Have no drug-related convictions (with the exception of marijuana and steroids)
  • Have no marijuana or steroid convictions in the last 5 years
  • Have no domestic violence convictions
  • Have no criminal traffic convictions in the last year
  • Have 20/30 vision (corrected or uncorrected) and acceptable color, depth perception and peripheral vision

The Department also has clear employment disqualifiers.

Step 2. Submit an Employment Application

Before you submit an employment application, note:

  • The Grand Forks Police Department accepts applications for Grand Forks police jobs just twice a year: January 1-31 and June 1-30.
  • If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Grand Forks and it is not an open hiring/testing period, you may email the Grand Forks Police Department Human Resources Commander at mferguson@grandforksgov.com with your name, contact information, and your intent to apply. You will then be contacted when the next application begins.

You may either pick up an employment application from the Grand Fork’s Human Resources Department in City Hall (located at 255 4th Street) or download and print an application. All applications must be returned to:

Human Resources, City Hall
P.O. Box 5200
Grand Forks, ND 58206-5200

If you have any questions regarding the application process, you may contact Sergeant Brett Johnson, the Human Resources Bureau Commander, at 701-787-8016.

Step 3. Take the Written Test

All testing for police officer jobs in Grand Forks is done through ND Job Services. The written test assesses your ability to: learn and apply police information; to observe and remember details; to follow instructions; and to use judgment and logic. You will be notified by the Department of testing times and dates, upon submission of an employment application and provided you meet all minimum eligibility requirements.

Step 4. Take the Physical Agility Assessment

The Physical Agility Assessment, which is a pass/fail test, is designed to assess your ability to perform all essential functions of a Grand Forks police officer. You may need to complete the following physical tasks: simulated body drag; sprinting; jumping; stair/fence climb; crawling; lifting; and pushing. You can view a diagram of the physical agility assessment course here.

Step 5. Undergo a Background Investigation

Candidates who pass the written and physical agility tests must undergo a background investigation, which also includes a social networking site review.

Step 6. Complete an Oral Interview

Only those candidates who pass the background investigation are eligible to continue the pre-employment process, which includes undergoing a job task-specific oral interview.

Step 7. Receive Placement on Hiring Register and Interview with the Police Chief

Only those candidates who have made the final cutoff score (as established by the Department) for the oral interview will be placed on a hiring register. For every open police officer position the Department will submit the three top names from the hiring register to the Mayor for review. At this time, the Police Chief will likely conduct an informal interview with the chosen candidates and make a recommendation to the Mayor for appointment selection.

Step 8. Receive a Conditional Offer of Employment and Complete Employment Testing

If you are presented with a conditional offer of employment, you will be required to complete all remaining employment testing, which includes a medical exam; a psychological exam; a drug screen; a health assessment; and a polygraph exam.

Step 9. Complete Academy Training

All new officers with the Grand Forks Police Department must attend the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck for 12 weeks. All new recruits must then complete a 2-week orientation program and a 16-week field training program with the Department.

Becoming a Police Officer in Minot, North Dakota

The Minot Police Department and its team of uniformed law enforcement personnel are tasked with patrolling the 13 square miles that Minot covers. As the fourth largest city in North Dakota, and with nearly 41,000 citizens, the Minot Police Department has an important role to play in the security of the state.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for individuals who want to learn how to become a cop in Minot by meeting the department’s specified police officer requirements:

  1. Meet Minimum Applicant Qualifications
  2. Apply for Employment
  3. Take the Physical Fitness Exam
  4. Take the Law Enforcement Entrance Exam
  5. Participate in an Oral Interview
  6. Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  7. Complete Police Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Applicant Qualifications

If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Minot, you must first determine if you meet minimum applicant qualifications. In particular, you must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license (and the ability to obtain a North Dakota driver’s license within a year of being appointed) and one of the following:

  • An associate’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • At least 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university (directly applicable to management, criminal justice, police administration, accounting, psychology, sociology, or budgeting)
  • A law enforcement basic training academy certificate recognized by the North Dakota POST Board

Although not required, preferred candidates will possess law enforcement experience; a four-year degree in criminal justice or a related field; or will have completed a state certified law enforcement skills program.

Step 2. Apply for Employment

The Minot Police Department has an open application process, meaning that you may apply for Minot police jobs at any time.

You must submit a City of Minot Application for Employment, along with official copies of all related transcripts and documents. The Department also requests that you submit a cover letter, resume, and a list of your credentials with the application for employment. You must send your application packet to:

City of Minot Human Resources Office
515 2nd Avenue SW
Minot, ND 58701

You may contact the City of Minot Human Resources Offices at 701-587-4756 if you have questions concerning the application process.

Step 3. Take the Physical Fitness Exam

If your employment application indicates you are qualified for the position, you will be notified by the Department of upcoming physical fitness exam dates. Only those individuals who pass the physical fitness exam will qualify to take the written law enforcement entrance exam.

Step 4. Take the Law Enforcement Entrance Exam

You must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the law enforcement entrance exam to qualify for Minot police jobs. All civil service examinations are held on an as-needed basis and are conducted by the Minot Police Department.

You must complete a law enforcement entrance exam application and pay $25 to be scheduled to take the exam.

Step 5. Participate in an Oral Interview

Only those candidates who successfully pass the law enforcement entrance exam are eligible to continue the employment process, which includes participating in an oral interview.

Step 6. Complete Remaining Employment Testing

All qualified candidates who pass the oral interview will undergo a complete background investigation, a medical exam, and a polygraph examination.

Step 7. Complete Police Academy Training

All new recruits must attend mandatory entry-level police officer academy training.

Becoming a Police Officer in West Fargo, North Dakota

The West Fargo Police Department (701-433-5500), which consists of 39 uniformed officers and 15 civilian employees, is responsible for protecting this growing city’s nearly 26,000 residents.

If you are thinking of becoming a police officer in West Fargo, there are a number of steps you must be prepared to take:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Qualifications
  2. Submit an Application for Employment
  3. Take the Physical Fitness Test
  4. Take the Written Exam
  5. Participate in an Oral Interview
  6. Participate in a Chief’s Interview
  7. Complete Employment Testing
  8. Attend Police Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Qualifications

Individuals interested in West Fargo police jobs must first consider if they meet minimum qualifications for patrol officers. To become a West Fargo police officer you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of testing
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have no restrictions regarding firearms
  • Have an associate’s degree in criminal justice or a related field from an accredited college or university OR have completed at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter credit hours) from an accredited college or university

Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment

If you determine you meet the minimum qualifications for employment, you can then print and complete a West Fargo Police Application. Mail your completed application to:

West Fargo Police Department
Support Services Officer
800 4th Avenue East, Suite 2
West Fargo, ND 58078

Step 3. Take the Physical Fitness Test

The first step in the employment process for qualified candidates includes a physical fitness test, which consists of five parts: sit-ups; push-ups; a 1.5-mile run; a muscular strength and endurance test (which includes an obstacle course and a dummy drag); and a flexibility test (sit and reach).

The physical fitness test is a pass/fail test, and all candidates who pass the physical fitness test are invited to take the written exam, which usually occurs on the same day.

Step 4. Take the Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 questions, all of which are related to a study packet that is given to the candidates on the day of testing. All candidates are allowed to study the packet for 30 minutes. The packet is then taken away and the test is given.

Step 5. Participate in an Oral Interview

All candidates who pass the written test are scheduled for an oral interview, which usually occurs within the next day or two.

Step 6. Participate in a Chief’s Interview

Only those candidates who pass the oral interview are invited to interview with the Police Chief, who will extend a conditional offer of employment to the most qualified candidates.

Step 7. Complete Employment Testing

Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, qualified candidates are required to undergo a background investigation; a psychological exam; a polygraph exam; and a medical exam.

Step 8. Attend Police Academy Training

All new recruits must complete police academy training, followed by mandatory field training.

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