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How to Become a Police Officer in Ohio

Becoming a Police Officer in Akron, Ohio

The Akron Police Department (330-375-2552) is responsible for providing patrol, law enforcement, public safety, and community services to the more than 200,000 citizens of Akron, the fifth largest city in Ohio.

Individuals who want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Akron must understand the employment process. As such, this guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a police officer in Akron:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Apply for Employment
  3. Take the Civil Service Exam
  4. Take the Physical Fitness Test
  5. Undergo Thorough Background Investigation
  6. Undergo Thorough Medical Exam
  7. Attend the Training Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Individuals with interest in becoming a police officer in Akron should determine whether they meet minimum eligibility requirements before submitting an application for employment. To be eligible for Akron police jobs you must:

  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be at least 21 years old but no older than 31 years old
  • Meet vision and hearing standards as set forth by the Civil Service Commission
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license with no more than 5 points on your driving record
  • Have no felony convictions

Step 2. Apply for Employment

According to the City of Akron regulation, you may only apply for posted positions. You may check http://akroncops.org/hiring.asp for current job announcements. When the position of Akron police officer is posted, you may either apply online or pick up an application at the Personnel Department, 146 South High Street, Suite 130, Akron, OH 44308, Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 3:30PM.

Step 3. Take the Civil Service Exam

After submitting an application for employment, all qualified candidates will be contacted to complete the written examination through the Frontline National Testing System. This exam is a human relations and judgment test that includes a report writing test and a multiple-choice test.

Step 4. Take the Physical Fitness Test

You will also be required to complete an Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) physical fitness test during this initial testing phase. You can review the OPOTC physical fitness standards by watching the OPOTC video.

Step 5.  Undergo Thorough Background Investigation

Upon passing the physical fitness test and the Civil Service exam, your background investigation will begin. The background investigation also includes a polygraph examination and psychological evaluation. You will be required to sign and complete an Authorization for Release of Information form before the background investigation can begin.

Step 6. Undergo Thorough Medical Exam

Candidates who pass the background investigation are required to undergo a thorough medical exam before entering the training academy.

Step 7. Attend the Training Academy

The top candidates are chosen to attend the Akron Police Division Training Academy, which may last anywhere between 6 and 27 weeks. All police officers in Akron must be OPOTC certified by the State of Ohio before being sworn in as Akron police officers.

Becoming a Police Officer in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Police Department (513-765-1212) includes 1,056 sworn officers and 119 civilian employees, all of whom provide law enforcement and public safety services to Cincinnati, Ohio, and its nearly 79 square miles of urban landscape. The City of Cincinnati is divided into five Bureaus: Administration; Patrol; Resource; Strategic Development; and Investigations.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Cincinnati:

  1. Determine Hiring Status
  2. Take the Written Examination
  3. Take the Physical Fitness Exam
  4. Undergo Background Investigation, Polygraph Examination, and an Interview
  5. Undergo a Behavior Assessment
  6. Attend the Police Academy
  7. Meet Minimum Qualifications

Step 1. Meet Minimum Qualifications

If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Cincinnati, you must first determine if you meet minimum qualification. In particular, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old by the time of your appointment
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED (applicants with college experience are preferred)
  • Hold a valid driver’s license for at least one year
  • Be a United States citizen or in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship

Step 2. Determine Hiring Status

Before applying for Cincinnati police jobs, you should determine if the Cincinnati Police Department is currently hiring. You may do so by checking the Department’s Recruiting page.

If the Department is not currently hiring for Cincinnati police officers, you may add your name to the Policy Academy interest list by calling 513-352-3562. You will then receive notification when the Department begins the hiring process. You will also receive instructions for applying for a position with the Department at that time.

Step 3. Take the Written Examination

After you have received notification that the Department is hiring and have submitted an application for employment, you may be contacted to take the written examination, provided you meet all minimum requirements for Cincinnati police jobs.

The written exam is a multiple-choice test of 150 questions that assess the following:

The areas that will be covered are as follows:

  • Basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)
  • Dealing effectively with a diverse group of people
  • Evaluating situations/decision-making
  • Following directions
  • Human relations
  • Observation and memory
  • Oral and written communication including word usage, spelling and grammar
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reasoning

You can prepare for the test by reading the Police Recruit Handbook (pages 4-11). You will receive a score based on the percentage of questions you correctly answer. You are allowed 2 hours to complete the exam, and you must bring an exam entry card (provided by the Department) and your valid photo identification.

You will be notified of your test results about 4 weeks following examination.

Step 4. Take the Physical Fitness Exam

The top-scoring candidates of the written exam will be invited to take the physical fitness test, which is a pass/fail test. You may read more about the physical fitness test requirements before taking the exam.

The fitness test includes assessing the candidates through sit-ups; push-ups, and a .5-mile run.

All candidates are encouraged to begin training for the fitness test as soon as possible. You can expect to take the physical fitness test about 2 months following the written test.

Step 5. Undergo Background Investigation, Polygraph Examination, and an Interview

Only those candidates who pass the physical fitness test are eligible to continue the employment process, which includes undergoing a thorough background investigation, as well as a polygraph examination and an in-home interview.

Step 6. Undergo a Behavior Assessment

All candidates who successfully complete all other testing will be scheduled for a behavior assessment. All eligible candidates will then receive a spot on the Civil Service eligible list.

Step 7. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits must complete training through the Police Academy.

Becoming a Police Officer in Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Police Department consists of more than 1,600 uniformed members, making it the second largest police force in Ohio. The Cleveland Police Department accomplishes its goal of providing public safety to the citizens of Cleveland through three, distinct divisions: Administrative Operations, Field Operations, and Homeland Special Operations.

Individuals interested in learning how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Cleveland can use this guide, which provides step-by-step instructions on completing the employment process:

  1. Determine Eligibility
  2. Complete an Employment Application
  3. Take the Civil Service Written Examination
  4. Take the Physical Agility Test
  5. Complete Employment Paperwork
  6. Participate in an Oral Interview
  7. Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  8. Successfully Complete Police Academy Training

Step 1. Determine Eligibility

Before you begin the process of becoming a police officer in Cleveland, you must first determine if you meet minimum eligibility requirements for Cleveland police jobs. In particular, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of the civil service examination
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have a number of misdemeanor convictions or a domestic violence conviction

Step 2.  Complete an Employment Application

All candidates for Cleveland police jobs must complete a city employment application. You can also view current job opportunities and civil service testing announcements here.

You may send a letter of interest, along with a completed application and resume, to recruiting@city.cleveland.oh.us. You may also fax it to 216-664-3489 or mail it to:

City of Cleveland
Department of Personnel and Human Resources
601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 121
Cleveland, OH 44114

Step 3. Take the Civil Service Written Examination

Based upon your score from the civil service written examination, you will receive a ranking, which will determine whether you are eligible to take the physical agility test.

You can contact the Cleveland Civil Service Commission at 216-664-2467 with any questions regarding completing the city employment application and taking the civil service written examination.

Step 4. Take the Physical Agility Test

The physical agility assessment, which is pass/fail test, includes: sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5-mile run.

Step 5. Complete Employment Paperwork

All qualified candidates who pass the physical agility exam will qualify to move forward with the employment process, which includes completing personal history questionnaires and waivers giving the Cleveland Police Department permission to conduct extensive background investigations.

Step 6. Participate in an Oral Interview

Upon completion of all necessary paperwork, qualified candidates will be scheduled for an oral interview, and will also be photographed and fingerprinted at that time.

Step 7. Complete Remaining Employment Testing

Upon the successful outcome of a background investigation and oral interview, a select number of candidates will be invited to complete the employment testing process, which includes undergoing a medical examination (including drug screening) and a psychological/psychiatric evaluation, and taking a personality assessment.

Step 8. Successfully Complete Police Academy Training

Individuals appointed to the Police Academy class train for a period of approximately 6 months. All new recruits must maintain a 70 percent or better throughout the Academy to remain in training.

Becoming a Police Officer in Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Police Department is responsible for providing law enforcement services throughout Columbus, Ohio, the 15th most populous city in the nation. The proud members of this distinguished department work tirelessly to serve and protect the more than 787,000 people who live and work in Columbus.

If you have interest in becoming a police officer in Columbus, this guide provides you with step-by-step instructions on how to meet the department’s rigorous requirements:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements
  2. Determine Departmental Needs
  3. Submit an Application for Employment
  4. Take the Civil Service Exams
  5. Undergo a Background Investigation
  6. Take a Polygraph Examination
  7. Meet with the Oral Review Board
  8. Undergo Medical Exam
  9. Complete Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements

Individuals who want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Columbus must first determine if they meet minimum employment requirements for Columbus police jobs. In particular, before submitting an application for employment you should ensure you:

  • Are a United States citizen
  • Are at least 20 years old at the time of application and at least 21 years old by the time of appointment
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Possess a valid driver’s license

Step 2. Determine Departmental Needs

Before submitting an application for employment, it is best to check the Columbus Police website to ensure they are current accepting applications. If you find they are not currently accepting applications, you may complete and submit a Job Interest Card through the Columbus Civil Service Commission so you can receive notification of the next application filing period.

You may also contact the Columbus Police Recruiting Unit at 614-645-4642 or 1-800-837-4642 to receive more information about the application process for becoming a police officer in Columbus.

Step 3. Submit an Application for Employment

Once you determine you meet all minimum eligibility requirements and that the Department is accepting applications, you must complete and file an online application for employment, along with an Abbreviated Background Questionnaire (ABQ) with the Civil Service Commission.

Step 4. Take the Civil Service Exams

Provided your application and ABQ are approved, you can expect the Civil Service Commission to notify you of the upcoming date, time, and place for the exam, which consists of four phases:

You must pass all phases of the initial employment testing to remain eligible to continue with the employment process and will be placed on the eligibility list.

All candidates for Columbus police jobs are encouraged to read the Employment Information Guide as to become familiar with the testing process.

Step 5. Undergo a Background Investigation

Provided you pass the initial testing and score high enough to be processed, you will receive a personal history questionnaire to complete.  You will then be scheduled for a pre-interview with a background investigator at Police Headquarters, at which time you will complete a waiver for the background investigation and have your picture and fingerprints taken.

Step 6. Take a Polygraph Examination

Provided you pass the background investigation, you will be required to take a polygraph examination.  Upon the successful completion of the polygraph exam, the Civil Service Commission will review your employment package to determine your eligibility for the position of Columbus police officer.

Step 7. Meet with the Oral Review Board

The Oral Review Board, which consists of three veteran officers, will ask you questions regarding your background investigation. The top candidates will receive a conditional letter of appointment from the City of Columbus Public Safety Director.

Step 8. Undergo Medical Exams

The final step in the employment process is undergoing a thorough medical examination, which includes a cardiovascular stress test, vision and hearing tests, and a psychological evaluation.

Step 9. Complete Academy Training

All qualified candidates will receive a letter of appointment from the Police Academy regarding the date at which they are to appear to begin Academy training.

Becoming a Police Officer in Toledo, Ohio

The Toledo Police Department (419-245-3340) and its 585 sworn police officers are dedicated to protecting and serving the citizens of Toledo, the fourth most populous city in Ohio.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a police officer in Toledo:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Obtain Recruitment Information
  3. Submit an Application for Employment
  4. Take the Civil Service Exam
  5. Undergo Background Investigation and Oral Interview
  6. Receive Conditional Offer of Employment and Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  7. Undergo a Medical Examination and Psychological Examination/Evaluation
  8. Take the Physical Ability Examination
  9. Attend the Police Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Individuals who have interest in Toledo police jobs and want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Toledo must first determine if they meet employment eligibility requirements. In particular, all candidates must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 20 years old but no older than 35 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate

Step 2. Obtain Recruitment Information

Before applying for Toledo police jobs, you should first determine current police officer recruitment information by visiting the Toledo Police Department Recruitment page.

If the Toledo Police Department is not currently hiring, you may contact the Department at Toledo.humanresources@toledo.oh.gov and submit an interest card as to receive notification of the next recruitment period.

Step 3. Submit an Application for Employment

Once you have received notification that the Department is accepting applications for Toledo police jobs you may pick up an application at the Michael P. Bell Fire Administration Building on 545 North Huron Street (first floor) or download and print an employment application.

Note: Applications and testing and preparation materials are only available online during open recruitment periods.

Upon receipt of your completed application, the Department will provide you with the following:

  • Civil service announcement
  • Study Guide
  • Admission Card
  • Test Orientation Session Schedule

Step 4.  Take the Civil Service Exam

Civil service exam dates for Toledo police jobs, which are only available on select dates during open recruitment periods, are provided to all candidates who meet the minimum requirements for employment and have submitted a formal application for employment. You must bring your Admission Card and your photo identification with you on the date of testing to be admitted.

Step 5. Undergo Background Investigation and Oral Interview

The top candidates from the civil service exam are chosen to continue with the employment process, which includes undergoing a background investigation and an oral interview. You can also expect to be photographed and fingerprinted at this time.

Step 6. Receive Conditional Offer of Employment and Complete Remaining Employment Testing

The Police Chief will review the results of the oral interviews and extend offers of employment to the top candidates. All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of all remaining employment testing, which includes: a medical exam; a psychological evaluation; and a physical ability test.

Step 7. Undergo a Medical Examination and Psychological Examination/Evaluation

Medical and psychological evaluations are performed as a way to determine if candidates are suitable for law enforcement work.

There is no way to prepare for psychological evaluations, so it is advisable to relax, be yourself and respond honestly for the best chance at success.

Step 8. Take the Physical Ability Examination

The physical ability examination consists of completing a 1.5-mile run and one-minute timed push-ups and sit-ups.

Step 9. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits must complete a 24-week, mandatory police academy training program through Owens Community College.

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