How To Become A Cop

How to Apply to Become a Police Officer

The prospective cop will go through a rigorous process in becoming a police officer.  This information will give you a step by step process of how to apply to become a police officer.

Here are the basic steps for how to become a police officer:

    1.  Talk with a recruiter or the personnel officer from the law enforcement  agencies you find interesting.

Read through the agency’s materials on their website.

Talk to officers on the force.

If you feel it is your calling to apply as a police officer, put in a written application.

The appropriate application form can usually be found at the city, county or agency website, or from the agency’s personnel department.

Make sure that you meet the minimum for police officer requirements before applying.

These are the typical list of requirements:

    2.  After making application, if you meet the minimum requirements on a scan of your application, you will be invited to take a written exam and a physical fitness test.

There will also be a polygraph test, a drug screening and a background check.  You will want to prepare friends, family and neighbors to be interviewed.  The length of time that investigators go back in your records will depend on the department and the level of service.

A federal job will also require a security clearance which will require research from five to ten years back in your files.

    3.  If you get a high enough score on the exams, you will be invited to take an oral interview.  The number of members making up the panel and their exact make-up will depend on the guidelines and rules of the specific police department.

Expect supervisory officers and someone representing the human services department to be involved in the hiring process.

    4.  You’re hired!  Some civil service procedures will define the number of candidates that can be brought forward to the department chief for hire.

The top three candidates are often forwarded to the hiring authority, which is generally the police chief or sheriff in a local law enforcement agency.

The specifics of how to apply to become a police officer in any one agency will depend upon the specific civil service rules and policies of each law enforcement agency. If you want to get a head start, either enroll in an online criminal justice degree program, or attend one of a number of schools across the country that offer a college criminal justice degree.


College Criminal Justice Degree This is an excellent way to get a head start on your career.

Criminal Justice Degree Online  Many of the online programs are divisions of well-respected “brick and mortar” colleges and universities.

Free Police Training   The question is, free for whom?

Job With Criminal Justice Degree   An applicant can get a job with this kind of degree at the state level as well.

Learning how to become a cop  There are lots of resources available to check in learning how to become a cop.

Police Officer Code of Ethics

Police Training Programs