How to Become a Police Officer in Charlotte

Interested applicants who want to become a cop in Charlotte will to first take a written test and a physical ability test in order to get an application packet they’ll use in the employment process. Prior to taking the exam applicants need to download, read and sign the Waiver and Release form. This is a requirement prior to taking the written exam and must be brought during the date of the test.

Dates for the examinations are available in the CMPD website, but before making that decision, candidates are encouraged to go along on a ride along program or talk to a recruiter to get to know more about the different opportunities a person has within the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department as well as what to expect in the application process.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Charlotte

  • A high school diploma or GED but applicants are highly encouraged to have at least an Associates Degree
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Have a valid North Carolina driver’s license
  • Must be in good physical condition and health
  • Have U.S. citizenship
  • Applicants who are current or former military personnel must have an honorable discharge
  • Have to be a resident of North or South Carolina
  • Must live within a 45 mile radius of the police headquarters
  • Tattoos are allowed but it cannot be visible on the face, chest or neck, visible tattoos must be covered by an approved tattoo jacket or uniform shirt

Vision Requirements

  • Must have normal color vision
  • Visual acuity of at least 20/30 (corrected)

Potential Dis-qualifiers

  • A felony or a misdemeanor conviction
  • A driving while impaired conviction within the last 5 years
  • History of substance abuse
Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Charlotte.

Steps in Becoming a Police Officer in Charlotte

Step 1:

Read the FAQ section and get the directions to the academy.

Step 2:

Read and sign the Waiver and Release Form prior to taking the written exam as well as the JRPAT.

Step 3:

Get all the required documents to bring on the day of the test

Step 4:

Select an examination date

Step 5:

Take and pass both the written test and JRPAT. Successful participants will be notified by email or snail mail depending on preference. Applicants will also receive the complete application.

Step 6:

Complete the application and gather all the required documents then send it back to the CMPD recruitment unit.

Step 7:

Every candidates’ application will be reviewed. If accepted applicants will be asked to complete the following:

  • Oral interview (recorded)
  • Polygraph test
  • Psychological test

Step 8:

A background check will be performed by an investigator, that includes contacting the applicants references then a final review by the CMPD chain of command. Depending on the result, candidates might be scheduled for an oral inteview, a drug test and a medical exam.

Step 9:

All successful candidates will then be put into a proper recruit training class to be scheduled.

Job Related Physical Ability Test

This is one of the two tests that applicants must pass in order for their application to get accepted. It is a pass/fail examination that has to be completed with 6 minutes and 18 seconds. Take note that the street address will be given before this test and must be answered correctly at the end of the test session or there will be a 200 yard penalty run.

Participants will start at a seated position and will need to complete the following in sequence:

  1. 200 yard run
  2. Step up on an aerobic step bench 20 times
  3. Complete 15 push ups
  4. Complete 15 sit ups
  5. Step up on an aerobic step bench 20 times
  6. Complete 15 push ups
  7. Complete 15 sit ups
  8. 200 yard run
  9. Street recall

Required documents that applicants must bring during the exams

  • Colored photo showing both head and shoulders
  • 1 photo copy of birth certificate
  • 1 photo copy of driver’s license
  • 2 photo copies of social security card
  • 1 photo copy of high school diploma or GED with test scores
  • 1 photo copy of college diploma
  • 1 photo copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • 1 photo copy of divorce decree (if applicable)
  • 1 photo copy of Selective Service Registration Card for all male applicants between 18 to 25 years of age regardless of military service status
  • 1 photo copy of the Military Discharge Form DD-214 (if applicable)
  • 1 photo copy Naturalization papers (if applicable)
  • 1 certified original copy of the high school transcript
  • 1 certified original copy of college transcript
  • Court documents of citations, police reports, arrest reports, summons, etc for applicants who have previously been issued a citation, summon or have been arrested for a criminal offense

Other document to include:

  • All places of residence since the age of 16
  • All places of employment in the last 15 years, even if the business is now closed
  • The Application Booklet and Authorization to Release Information Forms have to be notarized

Recruit Training Program

All applicants who make it through the employment process and enter the recruit training program are considered hired but on a probationary status. This program is done inside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Training Academy and will last for a 22-week period or around 903 hours worth of training. Recruits are not required to reside within the academy, they will also receive their wages and incentives like other employees.

Basic Law Enforcement Training in the Recruit Training Program

  • ABC laws
  • Accident investigation
  • Arrest, search and seizure
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Cultural diversity
  • Crowd management
  • Controlled substances
  • Crime prevention
  • Criminal investigation
  • Dealing with victims and the public
  • Domestic violence
  • Driver’s training
  • Hazardous materials
  • Elements of criminal law
  • Ethics
  • Weapons training
  • First responder
  • Interviewing
  • Juvenile law
  • Motor vehicle law
  • Officer survival
  • Patrol techniques
  • Preparing for court
  • Report writing
  • Subject control and arrest techniques
  • Traffic enforcement
  • Use of force continuum

Lateral Entry Program for Out-of-State Applicants

The CMPD also has lateral entry programs for out-of-state certified police officers interested in relocating.

Minimum Qualifications for Lateral Entry Applicants

  • At least 2 years of full time service in current agency as a licensed police officer. Part-time service will not be considered
  • Can’t exceed a one year hiatus from full-time sworn service
  • Applicants have to pass the North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training Certification Exam within twelve months of getting a Probationary Officer Status.
The CMPD also offers programs for active military personnel, internships, high school and college students.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Charlotte, visit the CMPD website or call 1-877-525-6145.

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