Expert Advice and Opinion on How to Become a Police Officer

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How to Become a Police Officer in Durham

Individuals who are local residents interested in becoming a cop in Durham have to attend the open house events and fill out the City of Durham application. Schedule for these events are available through their website at durhampolice.com. Take note that the dress code is business casual. Applicants who don’t live in the city of Durham may need to contact the recruiter for instructions.

Minimum Qualifications to Become a Police Officer in Durham

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED though applicants with college degree are preferred
  • At least 21 years of age within thirty days of graduation from the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy
  • Applicants have to meet all vision, hearing and various other physical requirements
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Have to meet credit requirements – a score of 14 or less
  • Must have U.S. citizenship
  • Current or former armed forces personnel must have an honorable discharge

Potential Dis-qualifiers

  • A felony or misdemeanor conviction
  • Suspension of driver’s license three years prior to application
  • A DUI or DWI conviction within the last five years
  • Being involved in two or three accidents then subsequently charged and convicted within the last three years
  • Being involved in three or more moving violations or accumulating eight points using the North Carolina point system within the last three years OR four or more convictions within the last five years OR five or more convictions within the last seven years
  • Use of illegal drugs
  • Involvement in the sale of illegal drugs
  • Poor credit score

Despite only requiring a high school diploma, applicants are encourage to get a college degree as they’ll be given a higher starting salary.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Durham

Below is a summary of what to expect in the application process:

  1. Attend the open house event
  2. Take the written exam
  3. Pass the Physical Fitness Test
  4. Go through an oral interview with the board
  5. Selection committee will make a first selection
  6. Selected applicants will go through a background investigation
  7. Final selection will be made by the selection committee
  8. A conditional offer of employment will be given to successful applicants followed by a series of medical tests – medical screening, psychological evaluation, polygraph exam, and drug test
  9. After passing all the medical tests a job offer will be made

Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test will be comprised of 5 events:

  • Complete a 300-meter run within 82.9 seconds
  • Complete a 1.5-mile walk or run within 17 minutes
  • One rep of maximum bench press – maximum weight an applicant can carry
  • Maximum push ups within a minute
  • Maximum sit ups within a minute

The Durham Police Academy

Training in the Durham Police Academy will last 26 weeks, 10 weeks more than what the state of North Carolina mandates. Included in the curriculum is a very challenging physical training program and academic courses. These include the following:

  • Pursuit driving
  • Defensive tactics
  • Weapons training
  • North Carolina law
After graduating from the academy, trainee offers will then go through a field training with a seasoned cop. This is a critical step because rookie cops will learn important thinking skills through problem based learning techniques, this helps them in their problem solving skills and prepare them for their career ahead.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Durham, visit the Durham police website or call (919) 560-4575.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Durham.

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