Learning more about how to become a police officer in Virginia is an absolute must for anyone interested in pursuing a career as law enforcement officer. Because the selection process for the police academy incorporates lengthy progressive phases, uninformed students risk being eliminated at any time.

Consequentially, it is crucial that applicants constantly follow the updates posted by the Virginia State Police. While the basic prerequisites regarding age, education, physical fitness, etc. remain the same as in the rest of the country, there are some noteworthy differences as well. Let’s take a look at the specific requirements for becoming a policeman in Virginia.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Virginia

  • Must be at least 21 years of age at the date of hiring.
  • Must have at least a high school diploma or GED (applicants with college and/or related work experience is preferred).
  • Has to be a U.S. citizen on the day of the exam.
  • Must have a valid U.S. driver’s license along with a good driving record.
  • Must be of good moral character to be determined by a background investigation.
  • Willing to travel around Virginia at their own expense to finish all test and screening requirements.
  • Willing to be relocated anywhere in the state of Virginia based on the needs of the department.
  • Willing to work at rotating shifts and on weekends.

Vision and Hearing Requirements

  • Possess a binocular visual acuity of at least 20/20 (corrected or uncorrected). If uncorrected, visual acuity should be 20/100 or better and 20/200 or better in the worse eye.
  • Should pass the minimum requirements for color vision testing with or without corrected lenses.
  • Has to be capable of hearing frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz at a pure tone level of 25 decibels or less and not greater than 45 decibels at 4000 and 6000 Hz which will be verified by an audiometer test.
Maximum Allowable Weight for Sworn Employees

Height

Male Age Group

 

Female Age Group

Inches

21-29

30-39

40-49

50+

 

21-29

30-39

40-49

50+

58

 

 

 

 

 

137

140

145

149

59

 

 

 

 

 

142

145

150

154

60

166

169

172

175

 

146

149

155

159

61

170

173

176

179

 

150

152

158

162

62

173

176

179

182

 

154

157

163

169

63

176

179

182

185

 

157

160

165

170

64

180

183

186

189

 

160

163

168

172

65

183

186

189

192

 

162

165

171

175

66

186

189

192

195

 

166

169

174

178

67

190

193

196

199

 

167

171

177

182

68

193

196

199

202

 

171

173

179

184

69

196

199

202

205

 

172

176

181

187

70

200

203

206

209

 

176

180

185

190

71

203

206

209

212

 

178

182

188

191

72

206

209

212

215

 

182

184

190

196

73

210

213

216

219

 

186

189

195

201

74

213

216

219

222

 

188

193

198

203

75

216

219

222

225

 

191

196

202

208

76

220

223

226

229

 

196

200

206

212

77

223

229

232

236

 

199

205

211

217

78

229

235

238

241

 

204

210

216

222

79

235

241

244

247

 

209

215

222

229

80

240

247

250

253

 

214

220

227

234

 
Maximum Allowable Body Fat Percentage
 
Age Group
 

21 – 27

28 – 39

40 – 49

50 +

Male Body Fat

22%

24%

26%

28%

Female Body Fat

32%

34%

36%

38%

Selection Process Overview to Become a Police Officer in Virginia

Because the Virginia State Police is committed to selecting the most qualified cadets to join the Force, the process is rather lengthy and can take up to 10 months. Selecting the candidates is generally done in 3 phases:

  1. Physical fitness test, written examination and web-based personal history questionnaire
  2. Polygraph examination and background investigation
  3. Complete physical examination and drug screening

Criminal Record Check

In Virginia, there are 2 methods of obtaining the criminal history background of the candidates:

  • SP-167, a form that is eligible to use by individuals, the general public and private companies, which requires notarization
  • SP-230, a form commonly used by non-criminal justice entities (child care centers, home care centers, hospital and pharmacy employees, cities, counties, etc) and that does not require notarization. This form must be submitted along with a fee of $15.00 and necessitates about 12 to 14 working days for processing

Work Performance Test Needed in Becoming a Police Officer in Virginia

The Work Performance Test is Virginia’s equivalent of the physical fitness testing and consists of a 150-yard course examination where a committee will evaluate the stamina, cardiovascular fitness and endurance of the applicants.

The candidates will need to complete 10 obstacles in a succession having only one and a half minute fail/pass limit.

The obstacle exercises in the physical examination consist of:

  • Several 25 yards sprints/run sessions
  • Perform a 3 feet jump
  • Climb a 5 foot high fence
  • Crawl under a 24-inch high, 10 feet long obstacle
  • Climb up and down a standard 8 inches step
  • Crawl through a window opening
  • Move an 150 pounds dummy across 5 yards
  • Trigger pull exercises

Academy Basic Training

The admitted applicants will undergo a basic training program at the Virginia State Police Academy for 33 weeks. It is important to note that the police academy’s curriculum currently includes approximately 120 subject areas and around 1,500 hours of instructions. In case you do not know, cadets will be able to select some of the subject areas they will want to study.

The 33 weeks of training is organized as follows:

  • 14 weeks of classroom instructions
  • 4 weeks of field training with an experienced Field Training Officer (in the students’ counties)
  • 15 weeks of classroom instructions
  • 6-8 weeks of post-academy field training

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For more information on becoming a police officer in Virginia, visit the Virginia state police website or call (804) 786-4700.

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

How to Become a Police Officer in Your State