What does it take to get hired as a police officer?


The hiring process to become a police officer is difficult and challenging. Few professions require as much testing just to get in the front door.

Applicants start with written testing and physical agility assessments, then move on to the nerve-racking oral interview followed by a background assessment. Once this first round is complete, applicants move on to a polygraph interview and psychological assessment.

Still they are not done. The Chief of Police, who sets the tone and culture of the department, will interview applicants too. This is not, by any means, a guaranteed welcome aboard meeting.

If successful through all of this, the prospective officers will then move on to the pre-academy, followed by the police academy. After graduation from the police academy they go through a months-long Field Training Officer Program at the agency.

How long does all this take? From start to end the process can be anywhere from 9 months to a year.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sergeant Phil McMullin and Investigator Mike Manley from the Orange Police Department recently during a Behind the Badge podcast interview.

It’s a must listen if you want to successfully navigate the road to getting hired at an agency. You can download this episode or listen to it online.