Police Officer Application Process

Police Officer Application Process

In addition to the Police Department Application requirements, Police Officer applicants must comply with the following information for positions as police officer only.

1.  Police Officer Online Application - This application is available on the Current Open Positions webpage. After the application is reviewed by the City of Jacksonville Human Resources Department it will be forwarded to the Jacksonville Police Department Standards Division. 

  • Police Officer I applicants have completed Basic Law Enforcement Training in the State of North Carolina, OR have two years of full-time sworn officer experience out of state, OR have obtained the Military Occupational Specialty for a Military Police and served two of the last five years as a Military Police. Individuals that are currently attending Basic Law Enforcement Training in the State of North Carolina will be considered for this position.
  • All other police officer applicants will complete the Police Officer Trainee application which is generally posted twice a year.
  • All applicants will also be required to submit a Notarized Authorization for Release Form, Selective Service Form, and a Notarized North Carolina Personal History Statement form (F-3) to the City of Jacksonville Human Resources Department.

2.  Human Resource Testing - After the review of the application the Human Resources Department will send out a notification with a requirement to take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) in order to meet the minimum requirements for entrance into Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET). Once scores are delivered to Human Resources by the applicant, they will progress to the next step in the process. TABE testing is only required for Police Officer Trainee applicants.

3.  Physical Abilities Test (POPAT modified) - This assessment is required for all police officer trainee applicants who do not hold a current sworn law enforcement status or who do not possess a current BLET certificate and have successfully completed steps 1 through 2. Applicants must read and sign an agreement waiver to participate in this assessment. The POPAT is composed of two courses. The first course, Chase and Apprehension must be completed in 6 minutes or less. These are the steps to Chase and Apprehension:

Start position in a chair


1. Run from chair to cone (40 feet) and back 2 times 

2. Run from chair to cone (60 feet) while completing the following obstacles: 

a. 4’ broad jump 

b. 4’ fence climb 

c. Crawl under 2’ obstacle 

3. Run from cone to a mat (40 feet)

4. Perform “roll drill”, 3 repetitions: 

a. Start on top of 100lb heavy bag with left knee on mat 

b. Roll to right until bag is over body 

c. Continue roll in same direction until back on top of heavy bag and right knee touches mat 

d. Perform complete roll back to the left until left knee touches mat (that completes one repetition) 

5. Move to push up mat and perform 20 pushups 

6. Return to “roll drill” mat and complete 3 more repetitions 

7. Run to cone while completing the following obstacles: 

a. 4’ broad jump 

b. 4’ fence climb 

c. Crawl under 2’ obstacle 

8. Run from cone to step box (40 feet) 

9. Perform 30 step up and downs 

10. Return to “roll drill” mat and complete 3 more repetitions 

11. Move to push up mat and perform 20 more pushups 

12. Return to “roll drill” mat and complete 3 final repetitions


Upon completion of Chase and Apprehension, cadets will move to the second course, Rescue. Rescue must be completed in 3 minutes or less. Rescue consists of the following:

1. Run from cone 1 to cone 2 (50 feet apart) and back 2 times 

2. Perform 30 step up and downs on a step box 

3. Run from cone 1 to cone 2 (50 feet apart) and back 2 more times 

4. Drag 175lb dummy from Cone 3 to Cone 4 (25 feet) and back to the start line

4.  Oral Interview - The oral interview is a more formal, in-depth question and answer session conducted by a select panel of personnel. Interviews will be scheduled based upon the needs of the agency and the overall qualifications of the applicant.

5.  Online Assessment - Applicants who have successfully completed steps 1 through 4 will be required to complete an online assessment tool designed to assist the agency in determining suitability of an applicant and to assist the investigators in step 6. This assessment can be completed from the applicant's residence via the computer.

6.  Background Investigation - Applicants who successfully complete steps 1 through 5 will be entered into a pool of applicants who are eligible for background investigation. If you are selected, the detective who is assigned to your application packet will call you at the beginning of the investigation in order to schedule the applicant for a background investigation interview. Applicants will be required to be fingerprinted and photographed.

7.  Truth Verification - As part of the selection process, applicants who successfully complete steps 1 through 6 are required to submit to a truth verification process. This technique will utilize a polygraph instrument. The polygraph measures specific physiological changes in the body and records that data. The physiological changes are generated by the applicant based on the applicant's reaction to test questions during the polygraph examination. By examining those changes, the examiner is able to determine the truthfulness of the applicant and their suitability to be a law enforcement officer.

For the purpose of this examination, certain physiological reactions to specific stimuli used during the polygraph examination will equate to deception and may disqualify an applicant in the employment process. Areas that will be scrutinized will include the following: undisclosed traffic and criminal law violations(s), undisclosed illegal drug involvement, and general truthfulness.

8.  Command Staff Review - Applicants who successfully complete steps 1 through 7 will be reviewed by the Captain of the Training Division and a Deputy Chief of the agency. The review will be conducted to determine the applicant's suitability for employment with the Jacksonville Police Department.

Steps 9 - 12 Are Completed After a Conditional Job Offer Employment

9.  Psychological Exam, Medical Exam, and Drug Screening - Those applicants who are given a conditional offer of employment following steps 1 through 8 must successfully complete a psychological exam, medical exam, and drug screening, these exams are scheduled and paid for by the Police Department.

10. This step is only required for non-sworn applicants that do not possess a valid BLET certificate or out of state officers.

Basic Law Enforcement Training (Police Officer Trainees) - Applicants who have successfully completed steps 1 through 9 and are not a sworn law enforcement officer and do not have a current BLET certificate will be required to attend the BLET program located at Coastal Carolina Community College. This training requires considerable home study and physical exercise on a daily basis.

11. Basic Law Enforcement Training (Out of State Officers) - The State of North Carolina will evaluate out of state transferees to determine the amount and quality of their training and experience. At a minimum, out of state applicants must have two years of full-time, sworn law enforcement experience and have successfully completed a basic law enforcement training course accredited by the state from which they are transferring in order to be considered for transfer to a North Carolina law enforcement agency. Out of state transferees cannot have a break in service exceeding one year. Out of state applicants, if selected, will be required to complete the Legal Unit (minimum of 96 hours) of the Commission accredited BLET, any additional training courses identified by the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and successfully pass the entire state comprehensive examination within their 12-month probationary period. Applicants that have completed training as a federal law enforcement officer will be required to complete the BLET course in its entirety and successfully pass the state comprehensive examination prior to employment. A Police Officer I will undergo a minimum of 640 hours of basic Police training conducted by Coastal Carolina Community College. The Jacksonville Police Department provides an additional 504 hours of supplemental training pertaining to agency policy and procedures.

12. Final Applicant Review Interview - This is a formal interview with the Chief of Police or his designee in which the applicant will receive a final evaluation to determine their suitability for the position.