Recruitment main banner
Recruit Process infographic

Application Process

Initial Application
The application process starts on the City of Charlotte Job Openings page. Once on the Jobs page, scroll down to the blue banner entitled Sworn Police Jobs. There will be three job openings to choose from. Please ensure that you select the appropriate job posting and do not complete multiple applications for the Police Trainee position. Check our FAQ page if you are not sure which of the three available job openings to apply for.

If you are applying to be a police trainee, or for lateral or intermediate entry, we encourage you to read our minimum requirements to ensure you qualify for employment. Our frequently asked questions are also helpful. The application process can take approximately eight to 16 weeks, depending upon when you make it to, and through, the Police Academy (classes run in February, June and October). Remember, you can apply any time!

If your initial application is accepted, here are the next steps to joining the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy as a police officer.

Supplemental Application
Once the application is submitted and reviewed, eligible applicants will then receive the supplemental questionnaire. This questionnaire can be accessed in the JobAps system, where applicants complete the initial application. The supplemental questionnaire will ask questions related to driving history, past drug usage, past employment history, and criminal history. Follow the instructions carefully in this section and remember that when applying for sworn police position in North Carolina, offenses that have been expunged MUST still be disclosed.

Applicant who advance past the supplemental application will be invited to complete written and fitness testing. The written test is the Nelson Denny Reading Assessment. All applicants must score at least a 10th grade reading level on both sections of the exam: Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. Applicants who fail the written exam are allowed three retest opportunities at a later date. For tips on taking the test, refer to this Nelson Denny Study Guide. The fitness test, the JRPAT, is a scaled down version of the state exam that applicants must pass during the Police Academy, the POPAT (Police Officer Physical Abilities Test). Step by step instructions can be found in the FAQ section.

Applicants have the option to take both the written and physical test on the same day, both test can be completed on separate days, OR take the written test online (available for applicants outside of the Charlotte Metro area). The Charlotte Metro area consists of; Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly and Cleveland counties in North Carolina and York, Chester and Lancaster counties in South Carolina. If you reside in any of the listed counties, you are not eligible to take the written test online. Please remember that the physical test MUST be completed prior to your Oral Board interview.

Background Packet
After successful completion of testing, applicants will receive the CMPD Background Packet. This packet includes the North Carolina Personal History Statement (F3), a Release of Information Form, Fitness Expectations in the Academy, and a list of documents that applicants must gather and submit. The list of documents can be found in the FAQ section. It is recommended that applicants begin collecting documents prior to testing so there is no delay in submitting the background packet. Applicants will have 30 days from testing to submit their background packet.

Pre-Conditional Offer Background Investigation
Selected applicants will be assigned a background investigator after their submitted background packets are approved. Investigators will review the background packet and applicants will complete an online psychological assessment. Applicants will then be scheduled for a comprehensive background interview. These interviews will take place with two investigators and will last approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Post-Conditional Offer Background Investigation
Applicants who successfully complete the interview will be given a conditional offer of employment. The following steps will be completed post conditional offer:
  • Polygraph
  • Sit-Down Psychological Exam
  • Medical Exam
  • Chain of Command Interview
  • Civil Service Approval
  • Drug Screening

Throughout the Pre- and Post-Conditional Offer Background, investigators will be checking applicant information through multiple criminal justice databases, performing a credit check, and verifying personal and work references.

Police Academy
Selected applicants will complete a 25-week training academy. During this academy, new hires will be paid employees of the City of Charlotte and will receive Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET). Applicants who successfully complete the Academy will be assigned to one of 13 patrol divisions for additional field training.

For more information about the hiring process, available Recruitment personnel can be reached at 704-432-1602 during normal business hours. For general questions, email