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Minimum Standards to Become an Officer

Applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications to be considered for employment:


bullet point graphicHave a high school diploma or GED. A high school correspondence diploma is not accepted by the state of North Carolina, you must complete the high school equivalency.

bullet point graphicBe at least 20 years old at the time of initial application. ​

bullet point graphicBe a United States citizen.

bullet point graphicHave or be able to obtain a North Carolina OR South Carolina Driver's License (depende​nt on your state of residence) AND have a minimum of 2 years driving experience, using a VALID driver's license.

bullet point graphicHave not committed or been convicted of a felony.

bullet point graphicHave not committed or been convicted of a serious misdemeanor in the preceding five years.

bullet point graphicHave not committed or been convicted of Driving While Impaired during the preceding five years.

bullet point graphicHave an Honorable Military Discharge; General and Uncharacterized Discharges are evaluated on a case by case basis.

bullet point graphicPass an entry level written examination.

bullet point graphicPass an entry level physical ability test.

bullet point graphicPass an extensive background investigation including psychological examination, polygraph examination, etc.

bullet point graphicPass Medical standards for sworn applicants are based on Medical Screening Guidelines for the Certification of Criminal Justice Officers in the State of North Carolina.

bullet point graphicPass a pre-employment Medical Examination and Drug Screening Test.

bullet point graphicCertain past drug use will result in disqualification. Marijuana usage in the last 12 months or usage of Schedule I drugs or cocaine within the past 10 years will result in an automatic disqualification.


Residency Requirements:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department requires that all sworn police officers will:

bullet point graphicReside in North Carolina or South Carolina

bullet point graphicWithin a 45 mile radius of Police Headquarters (601 E. Trade, Charlotte, NC 28202)



While they are employed with the CMPD, all sworn employees must continue to abide by this rule. The residency requirement does not apply during the application process. Out of state residents are eligible to apply.


Please use this link to help you determine if your residence is within the bounds the CMPD allows: 45 Mile Radius Map (pdf)



Thinking of Joining Our Department?​ Compare Charlotte’s Cost of Living With Other Municipalities. Use the Cost of Living Wizard to calculate your estimate.



Tattoo Policy:

Tattoos or brands cannot be visible on the head, face, chest or neck. As per CMPD Policy,"Visible tattoos cannot be more than 2.5 inches in length or 1 inch in width and number no more than one per limb, including the hand.​" Any visible tattoo (i.e. "sleeves"), must be covered by a uniform shirt or approved tattoo "jacket".



Facial Hair Policy:

OSHA requires that sworn employees be able to properly wear and seal respirators. Based on this requirement, any facial hair other than a well-groomed mustache is prohibited.