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Hiring Process


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 (Traditional, Intermediate, and Lateral). 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, 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. Remember, you can apply any time!



Multiple-Choice Test

The standardized 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 to retest once per month. Once an applicant passes this multiple-choice test, his or her score is validated for the next 12 months. For tips on taking the test, refer to this Nelson Denny Study Guide.

Option 1: Testing is offered at the Police Academy twice per month, or at off-site event locations (off-site locations and schedules vary).  The Job-Related Physical Abilities Test (include link to description of test and demo video) will also be administered at this time for candidates testing in Charlotte.  Other candidates will complete the JRPAT when they reach Step 4.

Option 2: For candidates outside the Charlotte Metro area, you may contact a recruiter to set up an online administration of the multiple-choice test. Email to set up an online test (Metro area as defined by the US Census Bureau Combined Statistical area): Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly and Cleveland counties in North Carolina and York, Chester and Lancaster counties in South Carolina.



Background Investigation

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 for the Police Academy, and a list of documents that applicants must gather and submit to his or her Recruiter. 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.



Psychological Evaluation

BRAINS Assessment (Online)

Recruiter Interview


CPI/Psychological Interview

The JRPAT (Job-Related Physical Abilities Test) fitness test, 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’s section.



Oral Board

The Oral Board interview is an in-person interview with a panel of CMPD representatives. This is an opportunity to show the board members that you are ready to serve and become a member of CMPD!



Medical Exam

Basic medical examination is with a qualified physician to ensure State guidelines are satisfied prior to an applicant’s hire for the Police Academy.



The Civil Service Board with the City of Charlotte will review completed candidate packets; the board provides the final candidate evaluation and marks the conclusion of your hiring process. Approved candidates will be assigned to a Recruit Class as a Police Trainee with the CMPD. Welcome to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department!


For candidates who live outside the Charlotte Metro Area, we offer FAST TRACK. Candidates can coordinate with their recruiter to schedule the elements of STEPs 4, 5 and 6 to be completed in a single trip to Charlotte over 2-3 weekdays. Candidates who live more than 150 miles from Charlotte are strongly encouraged to contact their recruiter and request our FAST TRACK option.