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badge and shieldThere are a number of steps in the employment process for becoming a Greensboro Police Department employee.


Qualities of a Police Officer:

  • Integrity - A firm adherence to moral and ethical values that uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • Honesty - Adherence to the facts, fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, truthful and respectful.
  • Courage - Mental and moral strength to resist opposition, firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. 
How to Prepare
  • Academic Preparation
    Reading and studying course materials during the Police Academy requires a great deal of time. Plan to study for two to three hours per night and several hours per weekend. 
  • Physical Fitness Preparation 
    Physical fitness is a part of the everyday routine for the police recruit. Proper diet and exercise are stressed throughout the academy. Applicants should immediately begin a fitness program that includes a balanced diet and exercise to prepare themselves for the rigorous regiment that is followed during the academy. 


Once your completed application is received and reviewed for further consideration, we will mail you a letter that assigns you a testing date. The letter will contain further instructions.

Pre-Employment Testing

The physical and written tests are held on the same day. There are three components to the Pre-Employment Testing phase which applicants must successfully complete:

  • A State-mandated Reading Comprehension Test (12 NCAC 09B .0203(e)) will be administered upon initial check-in.
    • Applicant must score at or above the 10th grade level to proceed with the next testing phase.
    • Unsuccessful applicants must wait until the next academy process to reapply for consideration.
  • The physical abilities test (POPAT) will then be administered to applicants successfully completing the Reading Comprehension Test.
    • Successful completion of both the Reading Comprehension Test and POPAT is required before advancing to the next phase of the testing process.
    • Unsuccessful applicants must wait until the next academy process to reapply for consideration.
  • Applicants successfully completing the Reading Comprehension Test and POPAT will then receive instructions and deadlines for completing online testing.
    • The online testing is a suitability test that takes an average of three to four hours. This is not a test you are able to study for ahead of time.
    • Failure to complete the online testing within the deadline provided may result in evaluation delays by the testing facility. Such delays can also affect further consideration of your application; and, may even cause your application to be discontinued.


The NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission has taken the stance that physical fitness is a very important aspect of a police officer's job and has devised a test that all police trainees must complete before graduating their respective academy. This test is aptly named the Police Officer Physical Abilities Test (POPAT). Below is a step-by-step description of the new (2015) state mandated POPAT (in order of completion):

    Phase I - Chase and Apprehension Scenario

Begin by sitting in a chair. On the command of “Go,” get up and advance forty (40) feet around the cone and back around the chair two (2) times.

Do a four (4) foot broad jump, which will be indicated by two (2) lines on the ground four (4) feet apart.You must clear the line for the event to count.

Clear a four (4) foot fence. This event must be accomplished by placing both hands on the fence and going over top of the fence in the safest manner possible.

Crawl under a two (2) foot obstacle. If you move the obstacle, it will be place back into position, and you must attempt the obstacle again until successfully completed.

Go around the back cone and run back to the roll bag and the mat. Once at the bag roll, mount the bag in a straddle position. Begin with your outside knee down on the ground. As you roll over top of the bag, be careful to make sure that your outside knee touches the ground. As you roll back over, your original outside knee must touch the ground. This will count as one (1) repetition. You must do three (3) of these rolls.

Complete twenty (20) push-ups with your hands about shoulder-width apart, body straight and off the ground in a fully extended position. Then, lower yourself to where your chin will touch a four (4) inch foam block and return to a fully extended position for the repetition to count.

Complete three (3) more bag rolls, using the same technique previously described.

Get up from the bag roll station and complete the obstacles for a second time" 
    • Four (4) foot broad jump 
    • Four (4) foot fence 
    • Two (2) foot low crawl 
    • Run around the back cone and advance to the step box station.

Complete thirty (30) steps on the step box, placing both feet on the box and both feet back down to complete one (1) repetition.

Complete three (3) bag rolls.

Complete twenty (20) push-ups using the four (4) inch foam block.

Complete three (3) bag rolls.

Once your knee touches on the final bag roll, the time will stop and your time will be recorded. 

You will be given a minimum of ten (10) minutes rest before moving on to the next part of the test.

    Phase II - Rescue Scenario

Start at a cone, advance fifty (50) feet around another cone and back two (2) times.

Complete thirty (30) steps on the step box placing both feet on the box and both feet back down to complete one (1) repetition.

Advance fifty (50) feet around the original cone and back two (2) times.

Return to the station where a dummy will be laying on the ground, with the head behind the line. Drag the dummy backward across the twenty-five (25) foot mark, indicated by a cone, and back across the original line. There is no wrong way to drag the dummy, but you have to move backwards while dragging it.

Once the dummy is across the original line, time will stop and your time will be recorded.


Upon completion of the Reading Comprehensive Test, POPAT and written tests, successful candidates' information is then forwarded to the Greensboro Police Department's Resource Management Division for further evaluation and potential referral to the background investigation process. 

Candidates referred for background investigation receive an in-depth investigation of their background. the investigation includes, but is not limited to, checking for criminal activity, drug use, bad credit, driving history, and immoral acts that would preclude the applicant from being hired.

Conditional Offer

Upon completion of the background investigation, successful candidates' information is forwarded to the Selection Committee for review. The Selection Committee decides which applicants are given a conditional offer.

The conditions of the offer are that the applicant must successfully pass a psychological interview, a medical examination, which includes a drug screening and a polygraph test.

Polygraph, Psychological & Medical Testing

If the applicant accepts a conditional offer of employment, he/she will be scheduled for the final three phases. The final three phases do not come in any particular order.

The polygraph is administered to determine if the applicant has been untruthful about anything on his/her application or about anything in his/her background.

The psychological exam consists of an interview with a law enforcement psychologist. A written report is furnished to the department with the doctor's recommendation.

The doctor examines the applicant's medical history thoroughly and takes a urine sample for drug testing. The doctor adheres to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Medical Screening Guidelines. The doctor provides a recommendation of clearance for employment or not cleared for employment.

Any failure of the conditional offer requirements may result in the conditional offer of employment being revoked and withdrawn.


Upon successful completion of the post-conditional offer process, the application is notified of clearance and is seated in the academy.

Police Academy 

The primary objective of the Police Academy is to provide the knowledge and skills considered essential to successful performance of the patrol function within the Greensboro Police Department, and which can best be taught and learned in a classroom environment. This course sets the stage for further student development in the Field Training Program. This course of instruction is designed to familiarize the trainee with the fundamentals of modern police work. The curriculum is structured to include subjects of immediate and routine concern to police officers who will be assigned to the Patrol Bureau and perform the basic patrol function of the department.

The school term is composed of lectures, demonstrations, role-playing exercises, video and films, practical field exercises, class discussions, and scheduled examinations.

The applicant may be disqualified or eliminated during any phase of this process.

Last updated: 4/22/2015 2:22:06 PM