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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 Basic Instruction Course (PBIC) 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, 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. The physical abilities test is first and the applicant must pass it before taking the written test. The written test 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. Successful completion of both the POPAT and the written test is required before advancing to the next phase of the hiring process.


The State of North Carolina Criminal Justice Training Standards Commission has taken the stance that physical fitness is a very important aspect of a police officer's job and have 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). The test is a modified version of the state mandated POPAT and consists of (in order of completion):

  1. The applicant will start seated in a patrol vehicle with a seat belt on and hands on the steering wheel. The applicant will be given a street intersection to remember, for example, Oak and Elm Street. 
  2. The applicant will run 100 yards to an orange cone, circle it and return to the vehicle. 
  3. Once returning to the vehicle, the applicant will lift a 150 pound dummy off the trunk of a vehicle. 
  4. The applicant will then drag the dummy 50 feet backwards. 
  5. The applicant will sit the dummy down and run a set of steps three times, being sure to touch every step. 
  6. The applicant will exit steps to the left after the third set of steps and will push through a metal door that has a 50-pound weight attached to it by a pulley. 
  7. The applicant will then complete 10 sit-ups followed by 10 push-ups. The applicant must use correct form for each repetition. In the up position, the applicant must keep back straight and lock elbows at the top of the movement. In the down position, the applicant's chin must touch spotter's fist while keeping body off the ground. 
  8. The applicant will return to the steps to run three more times touching every step.
  9. The applicant will crawl through a 40-foot culvert. 
  10. Once exiting the culvert, the applicant will complete 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. 
  11. The applicant will then run 100 yards to an orange cone and 100 yards and 50 feet back to the steps to grab the 150-pound dummy. 
  12. The applicant will grab the 150-pound dummy and drag backwards 50 feet to the front of the vehicle. 
  13. The applicant sits the dummy on the ground and recites the street intersection given to the applicant at the start of the test, i.e. Oak and Elm Street.
  14. The test is over unless the applicant fails to recall the street intersection, in which case, the applicant must then run 100 yards around the cone and back to the vehicle to end the test. 
This test must be completed in 10 minutes.


Upon completion of the POPAT and written tests, successful candidates are forwarded to the City of Greensboro's Human Resources Department for referral to the background investigation process. An in-depth investigation of each applicant's background is performed, checking for criminal activity, drug use, bad credit, 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 pass a psychological interview, a medical exam (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 is lying 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.


Once the post-conditional offer process is successfully completed, the applicant will be seated in the academy.

PBIC Course

The primary objective of the Police Basic Introductory Course 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: 2/6/2012 3:46:24 PM