Frequently Asked Questions
Application Process
Lateral Entry

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does my packet need to be complete before it is uploaded to the Recruitment Office?
A: Yes, please make sure that you have included all information before uploading the packet. The only thing that may be missing before mailing is your school transcript. Some schools require that they send the documents directly to our agency.

Q: What records are required and how do I obtain copies?

A: Certified copies of driving record, criminal record checks and civil record checks for all counties you have resided in as an adult. This includes out-of-state records.

Driving records can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles of each state a driver's license had been held.

Criminal record checks can be obtained from the Clerk of Courts office of each county you have resided in as an adult or from the state police of each state you have resided in. (Military records will be obtained by the recruiter)

Certified copies of all citations, criminal summons and warrants for arrest that have been issued to or for you.

NOTE: Some states have agencies that can run a statewide criminal/civil check while other states require the individual to make the request from each county they have resided in.

Q. What is RPD’s policy on hairstyles, beards, tattoos, and jewelry?

A: The Department's policy on each are as follows:

Hair-Uniformed officers are required to have their hair trimmed or arranged so that it allows secure
wearing of the uniform hat, does not extend over the collar, does not completely cover the ears, and cannot be easily grabbed. Uniformed officers may use only those hair ornaments which remain hidden inside the hair, such as bobby pins.

Beards-Uniformed and sworn officers may not wear beards, handle-bar mustaches, goatees or hair below the bottom lip.

Tattoos, Body Art, Mutilation, Branding-No employee will be permitted to display any visible tattoos, body art, intentional mutilation or branding while on-duty or when wearing a department authorized/issued uniform. Employees will be permitted to comply with this regulation by covering the tattoo, body art,
mutilation or branding with make-up or issued clothing.

Jewelry-Uniformed officers may not wear earrings and/or bracelets. No employee shall wear jewelry or necklaces which are gaudy, perverse, or which jeopardize safety. They are also prohibited from wearing necklaces that are visible beneath the shirt. Officers may wear bracelets that are of a medical nature.

Q: What are the requirements to pass the physical assessment?
A: Our agency uses the Cooper’s Institute Guidelines to determine the factors for the physical assessment. It is your responsibility to become physically and mentally prepared for the police academy. Applicants should already be preparing for or involved in some type of daily or weekly exercise routine to meet the basic eligibility requirement and to stay physically fit.

Q. How long does the application process take?
A: After the application deadline, the pre-employment process can take between 3 to 8 months depending on the needs of the Department, vacancy levels or total number of applications submitted.
Q: Can I do a ride along with an officer prior to submitting an application for employment?
A: No. Interested candidates must first apply to the Department before scheduling a ride along with an officer. At a certain stage in the process, your Recruiter will schedule one if time is permitted in the process.

Q: Do applicants need to call the Recruitment Office to schedule a date/time for a reading comprehension exam, physical assessment, polygraph, etc.?
A: No. Recruiters will review the packets after they arrive into the Recruitment Office. Applicants will receive an e-mail and/or phone call to confirm that the packet has arrived. If items are missing from the packet, applicants will be made aware at that time and it will affect the status of their application packet. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the checklist to ensure mailing in a complete packet.

Once the deadline for the application process passes and confirmation of complete packets have been made, the Recruitment Office will be contacting the applicant to schedule testing dates.

Note: If applicants have not received notification that their packet has been received and is on file within 2 weeks of the mailing, applicants should contact the Recruitment Office.

Q. If I am removed from the pre-employment process, how long do I have to wait before re-applying?
A: On average, the minimum requirement is 1 year; however, there are some automatic disqualifiers that may be discovered when reviewing the application, during the interviewing phase, background investigation, polygraph, or other pre-employment process that may force the candidate to wait a longer period of time to be reconsidered for employment.

Q: How many people are you hiring?
A: The number of applicants for the Department is determined by the vacancy levels and the large volume of applications in each competitive process.

Q: When is the next academy?
A: The Academy date is always determined by the vacancy levels due to retirement, resignations and any ongoing training events within the Department that leads to scheduling conflicts.

Q: Do I have to live in Raleigh or North Carolina to apply?
A: No. You do not have to reside in Raleigh, NC to apply. Once you have been hired, you will be required to reside within 60 miles of the downtown Municipal Building.

Q: Do you get paid while you are in the academy?
A: Yes. All recruits are considered full-time employees with benefits of the City of Raleigh.

Q: Do I have to stay overnight at the academy?
A: No. The Academy operates during specific training hours to allow the course requirements for graduation. Recruits go home every night and on weekends.

Q: Do I have to work patrol/street duty or can I go straight to a Specialized Unit or the Detective Division?
A: Upon graduating, officers work 12 hour shifts on patrol for a minimum of 2 to 4 years. The Department’s Policy dictates the years of service and qualifications needed before a candidate can even be considered for a specialized unit or the Detective Division.
Q: What is the POPAT?

A: The POPAT is Police Officer Physical Abilities Test. The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission requires Basic Law Enforcement Training students to pass the POPAT. The tasks within the POPAT simulate duties an officer will perform during a shift. Click on the picture for a step-by-step video of the POPAT.



Site disclaimer: The Raleigh Police Department's website was developed to provide general information.
Data contained at this location is generally not reviewed for legal sufficiency.