How to Become a Police Officer in Virginia

Why Serve?

Top 2 Reasons to Become a cop in Virginia

Benefits

Law enforcement agencies in vA offer amazing benefits like paid vacations, retirement plan, dental, health insurance & more.

Career Advancement

The units that you can join are endless like SWAT, K-9, mount patrol, FTO, school resource office, Detective Unit, and more.

How to Train to Become a Police Officer

Requirements To become a cop in Virginia

Basic Qualifications

In order to become a police officer in VA, you must meet the minimum qualifications mentioned below.
NOTE: Some agencies have additional requirements.

  • No Felony Convictions Possession of a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be mentally and physical fit
  • Must be able to read and write the English language
  • Must be a least 21 years of age on date of hire.
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Must be of good character and reputation
  • Good credit history.
  • Must be in possession of a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
  • Must be willing to work rotating shifts and weekends.

Duties of a Police Officer

  • Enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Investigate criminal and traffic offenses.
  • Testifying in court.
  • Communicating effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Safely operate a law enforcement vehicle.
  • Effectively interview individuals.
  • Proficient use of firearms.
  • Read and comprehend a variety of legal and administrative documents.

The Following Will Result in Disqualification

Disqualifies

  • Being untruthful or withholding important information during any phase of the hiring process
  • Convictions involving perjury or false statement
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Convictions involving Domestic battery
  • Pending Criminal Charges
  • Failed Drug Test
  • Driving Privileges are suspended
  • Convicted of, pled guilty to, or no contest to any felony.
  • Conviction of possession, manufacturing, or selling illegal drugs.

The Hiring Process

In order to become a police officer in VA, you must meet the minimum qualifications mentioned below.
NOTE: Some agencies have additional requirements.

  • Written Examination
  • Physical Fitness Test
  • Background Questionnaire
  • Oral Board Interview
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Criminal Background Investigation 
  • Psychological Test
  • Medical Examination

NJ Specialized Units

K-9
Forensic Services
Bicycle
Traffic (Motors)
Crash Investigation
SWAT
Civil Disturbance
Command Post
Crime Prevention
Honor Guard
Marine
Mounted Patrol
FTO
School Resource Officer
Search and Rescue
Arson/Bomb Unit
Aviation Unit
Counter-Terrorism
Criminal Investigation

Top 7 Best Places to Live for Cops in VA

According to Niche.com, if you want to live among the best places in Virginia, then you should consider becoming a police officer in the following cities.

  1. Arlington
  2. Alexandria
  3. Virginia Beach
  4. Norfolk
  5. Newport News
  6. Richmond
  7. Hampton

*Source: Neighborhoodscout.com

Race & Ethnic Diversity in VA

1 %
White
1 %
Black/African American
1 %
American Indian & Alaska Native
1 %
Asian
1 %
Other Race/Two or More Races
1 %
Hispanic or Latino

Crime Rate & Statistics

Top 10 Best Safest Cities to Be a Cop in VA

1. NEW CASTLE
2. WASHINGTON
3. PALMYRA
4. CHARLES CITY
5. POCAHONTAS

6. KENBRIDGE
7. GLADE SPRING
8. GLASGOW
9. OCCOQUAN
10. CUMBERLAND

*Source: Neighborhoodscout.com

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Be A Cop VA

1. MCLEAN
2. GREAT FALLS
3. CLIFTON
4. FALLS CHURCH
5. FORT MYERS

6. VIENNA
7. ALDIE
8. MIDDLEBURG
9. FAIRFAX STATION
10. HAMILTON

*Source: Neighborhoodscout.com

Find Best Police Jobs in VA

Click below to search for police jobs near me in VA. Browse jobs by city/county or zip code

VA Police Officer Requirements

IMPORTANT:

THE INFORMATION BELOW MAY HAVE CHANGED, PLEASE VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE AGENCY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING FOR

To apply for the position of Virginia State Trooper, you must meet the following criteria:

Must be a least 21 years of age on date of hire.
Must be a high school graduate or have a GED (College and/or related experience PREFERRED).
Must be a United States citizen.
Must be of good character and reputation as established by a background investigation to include but not limited to: a polygraph examination, educational achievements, prior work experience, character and reputation, credit history and police record.
Must be in possession of a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
Must be willing to relocate anywhere in the state based on Department needs (no restrictions on assignment to former home county or city).
Must be willing to travel to Virginia at own expense to complete testing and screening process.
Must be able to meet the minimum vision requirement of 20/100 binocular uncorrected vision, correctable to 20/20. Must be able to meet minimum requirements for color vision test.
Must be capable of hearing normal frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000,and 8,000 hertz at a pure tone level of 30 decibels or less when checked by the Audiometer Test.
Weight must be in proportion to height.
Must be willing to work rotating shifts and weekends.

Self Assessment Guide
The Virginia State Police is more than just a job, it is a career. The life of a Virginia State Trooper requires dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. Our continued success will depend on maintaining and hiring an educated, diverse, dedicated workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer and we are particularly interested in hiring qualified women and minority applicants.

Law enforcement is not an easy career choice. It takes a special person to become a Virginia State Trooper – someone who, at any given moment, may be called upon to arrest the most atrocious criminal, console and calm a crying child, investigate complex criminal activities, issue summonses to irate motorists, encourage kids not to use drugs, and carry out a myriad of other duties and responsibilities.

If selected, are you prepared to:

Live at the academy for 29 weeks and have limited contact with family and friends?
Operate within a strict, disciplined, paramilitary system?
Participate in a rigorous physical and mental training program which includes college academic courses requiring hundreds of classroom and study hours and numerous written exams?
Obey orders without question, even though you may not understand or agree with the purpose?
Are you willing to:

Work in any area of the state? Work outside in inclement weather conditions?
Work weekends, holidays, and shift work?
Confront and arrest persons who may be larger and stronger than you who are armed with a deadly weapon?
Be the target of abusive and profane language from citizens yet respond in a professional manner?
Take the life of a person in self-defense or defense of another person?
Investigate violent or brutal crimes and effectively interact with the victim?
Investigate fatal traffic accidents…provide medical attention to persons who have been severely injured…deal with hysterical witnesses…deliver death notices to a next of kin…attend autopsies?
Complete large numbers of reports, forms and other types of paperwork?
Place yourself at risk to assist others and perform dangerous tasks in unsafe environments?

Phase I: Video-based examination and reading comprehension test. Physical ability test. The physical ability test for trooper is comprised of four events:

  • *a minimum of 22 sit-ups must be completed in one minute *a minimum of 18 push-ups must be completed in one minute
  • *a 1.5 mile run must be completed in 16 minutes or less
  • *applicant must sit and reach 14 1/2 inches (flexibility exercise) Appearance before an oral interview panel. Study guides are sent out prior to the testing dates. All applicants are given the same amount of time to study the guide.

Testing is conducted at the Administrative Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. The written test and physical ability tests are given on the same day. The written test is given in the morning, and the physical ability test is administered after a lunch break.

If an applicant passes the physical ability test s/he will be given a date to return to Headquarters to appear before the Oral Interview Panel. The Oral Interview Panels are usually scheduled within two weeks of the written and physical agility tests, but could be scheduled up to one month later.

Oral interviews are conducted in Richmond, Virginia at the Training Academy and are scheduled only during weekdays. The oral interview panel consists of 1 Sergeant and 2 Troopers. After oral interviews are conducted, the written test and oral interview results are graded and a complex algorithm is applied to arrive at a score for each applicant. Applicants who pass the cut-off score are sent on to the next phase.

Phase II: Reid Public Safety Report. Polygraph examination. All applicants who pass the written test, physical agility test and the oral interview are administered the Reid Public Safety Report at the Training Academy in Richmond, Virginia. At that time, applicants are assigned times to take the polygraph examination.

Phase III Background Investigation. An extensive background investigation is conducted on all applicants who proceed to Phase III of the trooper hiring process. A background investigator will solicit information about the applicant by contacting personal references, employers, neighbors, friends, schools, law enforcement agencies, etc.

Phase IV MMPI-2 Psychological Test. Comprehensive physical examination including drug screening. Applicants successfully completing the background investigation may be invited for a complete physical examination by our agency physician and a psychological evaluation. Applicants passing this phase MAY be offered employment. Applicants not passing all tests in this phase will not be eligible for employment.


Police Training Academy

The Virginia State Police Academy is located at the State Police Headquarters complex at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, Virginia.

The 37-week training involves over 1,325 hours of instruction covering over 119 courses. The first 12 weeks at the academy, followed by four weeks of field training. Students then return to the academy for 17 weeks. Following academy graduation, troopers have an additional four weeks of field training.

Training materials are furnished, as well as meals and lodging, at no cost to academy students. Trooper trainees are on full salary from the time they are hired. Subjects studied range from laws of arrest, search and seizure, defensive tactics and arrest techniques, motor vehicle and criminal law, to name a few.


Upon graduation, troopers are assigned to a field officer for the final four or more weeks of field training. Troopers will remain in this first assignment for 24 months

Speciality Unit
After two years a Trooper may apply for one of the state police specialty units.

K-9 Handler

Scuba

Executive Protection Unit

Motorcycle Unit

Aviation Unit

D. A. R. E. Unit

Recruitment

Hazardous Material Unit

Tactical/SWAT Team

Motor Carrier Safety Unit

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Law Enforcement Agencies in Virginia

Accomack County Sheriff Department
Albemarle County Sheriff Department
Albemarle County PD
Allegheny County Sheriff Department
Amelia County Sheriff Department
Amherst County Sheriff Department
Appomattox County Sheriff Department
Arlington County PD
Arlington County Sheriff Department
Augusta County Sheriff Department
Bath County Sheriff Department
Bedford County Sheriff Department
Bland County Sheriff Department
Botetourt County Sheriff Department
Brunswick County Sheriff Department
Buchanan County Sheriff Department
Buckingham County Sheriff Department
Campbell County Sheriff Department
Caroline County Sheriff Department
Carroll County Sheriff Department
Charles City County Sheriff Department
Charlotte County Sheriff Department
Chesterfield County PD
Chesterfield County Sheriff Department
Clarke County Sheriff Department
Craig County Sheriff Department
Culpeper County Sheriff Department
Cumberland County Sheriff Department
Dickenson County Sheriff Department
Dinwiddie County Sheriff Department
Essex County Sheriff Department
Fairfax County PD
Fairfax County Sheriff Department
Fauquier County Sheriff Department
Floyd County Sheriff Department
Fluvanna County Sheriff Department
Franklin County Sheriff Department
Frederick County Sheriff Department
Giles County Sheriff Department
Gloucester County Sheriff Department
Greensville County Sheriff Department
Goochland County Sheriff Department
Grayson County Sheriff Department
Greene County Sheriff Department
Halifax County Sheriff Department
Hanover County Sheriff Department
Henrico County PD
Henrico County Sheriff Department
Henry County Sheriff Department
Highland County Sheriff Department
Isle of Wight County Sheriff Department
James City County Sheriff Department
James City County PD
King & Queen County Sheriff Department
King George County Sheriff Department
King William County Sheriff Department
Lancaster County Sheriff Department
Lee County Sheriff Department
Loudoun County Sheriff Department
Louisa County Sheriff Department
Lunenburg County Sheriff Department
Madison County Sheriff Department
Mathews County Sheriff Department
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Department
Middlesex County Sheriff Department
Montgomery County Sheriff Department
Nelson County Sheriff Department
New Kent County Sheriff Department
Northampton County Sheriff Department
Northumberland County Sheriff Department
Nottoway County Sheriff Department
Orange County Sheriff Department
Page County Sheriff Department
Patrick County Sheriff Department
Pittsylvania County Sheriff Department
Powhatan County Sheriff Department
Prince Edward County Sheriff Department
Prince George County Sheriff Department
Prince George County PD
Prince William County Sheriff Department
Prince William County PD
Pulaski County Sheriff Department
Rappahanock County Sheriff Department
Richmond County Sheriff Department
Roanoke County PD
Roanoke County Sheriff Department
Rockbridge County Sheriff Department
Rockingham County Sheriff Department
Russell County Sheriff Department
Scott County Sheriff Department
Shenandoah County Sheriff Department
Smyth County Sheriff Department
Southampton County Sheriff Department
Spotsylvania County Sheriff Department
Stafford County Sheriff Department
Surry County Sheriff Department
Sussex County Sheriff Department
Tazewell County Sheriff Department
Warren County Sheriff Department
Washington County Sheriff Department
Westmoreland County Sheriff Department
Wise County Sheriff Department
Wythe County Sheriff Department
York County-Poquoson Sheriff Department
Alexandria Sheriff Department
Bristol Sheriff Department
Buena Vista Sheriff Department
Charlottesville Sheriff Department
Chesapeake Sheriff Department
Colonial Heights Sheriff Department
Danville Sheriff Department
Fairfax Sheriff Department
Falls Church City Sheriff Department
Fredericksburg Sheriff Department
Hampton Sheriff Department
Hopewell Sheriff Department
Lynchburg Sheriff Department
Martinsville Sheriff Department
Newport News Sheriff Department
Norfolk Sheriff Department
Norton Sheriff Department
Petersburg Sheriff Department
Portsmouth Sheriff Department
Radford Sheriff Department
Richmond Sheriff Department
Roanoke City Sheriff Department
Salem Sheriff Department
Suffolk Sheriff Department
Staunton Sheriff Department
Virginia Beach Sheriff Department
Waynesboro Sheriff Department
Winchester Sheriff Department
Alexandria PD
Bristol PD
Buena Vista PD
Charlottesville PD
Chesapeake PD
Colonial Heights PD
Covington Division of Police
Danville PD
City of Fairfax PD
City of Falls Church PD
Franklin PD
Fredricksburg PD
Galax PD
Hampton PD
Harrisonburg PD
Hopewell PD
Lexington PD
Lynchburg PD
Manassas PD
Manassas Park PD
Martinsville PD
Newport News PD
Norfolk PD
Norton PD
Portsmouth PD
Poquoson PD
Radford PD
Richmond PD
Roanoke PD
Salem PD
Staunton PD
Suffolk PD
Virginia Beach PD
Waynesboro PD
Williamsburg PD
Winchester PD
Town agencies
Abingdon PD
Alberta PD
Altavista PD
Amherst PD
Appalachia PD
Ashland PD
Bedford PD
Berryville PD
Big Stone Gap PD
Blackstone PD
Bluefield PD
Boones Mill PD
Bowling Green PD
Blacksburg PD
Boydton PD
Boykins PD
Bridgewater PD
Broadway PD
Brodnax PD
Brookneal PD
Burkeville PD
Cape Charles PD
Cedar Bluff PD
Chase City PD
Chatham PD
Chilhowie PD
Chincoteague PD
Christiansburg PD
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Clifton Forge PD
Clinchco PD
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Rural Retreat PD
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Smithfield PD
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