How to Become a Police Officer

Sgt. George Godoy specializes in Police Recruiting and Testing

Sgt. George Godoy specializes in Police Recruiting and Testing

Welcome to your complete reference site for the Police Hiring Process and Police Written Exam. Learn about:

  • Police Application Process

  • Police Officer Written Exam

  • Police Officer Selection Testing

  • Police Officer Prep Courses by State

  • Police Physical Abilities Test

  • Police Polygraph

  • Police Personality Test

  • Police Psych Exam

  • Police Background Investigation

  • Police Oral Interview

Even though the menu has only a few main links, there are over 100 pages of information in this site. Use SEARCH to find the exact topics you want, e.g. city, state, name of the test, or police abbreviations you are curious about.

This web site is dedicated to the future men and women of law enforcement. My goal is to serve as your personal guide and show you how to become a police officer, a deputy sheriff or state trooper with confidence.

Joining law enforcement is not easy.  Don’t let the long and frustrating process dampen your enthusiasm. Take a stand for your dream. Make a pledge to succeed. Arm yourself for victory and find the path forward.

The Path Forward

Police Officers are Strong and Compassionate

Police Officers are Strong and Compassionate

Congratulations! You've found your way in! I have the keys to your future and the knowledge to help you become a police officer! I will walk you through everything you need to know.

Years ago, when I first applied to become a police officer, I was bewildered and lost. There was little on the internet and I didn’t know any police officers. It took me two years of trial and error before I succeeded. In the long run, I enjoyed a very successful and gratifying career. I became a specialist in recruiting and training. When I retired, I realized that the best way of giving back was to provide coaching and training for future applicants like you, so that your personal journey will be easier and equally successful.

I am dedicated to bringing you comprehensive, up-to-date information.  Reading every page of this site will get you prepared and save you lots of time.

Police Application - Beware!

Learn about the hidden dangers in filling out your police application.

Learn about the hidden dangers in filling out your police application.

You probably are worried about how to pass the police written exam, but don't underestimate the challenge of filling out a winning application. You have to think ahead. How will you insure that the information you provide to different agencies will be consistent? How will you manage the hiring process when it can take several months to complete? How can you avoid creating embarrassments that will bite you during the polygraph that occurs at the end of the process?

Read my tips and strategies for creating a Winning Police Application.

Police Officer Selection Test (POST)

The police officer selection test varies from agency to agency. Learn how to prepare.

The police officer selection test varies from agency to agency. Learn how to prepare.

Police officer candidates will face a grueling set of entry exams known, in general, as the Police Officer Selection Test or POST. These exams will test your mental tenacity, physical resilience and depth of integrity. There are no shortcuts, magic pills or guarantees on this journey. 

The Police Officer Selection Test (POST) is a complex competition and one you have to understand in order to win. Understanding isn't limited to the process itself. You must master each element within the process. 

Surprisingly, there is not a standard POST in the U.S. All agencies are slightly different. However, most police officer selection tests include the following components:

Police Written Test

Physical Abilities Test

Personality Assessment

Background Investigation

Polygraph or CVSA

Psychological Examination

Medical Examination / Drug Screen

Oral Board - Interview

Sgt. Godoy’s Top Four Tips

Before you dive into the details, there are four tips that I want you to remember above all else.

1 - Commitment

To pass all of the police entry requirements will demand your full attention and commitment. The process is not designed to be easy. You must be prepared.

2 - Confidence, Not Arrogance

Confidence is a necessary quality to make it into law enforcement and confidence can be acquired through good preparation. But being over confident has been the downfall of many qualified applicants. Do not underestimate the preparation that will be required.

3 - Spread Your Risk

Because of the intense competition for these positions, your chance of getting accepted to any specific agency can be as low as 10:1, even when fully qualified. For this reason, I recommend that you apply to as many agencies as you can manage in parallel. Get your foot in the door. After a couple of years, you can more easily transfer to the agency or location that you most prefer.

4 - Get in Shape

No matter what agency you apply to and no matter what type of physical abilities test is required, you know that you must be in good physical shape – so start now.

The police officer selection test process is only the beginning. Once you're awarded the badge, every day becomes a test, and your choices can change lives.

Bring your fire to the force.

Sgt. George Godoy