Selection Process
If considered, a recruiter will contact you for a meeting. After a written exam, recruiters will supply candidates with a background package. Then applicants will schedule a time to take the Physical Agility Test at the Portsmouth Police K9 Training Center, located at 4402 Deep Creek Blvd, Portsmouth, VA. Other necessary appointments will also be scheduled with a polygrapher.

Written Entrance Exam
The written entrance exam is offered as posted on the website. Applicants will be provided specific information about the written test, prior to the test date.

The written exam consists of the following components:

  • Basic arithmetic
  • Grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing skills

Physical Agility Test
The Police Recruiter will contact candidates to schedule the Physical Agility Test that will be administered at the Portsmouth Police K9 Training Center, 4402 Deep Creek Boulevard, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704.

1. 215’ Run/Walk
2. Stair climb (6 steps up, 6 steps down
3. 105’ Run/Walk
4. 50-foot Dummy Drag (160 lbs) – Cannot drop/release control
5. 120’ Run/Walk
6. 6 Foot Chain Link Fence Climb (Must get over)
7. 590’ Run/Walk
8. Stair Climb (6 steps up, 6 steps down)
9. 30’ Run/Walk
10. 4 Foot Horizontal Jump over a sand pit
11. 205’ Run/Walk
12. Dry fire a Glock 9 mm Pistol (5 trigger pulls – right hand/ left hand)


NOTE:  The Glock 9MM pistol will require the slide to be actuated after each trigger pull to reset the trigger.

On the day of the test, an Officer will walk everyone through the course to ensure he/she knows which way to go. You must complete all events prior to reaching the time limit of five (5) minutes.  If you fail to complete an event or to complete the course prior to reaching the maximum time allowed, you will receive a “FAILED”, which will be reported to the Civil Service Commission.

Oral Review Board
Applicants will be asked a series of questions while seated in front of a panel of evaluators. The evaluators will rate each applicant based on the applicant’s responses. Applicants who successfully pass the Oral Review Board will be assigned a Background Investigator.

Background Investigation
A comprehensive background investigation will be conducted on each applicant. The investigation will include, but is not limited to, employment verification, personal references, financial responsibility (credit report,) neighbor contacts, and a review of any criminal record.

Prior to leaving the written test, applicants will be issued their Background Investigation Package. The applicants will be advised how to complete it and when the package is due back to the police department. Failure to return a complete Background Investigation Package by the specified time and date may result in an applicant being disqualified and not allowed to proceed further in the process.

Polygraph Examination
As only applicants of excellent character are considered, a polygraph examination will be administered to each applicant to ensure compatibility.

Civil Service Commission review
Upon completion of the background investigation, the package will be reviewed by the Civil Service Commission for approval for appointment.

Chief of Police Interview
Applicants approved for appointment will meet with the Chief of Police for an interview.

Conditional Job Offer
When a vacancy exists, the Chief of Police will consider those applicants who have successfully completed the above steps in the process. Candidates who are extended job offers must successfully complete a medical and psychological evaluation, provided at the expense of the city as a condition of employment.

Applicants selected for employment must successfully pass a stringent medical evaluation, given at the city’s expense, to determine if applicants are medically capable of performing the essential functions of the job. Continued employment is conditioned upon successful completion of the medical evaluation.

Applicants selected for employment are required to complete a series of psychological tests to determine if the applicants are psychologically capable of performing the essential functions of the job. Continued employment is conditioned upon successful completion of the evaluation.


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