All applicants must fill out an application online prior to taking the written Entrance Exam, paper applications will not be accepted.
Applications will be accepted for specified hiring periods. Each hiring period will have its own written test and physical agility test date. Applicants will receive specific information confirming their eligibility to participate prior to the test date applied for.
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 Physical Agility Test for police officer candidates will be administered immediately following the written exam at the Portsmouth Police K-9 Training Center, 4402 Deep Creek Boulevard, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704. No makeup dates will be scheduled for the agility test.
IF YOU FAIL TO OBTAIN A PASSING SCORE ON THE WRITTEN EXAM AND/OR TO PASS THE PHYSICAL AGILITY TEST, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM FURTHER PARTICIPATION IN THE HIRING PROCESS
The 5 minute test (1/4 mile course) will consist of the following events:
- 80 Yard Run/Walk
- Stair climb (6 steps up, 6 steps down)
- 40 Yard Run/Walk
- 50 foot Dummy Drag (100-150 lbs) – Cannot drop/release control
- 25 Yd Run/Walk
- 35 Yard Run/Walk
- 6 Foot Chain Link Fence Climb (Must get over)
- 70 Yard Run/Walk
- 35 Yard Run/Walk
- 60 Yard Run/Walk
- Stair Climb (6 steps up, 6 steps down)
- 15 Yard Run/Walk
- 4 Foot Horizontal Jump over a sand pit
- 15 Yard Run/Walk
- 45 Yard Sprint
- Dry fire a Glock 9 mm Piston (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.
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.
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.