Becoming A Police Officer In Charlotte North Carolina
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and its more than 120 officers and civilian staff serve the more than 750,000 residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, the 21st largest city in the United States.
Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment
If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Charlotte you should first determine if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. These include:
- You must be at least 21 years old at the time of application.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED, although the Department encourages candidates to possess an associates degree.
- You must either possess or have the ability to obtain a North Carolina drivers license.
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must have an honorable discharge from the military .
- You must have no visible tattoos or brandings that cannot be covered with a long-sleeve uniform.
- You must reside in North Carolina or South Carolina at the time of appointment.
- You must be able to read on a 10th grade level.
Step 2. Submit a City Employment Application
Step 3. Take the Police Officer Examination
Step 4. Take the Physical Ability Test
The sections of the test include:
- 200-yard run
- Step-up 20 times
- 15 push-ups
- 15 sit-ups
North Carolina Sheriff Deputy Requirements
North Carolina has 100 counties. The three most populous counties are Mecklenburg, Wake, and Guilford the county seats are Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, respectively. Requirements for sheriffs deputies and other law enforcement positions reporting to sheriffs offices in the state are set by the Sheriffs Education and Training Standards Commission.
Although individual sheriffs offices may set a higher bar, the Commission provides minimum state requirements for all candidates. The Commission states that prospective sheriffs deputies must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be a US citizen
- Possess or be eligible for a valid North Carolina drivers license
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass a drug test
- Have no felony charges or convictions
Once hired, sheriffs deputies will be on probation for a period of 12 months, during which time they must complete at least 616 hours of training and instruction in a qualified Basic Law Enforcement Training course.3
Frequently Asked Questions About A Police Officer Salaries
The average salary for a Police Officer is US$52,296 per year in Charlotte, NC, United States Area. Salaries estimates are based on 70 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Police Officer employees in Charlotte, NC, United States Area.
The highest salary for a Police Officer in Charlotte, NC, United States Area is US$72,748 per year.
The lowest salary for a Police Officer in Charlotte, NC, United States Area is US$37,594 per year.
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Minimum Requirements For Prospective Police Officers In North Carolina
If youre seeking to become a police officer in North Carolina, you need to ensure that you meet the following basic requirements. Prospective candidates must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Hold U.S. citizenship
- Have a clear criminal record
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have a valid North Carolina drivers license
- Not have been dishonorably charged from the armed forces
- Have a good moral disposition
North Carolina Police Jobs Outlook
The outlook for cops in North Carolina is positive. Through 2026, the state expects to see jobs growth in law enforcement positions of around 9.1%.7 Including replacements, an anticipated 1,700 average annual openings for police and sheriffs patrol officers should become available during that time period.7 Applicants with a bachelors degree or experience in law enforcement will have a better chance of being hired than those with none. With an average police salary of $47,440, North Carolina offers prospective cops a good place to start their careers.4
For more information current law enforcement openings, take a look at our police jobs page.
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Salary Benefits And Jobs Outlook
Police trainees with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department receive a starting salary of $44,362.4 During training and throughout the time of service, the CMPD offers 5% incentive pay for associates degree holders and 10% incentive pay for bachelors degree holders.4 The department also offers an additional 5% incentive pay for proficiency in its five most-desired languages.4 All officers receive medical insurance, paid parental leave, and tuition reimbursement for qualifying continuing education. The department also offers a 401K retirement plan with a 5% salary contribution from the City of Charlotte.4 Officers are eligible for full retirement benefits after 30 years of service or at the age of 55.4
About 6,730 cops were employed in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill metropolitan area as of 2017.5 The annual average salary for police officers in the area is $53,310.5 The number of law enforcement officers in North Carolina is projected to increase by 9% through 2026, with about 205 job openings per year.6 With the number of new jobs for police officers increasing, Charlotte would be a great place for an aspiring cop to start a career.
For more information on current CMPD cop positions, take a look at our jobs board page.
Police Departments In North Carolina
In 2017 there were about 23,370 sheriff and police patrol officers in North Carolina.4 From the Atlantic Ocean on its east coast to the mountainous terrain of its western border, North Carolina has communities of all sizes from rural to metropolitan that can provide rewarding careers for aspiring police officers. Law enforcement candidates must meet state and local requirements, complete a state-approved training academy, and complete on-the-job field training.
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Cities And Police Departments Near Charlotte
The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan corridor is home to an estimated 6,330 police and sheriffs patrol officers.5 The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is the largest employer of police and patrol officers in this metro, but surrounding cities also offer competitive opportunities for aspiring cops. The table below provides a comparison of local police employment and crime rates.
Charlotte Police Officer Salary And Job Outlook
A Charlotte police officers entry-level pay is $42,009 per year.1 Officers with an associates degree earn an additional 5% of their base salary per year, whereas bachelors degree program graduates will receive 10% above the base salary for their pay grade.2 All officers receive paid life insurance, health insurance, vacation, and holiday pay, as well as retirement benefits and tuition reimbursement for qualifying programs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 5,950 police and sheriffs patrol officers in the Charlotte metropolitan area, with an average annual salary of $47,400.2
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Why Choose Central Piedmont
Our basic law enforcement training program is highly respected in the southeast, and our students have a 100% state exam pass rate. The benefits of our program include hands-on education, experienced instructors, access to agencies for employment, career opportunities, and military credit. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the student Criminal Justice Association.
Shooting Of Jonathan Ferrell
On September 13, 2013, 23-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was shot ten times and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Randall Kerrick, after Ferrell’s car broke down and he had knocked on a person’s door for help in the early hours of the morning. Police arrived at the scene in response to a report of suspicious behavior and possible breaking and entering. Ferrell was unarmed, refused police orders to stop, and continued running towards Kerrick. Ferrell was first Tasered and then shot. A lawsuit filed by Ferrell’s family against the city was settled for $2.25 million in 2015. Kerrick is currently being tried for voluntary manslaughter. On August 21, 2015, the manslaughter charge was declared a mistrial on the basis of 8-4 jurors .
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Shooting Of Keith Lamont Scott
The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African American man, occurred on the afternoon of September 20, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Plain-clothes police officers arrived at an apartment complex about a mile from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to search for another man for whom they had outstanding warrants. Once there, they saw Scott in his SUV allegedly smoking cannabis and handling a handgun. They left and called for backup, as they were not marked as police officers at the time. Once other officers arrived, they approached Scott’s vehicle with weapons drawn and ordered him to drop his gun and exit the vehicle. Scott did not initially respond. The original unmarked officers, now wearing CMPD plate carriers, moved to the rear of Scott’s vehicle and broke out a rear window, presumably to pressure Scott out. Scott exited the vehicle, gun in hand, and stood in front of several alert officers. The officers ordered him to drop the gun a total of 17 times, which he allegedly refused to do. Officer Brentley Vinson fatally shot Scott he has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The shooting sparked riots, which continued on into the morning of the next day and subsequent night.
Becoming A Police Officer In Greensboro North Carolina
The Greensboro Police Department is a full-service police organization that consists of 747 authorized employees, all of whom are dedicated to providing community policing services, crime suppression services, and an excellent quality of life for the residents of Greensboro, North Carolina.
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for individuals who want to learn how to become a cop in Greensboro by meeting the departments specific police officer requirements:
Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements
If you are interested in becoming a police officer in Greensboro, you must first review the Greensboro Police Departments minimum eligibility requirements for employment, which include:
- Must possess a North Carolina drivers license
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
- Must read at the 10th grade level or higher
- Must possess a high school diploma or GED
- Must be at least 21 years old by the time you complete the Police Academy
Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment
To apply for employment with the Greensboro Police Department you must complete an application packet, which includes the following forms:
In addition to completing the above forms, you must provide the following documentation in your application packet:
- Birth certificate
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How To Become A Police Officer In Charlotte
Charlotte, home to an estimated 842,000 residents, is the largest city in North Carolina and enjoys a cost of living slightly below the national average.1,2 To help keep the city safe, the consolidated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department employs 1,972 sworn officers and 520 civilian personnel with an annual operating budget of $201.6 million.3,4 The CMPDs jurisdiction covers over 438 square miles and the department is the largest metro police department between Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC.3,4 Potential law enforcement officers will find that Charlotte is a great place to start a promising career. Individuals hoping to become a part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department should continue reading for more information about the application, selection, and training process for becoming a CMPD officer.
North Carolina Police Officer Requirements
Except for deputy sheriffs, detention officers, and others employed in sheriffs offices , law enforcement officer standards in North Carolina are overseen by the Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards Commission. The Commission sets minimum standards for certified police officers, though individual jurisdictions are free to set more strict requirements. At a minimum, police applicants in North Carolina must:
- Be at least 20 years old
- Be a United States citizen
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be of good moral character
- Not have committed or been convicted of any felonies or disqualifying misdemeanors
- Be fingerprinted and allow disclosure of any criminal record
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How To Become A Police Officer In North Carolina
North Carolina is a scenic state with temperate weather and a low cost of living, about 4% lower than the US average.1 The state also has a relatively low unemployment rate, at 3.9%.1 North Carolina offers police officers a variety of career paths and many opportunities for advancement. While each police department will have its own standards in terms of requirements and prerequisites, there are some statewide requirements that all law enforcement officers in the state must meet. Continue reading for an overview of police requirements in North Carolina as well as select department-specific requirements.
Becoming A Police Officer In North Carolina
The process involved in becoming a police officer has multiple steps. Each candidate must successfully make it through each round of steps and make it to the next set of requirements. After satisfying the minimum requirements for becoming a police officer, candidates must pass a series of exams.These include:
- Physical examination This thorough exam is carried out by a physician to ensure that candidates are physically capable of dealing with the job.
- Drug screening A comprehensive drug test will be carried out to check for any illegal substance use.
- Psychological evaluation Conducted by a clinical psychologist, this test is essential to determine whether candidates are mentally sound.
- Polygraph examination All candidates must submit to a polygraph test to test their moral character.
If a candidate clears all of these examinations, they will advance to the academy training step.
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Basic Law Enforcement Training
Have you always wanted to join a police academy? Do you want to know what it takes to be successful as a law enforcement officer? The Central Piedmont Basic Law Enforcement Training program is a 16-week long “rookie” police academy offered for students interested in completing the certification to become a law enforcement officer in the state of North Carolina. Basic law enforcement training provides college credit and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers with the state, county, or municipal governments, or with private agencies.
Minimum Standards For Certification
Please note that the standards listed below are the Commission mandated minimum requirements for employment as a law enforcement officer. Individual agencies may require higher standards.
Every law enforcement officer employed by an agency in North Carolina shall:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be at least 20 years of age
- Be a high school graduate or have passed the General Educational Development Test indicating high school equivalency
- Be of good moral character
- Have successfully completed Basic Law Enforcement Training and passed the BLET state exam.
- Satisfactorily complete the employing agencys in-service firearms training program
- Not have committed or been convicted of:
- A felony or
- A crime for which the punishment could have been imprisonment for more than two years or
- A crime or unlawful act defined as a Class B misdemeanor within the five-year period prior to the date of application for employment or
- Four or more crimes or unlawful acts defined as Class B misdemeanors regardless of the date of conviction or
- Four or more crimes or unlawful acts defined as Class A misdemeanors except the applicant may be employed if the last conviction occurred more than two years prior to the date of application for employment.
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Charlotte Police Officer Training Prerequisites And Education Requirements
To become a Charlotte police officer, candidates must reside within 45 miles of CMPD headquarters, be a US citizen at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or a GED, and have a valid drivers license with at least two years of driving experience. Candidates must pass all stages of the hiring process outlined above in order to be accepted as recruits and attend police academy training. Although a college education is not required to become a CMPD officer, applicants who have at least an associates degree typically have an edge in the competitive hiring process.
Successful candidates are conditionally hired as police recruits and attend training at the CMPD Training Academy. The academy is approximately 22 weeks long and includes 903 hours of training. In addition to completing physical training, recruits will complete academic modules focused on laws and procedures, cultural diversity, effective communication, and computer proficiency. Academy graduates then complete 14 weeks of field training before beginning to work independently as Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.
How To Become A Charlotte North Carolina Police Officer
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department requires applicants to complete a competitive hiring process. This process starts with an online application, a written test, and a physical abilities test. Applicants who pass the first stages of screening will be invited to a formal interview, after which they will complete the second phase of testing. This second phase consists of a psychological screening, background investigation, and polygraph test. Next, applicants complete a second formal interview with a command staff member. Applicants invited to the final stage of the hiring process will need to pass a medical exam as well as a drug screening before beginning police academy training.
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Time Needed To Join The Charlotte
The CMPD Training Academy runs a 22-week long course for new recruits. Once this program is complete, the successful candidates have to undergo field training for 14 weeks. Add to that the time taken to complete preliminary selection, and you will need about 1.5 years to become a Charlotte police officer.