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How to become a police officer

How to become a police officer

Author: Chris Willis

This tutorial will show you the steps to join the police academy after getting hired by the police department.  The timeline for this process can range from a month to six months or more depending on the police department's needs.

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Application Process

The first step in becoming a police officer is submitting your application to your desired police department.  You will then be selected by the department to take part in their physical and written test.

Coppell Police Department Physical Fitness Standards


Source: Coppell Police Department Physical Fitness Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from

Personal History Statement

Once you have been selected to take the test you will need to have the personal history statement completed and notarized and be able to turn in on the day of the test.

Personal History Statement


Source: Coppell Police Department Physical Fitness Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from

Background Investigation Report

The following step after the history statement the police department will gather your background through a series of checks and also contact your references and do a preliminary interview with you to prequalify you for further advancement.  Next will be your oral review board if you pass the background check.  This consists of sitting in front of two sergeants, two captains, and the head of human resources.  After successfully completing your oral board you will then be sent for a polygraph test and psychological test followed by a drug and physical test by a doctor.

Congratulations, you are now hired!

At this point you have been hired by the department but now must undergo a new set of challenges, police academy.  You will now spend the next four months going through the rigorous training required for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement basic police officer certification.  After graduating the academy you will now go back top your department and undergo another four months of training tailored to the department and their processes.  After successfully completing their field training you will now be on your own in the field and undergo six months of probation.  After completion of the probationary period you are now considered a police officer of the department you chose.

Police Academy

This is the academy video from the graduating class 160 from Tarrant County College