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Minimum Standards for Employment

Applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications to be considered for employment:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED, but we encourage applicants to have at least an Associate Degree.
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Have or be able to obtain a North Carolina Driver's License.
  • Have not committed or been convicted of any felony or serious misdemeanors.
  • Have not been convicted of Driving While Impaired during the preceding five years.
  • Have an Honorable Military Discharge, if applicable.
  • Pass an entry level written examination.
    (Content of the examination: Accuracy of Observation, Written Communication Skills, Reading with Understanding, and Biodata).
  • Pass an entry level physical ability test.
  • Pass an extensive background investigation including psychological examination, polygraph examination, medical examination, and drug screening.
  • Pass a pre-employment Medical Examination and Drug Screening Test.
  • Certain past drug use will result in disqualification. Marijuana usage in the last 12 months or usage of Schedule I drugs and other drugs in the past 10 years.
  • Must have Normal Color Vision.
  • Must have minimum corrected visual acuity of 20/30 binocularly.

*Effective June 1, 2010*
All applicants must be able to read on a 10th grade reading level. 
(Reading levels are obtained from the entry level written examination.) 
Residency Requirements:
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Rules of Conduct dictate that all sworn police officers will:

  • Reside in North Carolina or South Carolina
  • Within a 45 mile radius of Police Headquarters

While they are employed with the CMPD, all sworn employees must continue to abide by this rule.

Please use this link to help you determine if your residence is within the bounds the CMPD allows: 
45 Mile Radius Map (pdf)

Thinking of Joining Our Department?  Compare Charlotte’s Cost of Living With Other Municipalities.  Use the Cost of Living Wizard to calculate your estimate.
Tattoo Policy:
Tattoos or brands cannot be visible on the head, face, chest or neck.  Any visible tattoo (i.e. "sleeves"), must be covered by a uniform shirt or approved tattoo "jacket".