Before a potential candidate learns more about how to become a police officer in North Carolina, it is advisable that he first decides on whether he wants to become a city law enforcement officer or work in the state highway patrol. Even though the requirements and qualifications for the highway patrol and police officer are analogous, the careers entail different applications and slightly distinct trainings.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in North Carolina

In order to become a law enforcement officer in NC, the candidate must have American citizenship, be a registered resident of the state, possess a valid driver’s license and be at least 21 (but no more than 33) at the date of the application. The other prerequisites for eligible candidates are:

  • A maximum height of 6’5” without shoes
  • A maximum weight of 240 pounds
  • The height and weight must be commensurable
  • College education is a big plus that will increase the chances of acceptance. However, candidates with GED or a high school diploma are also accepted
  • The applicant should not have a previous conviction, have been involved in traffic violations that resulted in the suspension of the driver’s license, must have not pleaded guilty or entered a plea of no guilt

Selection Process for Highway Patrol Officers

The candidates will have to undergo a rigorous physical examination and are in at least the 40th qualifying percentile for their age and gender in order to receive further employment consideration. The physical fitness test is administered in accordance with the Aerobics Institute and the applicants who successfully pass it will be awarded the LECR (Law Enforcement Candidate Record). At the same time, they will become eligible for further testing, such as the written examination, polygraph, background checking from the NC FBI department, drug screening, medical examination and a personal interview with the police department they intend to work with.

The Importance of Physical Training in Becoming a Police Officer in North Carolina

Because candidates will be performing at least one hour of physical training on 5 days per week throughout the entire duration of the academy, they are highly advised to make sure they are in top physical condition. Since the goal is to make sure recruits are able to keep up with an over-six mile run until the 18th week of the training, the police academy recruitment centers have posted a bracket standard recommended for all those interested in how to become a police officer in North Carolina.

On a side note, the six mile runs are also accompanied by other exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, mountain climbing, side-straddle hoops and so on. Here are references that applicants can use to evaluate their overall physical condition:

  • Build endurance by running four or five times per week for at least thirty minutes
  • Perform push-ups and sit-ups for five days per week
  • To increase the upper body strength, the applicant must perform three days of weight training
  • Be able to run one mile in 9.5 minutes
  • Perform three sets of twenty military style push-ups
  • Perform three sets of thirty bent knee sit-ups

Police Academies in North Carolina

North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standard Division

PO Box 149
Raliegh, NC 27602
Phone: 919-733-2530

North Carolina Dept Of Corrections Staff Development and Training

PO Box 29540
Raliegh, NC 27626
Phone: 919-733-2731

North Carolina Highway Patrol Training Academy

3318 Garner Rd
Raliegh, NC 27610
919-662-4430

For more information on becoming a police officer in North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website or call (919) 733-7952.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in North Carolina.

How to Become a Police Officer in Your State