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Top Police Background Check Disqualifiers

Law enforcement is an essential part of our society. Police officers work hard to preserve peace and safety among their fellow citizens. Because they play such a crucial role, only the safest, most trustworthy individuals should be able to join the police force. To help ensure this, police agencies follow a strict and thorough background check process for every new officer they hire. This investigation gathers information from criminal records, employment and education history, the candidate’s friends and family, and other resources to make sure they are a good fit for this important job. Here’s a list of the top police background check disqualifiers that agencies look for when hiring new law enforcement officers.

Felony Convictions

A criminal history check is one of the cornerstones of the police background screening process. This is a fairly straightforward part of the process. If there is a felony conviction in the candidate’s criminal record, their application may stop there. A guilty plea to a felony will also greatly reduce the chances of becoming a police officer. It’s important to remember that some crimes are characterized differently in different jurisdictions. Say a candidate has pled guilty to a misdemeanor in their current jurisdiction, but the jurisdiction in which they’re applying categorizes that crime as a felony. Their guilty plea counts as a felony conviction in the eyes of the police agency that’s hiring them.

Serious Misdemeanors

In general, misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, but there are a few serious misdemeanors that will keep a candidate off the force. The definition of a serious misdemeanor isn’t as precise as that of a felony, and it often changes from agency to agency. However, crimes such as driving under the influence, assault, and perjury may disqualify a candidate. If a candidate has a history of violence, theft, or recklessness, they likely don’t uphold the values that make a respectable officer.

Unreported Past Crimes

Even the most qualified police officers make mistakes, and many crimes go unpunished. If a candidate has committed a crime but never faced arrest or conviction because of it, that information can still come up in a police background check. Agencies often take undetected or unreported crimes as seriously as actual convictions. This is another way for a police agency to ensure that they are hiring safe, responsible, and law-abiding citizens to be on their force.

Domestic Violence

While most violent crimes will keep a candidate from law enforcement, convictions of domestic violence are in a realm of their own. This is a crime that stands in complete contrast to the values and responsibilities of a police force. If an officer has a history of domestic violence, the public can’t trust them to protect victims of that same crime. If any incident of domestic violence appears on a candidate’s record, the agency will likely ban them from the force.

Current or Past Drug Use

Many jobs test for current drug use or a history of substance abuse. Drug-free employees offer a better chance for a safe and dependable workplace, no matter what the job is. This same idea applies to law enforcement. While some police agencies have recently become more forgiving regarding past minor drug use, there is still a hard rule against more severe substances like cocaine or hallucinogens. A history of recreational use or drug dependency is another factor that will prevent most individuals from entering the police force.

Dishonorable Discharge from the Military

Military service and law enforcement are relatively similar career paths, and as such, they follow many of the same standards. Because of this, many employers and agencies value a candidate’s past military service. However, dishonorable discharge from the military is one of the top police background check disqualifiers. A dishonorable discharge occurs when an active member of the military commits a serious offense, such as an act of violence or desertion. This offense carries over into a law enforcement career, and agencies may automatically discard a candidate who has received this sentence.

Poor Credit History

Credit checks are another common step to the background screening process. While a candidate’s credit history is most important in jobs that deal with finances—such as bankers or accountants—it’s still a good indication of an individual’s responsibility and judgment. If someone has good credit, you know they handle their money in a smart and dependable manner. On the other hand, a poor credit history may indicate poor decisions or a failure to meet financial obligations. While law enforcement doesn’t necessarily involve handling finances, these behaviors can be indicative of larger issues. Since most agencies want only the most dependable employees on their staff, they may hold potential officers with a successful credit history in higher esteem.

Poor Driving Record

Minor traffic violations are a common occurrence among drivers—after all, no one’s perfect. However, serious or reoccurring driving offenses show recklessness and disregard for the law—two qualities that have no place in a potential police officer. Traffic violations that can disqualify a potential police officer include a license suspension, a DUI or other type of reckless driving conviction, or a record of multiple moving violations.

Poor Employment History

Employment history plays a role in every job application, no matter what field you’re in. Employers look at a candidate’s employment history to learn more about what types of jobs they’ve had and what kind of employee they’ve been. It’s not uncommon for a candidate to have a poor recommendation or dead-end job in their history. These are sometimes related to unfortunate events like personality conflicts or other easily explained mishaps. However, a history of poor recommendations or short-lived jobs is a common red flag for employers.

False or Incomplete Application Information

As with any type of job, it’s important for potential employees to be as honest and forthcoming as possible on their applications. False or incomplete information on an application or resume raises a few red flags for employers, who will likely wonder what their candidate is hiding. Honesty and integrity are vital in the criminal justice field, so police agencies keep an eye out for anyone who doesn’t follow these principles throughout the application process.

It’s important for police agencies to keep an eye out for these incidents and behaviors throughout the hiring process. By enlisting the help of a professional background screening company, agencies can ensure that every member of their force is committed to upholding both the law and its values. PSI Background Screening helps agencies, companies, and other employers hire the best candidates for their teams, thus creating a safer and more successful workforce, no matter what field they’re in.

Top Police Background Check Disqualifiers


The role of Police in New Zealand

  • New Zealand Police is responsible for making sure New Zealand is a safe place to live and that everyone obeys the laws of this country.
  • Police staff are trained to help and protect everyone in New Zealand.
  • The main roles of police include preventing, investigating, solving and reducing crime and road crashes.
  • Police will not tolerate any crime against a person based on race. See our safety information about hate crime.
  • You are welcome and encouraged to approach police and talk with them or ask for help.
  • New Zealand Police officers do not normally carry guns. There are some exceptions such as police at international airports or special police groups known as the Armed Offenders Squad.
  • Most New Zealand Police wear a police uniform. However, some police officers including detectives do not wear a uniform (they wear plain clothes). If you are approached or questioned by a police officer in plain clothes, they should be able to tell you what police station they come from and show you their police identification card.
  • Police works with many community groups, ethnic groups and government agencies to help make New Zealand a safe place to live, work and study.

See also:

Police service commitment

New Zealand Police will:

  • acknowledge your call
  • treat your case seriously
  • provide a responsive service
  • tell you about other agencies that may be able to assist you
  • tell you about what is being done, or will be done, so that our actions are properly understood.

What Police expect from you

  • Let us know about your problem as soon as possible.
  • Provide as much information as you can.
  • Let us know if anything more happens.
  • Help us understand what you want.
  • Say if you need support.

Your rights with Police

If you are questioned, detained or arrested by Police, your legal rights are:

  • you can talk to a lawyer privately, without having to wait to see them
  • you can choose not to make a statement
  • you can ask why you are being questioned, detained, or arrested.

Police has a list of the names and phone numbers of lawyers qualified to give advice and who have agreed to be contacted any time, day or night. Ask the Police for the list of Police Detention Legal Assistance Lawyers.

Complaints against Police

If you believe Police has done something wrong, or that you were not treated fairly by police you can make a formal complaint, in any one of the following ways:

  • Phone or write to the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA); PO Box , Wellington , Ph - toll free within New Zealand, or (04)
  • Go to any Police station and tell them you want to make a complaint against police
  • Write to the Commissioner of Police, PO Box , Wellington
  • Talk or write to your Member of Parliament
  • Write to your local police District Commander:
    • Northland Police District Private Bag , Whangarei
    • Waitematā Police District PO Box , Takapuna
    • Auckland City Police District Private Bag , Auckland
    • Counties Manukau Police District PO Box , Counties Manukau
    • Waikato Police District PO Box , Hamilton
    • Bay of Plenty Police District PO Box , Rotorua
    • Eastern Police District PO Box , Napier
    • Central Police District Private Bag , Palmerston North
    • Wellington Police District PO Box , Wellington
    • Tasman Police District Private Bag 39, Nelson
    • Canterbury Police District PO Box , Christchurch
    • Southern Police District Private Bag , Dunedin.
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Law enforcement agencies across the country experienced a wave of retirements and departures and are struggling to recruit the next generation of police officers in the year since George Floyd was killed by a cop.

And amid the national reckoning on policing, communities are questioning who should become a police officer today.

Mass protests and calls for reforming or defunding the police, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, took their toll on officer morale. The rate of retirements at some departments rose 45% compared with the previous year, according to new research on nearly law enforcement agencies conducted by the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum and provided to The Associated Press. At the same time, hiring slowed by 5%, the group found.

The wave comes as local lawmakers have pledged to enact reforms &#; such as ending the policies that give officers immunity for their actions while on-duty — and say they’re committed to reshaping policing in the 21st century. And recruiters are increasingly looking for a different kind of recruit to join embattled departments.

Years ago, a candidate’s qualifications might be centered around his &#; yes, his — brawn. Now, police departments say they are seeking recruits who can use their brain. And they want those future officers to represent their communities.

“Days of old, you wanted someone who actually had the strength to be more physical,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said. “Today’s police officers, that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for someone who can actually relate to the community but also think like the community thinks.”

But the climate today, coupled with increases in crime in some cities, is creating what Chuck Wexler, the head of the Police Executive Research Forum, called a “combustible mixture.”

It’s creating “a crisis on the horizon for police chiefs when they look at the resources they need, especially during a period when we’re seeing an increase in murders and shootings,” Wexler said. “It’s a wake-up call.”

The data from Wexler’s organization represents a fraction of the more than 18, law enforcement agencies nationwide and is not representative of all departments. But it’s one of the few efforts to examine police hiring and retention and compare it with the time before Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis on May 25, Former officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed behind his back, was convicted of murder and is awaiting sentencing.

Researchers heard from police departments last month about their hires, resignations and retirements between April 1, , and March 31, , and the same categories from April 1, , to March 31,

Related Articles

By comparison, the changing public attitude on policing is well documented. In the past year, as many as half of American adults believed police violence against the public is a “very” or “extremely” serious problem, according to one poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

“It’s hard to recruit the very people who see police as an opposition,” said Lynda R. Williams, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, who previously worked on recruitment efforts for the Secret Service.

Bryant knows firsthand. In the weeks after Floyd’s death, a white officer, Garrett Rolfe, shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, in the parking lot of a Wendy’s.

In quick succession, Rolfe was fired, the chief resigned and the local district attorney announced charges, including felony murder, against Rolfe &#; a rare step in police shootings. Some cops left the force, which currently has about 1, officers — about 63% of the force is Black, 29% white and 5% Latino.

Then came the “Blue Flu” &#; when a high number of police officers called out sick in protest. Bryant, then the department’s interim chief, acknowledged that it had occurred in Atlanta after Rolfe was charged.

“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this space. Some may feel a bit abandoned,” Bryant said last summer in an interview at the height of the crisis.

But it hasn’t shaken the resolve of some, like Kaley Garced, a hairdresser-turned-police officer in Baltimore who graduated from the academy last August. Despite the protests and attitudes toward law enforcement, she stayed with her career choice with a plan to interact with residents.

“Earning their trust” leads to better policing, she said. Citizens who trust officers will not be afraid to “call upon you on their worst day” and ask for help.

Williams said she believes the next generation of law enforcement will bring a new outlook and move the profession forward by making departments more diverse and inclusive.

“They are the change that they want to see,” Williams said.

Recruitment is still a challenge. In some cities like Philadelphia, departments are spending more time scouring a candidate’s social media to hunt for possible biases. In others, pay disparities &#; a longtime problem — still exist, making it difficult to attract would-be officers and keep newly trained recruits when a neighboring jurisdiction offers more money and benefits.

In Dallas, city leaders spent much of the last decade struggling to draw candidates and stem the outflow of officers frustrated by low pay and the near collapse of their pension fund.

Despite those efforts, the force now stands at about 3, officers &#; down from more than 3, in — a loss at a time when the city’s population has grown to more than million. The force is about 44% white, 26% Black and 26% Latino. This means officers handle more calls and detectives more cases, all amid increased racial tension.

In , five officers were killed in Dallas by a sniper who was seeking revenge for police shootings elsewhere that killed or wounded Black men. Two years later, an off-duty officer fatally shot her neighbor in his home. She was fired and later was sentenced to a decade in prison for murder.

Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, said the national political climate and local pay and pension issues have been compounding challenges to hiring in Dallas.

In , however, a consulting firm Dallas hired to review its department found that it needed not simply more officers but also a “realignment of strategy, goals, mission, and tactics.” That finding rings true to Changa Higgins, a longtime community organizer.

“You don’t need to focus on hiring more officers,” Higgins said. “You need to focus on how you got these guys allocated.”

In Los Angeles, the department is fighting against a decadelong image of scandal and racial strife from the Watts riots in to the bloodshed in after a Simi Valley jury’s acquittal of officers who brutally beat motorist Rodney King.

Capt. Aaron McCraney, head of the Recruitment and Employment Division, and Chief Michel Moore ticked off the issues facing the 48 new recruits &#; more than half of whom were women — last year, noting that the pandemic, civil unrest and economic uncertainty were just some of the challenges the new officers would face.

“Even though these are tough times, these are difficult times, these are interesting times,” McCraney said, “these times will pass, and we’ll get on to things better.”

Police Officers, What Is The Call You Wish You Hadn't Taken? (AskReddit)

Is policing right for me?

Male police officer in uniform talks to camera in a car park filled with police cars.

We are the day-to-day police officers that you will see on the street

The reason we do our job is to actually make a positive impact on people’s live and to help catch the bad guys, as it were.

Male police officer stands in front of police car and folds arms behind his back.

I started my career at Surrey Police at I always wanted to join the police.

Male police officer is sat inside the police station in office-like surroundings working on computer.

There are apprenticeship schemes that are now being run that will run alongside your probation, so don’t be put off if you don’t have a degree- there is still a route in to be a police officer.

Male officer and female officer are walking through police car park.

I come into work in the morning and I don’t know what’s just around the corner

Male officer and female officer open car doors and get into vehicle.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I love that sort of excitement and that thrill. It’s a very diverse job. I think if you’re enthusiastic, you’re willing to try new things,

Police car drives out of car park.

You’re willing to speak to people, you’re approachable-

Male police officer in uniform talks to camera in a car park filled with police cars.

I think if that’s something that excites you and is something you think you’d be very good at, then I would say to definitely apply.

Police car drives out of car park.

Police: Make Your Difference logo

or Download the video transcript


A reddit being police officer

Coronavirus (COVID) Update

Victoria Police is committed to continuing application processing in these unprecedented times and we are doing everything we can to make sure that happens. The health of you, the community and our staff is our highest priority; we want to ensure we are staying proactive and taking all precautions to keep everybody safe and healthy. 

Applications for Police & PSO roles are still open and we will notify applicants of any changes or modifications to the recruitment process with as much notice as possible.

Police - FAQs

  • The recruitment process for police officers is very complex, it is currently taking months to complete. This period can extend if further checking or testing is required. To ensure that your application runs smoothly, please ensure that you respond to all calls and/or emails from Recruiting Services and return all paperwork at your earliest convenience.

  • We understand that you may have had issues or prior offences in your past, which you may think will impact your application. We advise applicants to disclose all previous history and allow Recruitment Services Branch to make a thorough assessment.

    You are expected to disclose everything, as failure to disclose any previous issue or prior offence history will be looked upon unfavourably and your application may be cancelled.

    It is an offence under the Victoria Police Act to gain entry to the Police Force using false, misleading or incomplete information

  • The timing for each applicant differs greatly depending on the type of checks necessary. It can take up to one month. As would be expected, Victoria Police must be very thorough and comprehensive in the background checking process and to ensure we find the most suitable applicants.

  • Be ready from the moment you begin! All applicants need to be physically ready and capable to pass the fitness test at the commencement of their application. You will be booked for a fitness test if you pass the preliminary checks and video interview stage.

  • Victoria Police selection panel members will be looking for applicants who demonstrate behaviours consistent with our organisational values. You will be asked a series of questions comprising of behavioral based questions.

    Your responses should include examples of your behaviors/experiences which illustrate your capacity in the following areas: Tasking and Coordination, Achieving Results, Establishing Productive Working Relationships, Communicating Effectively and Displaying Personal Drive and Integrity. 

    We do not expect applicants to understand procedures, powers or policy whilst answering questions.

  • Now that I’m on the Pool of Candidates, am I guaranteed a position?
    You have been deemed suitable for employment with Victoria Police however there is no absolute guarantee that you will be offered a position.  At times of high recruitment such as now however, it is likely that all applicants in the Pool of Candidates will be offered a start date in the near future.

    The Pool of Candidates is an order of merit for all applicants.  All components of your application and testing were scored resulting in your final tally.  You are ordered based on this final score.   As new applicants enter the Pool of Candidates, the order of merit continually changes and you may slide either up or down.   When a squad is being selected for training, generally the top scoring applicants are picked from the order of merit.  You will not be told your final score, nor where you sit on the order of merit.

    What time frame can I expect before I am selected?
    Given the nature of a changing Pool of Candidates, a time frame cannot be given. We aim to give applicants 4 weeks notice of their start date.

    What do I need to notify Recruiting Services Branch about?
    As a potential candidate for selection you will be required to update Recruiting Services Branch if your circumstances change.  These circumstances include:

    • change of address, phone number or email address
    • declaration of bankruptcy
    • infringement notices you receive (tickets or fines)
    • any injury you receive
    • any medical procedure that you undergo
    • if you are away and will not be contactable by phone or email
    • being questioned/ interviewed/charged/involved with the police on any matter
    • any other matter which you believe may affect/delay your induction to recruit training

    Once you are added to the Pool of Candidates, you are strongly advised not to book any extended leave (more than four weeks). It is recommended that if necessary, short periods of leave only are taken soon after being added to the Pool of Candidates. Deferring induction due to leave may not be granted and your application may be cancelled.   You are encouraged to contact RSB to discuss any future travel plans (prior to booking) after being placed in the Pool of Candidates. Emergency matters will be accommodated.

    What do I do if I no longer wish to become a member of Victoria Police?
    If your circumstances change and you no longer wish to be considered for a position please advise Recruiting Services Branch via email to [email protected]

    If I am offered a position, will I have to undertake any further assessments?
    Depending on how long you have been on the Pool of Candidates you may need to redo your fitness assessment prior to being given a letter of offer for employment.  This is to ensure you are still at an acceptable fitness level and within the required BMI/SOSF range, to enter training at the Academy.

    You will be asked to verify that you have not had any medical procedures, injuries or any other circumstances that may affect your ability to be trained as a member of Victoria Police.

    Should I give notice to my current employer?
    No – this is not advised until you have a final letter of offer for employment. As part of the final checks your current employer will be contacted for a reference, so it is advisable you make them aware of your selection status and possible resignation sometime in the future.

  • The fitness test includes: 

    • handgrip dynamometer test (30kg on each hand)
    • Illinois agility run (20 seconds or less)
    • multi-stage fitness (beep) test (attain level )
    • metre obstacle climb
    • 5 push-ups (from the toes)
    • the prone test (held for 60 secs)
    • metre swimming test
  • The video interview is designed to find out more about an applicant in order to assess their suitability to the position.

    You will be asked a number of questions during the interview that are aligned to the role and organisational requirements, organisational values and behaviours.

  • If you wish to check whether your particular medical condition will affect an application for Victoria Police, please download the medical guidelines FAQs.

    If you unable to find the answer in the guidelines and want to determine whether a condition may affect your capability to perform the role of a police member, you will need to fill in the PRELIMINARY ENQUIRY OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS FORM HERE

    To fill this form you will need to provide the following details:

    • explanation of the medical condition with as much detail as possible (ie. attachment of medical reports)
    • what medication is being taken, if any
    • date of birth
    • postal address
    • phone number/s

    This form will then be assessed by the Police Medical Officer who will be able to advise you of your suitability for Victoria Police.

    Please email the completed form to the Victoria Police Medical Advisory Unit at: [email protected]

  • Victoria Police has a responsibility to both applicants and the broader community to be diligent in its employment activities. The assessments of suitability are individually genuine and based on a thorough understanding of what we are employing people to do. The Chief Commissioner or their authorised delegate will at all times retain the right as an employer to choose to employ or not employ an applicant.  Applicants are assessed holistically against set criteria to determine their relative competitiveness in the selection process. There are only three specific areas that can be reviewed under the Victoria Police Recruitment Policy. They are;

    • Character and Reputation Assessments - An applicant who has a prior offence history that indicates disrespect of the law or the community, or whose past behaviour is not aligned to the Victoria Police organisational values may be considered to not be of good character and reputation.  A request for review of an exclusion under these provisions will be undertaken by the Manager of Recruiting Services Branch in the first instance and upon request be escalated to the Executive Review Panel.
    • Medical/Health – Reviews will be conducted by the Medical Advisory Unit on request.  
    • Psychological screening – Applicants may request a review of the process of the assessment but not the outcome. Not agreeing with the assessment does not form grounds for review/appeal.

    All requests for review must be directed to [email protected] in the first instance.

  • If you have a criminal, driving or domestic violence history, or have been declared bankrupt or have outstanding warrants, you should have your prior offence history assessed by Recruiting Services prior to sitting your entrance exam. Download the Prior Offence History Guidelines.

    If you are still unsure and wish to have your prior history assessed, please complete the Voluntary Disclosure Form and email or post to Recruiting Services Branch, Victoria Police Centre, Flinders Street, Docklands, VIC

    Please provide as much detail as possible in order for Recruitment to conduct a thorough assessment of your prior history, you will be notified within a couple of weeks of the result. A full traffic history extract can be obtained from VicRoads by phoning 13 11

    Instructions for submitting your VDF: Your VDF must be submitted using a desktop computer or laptop. In order to successfully submit this document, please click on the link below and save this form to your desktop computer before completing your responses. Using the form you have downloaded, complete the required fields and select the submit button for the form to successfully be sent in for review

  • No, you will need to gain considerable experience in general duties. This is usually a two to four-year period. Entry into specialised positions is very competitive and you will need to compete for a position.

  • No, you can only apply for one position at a time. If you wish to withdraw either your police or PSO application, please advise Recruiting Services before commencing a new application.

  • The application process for police is similar to the PSO application process, but there are some small variants, these include:

    • the entrance examination result required for police applicants is slightly higher than the level required for a PSO
    • at the fitness test stage, police applicants will be required to complete a swim test whereas PSO applicants will not
  • A certified document is a copy of a primary document, that has on it an endorsement or certificate that it is a true copy. It does not certify that the primary document is genuine, only that it is a true copy of the primary document. Authorised persons include but are not limited to currently serving police officers, registered Pharmacists, registered medical practitioners and Justice of the Peace.

  • Upon appointment to Victoria Police you will be required to perform a range of shifts including afternoon, night shifts and weekends to meet policing and community needs.

    You may also be required to perform duty at any location within Victoria as determined by Victoria Police.

  • Yes, but your eyesight must meet certain minimum standards.

    Unaided visual acuity must be at least 6/36 (without error) in the worse eye and at least 6/18 (without error) in the better eye – if due to refractive error. Corrected distance vision of at least 6/9 in either eye and 6/6 when both eyes are used together.

  • Generally, only three police or PSO applications in total are accepted.
    Withdrawn applications are not counted in the three attempts.

  • To re-apply you need to follow these steps:

    1. make sure you are logged out of the Police Career Website
    2. click 'Apply now'
    3. follow the prompts as if to start a new application
    4. when you get to the stage where it asks you to create an account select 'I already have an account' and log in
    5. the system will generate a new application for you
  • There is no minimum or maximum height requirement.

  • You must maintain a fitness level that will allow you to undergo intensive academy training and perform an operational role. You will also be retested twice a year once you are a serving member of Victoria Police.

  • The Victoria Police Act stipulates that you must be an Australian Citizen, hold Australian permanent residency to join Victoria Police. New Zealand Citizens are required to have a Special Category Visa and be residing in Australia to submit an application.

  • You will be eligible to apply if you have an accepted Australian permanent residency. A number of classifications are not eligible to apply. You may confirm your eligibility by emailing your passport details to [email protected]

  • Yes, but your eyesight must meet certain minimum standards.

    Unaided visual acuity must be at least 6/36 (without error) in the worse eye and at least 6/18 (without error) in the better eye – if due to refractive error. Corrected distance vision of at least 6/9 in either eye and 6/6 when both eyes are used together.

  • Birth certificates can be obtained through the Births and Deaths department of the state and country in which you were born.

    Applicants do not need to physically be there to obtain their birth certificate. Some birth certificates can be applied for over the internet or through a family member.

    Birth extracts, identity cards, Statutory Declarations, high school results, affidavits and consulate birth certificates will not be accepted as substitutes for a birth certificate.

    In a case where there is absolutely no way to obtain a birth certificate, a letter is required from the overseas local area administration stating that the original birth certificate is not available for this person.

  • No, Victoria Police prohibits its employees to undertake any form of secondary employment or unpaid work in the security/investigative Industry.

    Employees who hold a current private agents licence may not commence duty as a police officer until the licence has been rescinded.

  • Victoria Police has recently updated their policy regarding Uniform and Appearance Standards, which includes direction around tattoos/body art and piercings. Employees are required to project an image that is consistent with a professional and disciplined law enforcement agency.

    Tattoos on the face, neck and hands will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please send photos of your tattoos for assessment to [email protected] (if you haven’t applied yet) or [email protected] (if you are currently going through the recruitment process).

    Tattoos on the legs and arms will be permitted but must be covered whilst on duty if they are deemed inappropriate or offensive.

  • Victoria Police expects officers to maintain professional dress standards at all times—including maintaining a clean shaven appearance while on duty.

    Trimmed moustaches are acceptable as long as they do not extend below the bottom lip. Beards are not permitted unless you have exemption under religious, cultural or medical grounds.

  • No, if you are under 21 years of age you are required to have successfully completed the VCE, Senior VCAL or equivalent. This requirement does not apply to applicants over 21 years of age.                                                                  

  • No, common sense is probably the most important prerequisite for employment with Victoria Police. The life skills that you bring and those that you will learn on the job, are most valued by Victoria Police. Any further education is assessed for the relation to what benefit it will have to the organisation.

  • Training is ongoing for your first two years as a Probationary Constable. Study leave is available post probationary stage. Further in-house courses and training are available.

Pay, leave, benefits and conditions of work

  • Yes, recruits are paid a salary whilst training. During the first 12 weeks you will be paid $53, per annum. At the end of Week 12 you will be sworn in as a constable at which time you will be paid $73, per annum.

  • Once you are sworn in as a constable you will be paid $73, per annum. In addition, there are shift penalties and overtime payments available. Each year salary increments increase with the Enterprise Bargaining agreement if members qualify under their Professional Development Assessment.

  • Yes, income as a police officer like any member of Victoria Police (employee in Australia) is a taxable income.

  • Contributions to Emergency Services Super Fund can be salary packaged. Victoria Police staff are members of the Emergency Services Super Fund. For further information about the ESS visit

  • Police officers are entitled to the following:

    • five weeks recreation leave per year with an additional two weeks in lieu of public holidays and a further 10 days accrued time off in lieu of the hour week – this equates to nine weeks' leave
    • sick leave of 15 days per year (accruing)
    • a range of other generous leave entitlements including maternity and paternity leave, study leave and defence force leave
    • long-service leave after seven and a half years of service
  • Police officers are eligible to submit a request for flexible working arrangements, ie. part time, after two years and 13 weeks from starting their Academy training, when officers are confirmed in their role as police constable and receive their Diploma of Policing.

    Flexible work arrangement requests are always subject to the operational requirements where the requesting officer is based.

  • Victoria Police provides a hour, seven day-a-week service, therefore as a Constable you will be required to work a variety of shifts associated with particular duties and locations. This includes weekends, night shifts and public holidays. The arrangement for ordinary hours of work is described in the The Victoria Police Force Enterprise Agreement The ordinary hours of work for full-time members is 80 hours per fortnight arranged within various shifts to suit service delivery needs. Intrusive hours ( hours to hours) and unsociable hours ( to Monday to Friday and to hours Saturday and Sunday) attract shift allowances for each of these hours worked.

  • Yes, depending on operational requirements, reasonable requests for flexibility will be considered in light of the workplace in question.

  • You will be attached to a metropolitan hour station during your probationary period. You may elect to undertake this training at a country station which may be facilitated if there is a vacancy at that location. You will not be posted to a country station during your probationary period unless you nominate to be.

    Please note upon appointment to Victoria Police you will be required to perform a range of shifts including afternoon, night shifts and weekends to meet policing and community needs.

    Also, you may be required to perform duty at any location within Victoria as determined by Victoria Police.

  • If you nominate a country location, and if there is a vacancy available, you may be transferred to that location at the end of your probationary period (two years). If there is not a vacancy at that nominated station, you may be transferred to another country station in the vicinity. Once transferred you must remain in that position for a minimum of two years.

    If you do not nominate a country location you will be matched to a metropolitan location where you must remain for a minimum of two years.

  • Victoria Police recognises the need for work-life balance but all decisions regarding postings are made on operational requirements. You must be prepared to be posted anywhere within the state of Victoria at the Chief Commissioner’s discretion.

  • In circumstances where an urgent need arises a ballot may be required to fill a 'special position'. These positions are generally located in country areas that from time to time have not been filled by internal transfer methods. In this situation, those members at the end of their probationary period that have not been allocated a position may be transferred to one of these positions. Allocation of these positions is conducted via a ballot process.

    Members that have elected to be transferred to a country station will not be subject to the ballot process.

    If balloted, you will be required to remain at the location for a minimum of two years but can stay as long as you like after that.

  • Unfortunately you cannot take leave during training unless it's leave allocated by the Education Department. Training at the Academy is physically and mentally demanding, there’s a lot to fit in during your training and it will take all your dedication to succeed.

  • Training is ongoing for first two years as a Probationary Constable. Study leave is available post probationary stage. Further in-house courses and training are available.

Overseas and interstate applicants

  • You must be residing in Australia. You must be available to attend the fitness test, psychological test and then the panel interview in Victoria as part of the selection process.  The Victoria Police Entrance exams are offered at various sites in Victoria.

  • The Victoria Police Act stipulates that to join Victoria Police, you must be an Australian Citizen, or hold Australian permanent residency. New Zealand Citizens who are residing in Victoria on a Special Category Visa are deemed to be permanent residents for the purpose of our requirements.

  • You will be eligible to apply if you have an accepted Australian permanent residency. A number of classifications are not eligible to apply.

    To determine if your residency status is acceptable, please send your passport details and relevant documents to [email protected]

  • There is currently no direct lateral transfers available to police members from other jurisdictions. Please refer to recognition of prior police service

  • Prior Policing Experience applicants residing overseas at the time of application or during the application process should contact the Police Alternative Employment Unit by phone for advice on +61 3

    Recognition of Prior Policing Service is ONLY considered to those who have served as an operational police officer in Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom (this does NOT include Non Commissioned Officers from New Zealand or Special Constables from the United Kingdom).

    As each application is assessed individually, there is no guarantee that prior service will be recognised or that a position with Victoria Police will be offered at the end of the process, even if all components of the application process are passed successfully.

    Former members of Victoria Police will be required to register via the Police Registration and Services Board (PRSB). More information can be obtained at Former Victoria Police officers

  • No. Victoria Police only recognises prior policing service.

  • If you are found suitable for an abridged training program you will be required to attend the Victoria Police Academy.

  • A secondary job cannot be obtained if there is considered to be a conflict of interest.  All secondary employment will need to gain approval before gaining or continuing employment.

  • Academy training hours are usually am to pm Monday to Friday, but these hours may vary to include evening and weekend work.

  • Yes, we encourage recruits to have a healthy work-life balance while in the Academy. Study at the Academy is challenging and you’ll need the support of your friends and family and will want to see them after a long week.

  • There are no open days planned in the near future.

  • Yes, all training will be provided by Victoria Police at the Victoria Police Academy located on View Mount Road, Glen Waverley.

  • The Victoria Police Academy is located on View Mount Road, Glen Waverley.

    See a map of the location

  • Unfortunately you cannot take leave during training unless it’s leave allocated by the Education Department. Training at the Academy is physically and mentally demanding, there’s a lot to fit in during your training and it will take all your dedication to succeed.

  • It is not compulsory to live-in whilst you undertake your training. You may travel to the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley to complete your training on a daily full-time basis. However recruits who live further than 40km from the academy may apply to live in.

  • If you elect to live-in, it will cost $ per fortnight. This includes meals, lodging and establishment fees. This fee will be deducted from your fortnightly pay.

  • You will need access to a computer that has one of the following web browsers:

    • Microsoft Internet Explorer ,
    • Mozilla Firefox , ,
    • Safari , ,
    • Chrome
    • Opera ,

    iPads and iPhones are not compatible with the online application form because these devices do not use a standard file structure which may prevent the user from attaching documents to their application form.

    Applicants attempting to submit their application from a Department of Defence computer system are also likely to incur problems due to applied security settings.

  • You will be required to answer a series of questions regarding:

    • personal details
    • contact details
    • drivers licence details
    • history of any prior offences
  • No, you can log back into the system on multiple occasions to complete your application. However it is important to note that the system will not automatically save your information until you proceed to the next step so you must frequently hit the save button (located on the bottom of each page) to ensure that you do not have to enter information more than once.

  • Once you have submitted your application, you can view all of your responses however you cannot make any edits. If any of your personal details change between submitting your application and finishing the selection process with Victoria Police, please inform the Recruiting Services Branch as soon as possible and we will update our records.

  • No, you can only apply for one position at a time. If you wish to withdraw either your police or PSO application, please advise Recruiting Services before commencing a new application.

  • If you have lost your password, please email [email protected] to request a password reset.

Reviewed 27 September

Police Officers, Have You Ever Had A \

America&#;s police departments are dealing with a nationwide recruitment crisis, analyses from law enforcement agencies both large and small say, with an ever-growing wave of officers quitting their jobs at the same time that new hires are scarce.

As furor over the death of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police swept the country in , an acute increase in resignations and retirements quickly followed. The police agencies experienced cutbacks as the pandemic-affected economy cratered, biting into their budgets for hiring and training new recruits.

And the stresses of COVID and death haunting most U.S. communities led many officers to simply leave the profession to keep their families safe.

That&#;s according to many of the nation&#;s police chiefs describing the immense pressure their officers faced over the last year and a half.

&#;They&#;re worn out,&#; Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said. &#;They&#;re frustrated. They&#;re tired. They&#;re feeling fatigued, and they&#;re saying they&#;re looking for options outside the profession.&#;

In a report last week to the L.A. Police Commission, Moore and other LAPD commanders outlined the problem facing the department. In just the fiscal year that ended in June, LAPD saw police from all ranks leave the department, many through retirement.

That was nearly more than left LAPD in the prior fiscal year. From fiscal years beginning in to , the average annual number of officers leaving the department was

A national survey of other police departments found a similar trend.

In June, the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit law enforcement policy think tank, surveyed around police chiefs. It found on average the chiefs reported an 18% increase in resignations. They also found a 45% increase in retirements.

“In and , most of our officers who left did not leave for another department,&#; said one anonymous police chief interviewed for the survey. &#;They left the profession.”

Big-city police departments were hit particularly hard.

About 2, officers retired from the New York Police Department in the fiscal year that began in , about 1, more retirements than the prior fiscal year.

The largest departments with more than officers surveyed by the nonprofit saw some of the most heated protests in summer – and they often responded with violent tactics that increased the ire directed at them.

The calls for reform and widescale changes within American policing apparently led many officers to seek new professions entirely; most of the chiefs in the survey cited the reckoning as one of the biggest reasons officers leaving.

For LAPD, leaders said the exodus meant becoming less diverse at the same time that they&#;re trying to improve their image and mend broken ties with L.A.&#;s Black and Brown communities.

A lack of new recruits is compounding that backward drift for LAPD&#;s diversity goals.

Elena Asucan, LAPD&#;s personnel director, said budget cuts meant the department was forced to pare back marketing and recruitment campaigns that targeted diverse candidates.

During the pandemic and budget crisis, academy classes were slashed: Just 79 new police officers graduated from the L.A. Police Academy, the smallest class in the last five years, and likely one of the smallest in recent LAPD history.

The academy typically graduates around

That class of 79 included 42 women. Those numbers were not big enough to offset a shrinking share of women police officers in LAPD – since , hundreds of women officers have left, and the department has struggled to keep up.

For many police departments, hiring more women has been a priority. U.S. police departments lag well behind other countries in the number of women employed in law enforcement, according to the International Association of Police Chiefs.

Women officers, in general, have been found to be more effective in certain situations than men – they&#;re better at communicating in high-stress situations and tend to be able to calm down both their male partners and arrestees, wrote Ivonne Roman, a former police chief for Newark, New Jersey, for that association.

&#;(The declining numbers) warrant taking a look at us internally and introspectively,&#; said Commander Ruby Flores, who Moore picked as LAPD&#;s first diversity, equity and inclusion officer last year. &#;I want to dive deeper to understand why women are leaving, why they only seek certain positions within the department.&#;

Declining numbers were also true for Black officers.

Moore said LAPD has fewer Black officers than a few years ago, with the percentage dipping from 10% to %. That was at the same time as a wider reduction of sworn officers, from about 10, sworn employees to today&#;s 9, or so.

LAPD has been losing officers early in their careers at a more rapid pace every year, too. Moore noted that more than a quarter of resignations over the last five years were police officers with less than five years of experience.

&#;We need to make sure that we are not discouraging that next generation of cop, and keeping them from leaving this agency because of the animus that is out there,&#; Moore said. &#;It&#;s been a tough year emotionally on our people, we know that, on their families – they&#;re questioning being here, or is this the right agency to continue (in) this profession? &#; This is absolutely a strategic concern for us.&#;

LAPD by gender, ethnicities

Men: 7,

  • White: 2,
  • Black:
  • Hispanic: 3,
  • Asian:
  • American Indian: 27
  • Filipino:
  • Other: 19

Women: 1,

  • White:
  • Black:
  • Hispanic:
  • Asian: 95
  • American Indian: 6
  • Filipino: 23
  • Other: 12

Source: LAPD, as of 5/9/21

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