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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Police Department
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Page updated Nov 5, 2015 3:36 PM

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How To Become An Officer

With a sworn strength of more than 315 officers, the Alexandria Police Department is a dedicated team of people who, in partnership with the community, work to create and maintain a safe and secure environment for our residents, merchants, and visitors. We are a diverse organization, reflecting Alexandria’s various cultures and offering many different career and promotional opportunities.

APD Patrol Bureau image

General Information

As a police officer, your duties will consist of patrolling an assigned area of the City, answering calls for service, conducting preliminary investigations, writing reports, and controlling traffic. You must be able to act without immediate supervision and use your judgment in meeting emergencies. Your duties may involve personal danger.

 Two hallmarks of the Alexandria Police Department are community policing and technology. We are committed to a full partnership with citizens to solve community problems and improve the quality of life. We develop and use cutting-edge technology including: 800 MHz radio systems, fully-mobile tactical computers, and computerized crime analysis.

Academy Information 

All successful applicants will be required to attend and complete a 20-week Basic Law Enforcement training session at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (N.V.C.J.A.) Here you will learn criminal and motor vehicle law, interpersonal skills, rules of evidence, laws of arrest, search and seizure, conflict resolution, investigative procedures and other police skills. Physical fitness, firearms qualifications and defensive driving are important aspects of recruit training. The academy is located at 45299 Research Place, Ashburn, Virginia 20147. Please visit their website at for directions.

Salary Information 

Police Officer 1 & 2: $47,862.62 - $82,883.58 Annually

Police Officer 3: $50,251.50 - $87,020.18 Annually

Police Officer 4: $52,761.80 - $91,365.04 Annually

Selection Process

The Alexandria Police Department is accepting applications for Police Officer on a continual basis. Starting salary for the Police Officer I position is $47,862.62. Virginia DCJS certified Officers are eligible to start at a higher salary. Top pay for the police officer position is $91,365.04. An Outstanding benefits package is included. Officers are assigned to 12 hour shifts with EVERY OTHER Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

The selection process for the Police Officer position includes:

  •   Written Examination
  •   Mandatory Orientation
  •   Background Questionnaire
  •   Polygraph Examination
  •   Psychological Examination
  •   Background Investigation
  •   Senior Panel Interview
  •   Medical Examination

Minimum Requirements

  • U.S. Citizen
  • 1 yr experience involving public contact
  • Possession of a high school diploma or GED
  • No serious misdemeanors or any felonies since age 18
  • At least 21 years old at the time of graduation from the Police Academy
  • Valid Driver’s license

Positions and Opportunities

  • Academy Instructor  (with 5% additional pay)
  • Auto Theft Detective
  • Bicycle Patrol Officer
  • Breathalyzer Operator
  • Burglary Detective
  • Court Liaison Officer
  • Field Training Officer (with 5% additional pay)
  • Gang Detective
  • Homicide Detective
  • Honor Guard
  • Hostage Negotiator
  • K-9 Handler (with supplemental K-9 pay)
  • Motorcycle Officer (with additional Hazard pay)
  • Residential Police Officers (with 5% additional pay)
  • Robbery Detective
  • Sex Crimes Detective
  • School Resource Officer
  • Special Operations Team Officer (SWAT)
  • Vice/Narcotics Detective
  • Youth Detective


Selection Standards


  • Vision: Far visual acuity: 20/20 binocular corrected with contact lenses or spectacles. Monocular visual acuity: No worse than 20/40 corrected.
    Far visual acuity uncorrected shall be at least 20/70 binocular for wearers of hard contacts or spectacles. For successful long-term soft contact lens wearers (more than one year), the standard shall be at least 20/200 correctable to 20/20. Monocular vision and color blindness are disqualifying.
  • Health: You must be in good health. A complete physical examination is an important part of the selection process.
  • Fitness: The physical examination has a fitness component including a maximum body fat standard, which is 20% for men and 26% for women.


  • You must be of good moral character and behavior, as reflected in your life history and performance in the selection process. You must be truthful in all phases of your application and the selection process.
  • Your criminal history must be free of any felony conviction. Other illegal behavior or drug use whether detected or undetected-may be disqualifying.
  • You must be able to legally possess a firearm. (Note: Federal law prohibits the possessing or carrying of firearms by persons who have been convicted of the use, attempted use or threatened use of domestic-related physical force.)


  • You must have an excellent driving record.
  • You must currently be free of addiction to alcohol. (Applicants in recovery will be considered.)



  • Medical Insurance:  Your choice of provided Insurance carriers and options for in-service or out-of-service coverage. New employees pay 10% of the City’s cost for medical insurance on a pre-tax basis.
  • Dental Insurance:  Basic dental coverage included in the health insurance programs. Additional coverage available through an optional program.
  • Life Insurance:  Term life insurance available.  The city provides basic coverage which is equal to two times the employee’s annual salary. Employees have the option to increase the coverage up to four times their annual salary for a minimal cost per pay period.
  • Annual Merit Pay Increases:  Based on satisfactory annual performance evaluations.
  • Retirement:  Defined contribution plan with full vesting in five years. For sworn officers, the City contributes 20% of salary; employees will pay a contribution of 7.5% of pay.
  • Paid Holidays: Ten and one half paid holidays per year.
  • Vacation Leave: New employees earn 12 days per year with annual increases to a maximum of 24 days per year after 12 years.
  • Deferred Compensation: Employees may contribute a percentage of their salary on a pre-tax basis.
  • Education and  Training:  Completion of training at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy qualifies for 24 credit hours at Northern Virginia Community College. Further eligibility for enrollment.


News & Updates

The next written police exams are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, November 14, at 8:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, December 12, at 8:00 a.m.

Registration will begin 30 minutes prior to the exam starting time. No one will be allowed in after the testing has begun, so please plan your times accordingly.

The location for all examinations is: 3600 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22304.

The dress code of the day for the written examination will be BUSINESS ATTIRE ONLY. Applicants not appropriately attired will not be allowed to take the written examination.

You MUST be able to provide the following original documents listed below to take the exam. Please also have copies for us to keep. We will not keep your original documents, but will need to check them for accuracy.

*No copies will be made for you the day of the examination.*

• Proof of US citizenship (Birth Certificate or Naturalization Paperwork or U.S. Passport).
• Valid Driver’s License (must be the state in which you presently reside)
• Social Security Card

Applicant’s identification, driver’s license validity and proof of United States Citizenship will be verified prior to the test. Please ensure that you bring your valid driver’s license, Social Security Card and proof of United States citizenship. You will not be allowed to take the test without these items