Police Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How big is the City of Alexandria and where is it located?
On the Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, D.C., Alexandria, VA is nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture. The City is approximately 16 square miles with a population of about 160,000 people. The City is the most populous City in Virginia.
Alexandria routinely receives awards, most recently having been voted one of the Best City's in the United States by Travel + Leisure in 2022, a Top 3 Small City's by Condé Nast Traveler in 2021, and the #1 Safest City in America by Smart Asset in 2019.
How big is the Alexandria Police Department?
APD has a sworn strength of 310 officers. Additionally, more than 120 professional civilian staff work within the Department.
Do you take lateral transfers?
Yes. Visit "Pay & Benefits" for more information.
What does the hiring process consist of?
Step One: Written Test
Step Two: Panel Interview
Step Three: Background Investigation & Polygraph
Step Four: Psychological & Medical Evaluation
Step Five: Credit Check
Final Step: Interview with Chief of Police
What are the 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.)
What are the minimum qualifications?
- 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
How long is the academy and where is it located?
The Academy is approximately 6 months long and is located at 45299 Research Pl., Ashburn, VA 20147. You can go to www.nvcja.org for more information.
When does the academy start?
There are two academy sessions per year. The first late January/early February. The second begins in late July/early August.
What does the police academy consist of?
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. Please visit their website at www.nvcja.org for directions.
When can I retire?
Sworn members are eligible for retirement after 25 years of service with APD at any age, or once they reach 55 years of age.
Do you have a take-home program?
The majority of officers who reside in the City are provides take-home vehicles. Many specialty assignments, including Special Operations Team, Criminal Investigations and K9, also provide a take-home vehicle as long as you reside within a 50 radius of headquarters.
Are Alexandria Police Officers required to live in the City of Alexandria?
No. Officers can live within 50 miles of Police Headquarters, located at 3600 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304.
What's the policy on facial hair and tattoos?
Tattoos: regardless of subject matter, are prohibited on the head, face (except for permanent makeup), neck (anything above the t-shirt neckline to include on/inside the eyelids, mouth, and ears), and hands (below the wrist bone), except employees may have one ring tattoo on each hand, below the joint of the bottom segment (portion closest to the palm) of the finger. Extremist, indecent and criminal related tattoos are prohibited from being displayed while on duty or while representing oneself as an APD officer. Tattoos may be visible on an officers arms as long as they are not contrary to what's mentioned above.
Facial Hair: For sworn employees, full beards, ear to ear are permitted. Mustache/goatee combinations are also permitted. The beard will typically not exceed ¼ inches in length, be neatly trimmed and not present a bushy or unkempt appearance. Beards must have a natural appearance. Facial hair with designs and colors are not permitted. Mustaches shall be neatly trimmed and not extend below, nor extend more than one-half inch beyond the corners of the mouth. Sideburns shall extend no further than the bottom of the ear, be naturally even, and end with a horizontal line.
What is the patrol schedule?
11.5-Hour A/B Schedule | Pitman Schedule
[2 on 3 off] [2 on 2 off] [3 on 2 off]
Benefits of this schedule include:
- Every other weekend off
- Work days = approx. 15 days a month
- No patrol officer works more than 3 consecutive days
Do you provide tuition assistance?
The City of Alexandria provides up to $1,200 a year to each employee requesting tuition assistance. Additionally, an Earning of College Degree and/or Professional Certification award is given to a City employee in recognition of earning a college degree or professional certification during the year. The award will be eight hours of Administrative Leave with Pay.