Minimum Qualifications

Applicants for police officer positions with the Arlington County Police Department must meet the below outlined requirements.


Must have completed sixty (60) semester hours of college work at an accredited college or university prior to being hired. Applicants are eligible to apply within six months of completing the required sixty semester hours.

Substitution to the educational requirement:

  • Prior law enforcement experience – One year full-time post law enforcement academy experience with a recognized local, state or federal law enforcement agency.
  • Prior military experience- Two year continuous active duty experience with the United States Military and have, or are eligible to receive, an “honorable discharge.” (Candidates tested before discharge will be required to present an “honorable discharge” before hire.)

NOTE: Candidates qualifying for employment with a substitution will be eligible for Police Officer and Corporal positions only. Candidates must complete sixty (60) semester hours of college work at an accredited college or university in order to compete for the positions of Sergeant and above.

Age Limit

Must be 20 years and 6 months of age at the time of application.

Physical Condition

Must be in good physical condition as determined by a licensed medical professional provided by Arlington County Government.

Special Requirements

Must be a non-tobacco user. Must sign an agreement that you will not use tobacco products on or off the job during your tenure of employment as a police officer.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Arlington County Police Department's policies on personal appearance (Manual Directives 402.00 Appearance – 402.04 Facial Hair). 


Must be a United States citizen.

Driver's License

Valid driver’s license from state of residence at time of application. The applicant must authorize Arlington County to obtain, or the applicant must provide a copy of the applicant’s official state/district driving record. Any offer of employment may be contingent upon a favorable review of the applicant’s driving record.


Applicants will be screened during a preliminary background investigation. Individual situations will be evaluated on a case by case basis, however, a good driving record and a clean criminal history are considered essential. Candidates who have engaged in any activity that would support a felony conviction are unlikely to receive favorable consideration. Misdemeanor convictions for crimes relating to theft, domestic violence, or assault are likely to be disqualifying. Recent convictions for D.U.I., or D.W.I, as well as multiple convictions for speeding or other moving violations may also result in disqualification.

Applicants must meet the below requirements related to substance use:

  • Marijuana: No use from the date of application, regardless of location of use (includes states/countries where usage may be legal.)  
  • Illegal Drugs – Schedule 1 Drugs (drugs never prescribed for any legitimate medical purpose): No use within three (3) years preceding the date of application.
  • Prescription Drugs/Legally Obtained Substances: Schedule 2 Drugs (medicinal drugs not used in a manner consistent with what they are prescribed for): No non-prescribed/unauthorized use from the date of application.
  • Anabolic Steroids: No non-prescribed/unauthorized use within two years of the date of application.
  • Having sold, distributed, or manufactured any prescription or illegal drugs without legal authorization may result in automatic disqualification.

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 15.2-1705, applicants are not required to disclose information concerning any arrest or criminal charge against them that has been expunged.