The Recruitment Process

If you are considering a career with the Arlington County Police Department, we encourage you to contact one of our recruiters to learn more about our agency and the hiring process. Ride-alongs are available to potential applicants at any point, before or during the hiring process.

Contact the Personnel and Recruitment Unit

Our comprehensive recruitment process is designed to identify candidates who best exemplify the core values of our Department. The hiring process consists of three main phases: the application and testing process, the interview process, and the background investigation process. The hiring process generally spans 2-5 months and applicants are hired on a rolling basis throughout the year.

The Application and Testing Phase

Applicants who meet the Department’s hiring criteria will receive an emailed invitation from eSOPH to complete their background investigation documents. Upon submission of a completed profile, a background investigator will review the information and may then invite the applicant to take the Law Enforcement Written Exam through the National Testing Network. If you have not received any communication from your background investigator within two weeks of submitting your application, email the Personnel and Recruitment Unit.

The Written Test

Candidates must successfully pass the National Testing Network (NTN) Law Enforcement Exam in order to advance through the remaining steps of the hiring process. Candidates who have successfully completed the NTN Law Enforcement Exam for another agency within the past year may share their scores with ACPD. Those who have not yet taken the exam, will receive a voucher from their background investigator to take the exam at no cost to themselves. Applicants who do not pass the test on the first try may re-take the test in three (3) months. If an applicant is unable to pass the test on the second attempt, they will be invited to reapply in one year.

The NTN Law Enforcement Exam consists of several parts. The proctored portion involves reading, writing, and video testing formats. The non-proctored portion is a Public Safety Self-Assessment. The exam can be taken virtually, or at one of many locations nationwide. To learn more about testing options and opportunities to practice, please refer to this website: Public Safety Careers | Firefighter Jobs | Police Officer Jobs | National Testing Network

Once applicants have successfully completed the Law Enforcement Exam, they will advance through the remaining steps of the hiring process. If applicants receive a probationary offer of employment, they will then begin their academy training with the next available session. Our recruits attend the Northern Virginia Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA) in Ashburn, Va.

The Interview Phase

Applicants will be interviewed by a cross-section of ACPD officers either virtually or in-person. Applicants should be prepared to discuss the following topic areas: personal and work history; your interest in law enforcement and ACPD; personal strengths and weaknesses; personality/character traits; and various law enforcement scenarios.  Applicants must answer all questions completely, accurately and truthfully.

The Background Investigation Phase

The Background Investigation phase includes, but is not limited to:

  • Polygraph Examination (in-person)
  • Psychological Evaluation (virtual)
    • Consists of formal interview and testing with a psychologist
  • Medical Evaluation (Pass/Fail, in-person)
    • Consists of comprehensive physical evaluation, including a drug screening

Offer of Employment

Upon completion of the hiring process, you may receive your offer of probationary employment. Winter and summer Academy sessions begin in January or July respectively, however, applicants may start working for the Department at any point prior their Academy start date. Recruits are paid their full salary plus benefits beginning on their date of hire.

More: Training Throughout Your Career at ACPD