Every police department has its own application requirements, but most applications are similar, requiring applicants to complete a battery of exams, according to Discovering Policing. Each state has a Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training that creates the guidelines and standards required to become a police officer.
The first step to becoming a police officer is to fill out an application. Based on the information on the application, the applicant may be invited back for a written exam that tests an applicant's writing skills, reading comprehension and problem-solving skills.
If the applicant is successful in the written test, then he may be scheduled to complete a video assessment, physical ability test, psychological evaluation, medical exam and drug test. Many police departments have police academies, which prepare applicants for the physical test as well as other potential exams required by the state. The physical exam assesses the applicant's strength, endurance and cardiovascular health through real-life simulation exercises.
After an applicant has successfully passed all preliminary tests, the department requires all candidates to complete recruit training. An applicant must complete in-house training that may last as long as six months. Trainees are required to complete field training in order to graduate and begin full-time employment as a police officer.