Cincinnati Police Department Officer Requirements

The Cincinnati Police Department employs approximately 1,000 sworn officers to serve the 52 neighborhoods within Cincinnati city limits.1 The department is divided into three bureaus: Patrol, Investigations, and Support. The Cincinnati Police Department follows a problem-solving philosophy to control and combat crime and improve community safety.

Steps to Becoming a Cincinnati PD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Complete an online application and personal history questionnaire.
  3. Take the written exam.
  4. Pass the department's physical agility test.
  5. Take a polygraph exam.
  6. Complete a two-part behavioral assessment.
  7. Pass the background investigation.
  8. Complete an in-home interview.
  9. Pass the department's medical exam.
  10. Complete police academy training.
  11. Complete six months of field training and 18 months as a probationary officer.
  12. Begin working as a fully-fledged Cincinnati police officer.

How to Become a Cincinnati, Ohio Police Officer

Candidates for employment with the Cincinnati Police Department must meet minimum eligibility requirements for consideration, which are outlined in further detail below, and must go through a thorough screening process. The screening process includes a written exam, a physical ability assessment, a behavior assessment, a drug screening, a background investigation, a polygraph test, and a medical exam. Information and tips for taking the written exam are available through the Cincinnati Police Department's website. The extensive background investigation requires an interview at the candidate's home as well as a polygraph exam.

Upon successful completion of the application process, police recruits will undergo 26 weeks of police academy training. After graduating from the police academy, recruits will complete additional field training and will be classified as probationary officers for the first 18 months of service.

Cincinnati Police Officer Job Description

Police officers with the Cincinnati Police Department promise to uphold the law and to adhere to the core values of the department: accountability, diversity, integrity, professionalism, and vigilance. The responsibilities of Cincinnati's police officers are diverse and include enforcing local, state, and federal laws; serving warrants; detaining suspects; testifying in court; investigating crimes; answering dispatcher calls; and investigating complaints from the public. Police officers must be able to work effectively in stressful situations and communicate with others. All police officers are expected to maintain suitable physical fitness and are generally expected to work holidays and weekends. New police officers in Cincinnati are typically assigned to a patrol unit.

Cincinnati Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

Prospective recruits with the Cincinnati Police Department must meet minimum qualifications to be considered for employment. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have United States citizenship, possess a high school diploma or GED, and have held a valid driver's license for a minimum of one year. Candidates will be immediately disqualified from the process for felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions within the previous five years, or sex offense convictions.

Successful recruits will begin 28 weeks of physical and academic training at the police academy followed by six months of field experience and training. Police officers will spend their first 18 months, starting with field training, on probation. Cincinnati police officers typically begin their careers with an assignment to a patrol unit and are not permitted to work an additional job without the department chief's approval.

Cincinnati Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

Police officers in Cincinnati earn an annual average salary of $59,860 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 Police officers employed with the Cincinnati Police Department have access to a range of benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, vision plans, sick pay, pay for court appearances, life insurance, an employee assistance program, military leave, and longevity pay. Tuition reimbursement may also be available for eligible police officers. Approximately 3,960 police officers worked in the greater Cincinnati metro area as of May 2015.2

Contact Information

Twitter: @CincinnatiPD

Cincinnati Police Department
1012 S Ludlow Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the Cincinnati Police Department hiring?

Answer: The Cincinnati Police Department only hires police recruits when positions are open. However, you can visit the department's website to fill out an interest card to be notified when recruiting is taking place.

Question: How much do Cincinnati police officers make?

Answer: During police academy training, Cincinnati police recruits earn an annual salary of $32,459.1 Officers receive further increases based on longevity. After five years of service, the base salary for Cincinnati police officers is $53,000.1

Question: What types of specialized Cincinnati police jobs are available to qualified officers?

Answer: After serving time in patrol, Cincinnati police officers may become eligible to transfer to specialized units like vice, homicides, or SWAT. Qualified officers may also advance by passing competitive exams to earn promotion to the supervisory ranks.

1. Cincinnati Police Department:
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Cincinnati:

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