Cleveland Police Department Officer Requirements

The Cleveland Police Department is the second-largest police force in Ohio and employs over 1,600 men and women in support of its mission to enhance quality of life, strengthen neighborhoods, and develop community relationships while reducing crime within its jurisdiction.1 The Cleveland PD's Bureau of Community Policing is an important component of the department's overall effort to involve the community in developing and maintaining public safety.

Steps to Becoming a Cleveland PD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Take the Cleveland civil service exam.
  3. Pass the physical agility test.
  4. Complete an online application and personal history questionnaire.
  5. Complete a personal interview and background investigation.
  6. Pass the medical exam and psychological evaluation.
  7. Complete training at the police academy.
  8. Begin working as a Cleveland police officer.

How to Become a Cleveland, Ohio Police Officer

Prospective Cleveland police officers start the application process by taking the Cleveland civil service exam. Those who pass the civil service exam move on to the next steps of the application process: completion of a personal history questionnaire, a physical abilities test, an oral interview, a psychological evaluation, and a thorough background investigation. Top-scoring candidates may be invited to complete six months of training at the Cleveland Police Academy. Graduates will move on to field training and a probationary period as sworn officers with the Cleveland Police Department.

Cleveland Police Officer Job Description

Officers with the Cleveland Police Department are charged with upholding local, state, and federal laws and keeping the peace in the city of Cleveland. Job responsibilities are varied and include answering service calls, writing reports, and interacting with the public. Successful police officers must possess certain characteristics, including an understanding of the importance of confidentiality, good judgment, strong communication skills, and a thorough understanding of laws and ordinances.

All police officers are expected to abide by the mission of the Cleveland Police Department, which is to strengthen Cleveland's neighborhoods, provide superior service, display professionalism, and possess integrity.

Cleveland Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

Prospective recruits with the Cleveland Police Department must meet the following minimum qualifications to be considered for employment: be a minimum of 21 years old and a citizen of the United States, possess a high school diploma or GED, and hold a valid driver's license by the start of police academy training. Applicants will be immediately disqualified for felony convictions, sex offenses, domestic violence convictions, or arson convictions. A full list of disqualifiers can be obtained through the Cleveland Police Department. Selected candidates will begin six months of training at the Cleveland Police Academy.

While at the police academy, cadets go through intensive physical training and classroom instruction. Cadets must also pass a written examination administered by the state of Ohio, a physical examination, and a firearms examination. Upon graduation from the Cleveland Police Academy, cadets begin a probationary period while completing field training as police officers with the Cleveland Police Department.

Cleveland Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

Police officers in Cleveland earn an annual average salary of $58,620, with an average hourly wage of $28.18, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 Entry-level officers earn an annual salary of $45,904 after graduating from the academy.1 The Cleveland Police Department offers police officers such benefits as health insurance, dental insurance, vision plans, life insurance, paid vacation (after the officer has accrued one year of service), paid sick days, paid holidays, an annual longevity bonus, and a uniform allowance. Tuition reimbursement is also available to eligible police officers. An estimated 4,470 police officers worked in the Cleveland metro area as of May 2015.1

Contact Information

Twitter: @CLEpolice

Cleveland Police Department
1300 Ontario St
Cleveland, Ohio 44112

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the Cleveland civil service exam?

Answer: The Cleveland civil service exam is a multiple-choice exam that is scheduled through the National Testing Network (NTN), a third-party test proctor. Applicants must apply for the exam during an open registration period. Test-takers who have been residents of the city of Cleveland for at least one year at the time they take the exam will have an additional 10 points added to their score if they provide all of the documents required to qualify for this residency credit.

Question: How much do Cleveland police officers make?

Answer: Entry-level patrol officers in Cleveland earn a starting salary of $45,904 per year after graduating from the police academy, and are eligible for regular increases based on longevity.1 The average salary of police officers in the Cleveland area was $58,620 as of 2015.2

Question: Do you have to be a Cleveland resident to work for the Cleveland Police Department?

Answer: While you do have to be a US citizen to become a sworn officer with the Cleveland Police Department, you do not have to reside within Cleveland city limits.

1. Cleveland Police Department:
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio:

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