Virginia Beach Police Department Officer Requirements
The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) works to provide a safe community for residents and visitors while improving the local quality of life. The department employs approximately 800 sworn officers and 130 non-sworn support staff and is the largest municipal law enforcement agency in Virginia.1 In addition to the standard complement of metro police units, the VBPD also deploys officers to patrol the waterfront and works together with community organizations to keep the city’s boardwalk and ocean access points safe for all.
Steps to Becoming a VBPD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an online application.
- Pass the written exam.
- Pass the physical ability test.
- Pass the background check and polygraph test.
- Appear for an oral interview.
- Pass the psychological and medical exams.
- Complete police academy training.
- Complete 16 weeks of field training.
- Begin working as a fully qualified Virginia Beach police officer.
How to Become a Virginia Beach, Virginia Police Officer
Prospective Virginia Beach police officers who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below must go through a multi-phase application process, which begins with the submission of a formal application and a personal history questionnaire. Candidates chosen to move on with the application process will also complete a written exam, a physical ability assessment, a polygraph exam, an oral interview, an extensive background investigation, a psychological evaluation, and a medical exam. Selected recruits will participate in 26 weeks of basic training at the Virginia Beach Police Training Center.
Virginia Beach Police Officer Job Description
Police officers with the Virginia Beach Police Department are sworn to uphold state laws and local ordinances. Virginia Beach police officers have a multitude of duties, including arresting those who have broken the law, responding to dispatch calls, investigating suspicious circumstances, checking for outstanding warrants, testifying in court, and working to deter criminal activity within the community. Newly sworn police officers are generally assigned to patrol duties within a specific area. Once hired, all police officers must maintain an adequate level of physical fitness. Police officers in Virginia Beach should expect to work holidays and various shifts.
Virginia Beach Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
Candidates for police officer positions with the Virginia Beach Police Department must be at least 21 years old upon completion of the police academy, be a United States citizen, have a high school diploma or a GED, and have a valid driver’s license. All candidates must agree in writing not to use tobacco, whether on or off duty, during their service with the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Accepted recruits complete 26 weeks of police academy training at the Virginia Beach Police Training Center. Training includes classroom instruction and academics as well as physical fitness conditioning. Candidates also complete training in the use of firearms, driving techniques, and water safety. Following graduation from the basic academy, recruits become sworn police officers and complete at least 16 weeks of field training under a police training officer before becoming eligible for independent police work.
Virginia Beach Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Virginia Beach earn an average annual salary of $49,210.2 During academy training, officer recruits are paid an average annual salary of $41,194, which is raised to $43,280 following promotion to the rank of sworn officer.1 Police officers with the Virginia Beach Police Department are eligible for merit pay increases annually. Police officers who have accrued the required years of service with the Virginia Beach Police Department are eligible for promotion to Master Police Officer. The promotion, which includes a pay increase, requires police officers to first pass an examination. Approximately 4,430 police officers worked in the Virginia Beach metro area as of May 2015.2
Virginia Beach Police Department
2509 Princess Anne Rd
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How long is the Virginia Beach police academy?
Answer: Virginia Beach police recruits can expect the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) to take 26 weeks. The training includes demanding physical and academic courses designed to prepare graduates for effective police work.
Question: What is involved in the physical abilities test for employment with the VBPD?
Answer: Each candidate’s physical abilities will be tested through push-ups, trunk pulls, sit and reaches, and a 300-meter run. The applicant’s overall score is cumulative, so applicants who only meet the minimum score for each section of the test will not earn a passing score. It is recommended that candidates begin working on achieving top physical condition well before testing.
Question: How much do Virginia Beach police officers make?
Answer: Virginia Beach police officers earn an average annual salary of $49,210.2 The starting salary for officers is $43,280 upon graduation from the police academy.2
1. Virginia Beach Police Department: https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/police/profstanddiv/Pages/salary-benefits.aspx
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_47260.htm