How to Become a Police Officer in Raleigh

The city of Raleigh in central North Carolina has a population of 431,746. Together with Durham and Chapel Hill, the area is home to more than two million people. This exciting city has a little bit of something for everyone, including art institutions, several universities, and a vibrant downtown area. Add to this the low unemployment rate of 4.3% and Raleigh is a great place to find work as a police officer and to settle down.1 The process for joining the Raleigh Police Department (RPD) is outlined below.

Raleigh Police Officer Requirements

The Raleigh Police Department recruits outstanding candidates to work as cops in the city. Basic requirements for applying include a minimum age of 21, a high school diploma or GED, and US citizenship. To be considered, candidates must also have a valid driver’s license, demonstrate good moral character, have vision that is correctable to 20/20 and pass a state reading comprehension test.

The first step in applying to the RPD is to fill out an online application and submit required documents such as driving record, criminal record checks, and civil record checks. Based on the application, the Department selects qualified candidates to take the reading comprehension test and the physical ability test. Those who pass the testing phase undergo an interview process, a polygraph examination, and a background investigation. Finally, the Chief of Police selects candidates to offer employment and those recruits move on to basic training.

For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply, find specific application information on the Raleigh Police Department Hiring Process page.

Cassandra Deck-Brown is the first African American woman to be sworn in as the Raleigh Chief of Police. She worked in the Department for 25 years before becoming the Chief in 2013. Deck-Brown earned her undergraduate degree from East Carolina University and a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University. During her long career on the force Chief Deck-Brown has worked her way up through the ranks and became Deputy Chief in 2011 before being promoted to the top RPD position.

Raleigh Police Department Information

The RPD serves a population of over 400,000 in the capital city with a force of 782 sworn officers and over one hundred civilian employees. The RPD is a diverse police force that reflects its community and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Raleigh Police Training Academy

Once new recruits are offered employment with the RPD they must attend and pass the basic training academy. The program lasts between 26 and 30 weeks and is not residential. Police trainees go home in the evenings and on weekends. After completing basic training, new cops must then work with a senior officer for 18 weeks of on-the-job field training. New officers then work patrol shifts for at least two to four years before being considered for specialty positions within the Department.

Raleigh Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

The starting salary for a police officer in the RPD is $2,857 per month or $34,281 per year and new recruits do earn a salary during basic training.2 The average salary for law enforcement agents in Raleigh is $45,000.3 The Department also offers many benefits to their officers. These include health insurance, a wellness center, paid vacation, sick days, and holidays, a retirement plan, and uniforms and equipment.

For those hopeful new recruits to the RPD, the outlook for open positions is good. Projections suggest that growth in the field of law enforcement will continue to be positive throughout North Carolina. The number of positions is expected to grow by 6.4% between now and 2022, which means that an average of 730 new jobs will be available every year.4 For more information on current RPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Raleigh Police Department and Crime

The RPD works to engage the community and to help residents of Raleigh understand more about the Department and crime by working with Raleigh Community Engagement to recruit citizen volunteers. The Police Volunteer Program offers residents several ways to get involved including working at special events, patrolling parks, or working on crime prevention programs. All volunteers receive 38 hours of training through the police academy before beginning work.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RaleighPoliceDepartment
Twitter: @raleighpolice

Raleigh Police Department
6716 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615

Additional Resources

1. North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #41: https://www.ncfop41.org/
2. North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police: http://ncfop.org/

1. Sperling’s Best Places, Raleigh, North Carolina: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/north_carolina/raleigh
2. Raleigh Police Department: https://www.raleighnc.gov/police
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Raleigh, NC: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_39580.htm#33-0000
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm