Police Officer Qualifications
Age 20 - 63 Click Here!
Applicants must be at least 20 years of age at time of application (but must turn 21 by academy graduation date), but not over 63 years of age.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED Certificate. Applicants with some college, an Associate Degree, or higher, are preferred.
Applicants who have separated from any military service (including Reserves or National Guard) must present a DD-214 in addition to copies of performance evaluations for at least three years. Applicants cannot have a dishonorable discharge. Background investigations are not conducted on applicants until they are within two months of separation. Applicants currently on active duty must present satisfactory documentary evidence substantiating less than two months of active duty remaining or the ability to retire within two months.
Applicants must never have been convicted of any felony or any Class I or Class II criminal misdemeanor (misdemeanors that could require a jail sentence), or equivalent offense for non-Virginia laws. Fingerprint checks are completed. Applicants must report any contact with police authority, pending traffic violations, arrests, or receipt of any summons to appear in court, criminal or civil, in any political jurisdiction anywhere received during the application process. Furthermore, applicants must report any contact with police authority which resulted, or may have result in the completion of a police report where the applicant was a suspect, victim, or complainant.
The 1996 Congress passed the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, which contains the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. This Ban amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to render it unlawful:
...for any person convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition...
This law prohibits any person convicted of an act of domestic violence to possess a firearm. As it is a duty of a Newport News police officer to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties, the provisions of this Act, in current form, constitute a permanent bar to employment for this position.
We consider a conviction to be any final conviction from any court in any U.S. political subdivision, or any conviction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The classification of a conviction as felony or misdemeanor is irrelevant; under the Act, a conviction is considered any action which is a final conviction in a court of jurisdiction. A conviction is not a noll prosequi, dismissal of charges, or other non-conviction.
If you have been prosecuted for a crime of domestic violence and are unsure whether this conviction falls under the purview of the Federal Act, you may discuss the issue with the Training/Recruiting Division.
Currently, there are bills under consideration in Congress to amend this provision of the Act. If you are subject to the provisions of the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, you are responsible for notifying us of any amendment to the Ban which could affect your future employability with the Newport News Police Department.
Applicants who are current illegal drug users or who have ever illegally possessed in the past 15 years, any drug or controlled substance which would constitute a felony, i.e., cocaine or heroin, are not considered. Applicants are not considered if they possessed marijuana within 36 months of the time of application, or ever illegally possessed any hallucinogenic drug or substance. Applicants illegally possessing steroids in the past five years are also not eligible. Any person ever illegally selling any controlled substance is disqualified from our process.
Applicants must pass a thorough and extensive background check. Only applicants of excellent character are considered for employment. Applicants, whose past conduct could cause embarrassment to the City of Newport News or the Police Department, if such conduct were made public, are not considered.
Visible tattoos, brands, or other body art on the head, face, neck, or scalp are prohibited. All visible tattoos must be approved by the Chief of Police. All visible tattoos must be concealed from public view.
A check of the applicant’s consumer report through the Credit Bureau for high credit or judgments is made prior to commencing the full background investigation. The applicant’s credit must indicate a financial history of responsibility. Consumer reports that may result in adverse employment action against the applicant will be brought to the attention of the applicant in written form.
The below listed credit factors will be taken into consideration when reviewing the applicant’s financial history of responsibility.
Applicants are considered only if they do not have a driver history which demonstrates irresponsibility and/or unsafe driving habits, regardless of their current point assessment (or equivalent for a non-Virginia operator’s license) on their driving record. In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Section 15.2-1705 of the Code of Virginia requires that applicants be citizens of the United States prior to appointment as a police officer.
· As a condition of employment, sworn police officers are required to refrain from any and all use of illegal drugs and tobacco products, both on and off the job.
· All persons offered employment with the City shall be required to submit to a drug test as a condition of the offer of employment. Those who test positive for illegal drugs will be denied employment.
· All employees are subject to controlled substances and alcohol testing when reasonable suspicion exists that the employee is under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.
· All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion testing for the use of tobacco products.
Fail to meet any of the criteria previously stated.
Falsify or misrepresent any responses either orally or in writing to any questions posed to them in the applications process.
Fail to keep scheduled appointments required as part of the application process.
Residency- There is no residency requirement for Newport News Police Department employees other than the Chief of Police. However, the Department encourages employees to establish and maintain residence within the city as stockholders in the corporation they help protect. The Department recognizes the unique geographical configuration of the city, and acknowledges the possibility that certain employees who reside outside the boundaries of the city are actually closer to the work place than others who may live inside city boundaries.
Take Home Vehicle Program- The department currently has a program known as the Take Home Vehicle Program. The program includes the assignment of a marked police vehicle for use by an officer on and off duty. The intent of the program is to increase the visibility and availability of marked police vehicles throughout the city and to decrease vehicle costs. Officers residing in the City of Newport News who are assigned to uniformed patrol activities may be eligible for participation in the program. This program is an initiative by the department and may be rescinded at any time at the discretion of the Chief of Police and, therefore, is not a rite of employment.
Specialized Assignment- From time to time, and on an irregular basis, full-time police officers may apply for consideration for certain positions. Examples are canine handler and tactical team member. The Department reserves the right to place residency restrictions on positions deemed response critical. For example, the Department may require that narcotics detection canine handlers live within the boundaries of the City of Newport News.
Secondary Employment- Newport News Police Department employees acknowledge that their position with the police department shall be considered their primary employment. Officers are essential personnel, and in this regard, acknowledge that executing their duties as an employee of the Newport News Police Department takes precedence over non-Newport News Police Department employment activities, scheduled or otherwise. Employees are responsible for ensuring that non-Newport News Police Department employers are aware of this requirement.