What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Ohio?
Becoming a police officer in Ohio can be quite difficult but getting that can be quite rewarding. It is not an easy job to be a police officer as you are given the responsibility of serving and protecting the public. Selection involves meeting all of the given requirements, clearing entrance examinations, and finishing police academy training.
Here are the steps you need to go through if you want to become a police officer in Ohio:
Basic Ohio Police Academy Requirements
The basic requirements of becoming a police officer in Ohio requires you to be:
- A citizen of the United States
- A high school graduate or a GED
- Aged at least 21 years old when appearing for the civil servant's examination
- No prior felony convictions in any state
The documents required when applying at the police department in Ohio include:
- Birth Certificate (photocopy)
- Statement of personal history
- Latest credit report
- A complete background questionnaire provided by the department
Physical Entry Tests
There are strict physical fitness tests that you need to clear. You need to be prepared at maximum physical fitness to be able to clear the examinations. All of the fitness tests grade applicants on a cumulative score of 1-7. Depending on your score, you will be ranked against other applicants for selection. The physical tests include:
- A 75-yard pursuit run
- Push up test
- Sit up test
- 5-mile run
- Medical evaluation
- Body fat tests
- Hearing and vision tests
- Psychological tests
Ohio Police Academy Background Check
All aspiring police officers are required to go through a background check before they are selected. Some past history can be ignored depending on the circumstances but there are clear red flags that can prevent you from being selected into the force. These include:
Discharged From Military Under Dishonorable Circumstances: If you were discharged from the military due to infringements of your terms with the forces, you may not be allowed to become a police officer. This does not apply to injuries or failing basic training in the military, both of which are exempted under the rule.
Poor Driving Record: A poor driving record with a lot of tickets can raise a red flag and prevent you from being selected into the force. A small number of tickets is usually overlooked but reckless or unsafe driving tickets can be cause for concern.
Bad Credit Score: Potential officers should be warned that a bad credit record can lead to disqualification. Similarly, bankruptcy or past debt can also raise red flags. While the financial difficulty is not necessarily incriminating, the police forces see it as a reason for potential bribery and do not take well to a bad credit score.
Drug Abuse History: If you have been convicted of any drug usage, you will be immediately disqualified from becoming a police officer in Ohio.
In order to see the truthfulness of candidates, police officers are required to undergo a polygraph test. The questions asked are often based on the candidate’s personal information that was provided.
Ohio Police Certification Exam and Training
Candidates also need to undergo training that typically lasts six months. A total of 579 hours of training need to be completed which includes self-defense, firearms usage, report writing, evidence collection and defusal of violent situations.
Candidates also need to undergo the Ohio Police Certification examination which tests your knowledge from OPOTA. Out of state candidates can also apply as long as they have cleared all of the required training and education from another state. However, their selection is subject to approval only after a training analysis by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.
Upon successfully clearing all of the above requirements, candidates are selected into the Ohio police force.