The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) serves the residents of Charlotte and the rest of the Mecklenburg County. If you want to become a part of it, read this guide.

Charlotte Police Officer Requirements

According to the Charlotte Police Department, candidates:

  • Must be at least 21 years old. Applications are also accepted from 20-year-old aspirants approaching the age of 21
  • Should be legal citizens of the United States (either through birth or naturalization)
  • Must have obtained a high school diploma or a GED certificate at least. However, the CMPD encourages all candidates to get an associate’s degree before forwarding their application
    *The state of North Carolina doesn’t accept a high school correspondence diploma. All applicants will have to complete the high school equivalency.
  • Should have a valid driver’s license for South Carolina or North Carolina (depending on the residence) along with 2 years of driving experience (with the license)
  • No serious misdemeanor or felony convictions
  • No “Driving While Impaired” conviction in the previous 5 years
  • “Honorable Discharge” in the event of a previous record of military service. For “General Discharges”, each case is assessed individually
  • Qualify the CMPD’s initial written evaluation
  • Clear the entry-level physical exam
  • Pass a thorough background investigation consisting of a polygraph test and psychological examination among other assessments
  • Qualify the pre-employment drug screening test and medical exam
    *Certain cases of previous drug usage may lead to disqualification. These include the use of marijuana during the last 1 year or any Schedule-I drugs in the past decade.
  • Clear the City of Charlotte Color Vision Standards
  • Should have a corrected visual acuity of at least 20/30 binocularly
  • Must reside in South Carolina or North Carolina within a 45-mile radius of the police headquarters

*This is not mandatory at the time of applying but is binding on all sworn CMPD officers.

Time Needed to Join the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD)

The CMPD Training Academy runs a 22-week long course for new recruits. Once this program is complete, the successful candidates have to undergo field training for 14 weeks. Add to that the time taken to complete preliminary selection, and you will need about 1.5 years to become a Charlotte police officer.

What Is the Salary Drawn by a Police Officer in Charlotte?

The starting annual wage of a Charlotte police trainee currently stands at $45,081. The following benefits are also provided.

  • 10% incentive salary for a 4-year college degree
  • 5% incentive salary for a 2-year college degree
  • 5% incentive salary on the basis of proficiency in one of 5 specified second languages
  • Health Savings Accounts and other medical benefit programs
  • Fully paid parental leave for 6 weeks
  • Educational Tuition Reimbursement Program for pursuing further education
  • 401K with 5% contribution from the city of Charlotte