Service Before Self, Honor Above All

Hiring Process

Length Of The Hiring Process

The entire pre-employment process is based on the most qualified applicant(s) being processed first; therefore, the length of the process may vary with each applicant.  The application process is valid for one year from the date of the Preliminary Interview.  Those eliminated in the process will remain ineligible for one year from the date of elimination.

Phase I

Personal History Statement (Application)

Applicants are encouraged to download the application from the Arlington Police Department’s Recruiting homepage at The Personal History Statement can also be given or mailed to all qualified police applicants upon request.  All applicants will be evaluated on the professional appearance and completeness of their Personal History Statement.  The completed Personal History Statement should be submitted to the Personnel Unit as soon as possible to ensure prompt processing.  A staff member will contact you after your application has been reviewed, to speak with you about your application.

Prelimary Interview

The preliminary interview begins with a short essay and a questionnaire. Next, a panel consisting of three members of the Arlington Police Department will review your application, essay and questionnaire and then you will have a short interview. Panel members are senior officers, Field Training Officers and Sergeants.  The interview will focus on the applicant’s background and the information provided to the panel.  Applicants will be informed after the interview whether they passed or failed the interview.  Those passing the Preliminary Interview will be asked to take the Physical Agility Test.

Physical Agility Test

Applicants must successfully complete each event of the Physical Agility Test.  Each exercise simulates an actual duty requirement of a Police Officer.  Please review the associated “HEALTH AND SAFETY WARNING”.

Physical Agility Test Description

The Physical Agility Test consists of five events.  The Physical Agility Test is a pass / fail test.  Each event must be successfully completed in order to pass the Physical Agility Test.  Applicants that do not pass the Physical Agility Test will not continue into PHASE II of the hiring process. Applicants will be offered three chances to complete every event.  If an applicant fails the Physical Agility Test, they will be allowed to reschedule the test an additional two times.  Applicants are allowed to re-take the Physical Agility Test only on regularly scheduled interview dates.  When re-testing, an applicant must complete all five events successfully on the re-test date.

Event 1:  Rapid Acceleration Agility Course

This event is designed to duplicate a variety of obstacles that may be encountered during your career as a Police Officer. Applicants will run an obstacle course to simulate these and will have 30 seconds to complete the course. The obstacles found on the course are as follows:

    • Low hurdle – 2 foot wall – simulating low hedges, garbage cans, etc.
    • Solid board wall – 4 feet – simulating a chain link fence, loading dock, etc.
    • Solid board wall – 6 feet – simulating a stockade fence, etc.
    • Tunnel – 12 feet- simulating running through a storm drain, bridge, etc.
    • Serpentine – 25 feet – simulating running through a crowd, etc.

Event 2: Trigger Squeeze

This event simulates the firing of a pistol.  Applicants will be given a training pistol and must be able to pull the trigger of the pistol 6 times in 4 seconds. The revolver will be held in one hand with no support.  The applicant must be able to hold the pistol steady for the entire testing cycle.

Event 3: Dummy Drag

This even simulates the removal of an unconscious person from a dangerous situation.  Applicants will be required to drag a 175 pound dummy approximately 60 feet in 60 seconds.

Event 4: Ladder Climb With Shotgun

This event simulates an officer checking the roof of a building.  Applicants will have 60 seconds to ascend and descend a metal ladder holding a shotgun in one hand.  The ladder is approximately 20 feet in height.

Event 5: Endurance Run

This event simulates a foot pursuit, involving a suspect fleeing over approximately 1/4 mile.  This event includes ascending and descending stairs.  Applicants will have 130 seconds to complete the course.

Phase II

Polygraph Examination

Each applicant must successfully complete a polygraph examination.  The applicant will discuss their personal history in the areas of credit, theft, illegal drugs, criminal convictions, serious crimes committed, work history, and any excessive use of force complaints (former police officers).

Medical Examination

A licensed physician, provided by the City of Arlington, will give the applicant a complete medical examination.

Psychological Examination

The applicant is assessed for his / her psychological suitability for the law enforcement profession through a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, provided by the City of Arlington.

Phase III – Background Investigation

The Department will conduct an extensive background investigation.  The areas of concern include, but will not be limited to, current employment, any previous law enforcement experience, any criminal history, any thefts, any drug usage, financial or credit history and driving/accident history.

Phase IV – Oral Interview Board

Senior command staff members of the Arlington Police Department will interview applicants. The applicant will be questioned about their background as it relates to dependability, command presence, situational reasoning ability, interpersonal skills, oral / written communication skills and integrity.