Joseph Libowsky,
former Special Agent

North Carolina is the 9th most populous state in the US and is divided into 100 counties. The largest population lives in the municipality of Charlotte, which is the second largest banking center in the country after New York. 

Becoming a police officer in the state of North Carolina means passing the police exam with flying colors and presenting yourself better than the competition throughout the entire hiring process. As there is no uniform police exam that is used throughout all the states, it is necessary to check which is the written test is used by the agency that you will be applying with.  

The state of North Carolina uses several written exams for the selection of their police officers. Make sure that you are familiar with all of them prior to looking at the job openings. Then, you can apply with several agencies which increase your chances of getting hired. Still, it is advisable to check with the police department you are interested in working for to find out what police exam they use and what are their requirement for getting hired. While the overall requirements for police officers are similar throughout the US, there are still certain factors that can stop you from becoming a police officer in a given agency.   

North Carolina police officer requirements 

In order to become a law enforcement officer in North Carolina there are certain requirements that each prospective police officer has to meet. As a minimum they include: 

  • Being at least 20 years of age 
  • Having a High School Diploma or G.E.D  
  • Being a US Citizen  
  • Being of good moral character  
  • Having successfully completed Basic Law Enforcement Training and passed the BLET state exam. 
  • Having satisfactorily completed the employing agency’s in-service firearms training program  
  • Having no felony convictions or any criminal offenses  
  • Meeting the physical requirement  
  • Passing a medical examination  
  • Passing a psychological screening examination  
  • Passing an oral interview 

If you meet the above-listed requirements, it means that you are eligible to apply for the position of a police officer in the state of North Carolina. Note that certain police departments may have some additional requirements, so it is necessary to check prior applying with a specific agency.  

Types of North Carolina police exam  

The state of North Carolina has not established a single written test to be used by all police departments, so each agency can decide which test they will use. Still, most of the departments have chosen the Law Enforcement Selection Inventory (LESI) as their entry-level exam.  

To prepare for the LESI, you need to know that it includes two types of questions. The first ones are cognitive questions that measure the candidate’s skills in the following areas: Arithmetic, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, and Incident Report Writing. Those questions are essentially the same as the questions used by the National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST). You will have to answer multiple-choice and True/False questions and also provide answers in full sentences. If you have prepared for the NPOST, you will be able to pass this part of the LESI exam without any problems.  

The second part of LESI includes the LESI Psychological and Personality Tests, which aim to provide an in-depth personality assessment of each candidate.  

In addition to that, there are a few other written exams that are used by police departments in North Carolina. Some of the most popular are: 

It is advisable to check with the police department you are applying with to find out which of the police exams they have chosen as part of their selection process. 

Charlotte police exam 

Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and the 16th largest city in the USA. It has a population of 856,062 people and is the second largest banking center in the states. The police department in charge of the city is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. This is the largest metropolitan police department between Atlanta, GA and Washington, D.C. And was established in 1993. Prior to that, there were separate Charlotte Police and Mecklenburg County Police departments. Currently, CMPD employs 1,972 sworn officers, 520 civilian staff, and 376 volunteers.  

To become part of the CMPD you need to pass the DELPOE police exam. For 2019 the department will be accepting applications every month from the 1st to the 10th as stated on their website 

The Darany Entry Level Police Officer Examination (DELPOE) is designed by the California-based Darany and Associates company and aims to assess the basic skills necessary for the job of a police officer. The test consists of 169 multiple-choice questions that are divided into 4 sections and has to be completed for 2 hours. The four sections on the test are: 

  • Accuracy of Observation: You will be presented with a photo and given two minutes to study it. You are not allowed to take any notes. After the two minutes have passed, you will have to answer 40 questions related to the photo. 
  • Written Communication Skills: You will have to answer 40 questions determining whether or not the sentence is grammatically correct. 
  • Reading with Understanding: You will be presented with several policies or procedures and you will have to answer 35 questions related to the information contained in the paragraphs. As this is not a memory test, you will be allowed to look through the texts while answering the questions. 
  • Biodata: You will have to answer 54 questions related to the non-cognitive traits. The questions are about you and your background and are typical for an interview. There are job-related questions to determine your suitability for the position.  

Raleigh police exam 

The city of Raleigh is the second largest city in North Carolina and is the capital of the state. The Raleigh Police Department employs 906 people, 804 of whom are sworn officers and the rest are civilians. The department is currently looking for new police officers to join their ranks in 2019 as per their website 

To become part of the RPD, you need to make a NEOGOV account and then submit an application packet. If you are among the short-listed candidates, you will then have to pass through a series of tests that include the polygraph, reading comprehension test, and physical fitness test. 

Durham police exam 

Durham is the fourth largest city in the state of North Carolina and is known for its universities. The most popular of them are Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Currently, the Durham Police Department (DPD) comprises of 532 sworn officers and over 100 civilian personnel.  

If you want to join the DPD, you need to pass through a comprehensive hiring process that lasts between 4 and 6 months and includes the following steps: 

  • Open house 
  • Written test 
  • Physical fitness testing 
  • Oral review board 
  • First selection 
  • Background investigation 
  • Final selection 
  • Conditional offer followed by a medical screening, psychological evaluation, polygraph exam, and drug screening 
  • Job offer/hire date 

The written test to be taken by the candidates is LESI, which is also valid for those who want to work as police officers at Duke University. 

Fayetteville police exam 

The Fayetteville Police Department has over 430 sworn law enforcement personnel and over 180 non-sworn staff members with three districts. If you want to become one of its members, you need to pass the National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST) by Stanard & Associates.  

The NPOST is divided into four sections each of which is separately timed. You have a total of 75 minutes to complete the entire test. Note that you have to answer all of the questions, so it is better to guess rather than leave an unanswered question. The sections included on the test are as follows: 

  1. Arithmetic which assesses your basic math knowledge. You have 20 minutes to answer 20 multiple-choice questions and you are not allowed to use a calculator. 
  2. Reading Comprehension which assesses your ability to understand written text. The questions are related to police duty and services but no prior knowledge of or experience in law enforcement is required in order to answer them correctly. The section contains 25 questions divided into three types: True/False questions, multiple-choice questions where you need to select the correct answer, and multiple-choice questions where you need to select the right alternative to complete the sentence. 
  3. Grammar which assesses your knowledge of English grammar. You have to answer 20 multiple-choice questions in 15 minutes. There are two types of questions – to identify the misspelled word and to select the right alternative to complete the sentence. 
  4. Incident Report Writing which assesses your writing skills. In this part, you will read a sample incident police report and you will have to answer 10 questions based on the information it contains. You need to provide answers in full sentences which are accurate in terms of the information they provide and are grammatically correct with no spelling or punctuation mistakes. You have 15 minutes to complete this part of the test.  

North Carolina State Trooper Police Exam 

To become a State Trooper in North Carolina, you need to pass through a selection process that includes several steps: 

  • Meet the basic qualifications 
  • Submit your application 
  • Pass physical and written exams 
  • Undergo interview, polygraph, and background check 
  • Pass the medical exam, psychological test, and post-offer interview 
  • Attend Trooper Academy for training 
  • Undergo on the job training  

There are several written exams that you need to go through. First, you have to pass the Reading Comprehension Test with a score at or above a 10th-grade level. Second, you have to take the Fitness Standards Test, if you meet the 50th percentile, you will be given the last written test, which is the Law Enforcement Candidate Record (LECR). 

The LECR aims to check if you are prepared for the position of a State Trooper and includes several sections: verbal and recall sections and a biographical data section. You will be tested for judgment in police situations, legal knowledge, reading comprehension, and arithmetical reasoning among other topics.  

The different police departments in the state of North Carolina are a great place for an aspiring police officer and offer many possibilities for career growth. If you want to join a particular department, it is necessary to check their requirements and hiring process steps and prepare well for the written exam in order to be one of the selected candidates.