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Selection Process
The Fredericksburg Police Department is an equal-opportunity employer.

Written Exam
This element of the application process is administered jointly by the Police Department and the City Human Resources Department; it is designed to measure essential job-related skills and knowledge and abilities identified in the job description for Police Officer, such as the ability to understand and carry out written instructions. The exam relates directly to a variety of police tasks and is based on data gathered from a comprehensive job analysis of law-enforcement agencies throughout the United States. The exam is designed to evaluate applicants' job-related skills regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or disability.

Applicants must achieve a score of 70 percent of higher on the written exam in order to advance to the next phase of the application process. Applicants who pass the written exam will be given a pre-offer of employment questionnaire entitled "Police Officer Candidate Confidential Questionnaire," that must be completed and submitted within the specified time frame to the commander of the Support Services Division.

Physical Agility Test
This aspect of the application process measures stamina and cardiovascular fitness during the completion of various job-related physical activities. Applicants must successfully negotiate 13 obstacles in succession with a pass/fail time limit of 1 minute and 36 seconds. Applicants must complete all events in the specified sequence or they fail the course. Applicants who fail the course as a result of not completing an event may retake it one time. Applicants should wear suitable athletic clothing and sports shoes (e.g. sneakers, coaching shoes) for the completion of the physical agility test. There will be a practice date offered to practice the physical agility test prior to the test date. The test will consist of the following exercises, in order:

  1. Participants will begin in a seated position and be given a physical description of a suspect. Participants will then be instructed to "GO." 
  2. Run/sprint 25 yards.
  3. Jump a distance of 3 feet in length. The area through which the participant is to jump will be clearly designated; if a participant touches the first or second mark, the task will be considered incomplete.
  4. Run/sprint 25 yards.
  5. Climb over a 5-foot high obstacle (wall).
  6. Run/sprint 10 yards. At this stage, the participant must crawl through a structure without touching the top of the structure. If the participant violates the aforementioned rule or is unable to crawl the complete distance, the task will be considered incomplete.
  7. Run/sprint 25 yards. At this stage, the participant must also climb up and down a step following the pattern of up/up, down/down (first foot up, second foot up, first foot down, second foot down). This task requires 12 complete repetitions (a complete repetition is counted when both feet return to the floor). If the participant does not complete this exercise in the prescribed manner, the task is considered incomplete.
  8. Run/sprint 15 yards.
  9. Crawl through a window opening measuring 36" wide by 30" high, 3 feet above the ground. Participants must not touch the top of the window frame, and are prohibited from diving through the opening.
  10. Run/sprint 10 yards. Identify the suspect mentioned (including the correct number of the suspect figure) at the beginning of the obstacle course.
  11. Run/sprint 15 yards.
  12. Move a 150-pound dummy 5 yards. The dummy must be lifted under its arms, and the participant must protect its head and neck.
  13. Run/Sprint 20 yards.
  14. Trigger pull exercise. The participant must pick up a safe, ready-to-fire double action firearm from a table using the dominant hand to pull the trigger once while holding the muzzle inside a stationary border 6 inches in diameter at shoulder level, then withdraw weapon from stationary border and transition to non-dominant hand, replace in border and pull trigger one more time. If a participant is unable to pull the trigger or touches the border with the firearm, the task will be considered incomplete. Time is stopped when the firearm is withdrawn from the stationary border after the second trigger pull.

Evaluation Review
This phase of the application process is an online test aimed at evaluating essential job-related skills, knowledge and abilities identified in the job description for Police Officer, such as the ability to understand oral instructions and respond to questions and scenarios. All applicants must achieve a passing score as established by the department in order to proceed further in the process.

Conditional Offer
Within three weeks of completing the evaluation review, applicants may receive a conditional offer and must complete a pre-psychological questionnaire to proceed.

Polygraph
The polygraph is administered in order to determine the nature of any criminal activity, if any, in the candidate's background and to measure the candidate's honesty and integrity as they relate to essential job-related skills. A list of topics from which polygraph questions will be drawn will be provided to the candidate prior to the polygraph examination. Generally, the candidate will be questioned in the following relevant areas:

  • Accuracy of information relative to written applications and relevant documents.
  • Honesty, integrity and reliability.
  • Criminal history, either previously detected or undetected.
  • Traffic violation history, either previously detected or undetected.
  • Involvement with illegal drugs.

Candidates who have not been truthful or have engaged in previously undetected criminal activity (e.g., a felony or serious misdemeanor) are unlikely to receive further consideration. It is important to note, however, that the polygraph examination is used only as an investigative aid and is not the single determinant of employment status. An admission during pre-test, test, or post-test interviews, together with other information, may be sufficient to support decisions relevant to employment status.

Psychological Screening
The psychological evaluation is designed to screen for those applicants who do not meet the job-related psychological requirements for the position of Police Officer, such as an ability to make mature decisions, maintain emotional control under stress and to establish and maintain effective working relations with others. The psychological evaluation is developed, conducted, scored, and assessed by a licensed psychologist who has been retained by the Police Department.

Background Investigation
This stage of the application process seeks to verify the candidate's background information. The Police Department will contract with an outside agency that specializes in background checks. All background checks will focus on the applicant's driving record, credit history, any criminal history and verification of the applicant's personal references. Police Department personnel will also take the candidate's fingerprints and photographs; the fingerprints will be transmitted to the Virginia Criminal Records Exchange to validate the existence (or lack thereof) of a criminal record, and the photographs will be placed in the applicant's file.

Senior Panel Interview
The Senior Panel Interview is intended to assess essential job-related skills, knowledge and abilities identified in the job description for Police Officer, such as the ability to determine a proper course of action when faced with a dilemma, judgment in law enforcement scenarios, and the candidate's overall assertiveness. The Senior Review Panel will be comprised of the division commanders or their designees, and other staff appointed by the Chief of Police. The panel will review the candidate's performance and submit a recommendation to hire or reject directly to the Chief of Police.

Chief's Interview
This element of the process is designed to allow candidates to discuss their work experience, background information and understanding of the role of Police Officer with the Chief of Police.

Medical Exam
The medical exam is designed to certify the general health of each candidate and screen for those applicants who cannot meet the medical standards for the position of Police Officer. A candidate's body fat composition is included in the medical standards. Male candidates must not exceed 23 percent body fat composition and female candidates must not exceed 30 percent body fat composition. All medical examinations and testing will be conducted by a licensed medical service provider who has been retained by the Police Department. The cost of the medical examination will be borne by the Police Department, but the costs of any additional medical testing, statements, or medical records will be the responsibility of the applicant. No candidate will be excluded from employment based solely on a disability. Candidates will be rated on a pass/fail basis in accordance with general health guidelines.