The First Step
In order to apply to be a Police Officer with the Charleston Police Department you must submit an application AND the 13 required documents, which are listed below in the four steps of the hiring process. Your application will not be processed until you have submitted all the necessary supporting documents along with the application. Certified college transcripts are an exception and can be submitted at a later date. Applicants with all other supporting documents will be processed. After you have collected all your documents click the “join” button below to complete the application and start the process.
Once the application AND supporting documents are successfully submitted, the application and documents are viewed and a preliminary credit and criminal background check are completed. If the applicant clears the initial screening and is selected for testing, the applicant is emailed a testing date. Upon the test date, the applicant takes part in the Physical Agility Test, Written Exam, Interview, and Polygraph all within a three day period
In 4 Steps
The Hiring Process
The application, which can be completed online, or for those without access to a computer, can be acquired at Charleston Police Headquarters, 180 Lockwood Blvd. Once the application is completed, the applicant must also attach:
- Applicant’s Birth Certificate (photocopy)
- Social Security Card (photocopy)
- Driver's License (photocopy)
- Certified driving record for all states in which the applicant was/is licensed
- Highest college degree earned (photocopy)
- High school diploma or transcript (photocopy)
- An official transcript from the college from which the applicant graduated, sent directly to the Charleston Police Department
- If the applicant served in the U.S. Military for any period of time, DD-214 (Member 4 Copy listing Characterization of Service, Separation and Re-Enlistment Codes) (photocopy) or Discharge Certificate (photocopy).
- Licenses or Certificate which show special qualifications or skills (photocopy). If the applicant is a certified law enforcement officer from outside South Carolina, a State Certificate and training academy curriculum with hours must be submitted (photocopy).
Waivers: Click Here
10. The notarized Authorization to Release Information
11. Signed Waiver for release of consumer credit report
12. Relative Waiver
13. EEO Information
Physical Agility Test:
Candidates who attain a passing score on the physical agility test will advance to the written examination that afternoon. The tests consists of the following events:
• Bench Press
• Sit ups
• 300 meter run
• Push ups
• 1.5 mile run
The Physical Agility Test is graded on a 9 through 11 scale and the applicant must accumulate a minimum passing score of 50 points. Applicants who score below the minimum in any event will be disqualified. The applicant will have the opportunity to return on a different date to re-take the physical agility test.
The pre-employment written examination will measure cognitive abilities that are necessary for effective performance as a police officer. The cognitive section includes problem-solving, reading comprehension, mathematics and writing ability. Applicants scoring above 70% will advance.
Candidates who successfully complete the physical agility and written examination will be scheduled for an oral interview. This interview will be conducted by a panel of current CPD employees and a writing sample completed by the applicant will be submitted. The applicant will be assessed on dimensions of work history, education, training, community service, customer service, and interpersonal skills.
Prior to employment with the Charleston Police Department, the applicant will be required to submit to a polygraph examination. During the polygraph the applicant will discuss questions pertaining, but not limited to, honesty in handling money and merchandise with present and previous employers, use of drugs, alcohol, gambling habits, arrests and/or convictions. The applicant should also be prepared to answer questions concerning undetected crimes he/she may have committed and his/her involvement in any previous or current investigations.
A rigorous and thorough background investigation will be conducted to review information obtained from but not limited to: DMV abstract, consumer credit report, criminal history check, any and all social media accounts, interviews with previous employers, teachers, neighbors, landlords, and personal references. The applicant will also have a personal interview with the background investigator.
The background and polygraph information are reviewed and the top applicants will proceed to the psychological and physical examinations. Upon successful completion of the medical and psychological exams, the applicant's name will be placed in the selection pool. This pool of candidates is good for one year. If the applicant is not selected after one year, he/she must complete the entire selection process again.
Applicants not selected must wait one year to reapply and must take part in the entire selection process.
These PDF documents consist of the application, waivers, and personnel history questionnaire.