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Police Department

Become a Police Officer

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Metropolitan Nashville Police Officer! This is a GREAT police department, and we are constantly looking for the right men and women to join our team. Upon completion of the police academy, our officers are some of the most professional, well-trained officers in the country. They will have gained a new sense of pride after pushing themselves far beyond what they ever thought they could achieve.


Committed to serving our community with pride and professionalism.

The Colors of Our Community logo - Metro Nashville Police | For Career Opportunities Call (615) 862-7341

Your journey begins here!

The first step of the process is to apply online with Metro's Human Resources Department. You will need to gather documents such as birth certificate, high school diploma or GED, official college transcripts (if applicable), military discharge long form DD214 (if applicable) and P.O.S.T. Certification (if you are currently a police officer). It may take ten to twelve weeks from the time a person completes the online application to receive notification from Metro Human Resources of a date to take the Civil Service Examination. Notification to participate is generally provided four weeks prior to the testing dates. Upon arrival at the testing site, you will be required to turn in your Personal History Statement along with any supporting documents.

Applicants who are not already in great physical condition may find the Physical Ability Test challenging and the Personal History Statement is quite lengthy. Therefore, it's never too early to begin work on both!

Our Recruitment Section offers helpful orientation sessions for potential applicants. At the orientation, persons will learn about the hiring process, civil service testing, physical ability testing, training academy expectations, as well as the role of the Field Training Officer program. Orientation sessions are held at the Metro Police Training Academy.

Upon completion of the Civil Service Examination, the applicant will typically receive notification of his/her test scores within two weeks. All applicants scoring in the outstanding category will advance to the background investigation stage. Please note that it is only at this point that the applicants' names are forwarded to the police department.

Given the high number of applicants, and the thoroughness required of background investigations, the background phase could take four to six months. Upon successful completion of the background investigation, an interview will be scheduled between the applicant and his/her background investigator. The purpose of the interview is to update/clarify any remaining information that the investigator may need in order to recommend the applicant for a conditional employment offer.

A conditional offer of employment will be extended to the applicant who successfully completes the background investigation and interview stages. Following the conditional offer of employment, the applicant must complete a battery of tests, including a medical examination, drug screen, psychological assessments, and Computer Voice Stress Analysis.

It is to your advantage to BE COMPLETELY TRUTHFUL in answering all questions on your application and during all interviews. Everyone has done things they're not proud of, but the worst possible action is to try to hide it or not disclose it.

Based upon the results of these tests, a determination is made by the police department as to whether the applicant is qualified to join the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department as a Police Officer Trainee. If so, depending on the timing of the next training class(es) and other considerations, the candidate will be offered a position as a Police Officer Trainee. As funding permits, Police Officer Trainees may be offered immediate employment in a police department support role while waiting for the next academy class to commence.

Once the applicant is offered a full time position as a Police Officer Trainee, he/she should have ample time to give proper notification (two weeks) to his/her current employer.

In summary, the total application time frame (on average, up to eight months) is broken into its major steps is as follows:

  • Completion of the on-line application to notification of the test date: 10-12 weeks.
  • Notification of Civil Service Exam/Physical Ability Test results: 2 weeks.
  • Background Investigation (including interview, battery of tests, candidate review and potential employment offer): 4-6 months. The Metro Nashville Police Department typically conducts trainee classes every January and July.

Civil Service Physical Ability Test

The police officer applicant does not need any special law enforcement training to successfully complete this test. The Physical Ability Test will consist of the following components: (The applicant must pass 3 of the 4 components to be considered eligible.)

  • 1 minute sit-ups 15 or more = PASS
  • 21 push-ups (not timed) = PASS
  • 300 meter pursuit run in 77.0 seconds or less = PASS
  • 1.5 mile run in 17:17 or less = PASS


  • Applicants should refer to the video for proper form when performing push-ups and sit-ups
  • Applicants should be aware that all four components of the physical ability test will be conducted in succession with only a few minutes of rest between each.
  • Although these are the requirements to pass the Physical Ability Test, trainees will be expected to perform at an even higher level upon entry into the police academy.
  • Applicants should wear outdoor athletic shoes and clothing.

Civil Service Written Test

The police officer applicant does not need any special law enforcement knowledge to successfully complete this test. Allow for at least 4 hours to complete the testing process.

The test is comprised of four categories:

  • Basic Education
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Practical Intelligence


  • Base all your answers on the information and guidelines provided in the test.
  • Knowledge of police procedures are not needed to answer the questions correctly, but rather look at this test as a common sense approach to answering the questions.
  • Attempt to answer every question. If you are unsure of the correct answer, mark the one which you think is the best.
  • Read carefully and follow the directions given in the booklet.
  • Do not spend too much time on any one question.
  • No question is meant to be a “trick” or catch question.
  • Interpret words according to their generally accepted meaning.
  • Check carefully to be sure that you have not skipped any questions.
  • Plan your time so that you complete the examination within the time allowance. You will be told when to start and stop. If you have extra time, check your work.
  • Relax and work steadily.

Hiring process flow chart

Visit Pre-Employment Testing for further details.

Equal Opportunity Employer