Below are some of the most frequently asked questions submitted prior to the officer application process.

Is prior law enforcement required?

Prior law enforcement experience is not required.

Are lateral transfers accepted?

Lateral transfers are being accepted. All candidates must have a current Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) Certificate.

I am already certified in the State Of Ohio, will I have to attend the Training Academy?

If you currently possess an OPOTA certification you will be required to complete training and become certified according to the Columbus Division of Police standards.

What are my chances of becoming a police officer?

The selection process is competitive, with a limited number of individuals that will be successful, those numbers can be overwhelming. There are a great number of individuals who do not commit themselves to what is required for this process. The position of police officer is an extremely important position with great responsibility that must include a rigorous selection process. When you consider this opportunity you should also consider the many rewards that come with this position.

How many people will be hired?

The number hired will vary depending upon the City’s budget, retirements, and overall needs of the Division.

When will the next class start?

Classes are determined by the needs of the Division and the City’s budget.

What is the tattoo policy for police officers?

  • Officers shall not have tattoos (visible or not visible) that depict obscene or gang related images, or extremist or otherwise offensive images which may bring the Division into disrepute.
  • Officers shall not have any visible tattoos on the head, neck, or hands except as outlined in Section II,I,3,b,(2).

What are the vision standards?

Your vision must be correctable to 20/20 BINOCULAR, and no more than 20/125 uncorrected, each eye (most laser surgery corrections are now acceptable).

What are the residency requirements?

There is no residency requirement due to a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court. State law does allow cities to establish requirements, so this could change in the future.

Address & phone number changes?

Keep your contact information current with us! Changes in address or phone number must be provided to the Civil Service Commission. You can do this by going to www.csc.columbus.gov and logging in to the Employment Center. From there you would go to your Account Settings, change your Contact Information, and Save your changes.

When do I need to schedule a ride-along?

If you are interested in scheduling a ride-along, complete this Ride-Along Request Form. You may also contact the Columbus Police Patrol Administration office at (614) 645-4580 to schedule. All candidates are required to participate in a ride-along prior to the start of an academy.

Military Personnel and Veterans

What is a military accommodation?

A military accommodation enables those who are currently serving in the military or those out-processing the opportunity to test outside of the scheduled testing dates due to a deployment or other circumstances. This accommodation is granted based on staffing and many other variables, therefore it is granted on a case by case basis. In order to be considered for a military accommodation the requesting party must contact the Columbus Civil Service Commission at (614) 645-0800.

What are Veterans Preference points?

If an individual has served in the United States military and can provide acceptable documentation of their service, they may be eligible for the addition of extra points to their passing exam score.  Veterans’ preference is provided under Civil Service Commission Rule VII(E) for all open competitive examinations.  Points will only be added to passing scores. 

Please see the next question "How do I get my additional points?" for details.

How do I get my additional points?

Veterans Preference Points


What if I am still on active duty?

Anyone who is within 180 days of discharge from the military may be eligible to receive Veteran’s Preference Points. To receive points, submit by the final day of testing, proof of current military service (a Statement of Service from the individual’s Commanding Officer, Administrative Office, Personnel Officer, or Recruiting Officer), providing applicable discharge information and stating expected character of service at the time of discharge is Honorable. See the Veteran's Preference Fact Sheet above for specific details.