Becoming An Officer

Police Recruitment Homepage

Recruiting Unit 1120 Morse Rd.  
Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 645-4642          
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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. - learn more

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).

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 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 Veteran’s Preference Points?

Veteran’s preference points are provided under Civil Service Commission Rule VII (E), for all open competitive examinations. If you have served in the military, you are eligible for the addition of extra points to your passing exam score if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You have served on active military duty for more than 180 days in the Armed Forces (other than the Reserves or National Guard) and have been discharged or released from the military under honorable conditions;

  • You have served on active military duty as a member of a Reserve component during a period of war or in an expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized and have been discharged or released from the military under honorable conditions; or

  • You were a member of a Reserve component (including the Army or Air National Guard) who served on active military duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred after September 11, 2001 and were discharged or released for such duty under honorable condition.

If you meet one of these three conditions and you are able to document your eligibility as stated, five (5) points will be added to your final passing examination score.

Anyone who has established veteran status as defined above, and who has the present existence of a service-connected disability rated ten percent (10%) or higher, as determined by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs or by the applicable military service, may be eligible for disabled veteran’s preference points. A total of ten (10) points will be added to your final passing score if you document your eligibility.

How do I get my additional points?

Anyone who wishes to be awarded veteran’s preference points or disabled veteran’s preference points must check the appropriate box on the application at the time it is filed. As proof of military service and/or disability, if any, you must submit one of the following to the Commission no later than the final day of testing:

  • A form DD214 (Member 4) indicating the branch of service, character of discharge and enlistment dates.

  •      Or

  • A Service Information Letter or comparable documentation which verifies your military service dates and discharge status from the Veteran’s Administration Office, 200 North High Street Room #309.

Disabled veterans only must also submit, in addition to the DD214, an award letter from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or applicable military service stating the percent of service-connected disability.

What if I am still on Active Duty?

Anyone who has not yet been discharged from the military but would like to receive veteran’s preference considerations must (a) check the appropriate box on the application at the time of filing, (b) present by the final day of testing, proof of current military service (either a military ID or a Statement of Service from the individual’s Commanding Officer, Administrative Office, Personnel Officer, or Recruiting Officer), and (c) submit, prior to the date the eligible list is established, and acceptable Form DD214 as described above.