Selection Process

Phases of Selection Process 

Qualified applicants will be eligible to compete in the selection process for police officers. The selection process will be job-related and competitive in nature. Each applicant must successfully complete the minimum requirements of each phase of the selection process to remain eligible.

New in 2021: Candidates who travel more than 100 miles from their home to Newark, DE to apply for the position of police officer will have their written examination, physical fitness test and structured oral interview all on the same day, thereby reducing the number of trips to Newark required to complete the process. Candidates who meet the 100-mile criteria will receive notification prior to the written examination date.

Each candidate who fails to complete a phase of the selection process will be eliminated from further consideration and notified by mail. The phases of the selection process are as follows:

Written Examination

A minimum passing score must be obtained on the validated, standardized test for a police officer.  The written test will not be graded immediately.  Each applicant will take the physical agility test on the same date as the written exam.  If the applicant is later found to have failed the written exam, they will be eliminated from further consideration.

Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test will be conducted on the same day as the written exam. The minimum passing requirements are based on the Cooper Institute 20th percentile standards. Each component of this test is rated pass/fail.

The minimum passing requirements are:

Age RangePush-ups (Female)Sit-ups
1.5 Mile Run (Female)Push-ups
1.5 Mile Run (Male)
20 - 29102417:11223313:58
30 - 3982018:18173014:33
40 - 4961419:43112415:32
50 - 5941021:5791917:30

You must successfully complete the minimum requirements of each phase of the physical fitness test to remain eligible in the process.

Structured Oral Interview

The candidates who pass the written examination and physical fitness test will participate in a structured oral interview. Each candidate will be asked to provide oral responses to a series of interview questions regarding their qualifications and how they have, or how they will, handle specific situations that are relevant to what the candidate may do on the job as a police officer. A candidate preparation guide will be provided prior to the structured oral interview with further information about the structured oral interview. 

Eligibility Roster

The candidates will receive a composite score from the written exam and structured oral interview. Bonus points will be added for possession of a bachelor's degree, prior military service and current police officer certification from any state. Candidates will be ranked based upon their composite scores and then placed on an eligibility roster. All appointments will be made from this roster.

Background Investigation & Polygraph Examination

A background investigation will be conducted on each applicant on the eligibility roster as vacancies exist. An applicant may be disqualified from the roster if the background investigation reveals derogatory information pertaining to the character or conduct of the applicant. Applicants that are not disqualified will then submit to a polygraph examination.


If an approved vacancy in a police officer position arises, the Chief of Police will interview the three highest rated applicants. The City Manager will appoint one of the top three candidates from the eligibility roster to fill the position.

The probationary appointment is contingent on a favorable psychological evaluation and medical examination. 

The probation period for a police officer is one year if hired as a certified police officer and one year after academy graduation if hired as a non-certified officer.