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  1. What are the basic requirements to become a police officer with the Columbus Police Department?
    An applicant must be at least 21 years of age, possess a high school diploma or G.E.D and not meet any of our automatic departmental disqualifiers.
  2. Do I have to have college or a college degree to become a police officer?
    No, but the applicant must possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. before applying. In order to advance in certain police rank, an applicant will be required to obtain a college degree.
  3. I don't have my driver's license. Can I apply?
    No, an applicant must have attained their state driver's license in which they live before the Recruiting Office will accept their police officer application.
  4. How do I apply to become a police officer?
    Visit and create an account. Once the account has been created, apply for a Police Officer position.
  5. I am over the age of 21, can I apply to become a Police Cadet? No, the Police Cadet program is reserved for applicants who are between the ages of 18 to 20. If an applicant is 21 years of age or older, they must apply for a Police Officer position.
  6. What is the Police Cadet position?
    The Police Cadet position is reserved for applicants who are between the ages of 18 to 20. Once hired, Police Cadets work in various areas of the department in an uncertified capacity such as the Quartermaster Unit, Property and Evidence, etc. At the age of 21, the Cadet will attend the next available Police Academy.
  7. What type of calls do Police Officers respond to?
    Police Officers respond to a variety of emergency calls to include but not limited to: Armed Robberies, Robberies, Stabbings, Shootings, Domestics, Neighbor Disputes, Vehicle Accidents, Fatalities, Suicides, Missing Persons, Suspicious Person/Vehicles, etc.
  8. Where is the Police Academy located and how long is it?
    The police academy that the Columbus Police Department utilizes is the West Georgia Police Academy in Columbus, GA. It is located on Macon Road near the public library. The academy is 11 weeks long. You will go home every day and there will be some out of town training.
  9. Is there an age cap on being a police officer?
    No, there is no age limit.
  10. Why did I receive a denial letter?
    Be mindful that our application process is highly selective. Applicants who are not selected to progress further in the application process are due to the availability of other better-qualified applicants.
  11. I was denied employment. Can I re-apply?
    Typically, an applicant can re-apply one year from their denial letter date. This is not always the case. Contact the Recruiting Office for clarification of when you are eligible to re-apply.
  12. Do I receive my full salary and benefits while in the police academy?
    Yes, you will receive all of your benefits to include: full pay, access to medical, dental and vision coverage.
  13. What can I do to expedite my background investigation process?
    Make sure when your recruiter contacts you via phone/e-mail, you respond as soon as possible. Selecting dependable personal references are vital as well. Additionally, maintain an accommodating schedule for testing dates.
  14. How long is the entire application process?
    Although there are multiple factors that lengthen/shorten one's application process, it typically lasts three to six months.
  15. If hired, how long before I can work in a specialty unit such as SWAT, Vice, Detectives, DARE/GREAT, etc.?
    In general, a Police Officer will work in the Patrol Division for a minimum of two or three years before being eligible for a specialized unit.
  16. What are the working shifts in the Patrol Division?
    In the Patrol Division, Police Officers will work all three shifts on a three-month rotating basis. It is managed on a 6-3 working schedule. For example, a Police Officer will work six consecutive days and then be off for three consecutive days. Police Officers works 8.5 hour shifts in the Patrol Division.
  17. Can I attend and complete college courses/programs while working at the department?
    The Columbus Police Department encourages all Police Officers to continue their education. On the other hand, Police Officers must schedule their classes so that it does not interfere with their assigned work schedule.
  18. Can I practice on the obstacle course to prepare for my upcoming physical agility test?
  19. If hired, when do my health/dental/vision benefits become effective?
    Benefits are available for use 30 days after your start date.
  20. If I am certified as a Peace Officer in another state, do I still have to attend the Police Academy?
    Yes, the Columbus Police Department will require you to attend the entire police Academy regardless of your peace officer certification (other than Georgia). On the other hand, if you are interested in obtaining your Georgia P.O.S.T certification, while already possessing another state's Peace Officer certification, you must contact Georgia P.O.S.T directly for this procedure.
  21. If I am hired on July 1, 2018, can I be enrolled in the July 10, 2018 Police Academy class?
    No. The West Georgia Police Academy completes four academies per year. The Recruiting Office builds academy classes and places newly hired Police Officer Recruits in the next available class. Typically, if an applicant has a final interview date within thirty days of the next academy class beginning, they will be scheduled to attend the next available Police Academy class.
  22. Will I be staying in the barracks while attending the Police Academy?
    No, you will return home at the end of each day.
  23. Will previous drug use disqualify me from being a Columbus Police Officer?
    Yes and No. It could depending on the drug used and the period of when it was used. Please visit our applicant disqualifications section for a list of drug disqualifiers.
  24. If I have tattoos, will it disqualify me?
    No. All tattoos must be concealed per departmental policy. For example, many Police Officers wear long sleeve uniforms and apply concealment make-up to cover up any visible tattoos. Be mindful that we require applicants to list all of their tattoos and describe them in detail on their police application.
  25. If I have declared bankruptcy, will that disqualify me from becoming a Police Officer?
  26. What happens after I am hired and I complete the Police Academy?
    After completing the Police Academy, an applicant is now a certified Police Officer in the State of Georgia. They will return to the Columbus Police Department to complete additional training at the department. Upon successful completion of the Recruit Academy, the Officer will be released into the Field Training Officer Program.
  27. When will I receive my take home police car?
    After a Police Officer completes all of their assigned training and is released as a solo Police Officer, a member of the Motor Transport Unit will contact the Police Officer for vehicle assignment.
  28. I don't live in Columbus, Georgia. Can I still become a Columbus Police Officer?
    Yes, we accept applications from out of town and out of state applicants.
  29. I don't live in Columbus, Georgia. Can I take my police car home?
    No, in order to take part in the "Take Home Police Car Program," the Police Officer must live in Columbus/Muscogee County.
  30. Can Police Officers make extra money by working part-time police jobs?
    Yes, many Police Officers supplement their income by working extra police related part-time jobs. All Police Officers must be cleared for part-time work and request permission to work police related part­time jobs.
  31. Does the Police Department provide all of the necessary equipment to perform the job?
    Yes, we provide all newly trained officers with department issued equipment to perform their job.
  32. Who should I contact if the answer to my question does not appear here?
    Please contact the Recruiting Unit at 706-653-3154, or email us at

2008 - The Columbus, Georgia Police Department