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Montgomery County Police Department - Selection Process for Police Officer Applicants

All applicants must go through the selection process, which consists of tests and investigations that help the department select applicants who are best suited for police work. This process can take from 3 to 4 months from the date of the initial online application. The applicant must pass the written exam, scored oral interview, and physical assessment before continuing to a background investigation.

The Selection Process
(About 2 to 3 months)
Step What the Step Involves
  1. Online Application (Up to 15 minutes)
  • Apply at (up to 15 minutes)
  • Receive confirmation number
  1. Written Examination
           (Up to 3 hours)
  • 100 multiple choice questions
  • 60% or above is a pass
  1. Scored Interview
         (Up to 1 hour)
  • Six questions
  • 3 officers conduct interview
  • All applicants get the same questions
  • Applicants are rated either “Well Qualified” or “Qualified”
  • Only “Well Qualified” applicants continue to next step
  1. Physical Fitness Assessment Test (PFAT)
           (Up to 3 hours)
  • Test consists of:
  • 17 push-ups in 1 minute
  • 34 bent-knee sit-ups in 3 minutes
  • 1.5-mile run in 16 minutes
  • Each applicant offered 2 attempts
  1. Background Investigation (Up to 6 weeks)
  • In-depth interview of applicant
  • Interview of references, neighbors, co-workers, and family
  • Review of:
  • Employment history
  • Criminal and traffic records
  • Credit reports
  • Academic records
  • Military records (if applicable)
  1. Polygraph Examination
          (Up to 3 hours)
  • Used to confirm information obtained through the selection process
  • Covers areas such as:
  • Employment
  • Crimes
  • Falsification of information
  • Drug use
  • Applicants whose polygraph examinations indicate inconsistencies will be eliminated
  1. Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Applicants who successfully complete the above steps may be considered for conditional offer of employment
  1. Psychological and Medical Examinations
  • Medical examination
  • Psychological examination
Step 1: Online Application: Go to and complete the application. When you finish, you will receive a confirmation number letting you know your application was received. About 2 weeks later, you will receive, by email, a confirmation letter with the date, time, and location of the written test, and a link to download and print a confidential questionnaire booklet. Complete the booklet and bring it along with other required documents.

Step 2: Written Examination (Duration – up to 3 hours.): WALK-INS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT TEST DATES. The written examination has 100 multiple choice questions. A score of 60 percent or higher is required to pass the examination.  

Step 3: Scored Interview (Duration – up to 1 hour): The interview has 6 questions. Every effort is made to administer the oral interview on the date of the written examination. Three officers interview and rate the applicant as ‘Well Qualified’ or ‘Qualified’. Only “Well Qualified” applicants advance to the next step.

Step 4: Physical Fitness Assessment Test (PFAT) (Duration – up to 3 hours): Applicants are given two chances to complete the following fitness standards:
  • 17 timed push-ups in 1 minute
  • 34 timed bent-knee sit-ups in 3 minutes
  • 1.5-mile run in 16 minutes
Go to this Link to View a Tutorial on the PFAT –

Step 5: Background Investigation (Duration – Up to 6 weeks): This includes an in-depth interview, an extensive investigation of employment history, criminal and traffic records, credit reports, school transcripts, and military records (if applicable). We interview references, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. The information we receive helps us better evaluate applicants best suited for a career with Montgomery County Police Department.

Step 6: Polygraph Examination (Duration – up to 3 hours): All applicants must undergo a polygraph examination, which covers areas such as employment, undetected crimes, falsification of information, and drug use. The results of a polygraph examination can be used to determine an applicant’s suitability for the police position.
Step 7: Conditional Offer of Employment. All applicants who successfully complete the above steps may be considered for a conditional offer of employment.

Step 8: Medical and Psychological Examination (Duration – up to 10 hours): Those selected must complete the final two steps:
  1. Medical examination (4 hours)
  2. Psychological examination (up to 6 hours)
The chief of police or a designee will make a final offer of employment to the applicant after considering all application requirements.

*Applicants interested in reapplying (beginning with Step 1) must wait 6 months from his or her application date.



Montgomery County Department of Police · J. Thomas Manger, Chief
Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Non-emergency: 301.279.8000
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