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Selection Process

The City of Columbia Police Department is searching for qualified applicants to fill entry-level Police Officer positions. The selection process consists of several steps that must be completed in their entirety prior to the hiring of an applicant.

Police Officer applicants who are not Certified Police Officers and/or who do not have previous Police Officer experience are considered to be POLICE OFFICER CANDIDATES.

All applications for employment as a Police Officer or Police Officer Candidate are completed electronically through the City of Columbia Career Portal site. Click Apply for a Job to start the application process.

Selection Process

After the electronic application is completed, an email notification will be sent with the status of the application along with further instructions that may include items listed below.

  • The Columbia Police Department Recruiter will  notify the applicant on the available dates to the Police Officer Selection Test (POST) and the Job-Related Physical Agility Test (PAT)
  • Upon successful completion of this process the applicant will proceed onto the Background Investigation
  • Conditional Offer Interview
  • Polygraph
  • Medical Exam (Drug/Alcohol Screening)
  • Psychological
  • Oral Review Board
  • All applicants selected for hire shall be subject to the successful completion of a one (1) year probationary period.

Upon employment with the City of Columbia Police Department, the new recruit will be required to participate and successfully meet the requirements and standards affixed to each Training Program. Areas of training include, but are not limited to:

  • Columbia Police Department Basic Candidate School (8 weeks)
  • South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement School (12 weeks)
  • Columbia Police Department Field Training Program (46 working days)
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