Application & Selection Process

The application and selection processes include many steps designed to fully examine the applicant’s abilities and interest in law enforcement. The following information is provided so that you may know exactly what is expected of an applicant.

The recruitment, application, examination and selection process involves the efforts of the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board and the Human Resources Department of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government. The Merit Board is a civilian body created by state law, separate from the police department, which conducts the application and examination process (and other employment matters) in such a way that each candidate’s merit for selection is fully evaluated.

To go directly to each section, click on the title below:

Minimum & Special Requirements for Police Recruit

High school diploma or equivalent

Special Requirements

  • Must be a U.S citizen.
  • Must be 21 years of age or over.
  • Applicants who have used, possessed, bought, or sold marijuana within one (1) year of application; or have used, possessed, bought, or sold any controlled substance or narcotic drug, without a prescription, within six (6) years of application will be disqualified.
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or have any criminal action pending against them.
  • Misdemeanor convictions will be considered on an individual basis. An applicant may be disqualified for multiple misdemeanors, an unacceptable criminal record or multiple traffic violations.
  • Arrests and convictions must be expunged prior to being offered a final offer of employment.
  • Must submit to a pre-employment drug screening.
  • Must submit to a pre-employment polygraph examination.
  • Must pass a pre-employment physical agility test.
  • Must pass a pre-employment physical examination.
  • Must take a pre-employment written and oral psychological evaluation.
  • Must wear protective and/or safety equipment as mandated by OSHA.
  • Must be vaccinated for hepatitis B, have provided evidence of immunity or have signed a declination form within 10 days of initial assignment.
  • Must work a varied work schedule.
  • Must not be a current user of illegal drugs.
  • Must have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions if having served in any branch of the armed forces of the United States.
  • Must not be prohibited by federal or state law from possessing a firearm.
  • Must not have an accumulation of nine (9) or more points for traffic violations.
  • Must not have had certification as a peace officer permanently revoked in another state.
  • Within the last two (2) years, must not have conducted the business of a private detective agency or any agency supporting private detectives, private policeman or private guards or advertised or solicited any such business in connection with any labor dispute.
  • Must be eligible for certification as a state peace officer.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Tattoos on the hands, neck, face, or any part of the head are prohibited. Tattoos that are sexist, racist, vulgar, anti-social, gang-related, extremist group-related, or may bring discredit upon the LMPD are prohibited. Whether the tattoo’s content is deemed appropriate or inappropriate is at the discretion of the Chief of Police.

All applicants for the position must meet the above stated minimums. Those who do not meet the minimums will be disqualified from the process.

Documentation Requirements

You must meet the minimum qualifications as outlined above before you can be scheduled for testing. Numerous documents will be collected and verified during the background investigation process. It is the responsibility of the candidate to obtain and provide the following in a timely manner:

  • Signed Authorization for Police Criminal History and Records Checks
  • Verification of high school education using either a diploma or GED equivalency 
  • Verification of birth date
  • Colored copy of driver’s license
  • DD214, if former military
  • Military ID card showing enlistment date and current rank if current military, current reserve or National Guard Unit

Acceptable Forms of Verification

Any of the following may be used to verify your education, date of birth and driver’s license.


The Kentucky Law Enforcement Council requires that prospective police recruit employees verify high school education or GED using copies of one of the following documents:

  • High school diploma (pocket diplomas and college transcripts and/or diplomas are NOT acceptable to verify high school education)
  • High school transcript (must be signed and dated; must specify date graduated and rank in class)
  • Letter from Board of Education verifying high school education
  • GED certificate from an approved State Department of Education with a certificate number affixed to the certificate if applicable in your state

Birth Date

An original birth certificate is necessary to verify your age.

Please note: If you are hired, you must submit an official birth certificate to the Louisville Metro Police Department. Information on how to obtain certified birth certificates is available upon request.

You must be 21 years of age at the time of application.

Valid Driver’s License

You must have a colored copy of a valid driver’s license at the time of testing.


If former military, you must submit a copy of your DD214 which includes dates of service and any disciplinary action taken against you.

Military ID Card

If current military, reserve or National Guard, you must submit your Military ID Card which shows your current rank and enlistment date.

The Selection Process

Review of Minimum Qualifications

Based on information in the online resume, the Human Resources staff will review the resume to ensure that the candidate meets the minimum qualifications. Information on the application will be verified later in the background investigation phase of the process. It is the responsibility of the candidate to be honest and to provide accurate information on the employment application. Failure to be forthcoming may result in disqualification of the application.

 Physical Agility Standards and Preparation Manual

  • It is to your benefit to start training and enhance your physical skills.
  • An abbreviated explanation of the physical agility standards is included with this packet. Begin training immediately by running and lifting weights.
  • Candidates can download a detailed version of the KLEC physical fitness testing standards (PDF)

Pre-Polygraph Booklet/Background Investigation Booklet 

  • Candidates will be directed to a website with a list of forms that must be completed and turned in at the Physical Agility Test. The information obtained will be used later in the process during the background investigation.

Physical Agility Test

  • Candidates who are selected based on a review of their application will be scheduled by email to take the Physical Agility Test according to standards established by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, effective January 1, 2010.
  • Candidates scheduled for the Physical Agility Test will be given a list of documents required by the Louisville Metro Police Department to be brought to the Physical Agility Test.

Oral Examination / Written Exam

  • The oral exam consists of a candidate being presented with 3 situations similar to what a police officer may encounter while on duty. Candidates are asked to respond to the situations orally and are rated by a live panel of police officers and Police Merit Board staff members.
  • At the exam site, applicants will also be asked to complete a written exam consisting of questions that measure reading comprehension, reasoning ability and written communication skills.

Eligibility List Certification

  • Candidates who have passed the oral written examinations will be placed on the Police Recruit Eligibility List.
  • Candidates’ scores on the oral test will determine their place on the eligibility list.
  • Candidates will receive an email providing their score information.
  • All candidates on the eligibility list will be referred to the Louisville Metro Police Department for further evaluation.

Chief’s Staff Interview

An interview is conducted by a panel appointed by the Chief to determine the suitability of applicants for employment as a police officer.

Credit Report

Credit reports are to be submitted at the interview for the background investigation. The LMPD Recruitment Unit will review each candidate’s credit history. Based on a set of standardized criteria, candidates’ credit history will be combined with other factors to determine if they will continue in the process. The credit report must be from one of the following major credit agencies: Experian, Equifax or Transunion.

Background Investigation / Polygraph Examination

A subgroup consisting of the most qualified candidates will be selected for a background investigation. The following factors are some of the criteria reviewed during the background investigation:

  • Test scores
  • Education above the minimum requirement, especially if it is related to law enforcement
  • Job experience
  • Military experience
  • Financial and credit history
  • Ability to speak other languages
  • Community service
  • Other relevant factors

The investigation includes verification of information provided on your employment application, obtaining and reviewing references from previous employers, interviews with some of your neighbors, a credit check and investigation of your driving, military and police records. Your fingerprints are used for the extensive national check of your police record performed as part of the background investigation.

Questions posed during the polygraph examination will include any arrests, convictions, employment history and alleged false information provided on the employment application. Specific questions will be reviewed immediately prior to the examination.

Conditional Offer of Employment

Candidates will also be given a conditional offer of employment by the police department. This offer of employment is conditional upon completing more steps and meeting established standards for a position.

Medical Examination

  • Occupational Physician Services of Louisville provides a complete medical examination for police recruit candidates. The following information is made available in order to orient the candidates regarding what type of examination he or she will be having. The medical examination will consist of a self administered medical data history, vision test, hearing test, standard measure of height and weight, pulmonary function analysis, blood pressure and pulse rate, temperature and respiration, electrocardiograph, hemocult test (optional) and other procedures including blood and urine tests, CBC chemcyme plus test, chest x-ray, drug screening and physical examination.
  • Corrected vision should be at least 20/30 for both eyes together. Due to likelihood of dislodgement or breakage, candidates who are able to wear glasses must meet an uncorrected standard of 20/100 for both eyes together.
  • Color vision, depth perception, peripheral vision, night blindness and vision with contact lenses are also evaluated.

Psychological Evaluation

Candidates who advance further will receive a psychological evaluation consisting of two parts. During the first part, candidates complete self-administered written tests. During the second part, a licensed psychologist will conduct interviews with the candidates based on the results of the written tests. The purpose of the psychological evaluation is to determine those candidates who are best suited to handle the stress of an extremely demanding career.

Common Reasons for Denial of Employment

The following is a list of the most common reasons why the Louisville Metro Police Department either denies employment to applicants for the position of police recruit or why candidates are not successful after being hired.

  • Falsification of background information
  • Arrest history
  • Drug usage
  • Unstable work history
  • Misunderstanding of job requirements
  • Driving record
  • Immaturity

Academy & Structure and Post Academy Training

Training for Police Recruits

The Louisville Metro Police Training Academy conducts basic law enforcement training for new recruits of the department. The academy provides over 1,000 hours of instruction over a 24 week training period. Those selected for hire are paid while attending the academy. The academy is located in Louisville, KY. Recruits do not live at the training facility. Designed for recruit level officers, the curriculum is segmented into various training areas: law offenses and procedures, patrol operations, traffic stops, investigative procedures, accident investigation, vehicle operations, self-defense, firearms (handgun and shotgun), physical fitness, practical performance exercises, LINK/NCIC and First Aid/CPR.

Field Training for Police Recruits

  • Upon successful completion of the Louisville Metro Police Training Academy, the probationary officer will be assigned to the Police Training Officer program. This program provides a measure of the field performance of probationary officers and is used in the final decision regarding the retention or termination of employment.
  • The probationary officer will ride with three different Police Training Officers for a period of 5 weeks each for a total of 15 weeks. The probationary officer may be assigned to different divisions and work shifts. During that time, the probationary officers will be evaluated on at least 16 core competencies such as appearance, attitude, knowledge of policies, laws and vehicle codes, performance such as driving skills, report writing, field performance and communication skills and relationships such as with peers, supervisors and the community. Following that time period, and upon the recommendation of the PTOs, the probationary officer may ride solo for a period of 37 weeks. At the end of those 52 weeks, the final decision regarding retention or termination of employment will be made.

Residency Requirement


Physical Ability Test Requirements & Video Example

The following chart is used to determine the points earned for each event. In order to meet the state standard, an overall minimum of 50 points must be achieved. Failure to meet the overall minimum requirement constitutes a failure for the test battery. Opportunities to retest are granted at the sole discretion of the hiring agency.

9 points
9.5 points
10 points
10.5 points
11 points
Bench Press (body weight percent)
Sit Ups (repetitions)
300 Meter Run (seconds)
Push Ups (repetitions)
1.5 Mile Run (minutes:seconds)

These are five (5) physical fitness tests that will be given in 3 hours.

Bench Press -Video

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Hips and back maintain contact with the bench
  • Full arm extension
  • Lift starts in the up position
  • Five (5) minute break before moving on to Sit Ups

Sit Ups - Video

  • Knees bent 90 degrees
  • Feet flat on the floor; feet being held
  • Back flat on the floor (start position)
  • Hands overlapped behind the head
  • Elbows to top of the knee (up position)
  • Top of the shoulder blade touch floor (down position)
  • Rest in the up position
  • 15 minute break before moving on to 300 Meter Run

300 Meter Run - Video

  • Run course as rapidly as possible
  • 15 minute break before moving on to Push Ups

Push Ups - Video

  • Legs, hips and torso must stay in the same place
  • Hands shoulder width apart
  • Feet no more than six inches (6") apart
  • Lower chest to touch three inch (3") sponge
  • Return to full arm extension
  • Rest only in the up position
  • 30 minute break before moving on to the 1.5 Mile Run

1.5 Mile Run - Video

  • Run/walk 1.5 miles as rapidly as possible
  • Entire Physical Ability Test is complete after 1.5 Mile Run score is recorded

Download the Kentucky Law Enforcement’s Physical Training Standards (PDF)

Please be advised, if you are preparing for this physical examination, you would be best prepared by practicing all the events in the order you see above, with the allotted breaks in between. Assessing your performance on ONE (1) event alone will not give you an accurate representation of your ability. The test must be practiced as it is administered for applicants to gauge their level of fitness!

Note From the Staff

The foregoing information is not exhaustive but should provide information on the processes involved in becoming a Louisville Metro Police officer. The information is not intended to discourage, but rather inform. It requires serious commitment to a law enforcement career to endure the long process.

We greatly appreciate your patience and thank you for your interest in becoming a LMPD officer. Be advised, because the LMPD application process is open and continuous, the amount of time an applicant may spend from application to notification of employment can be anywhere from three (3) - six (6) months, depending on the date of application. We will try to keep you updated during the process. Anytime you have a question, feel free to email our Personnel Specialist or any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Recruitment and Selection staff.


Due to the expected applicant volume, we cannot make examination schedules for your convenience. Rescheduling requests are limited and must be made prior to the examination.

Address / Contact Information

If your name, address and/or phone number changes after you have submitted your application or if for any reason you no longer wish to be considered, we ask that you notify our Personnel Specialist. It is extremely important that you provide us with any phone, address or name change immediately.

Online applicants should follow these instructions to update their contact information:

  • Go to the Metro Human Resources webpage
  • Click the "Find or Apply for a Job Now" link.
  • Click "Applicant Log-in".
  • Sign in using the username and password you used when you last logged into the system.
  • Once logged in, click "My Account".
  • Click "Edit Contact Information".
  • Make changes and click "Save".