Police Officer Qualifications


All sworn members of the Bureau of Police are permitted to reside within Lancaster County and any contiguous county (Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lebanon, and York) within Pennsylvania. A candidate who is living outside the requirement, who is hired for the position of police officer, is required to establish residency no later than six (6) months after being hired.

Education Requirements

Equivalent to a high school diploma.


All candidates must be at least 21 years of age by academy graduation.

Physical Fitness Test & Requirements

Applicants for the position of “police officer” must demonstrate a fitness level that would allow them to perform the essential job functions of a police officer. Applicants must perform each of the following exercises in accordance with the indicated standards. If an applicant fails one event, they fail the entire test and will not advance to the written test.

  • 1 Minute Sit-up
  • 300 Meter Run
  • 1 Minute Push-up
  • 1.5 Mile Run

This test uses the National Law Enforcement Test Battery, which has proven validity and safety. The requirements for each event are based on age and gender. Click on the link below for more details. This battery of events is also known as the Cooper Test and is used in several hundred law enforcement agencies nationwide. The events chosen have undergone court scrutiny and are accepted as being job-related and construct-valid.

Learn more about MPOETC’s Physical Fitness Assessment Standards →

Written Examination

You must pass a written examination with a minimum score of 70%. Prospective Lancaster City Police Officers are required to complete the Next Generation Entry-Level Law Enforcement Aptitude Test, a premier entry-level law enforcement examination. The NGLE combines a straightforward cognitive ability measure with multiple situational judgment measures. Candidates will be provided with a study guide at no cost and will take the test at home.

Oral Board Interview

You must pass the oral board interview with a minimum score of 70%. Prospective Lancaster City Police Officers are required to complete an Oral Board Interview. The interview will be conducted by two Police Supervisors and one representative from Lancaster City Human Resources. Applicants do not need any prior Law Enforcement experience in order to answer the questions. This interview will be conducted in person at the Lancaster City Police Station.

Other Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Minimum age in keeping with departmental requirements. (Presently 21 years of age on the date of academy graduation.)
  • Establishment of residency.
  • You must have a valid driver’s license prior to being hired.
  • You must pass a medical examination and drug screening.
  • You must pass a psychological assessment.
  • You must pass a polygraph exam.
  • You must pass an extensive background investigation.
  • You must be willing to work rotating shifts, carry firearms, and work in dangerous situations.

Learn more about MPOETC’s Basic Training, Waivers, and Transfers →

Physical Testing Preparation

Applicants are encouraged to prepare for the Physical Fitness Test by practicing it in its entirety. On test day, applicants will be given approximately 5 minutes between each event.

Here is a suggested practice training cycle.*

  • 1 Minute Sit-up
  • 5 Minutes of Rest
  • 300 Meter Run
  • 5 Minutes of Rest
  • 1 Minute Push-up
  • 5 Minutes of Rest
  • 1.5 Mile Run

Each applicant should attempt to perform a few more repetitions than the minimum requirement for his/her sex and age group. Nerves can play a factor on test day and applicants will have more confidence if they know that they have previously completed the practice test at a higher standard than the minimum standard.

*Please consult with your physician or a medically trained professional before beginning any new exercise program.

Proper Form:
Use the videos below as a guide when training to ensure your sit-ups and push-ups are counted on testing day.