Police Officer Qualifications & Testing

Basic Requirements

Residency Requirement

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 Requirement

High School Diploma or equivalent.

Age Requirement

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

Physical Fitness Test & Requirements

Obstacle Course

Applicants must demonstrate a fitness level that would allow them to perform the essential job functions of a police officer. This physical agility test encompasses various job-specific physical activities arranged in an obstacle course format and executed continuously from start to end. This is a PASS/FAIL assessment.

Applicants are required to complete the test within one minute and thirty-six seconds.

Obstacle course challenges in order*

  1. Jump a distance of 3’ (feet)
  2. Climb over a 5’ (feet) high wall
  3. Crawl under an obstacle 24” (inches) high and 10’ (feet) in length
  4. Climb up and down an 8” (inches) step for 12 repetitions
  5. Crawl through a window opening (36” wide x 30” high x 3’ above the ground)
  6. Verbally identify the correct suspect
  7. Move a 150 lb dummy 5 yards
  8. Trigger pull exercise

*You will also be required to run/sprint (up to 25 yards) to reach each challenge.

Testing & Interview

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.

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.

Police Academy Preparation

All candidates will be required to pass MPOETC’s physical fitness assessment to gain admission to the Police Academy once hired by the Lancaster City Bureau of Police. Candidates must be able to perform each of the following exercises in accordance with the indicated standards:

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

The requirements for each event are based on age and gender. We strongly encourage every applicant to practice the test in its entirety*. Click on the link below for more details.

Learn more about MPOETC’s Physical Fitness Assessment Standards →

*Before beginning any new exercise program, please consult with your physician or a medically trained professional.

Proper Form

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