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Police Officer

Location: Salem, VA


Salem Police Department


Open until filled.

Job Description / Responsibilities

General Definition and Conditions of Work:
Performs protective service work involving a variety of general or support duty police assignments; does related work as required. Much of the work is performed under emergency conditions and frequently involves considerable personal hazard. Work is performed under the immediate supervision of a field training officer or the regular supervision of a Police Sergeant. Requires the exertion of 50 pounds of force occasionally, up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects; work requires stooping, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, and grasping; vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word, and conveying detailed or important instructions to others accurately, loudly, or quickly; hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels; visual acuity is required for depth perception, night vision, peripheral vision, preparing and analyzing written or computer data, visual inspection involving small defects and/or small parts, operation of machines, operation of motor vehicles or equipment, determining the accuracy and thoroughness of work, and observing general surroundings and activities; the worker is subject to inside and outside environmental conditions, and noise. The worker may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens and may be required to wear specialized personal protective equipment.

Essential Functions/Typical Tasks:
Ensures safety of public; enforces laws; investigates criminal activity; gathers and processes evidence; testifies in Court; prepares and maintains records, files and reports. On an assigned shift, operates a patrol or other vehicle, or walks, to observe for violations of traffic or other laws, suspicious activities or persons and disturbances of law and order; Responds to radio dispatches and answers calls and complaints; enforces traffic laws; issues citations for violations; Serves warrants, summonses and makes arrests, maintains warrant records, testifies in court; Investigates traffic accidents; controls scene and files reports; Provides police escorts, directs traffic; performs residential and commercial checks; assists fire and emergency services, citizens and other City departments; handles animal complaints, mail, delivery, and bank deposits as required; Fills out arrest records, fingerprints, photographs, etc.; performs prisoner security and transportation functions; Reports unsafe conditions existing in street or other public facilities; opens and closes facilities as required; Assists with criminal investigations, stakeouts, installation and use of surveillance equipment; interviews victims and witnesses; performs property and evidence duties; establishes and maintains chain of custody; Prepares detailed reports on activities and assignments; Participates in a variety of in-service training programs, certifications and re-certifications May be assigned to special programs or services such as ERT or DARE liaison to community groups; Performs related tasks as required.

Salary & Benefits
$34,299.20 – $45,011.20 annually

Annual educational incentive pay based upon the number of college credit hours:

  • Graduate Degree - $2,000
  • Bachelor’s Degree - $1,500
  • 90 credit hours - $1,100
  • Associate Degree or 65 credit hours - $1,000
  • 32 credit hours - $500

Paid leave based on years of service.
Paid holidays.
Partial paid individual health insurance (family/dependant coverage is available at group rates).
Retirement under Virginia Retirement System (this provides retirement, disability and life insurance).
Paid yearly physical examination.
Uniforms and equipment furnished.
ICMA deferred compensation plan is available.


The Salem Police Department has stringent requirements which must be met by every applicant to ensure the selection of only the most qualified individual. You can qualify to become a member of the Salem Police Department if you meet these basic employment requirements:

Basic Employment Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a United States Citizen
  • Applicant must be at least 21 years old
  • Applicant must be in sound physical and mental condition
  • A high moral standard is required of all applicants and a conviction of any felony or serious misdemeanor is grounds for disqualification
  • There is no minimum height or weight requirement; however, the applicant’s weight must be in proportion to height
  • Applicant must possess a valid Virginia operator’s license at the time of appointment
  • Convictions of certain driving offenses such as driving under the influence or having minus (-) 6 driving points or more are grounds for disqualification
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate or possess a G.E.D.; however, the Salem Police Department places a strong emphasis on higher education.
  • All questions concerning basic employment requirements should be directed to the Recruitment Manager at the Salem Police Department at (540) 375-3083.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
General knowledge of police methods, practices and procedures; general knowledge of the geography of the City and location of important buildings; some knowledge of the rules and regulations of the Police Department; ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions and to prepare clear comprehensive reports; ability to deal courteously, firmly and tactfully with the public; ability to analyze situations and to adopt quick, effective and reasonable courses of action with due regard to hazards and circumstances; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, other law enforcement officials and general public; skill in the use of firearms and the operation of a motor vehicle.

Education and Experience:
High school diploma (or GED) is required. Two years of college, or an Associates degree, and some military (especially military police) experience, or any equivalent combination of training and experience, is preferred.

Special Requirements:
A driver's license valid in the Commonwealth of Virginia is required. Virginia Police Officer certification after graduation from basic law enforcement academy is required. Must meet and maintain all department, State and federal certification, training and education requirements for position.


  1. Conviction of DUI or DUI.
  2. Conviction of Refusal to submit to breathe test.
  3. Conviction of driving on suspended license.
  4. Convicted of fail to stop for police.
  5. Convicted of reckless driving or drag racing.
  6. Possessing six (6) or more negative driving points.
  7. Adjudication as a habitual offender.       
  8. Suspension or revocation of driver’s license.
  9. Visible pattern of three or more moving traffic violations close in proximity.
  10. Must not be prohibited from possession of firearm.

Tattoo Regulations:
Tattoos on the ears, head, face, hands, eyebrows, neck or tongue are prohibited. Tattoos on all other parts of the body shall be covered at all times by issued clothing or by utilizing commercially available cosmetics or fabric covers made for the purpose of covering tattoos. If commercial products are used, they must be of a skin-tone color and be neutral in appearance. This policy shall apply while the sworn employee is on duty (including training or outside events other than physical training or defensive tactics training) or whenever representing the Department in an official capacity regardless of whether the sworn employee is in uniform or not, unless permission is given by the Chief of Police.

“Offensive Body Ornamentation” is strictly prohibited and refers to the following:

  1. Ornamentation that depicts, describes, or refers to profanity or to intolerance of discrimination against any person based on race color, sexual orientation, creed, religion, gender, or national origin.
  2. Ornamentation customarily associated with any particular organization or group that is known to advocate or harbor such intolerance or discrimination.

Additional Requirements:

  • Upon appointment, you must attend and successfully complete the basic law enforcement academy that is held at the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy. You must also successfully complete a 12 week Field Training Program at the Salem Police Department.
  • You will be required to sign a contractual agreement that you will not smoke or use any tobacco products while employed with the Salem Police Department.
  • You will be required to sign a contractual agreement that you will remain with the Salem Police Department for two years after completion of field training.
  • You will serve a one year probationary period.

How to Apply

We are committed to Equal Opportunity Employment throughout the recruitment and selection process. To accomplish this goal, the comprehensive selection process requires applicants to meet the basic qualifications and to successfully complete the following:

  • City of Salem Employment Application
  • DMV and Criminal History Check
  • Police Officer Entrance Examination
  • Physical agility
  • Review Panel
  • Chief’s Interview
  • Background Investigation
  • Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Medical / Psychological Evaluation

The selection process could take up to a year from the start of the application process, depending upon position availability.

Where and How to Apply:

Applicants may complete an on-line application at, or download a PDF application.

You may also contact the City of Salem Human Resources, 114 North Broad Street (City Hall - Ground Floor), Salem, Virginia 24153. Telephone: (540) 375-3060.  Office hours are 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.


More Information

Questions concerning the selection process or requirements should be directed to the Recruitment Manager at (540) 375-3083.


The City of Salem is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

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