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Staffed by 840 full-time sworn officers and 132 civilian personnel, Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) is the largest law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The department, although relatively small in size, has been one of the front-runners in using technology in policing. Its body-worn camera program has received nation-wide acclaim for its efficiency and reach. Thanks to the department’s efforts, Virginia Beach has witnessed a significant decline in crime in the past decade and is one of the safest cities in the commonwealth. Below, learn more about how to pass the Virginia Beach police department test and progress onto the police academy.
Mission Statement: “to provide a safe community and improve the quality of life for all people.”
History: Although there is evidence of policing efforts and patrol units during the colonial era, the department was founded in its current form in 1963, when Virginia Beach was merged with Princess Anne County, therefore doing away with the need of the Princess Anne County Sheriff’s Department. Since its establishment, 8 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Size: Virginia Beach Police Department is responsible for law enforcement for an area of nearly 500 square miles. The city is home to over 447,000 people and is the most populous city in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Headquarters: Virginia Beach Municipal Center – Building 11, 2509 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach.
Divisions: The Department has 4 major operational divisions: Professional Standards Division – which is responsible for recruitment and training of officers and maintenance of records and the office of accreditation; operations division – which carries out patrolling in the 4 precincts of the city and also overlooks the functioning of the special operations and community engagement units; investigative division: which carries out special investigations and investigations into reported violent crimes; support division – which is responsible for allocation of finances, providing logistic support and maintenance of payrolls. All divisions, except the support division, are headed by a deputy chief. The support division is headed by a support division manager, who is a civilian employee.
How to become a deputy: Candidates must take the Virginia Beach Police Department test, which comprises of a series of steps. Candidates must successfully complete each step in the selection process in order to proceed to the next. The first step is to complete a Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ). This is followed by a written test and a physical ability test. The police written test is the Next Generation Entry-level Law Enforcement examination developed by CWH. The test has 136 multiple-choice questions. The physical ability test (PAT) comprises of a battery of four tests designed to gauge the common and necessary functions of an officer. This includes a series of push-ups, sit and reach, trunk pulls and 300-meter runs; all of which must be completed within the set time limit. Candidates who successfully pass the PAT must then take up a polygraph examination, followed by a series of screening processes.
Average salary: $43,264-$45,448 annually. The salary rises with an increase in experience and position.
Police academy: Once candidates pass the Virginia Beach police exam, they must undergo a 2-phase training program: one at the Police academy and another filed-training program. The academy training program is conducted in the Virginia Beach Police training center. This is a 26-week training program, where officers acquire core competencies for the job. Both theoretical regarding best practices and practical knowledge of how to use firearms, etc., are imparted to recruits. The 2nd phase is a 16-week field training program, where recruits receive on-the-job training.
Registration: Further information on the application process for the Virginia Beach Police department test can be found on their official website. VBPD conducts frequent recruitment programs and competition for places is high. The department chooses the very best applicants to attend the academy.
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