In hiring any position, the City of Erie does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, ancestry, union membership, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap or disability in employment or the provision of services.

To become a City of Erie police officer, regardless of past law enforcement or military experience, applicants must satisfy physical, mental and psychological requirements as determined by Pennsylvania state law and the City of Erie Civil Service Board, including:

Hiring Standards & Qualifications Effective October 25, 2022:

Age: Applicant must be at least 21 years of age at time of hire and no older than 65 years of age.

Education: Must be a high school graduate or the equivalent thereof (GED).

Must be Act 120 certified at the time of hire.
“Certified” The assignment of a certification number to a police officer after the successful completion of a mandatory basic training course or receipt of a waiver of basic training from the commission and successful completion of mandatory in-service training. Certification period is for two years.

Residency: Must be able to move within a 15 mile radius of City Hall within one year of time of hire. Applicant must be a citizen of the United States.

Physical fitness: Must be in every way physically qualified to sustain the labors and exposures of the position. Applicant must pass the physical agility test administered by the Northwest PA Police Testing Consortium. Candidates must score in the 30th percentile or higher for the person’s age and gender as specified in the Cooper standards for each of the required standards.
Applicant must pass a physical and be free from any debilitating conditions such as tremor, incoordination, convulsion, fainting episodes, or other neurological conditions which may affect the applicant’s ability to perform as police officers.

Driver’s license
Must possess a current and valid driver’s license.

Additional Standards:

Applicant must have good moral character as determined by an intense background check, credit check, physical, social media review, psychological test, a voice stress analyzer test and an oral interview. Lying, falsification, misrepresentation or omission of any information required or requested by the Erie Police Department to conduct an intense background investigation shall be grounds for disqualification.

Criminal record
An applicant’s criminal record, including all arrests, prosecutions, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. Disqualifications based upon on applicant’s criminal record are permanent and applicants will not permitted to reapply if disqualified based upon criminal record:
The following examples will be disqualifying factors:
a. Any adult felony conviction
b. Any domestic violence conviction
c. Any offense which requires imprisonment of more than one year
d. Felony and misdemeanor thefts
e. Charges of perjury or false statements/reports
f. Manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to deliver manufacture of any controlled substance
g. Summary thefts will be considered based upon age of the applicant at the time of the theft and type of theft occurred.

Traffic record
An applicant’s driving record will be considered on a case by case basis with the past 5 years being the most critical. The following will be considered disqualifiers until the time parameters have been met.
a. DUI, negligent or reckless driving, or hit and run driving within 5 years of taking the exam.
Employment history

An applicant’s employment history, including any terminations, leaving an employer in lieu of termination, lapses in work history, or lack of work history, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.
Termination defined: the act of making a person leave a job: the act of firing or dismissing someone.

An applicant’s credit history will be thoroughly assessed and related decision making issues may be grounds for disqualification. The following are areas of concern:
a. Failure to pay income tax.
b. Failure to pay child support.
c. Extreme debt.

Professional appearance
All applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times. EPD has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional. The following are areas of concern:
a. Tattoos that are visible to others shall not be sexually offensive, ethnically offensive, or religiously offensive to a reasonable person. Tattoos shall not be visible above the neck of any applicant. Scarification (intentional burning or cutting of the skin to create design), or voluntary disfigurement (marring or spoiling of the appearance or shape of a body part) shall be carefully reviewed by EPD on a case by case basis.

Drug use
Marijuana, Cocaine, Ecstacy, psilocybin (mushrooms): Use of these listed drugs may not be automatic disqualifiers based on the age of applicant at time of use and/or how many times used. Use should fall under the definition of experimentation. Marijuana use shall not occur within one year of application with the Bureau of Police. Use of the remaining drugs list above shall not occur within five years of application with the Bureau of Police.
“Experimental drug use” is the first stage of substances use. It is the time when a person will begin to explore what drugs are, what reaction they have to them and also the social aspects of drug use. This curiosity is usually relatively safe. In most cases people will be cautious about the substances they take, who they are with, how much they will take and what they are doing.

Applicants will be automatically disqualified for use of:
a. Crack cocaine, heroin.
b. Sedative drugs such as but not limited to: ketamine, ghb, rohypnol (date rape).
c. Hallucinogens such as but not limited to: pcp, angel dust, wet, phencyclidine, or lsd.
d. Stimulants such as but not limited to: methamphetamine, crank, glass, ice, speed, amphetamines, or khat.
e. Applicant has not manufactured or cultivated illegal drugs for the purpose of sales of the drugs.
f. Alcohol if consumption is shown to impair one’s ability to perform in a work environment.
g. The applicant has been denied employment or terminated from a position as a result of illegal drug use.
h. The applicant used illegal drugs while being employed as a law enforcement officer.
i. Medical Marijuana card.

If applicant is disqualified:
a. Applicant must wait 4 years to reapply.
b. If applicant’s disqualification is based upon applicant’s criminal records or a permanent disqualification for drug use, applicant is ineligible to reapply.

  • All candidates will be subject to a one-year probationary period. Lying falsification, misrepresentation or omission of any information required or requested by the Erie Bureau of Police to conduct an intense background investigation will be grounds for disqualification.

If applicant is disqualified, the applicant must wait four years to reapply. Falsification of information results in a permanent disqualification.

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