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Eligibility
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:

  • Age
    • Must be at least 21 years old on or before the date of hire
    • Must not be more than 65 years old
  • Education
    • Must possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency
    • Must be Act 120 certified at the time of hire
    • Must pass the Northwest PA Regional Police Testing Consortium written test by date of hire
  • Residency
    • Must agree to move within a fifteen-mile radius of the City of Erie Municipal Building by the time of hire
    • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Fitness
    • 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 a police officer
    • Must pass the Northwest PA Regional Police Testing Consortium physical agility test before date of hire
  • Character
    • Must have good moral character as determined by:
      • Background check
      • Credit check
      • Physical
      • Social media review
      • Psychological test
      • Voice stress analyzer test
      • Oral interview
  • Driving
    • Must possess a current and valid driver’s license
    • An applicant’s driving record will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the past five years being the most critical. The following will be considered disqualifiers until the time parameters have been met: 
      • DUI within five years of taking the exam
      • Negligent or reckless driving within five years of taking the exam
      • Hit-and-run driving within five 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 is defined as the act of making a person leave a job; the act of firing or dismissing someone
  • Financial History
    • 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:
      • Failure to pay income tax
      • Failure to pay child support
      • Extreme debt
  • Professional Appearance
    • All applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times.
    • The Erie Bureau of Police has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional.
    • The following are areas of concern: 
      • 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 the Erie Bureau of Police on a case by case basis.
  • Criminal Record
    • Must be free from convictions of disqualifying criminal offenses, including:
      • Any adult felony conviction
      • Any domestic violence conviction
      • Any offence which requires imprisonment of more than one year
      • All grades of theft
      • Charges of perjury or false statements/reports
  • Drug Use
    • Drug use that falls under the definition of experimentation may not automatically disqualify applicants.
      • “Experimental drug use” is the first stage of substance use and happens when a person begins to explore what drugs are, what reaction they have to them and 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.
    • Use of the following drugs may not be automatic disqualifiers based on the age of applicant at time of use or how many times the drug was used:
      • Marijuana
      • Cocaine
      • Ecstasy
      • Psilocybin (mushrooms)
    • Use of the following drugs are considered automatic disqualifiers:
      • Crack cocaine
      • Heroin
      • Club drugs such as but not limited to:
        • Ketamine
        • GHB
        • Rohypnol (date rape)
      • Hallucinogens such as but not limited to:
        • Phencyclidine (PCP or “angel dust”)
        • Wet
        • LSD
      • Stimulants such as but not limited to:
        • Methamphetamine
        • Crank
        • Glass
        • Ice
        • Speed
        • Amphetamines
        • Khat
      • Alcohol, if consumption is shown to impair his/her ability to perform in a work environment
    • Applicants will also be automatically disqualified if:
      • Applicant has manufactured or cultivated illegal drugs for the purpose of sales of the drugs
      • The applicant has been denied employment or terminated from a position as a result of illegal drug use
      • The applicant used illegal drugs while being employed as a law enforcement officer
      • Any other issues that would be covered by broader City of Erie Human Resources Office policies
    • Per the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, individuals who use medical marijuana or possess a medical marijuana certification card other than the Caregiver card will not pass Act 120 certification.


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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