Become a Newport News Police Officer


During the first week of April, the Newport News Police Department posted a survey about women in law enforcement. The purpose of the survey was to better understand why women do not typically choose law enforcement as a career. Out of the 417 sworn officers on the NNPD force, only 16% are women. Next Friday, 30 recruits will become police officers at the 18th Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) Graduation. Of that 30, five are women. The 17th BLE class had six women.

The survey consisted of six questions believed to be major concerns about becoming a police officer, in particularly for women. The results of the survey are listed below in order of concern, with the first question being the most common concern and the last question being the least common concern:

​ 1. Are you concerned for your safety?
​59% said yes ​
​27% said no ​
​13% said maybe
​2. Does shift work make it difficult to consider being a police officer? ​52% said yes ​
​36% said no ​
​11% said maybe
​3. Do you have concerns about the salary range for police officers? ​47% said yes ​
​37% said no ​
​15% said maybe
​4. Are you concerned about the negative media regarding police officers today?
​43% said yes ​
​49% said no ​
​6% said maybe
​5. Do you feel you are physically fit enough to be a police officer?
​29% said yes ​
​47% said no ​
​23% said maybe
​6. Are you comfortable using a weapon?
​50% said yes
​​29% said no
​​20% said maybe ​​

​The following is information that hopefully addresses each of these concerns: ​

​ (1) Although safety is a realistic fear, and at times even necessary, most cop shows on TV today would have you believe that officers are involved in a foot pursuit and discharge their weapons every day. This is far from the truth. In reality, most officers go their entire career and do not discharge their weapon. Foot pursuits are also rare. In Newport News, the first line of duty death occurred in 1919. Since then, there have been 10 other deaths with the last being in 1994 – or eleven fallen officers over a 99 year period. ​​

​(2) Because law enforcement requires 24 hour daily coverage, having to work different shifts is a realistic concern. We currently have 10-hour shifts, with 4 days on and 3 days off. The NNPD has a yearly open-bid process where officers submit a bid for a preferred shift. Of course, officers with seniority will be considered first. It should also be noted that some positions, i.e., school resource officers, community resource officers and detectives work eight hour shifts, five days a week, with occasional on- call coverage. ​​

​(3) Once the NNPD Academy begins, recruits are paid to train and start at $38,325 a year. After six months, they earn $39,325 and after one year the annual salary for an officer is $40,325. Depending on the area’s cost of living, this is a national average. Officers also enjoy generous and reasonably priced health insurance, dental insurance, vision and long and short term disability insurance. They earn paid personal and medical leave per month as well as time for military leave. The Department takes great pride in ensuring that officers are kept current about community policing and law enforcement trends and therefore continuing education is a priority. Tuition reimbursement is offered for police department employees. The Department also offers a Take Home Vehicle Program. The program includes the assignment of a marked police vehicle for use by an officer on and off duty. Officers residing in the City of Newport News who are assigned to uniformed patrol activities may be eligible for participation in the program. Detectives are also eligible for an unmarked take home vehicle. ​​

​(4) Negative media about police officers cannot be avoided. Part of this is just the cost of doing business in a digital age. Unfortunately these stories, often controversial, receive a lot of attention - which sells. The best way to deal with this issue is to remember several things: we may not always see all of the video footage, we may not have all the circumstances or facts or information about a victim or suspect, and these are usually ongoing investigations. At the NNPD we believe that maintaining a positive and professional image is a priority. ​​

​(5) Ironically, although being physically fit enough seemed to be one of the least concerns for those surveyed, it is often the part of the process where we lose most women. In order to move through the recruitment process, you must pass the Physical Agility Test (PAT). The PAT consist of being able to run a quarter mile in one minute and 30 seconds; a six foot running broad jump; scaling a 5 foot wall in 15 seconds; dragging a 130 lb. weight 30 feet; and a grip strength-trigger pull (38 caliber revolver handgun, double action mode, 50 rounds dry fire) dominant and weak hand. Past experience has proven that the most difficult part of the PAT for any recruit to complete is the run. However, it can be done with practice and support. We recommend that you work at completing the run before applying. We can also help train in any of the PAT areas. ​​

​ (6) Although half of the people surveyed answered that this was not a major concern, if you have never fired a gun, you will most likely be uncomfortable and some may even be fearful in the beginning. Once you have been accepted to the academy, the NNPD has some of the most precise, experienced marksman in the nation. Along with gun laws, gun safety, a proper gun stance and much more, academy instructors will work with you to not only feel comfortable with discharging a weapon, but to do so with precision and control. ​

​“I have been a Newport News Police Officer for 12 years. As a woman, I have found this to be a fulfilling and rewarding career with vast opportunities. The men and women of the Newport News Police Department are an honorable group that I’m proud to call my blue family,” Sgt. Alison Funaiock. If, as a women or a man, you have contemplated a career in law enforcement but have some concerns, please feel free to call Sgt. Funaiock at (757) 928-4151.

The Newport News Police Department is accepting applications for the position of Police Officer Recruit.  The test for the position of Police Officer will be administered at either the Newport News Police Academy, located at 5851 Jefferson Avenue, or Newport News Police Headquarters, located at 9710 Jefferson Avenue. Applicants can call to register, and to determine the location of the written test.  The physical agility test will be held at Todd Stadium. Please review the list of qualifications and selection process for open positions.

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Please call the NNPD Recruiting Division at 757-928-4150 to reserve your test date. Applicants must be pre-registered to test. On your scheduled testing date, bring some form of pictured identification.

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