Qualifications (Police Recruits)


The Newport News Police Departments requires applicants be at least 20 years of age at time of application (but must turn 21 by academy graduation date), but not over 67 years of age.


Applicants must have a high school diploma or passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education.


Applicants who have separated from any military service (including Reserves or National Guard) must present a DD-214 in addition to copies of performance evaluations for at least 3 years. Applicants cannot have a dishonorable discharge. Background investigations are not conducted on applicants until they are within 2 months of separation. Applicants currently on active duty must present satisfactory documentary evidence substantiating less than 2 months of active duty remaining or the ability to retire within 2 months.

Criminal Convictions

Applicants must not have been convicted or plead guilty or no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth. 

Applicant must not have been convicted or plead guilty or no contest to any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, including but not limited to petit larceny under § 18.2-96 or any offense involving moral turpitude that would be a misdemeanor or if committed in the Commonwealth.

Applicants must not have been convicted, pleaded guilty of or no contest to any misdemeanor sex offense in the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States, including but not limited to sexual battery under § 18.2-67.4 or consensual sexual intercourse with a minor 15 or older under clause (ii) of § 18.2-371. Applicants must not have been convicted of domestic assault under § 18.2-57.2 or any offense that would be considered domestic assault under the laws of another state or the United States.

Fingerprint checks are completed. Applicants must report any contact with police authority, pending traffic violations, arrests, or receipt of any summons to appear in court, criminal or civil, in any political jurisdiction anywhere received during the application process. Furthermore, applicants must report any contact with police authority which resulted, or may have result in the completion of a police report where the applicant was a suspect, victim, or complainant.

The 1996 Congress passed the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, which contains the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. This Ban amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to render it unlawful:

…for any person convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition…

This law prohibits any person convicted of an act of domestic violence to possess a firearm. As it is a duty of a Newport News police officer to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties, the provisions of this Act, in current form, constitute a permanent bar to employment for this position.

We consider a conviction to be any final conviction from any court in any U.S. political subdivision, or any conviction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The classification of a conviction as felony or misdemeanor is irrelevant; under the Act, a conviction is considered any action which is a final conviction in a court of jurisdiction. A conviction is not a noll prosequi, dismissal of charges, or other non-conviction.

If you have been prosecuted for a crime of domestic violence and are unsure whether this conviction falls under the purview of the Federal Act, you may discuss the issue with the Training/Recruiting Division.

Drug Possession

Applicants who are current illegal drug users or who have ever illegally possessed in the past three years, any drug or controlled substance, which would constitute a felony, i.e., cocaine, hallucinogenic drugs, spice, bath salts, speed, or heroin, are not considered. Applicants illegally possessing steroids in the past year, are also not eligible. Any person ever illegally selling any controlled substance is disqualified from our process.

Character and Reputation

Applicants must pass a thorough and extensive background check. Only applicants of excellent character are considered for employment. Applicants whose past conduct could cause embarrassment to the City of Newport News or the Police Department, if such conduct were made public, are not considered.

Tattoo Policy

All visible tattoos must be approved by the Chief of Police.

Must be willing to comply with the NNPD tattoo policy.

Financial History of Responsibility

A check of the applicant's consumer report through the Credit Bureau for high credit or judgments is made prior to commencing the full background investigation. The applicant's credit must indicate a financial history of responsibility. Consumer reports that may result in adverse employment action against the applicant will be brought to the attention of the applicant in written form.

The below listed credit factors will be taken into consideration when reviewing the applicant's financial history of responsibility.

  • Bankruptcy (within last 5 years)
  • Charge off accounts
  • Civil judgments
  • Collection accounts
  • Delinquent accounts
  • Foreclosures
  • Garnishments
  • Repossessions
  • Tax liens

Drivers License

Applicants must possess a current driver's license that does not demonstrate a pattern of irresponsibility and/or unsafe driving habits regardless of current point assessments, and must meet the below listed minimum requirements:

  • Have no suspension or revocation of driving privileges resulting from convictions of moving violations within the last year.
  • Have no more than one (1) DUI conviction and no DUI/DWI (Class 1 misdemeanor) conviction within the past five years.
  • Report any pending traffic violations, arrests or receipt of any summons to appear in court, criminal or civil, in any political jurisdiction received during the applications process.

Police Contact

Report any contact with any police authority which results, or may result in completion of a police report where the applicant is a suspect, victim, witness or complainant.


Section 15.2-1705 of the Code of Virginia requires that applicants be citizens of the United States prior to appointment as a police officer.

Substance Abuse & Tobacco User Policy

Applicants must be willing to sign an agreement with the City of Newport News banning the use of any form of tobacco product, while employed as a police officer, whether on duty or off duty.

  • As a condition of employment, sworn police officers are required to refrain from any and all use of illegal drugs and tobacco products, both on and off the job.
  • All persons offered employment with the city shall be required to submit to a drug test as a condition of the offer of employment. Those who test positive for illegal drugs will be denied employment.
  • All employees are subject to random controlled substances and alcohol testing when reasonable suspicion exists that the employee is under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion testing for the use of tobacco products.

Note: All applicants must be willing to sign an agreement with the City of Newport News banning the use of any form of tobacco product while employed as a police officer, whether on duty or off duty.


Applicants are disqualified from further consideration for employment if they:

  • Fail to meet any of the criteria previously stated.
  • Falsify or misrepresent any responses either orally or in writing to any questions posed to them in the applications process.
  • Fail to keep scheduled appointments required as part of the application process.

Miscellaneous Information

Residency - There is no residency requirement for Newport News Police Department employees other than the Chief of Police. However, the Department encourages employees to establish and maintain residence within the city as stockholders in the corporation they help protect. The Department recognizes the unique geographical configuration of the city, and acknowledges the possibility that certain employees who reside outside the boundaries of the city are actually closer to the work place than others who may live inside city boundaries.

Applicable Policies

Prior to testing, please be sure to review the following City and Police Department Administrative policies at www.nnva.gov/200

  • >1000 - Standards of Conduct
  • >1402 - Smoking and Tobacco Use
  • 1403 - Use of Information Technology
  • ADM 210 - Standards of Conduct
  • ADM 215 - Workplace Harassment
  • ADM 230 - Grooming and Appearance Standards
  • ADM 290 - Employment Probation
  • ADM 315 - Tobacco Use Policy
  • ADM 350 - Special Assignment and Transfers

Also, review the following Newport News Police Department Administrative Policies at www.nnva.gov/2286.