Police Officer

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Interested in a Career as a Law Enforcement Officer?

Your first step is to check our current job openings (Lucrative starting salary pay incentives for Virginia Certified Police Officers commensurate with experience/qualifications).

Do you think you may be interested in becoming a Police Officer? A career in Law Enforcement is very rewarding and provides an environment where each day has new challenges. You will work with dedicated law enforcement professionals and citizens who share your goal of making the community a better place. As an individual and as a member of a respected team, you can really make a difference.

The basic qualifications to be considered for a law enforcement career with the City of Fairfax are:


  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be 20 years and 6 months of age at time of application, no upper age limit.
  • You must be a high school graduate, or have a valid G.E.D. certificate.
  • You must have a valid drivers license in your current state of residence. If you will be relocating to Virginia, you must be able to obtain a valid Virginia drivers license upon appointment.
  • Your eyesight must be a minimum of 20/20 binocular vision. You may wear corrective glasses but your uncorrected vision with glasses must be no worse that 20/100 in either eye. You may also use corrective soft contacts. Uncorrected vision with soft contacts must be no worse than 20/200.
  • You cannot have any felony criminal convictions, or have ever been convicted of domestic assault or any other conviction that would prohibit your possession of a firearm.
  • You must have a sound and good reputation, be honest and of good moral character.
  • You must have the ability to speak clearly and hear, to analyze information and react swiftly to high stress situations.
  • You cannot be a current user of unlawful drugs or abuser of alcohol or any other stimulant or depressant. Prior unlawful drug use will be reviewed in reference to how recent the use was, the type of drug, and frequency of use.
Want to Get Started on Your New Career?

Certified and non-certified open positions

Once City Personnel receives your application, it will be forwarded to the Police Department for a review to make sure you meet the basic qualifications. If qualified, you will be scheduled to take the written police officer applicant test. Written exam sessions are scheduled on an as needed basis. Once an exam is scheduled you will receive notification about the test date and where to report.

You must take the written test unless you are already a police officer or deputy sheriff in Virginia and are currently certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as a Law Enforcement Officer. You will need to pass the written exam to move on to the next phase of the process.

Once you have passed the written exam, you will be given a Personal History Statement Packet to complete and return to the Police Department. The Personal History Statement requires you to list information about yourself that will be used to conduct your background investigation and to evaluate you for the position. This information includes such things as your educational background, any military service, the location of your current and past residences, credit information and personal references. Return your completed packet to the Police Department following the instructions sent with the packet.

Once your Personal History Statement packet has been received the Police Department will begin a thorough background investigation. During this time you will be in regular contact with members of the Police Department who will be asking you follow-up questions and will be available to discuss any questions you may have.

The actual background investigation has many components, including, but not limited to;
  • A personal interview with you to go over your Personal History Statement. A representative of the Police Department will explain the various aspects of the position of police officer such as shift schedules, pay, benefits, work assignments and other areas.
  • Contacting your references.
  • Contacting your previous employers.
  • Obtaining your educational transcripts.
  • Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Scheduling you for a Pre-Polygraph Interview and Polygraph Exam.
  • Reviewing your drivers license transcript.
  • Checking criminal history and arrest records.
  • Physical Examination
  • Psychological Examination
  • Structured Interview;  Structured Interview phase. During this phase you will be scheduled to meet with a panel of police officers and asked to respond to several general questions. You will also be asked to describe what course of action you would take in 3 or 4 different scenarios that you may be faced with as a police officer.
  • Interview with Chief of Police



You can expect the entire process to take from three to six months from the time you first apply to the completion of the process.

Summary of Salary & Benefits for Police Officers
The City of Fairfax strives to ensure that the salary and benefits to its employees are competitive with other local governments in the region. Below you will find information about base salaries, annual and sick leave, retirement and health care. This information provides only a general overview and you should keep in mind that City Administrative Regulations and Ordinances are the controlling authority in these areas. If you have specific questions you should feel free to contact the City’s Personnel Office at 703.385.7993 or email.

Salary Information

The City uses a two-week pay period, based on 40 hours per week, with 26 biweekly pay periods each year. Your base salary does not include any overtime that may be worked. Except for overtime exempt employees, hours worked on an overtime basis are paid at 1.5 times your normal hourly rate. In addition, the City’s pay scale provides steps above base salary levels based on years of service and positive annual performance evaluations. These pay step increases normally occur on your employment anniversary date and coincide with your Annual Employee Performance Evaluation. Steps usually include a merit increase. It normally takes 15 years to reach the top pay within any grade.

Shown below are the current salary levels for City of Fairfax police officer positions (effective 7/17):

  • The starting base salary for entry level Non-certified Police Officer is $51,365. Upon completion of the police academy the salary increases to $54,494.
  • The starting base salary for entry level Virginia Certified Police Officer is $54,494. The top salary level for Police Officer I is $86,972.  Lucrative starting salary pay incentives for Virginia Certified Police Officers, commensurate with experience/qualifications (call for more information).
  • After 4 years as a Police Officer I, you will be appointed to Police Officer First Class if you maintain normal performance levels and have no disqualifying disciplinary actions. The pay range for Police Officer First Class is $57,812 to $92,268.
  • The most senior and experienced police officers are eligible to be promoted to Master Police Officer after 9 years of service. The pay range for Master Police Officer is $61,333 to $97,888. 
  • Police Department Night Shift Differential: a shift differential premium pay of $1 dollar per "regular pay" hour will be authorized for all Police Department personnel, assigned to the Patrol Division or the Emergency Communications Center, who are regularly assigned to work the night shift. Night shift includes those who work between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the next day (including those on the night shift who rotate through "power shift" of 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.) or other similar hours as directed.

Annual Leave
  • If you have been with the City less than 3 years you will earn 4 hours of Annual Leave each pay period.
  • Once you have worked for the City for 3 years you will earn 6 hours of Annual Leave per pay period up to your 15th year of service.
  • On your 15th year of service you will earn 8 hours of Annual leave per pay period.

Sick Leave

You may use Sick Leave when sick, ill, have medical appointments during your scheduled working hours, or need to attend to the illness of an immediate family member. Employees earn 4 hours of Sick Leave per pay period with no limit on the number of hours you may accumulate.


The City observes 11.5 holidays per year. The City’s holiday schedule closely follows the schedule of the federal government and State of Virginia. Unless you are an "essential employee," you will be off the day of the holiday and receive regular pay for the day. If you are an essential employee and scheduled to work when a City holiday falls, you will receive your regular pay for working your shift and receive additional pay at an overtime rate for the hours you work during the holiday.

Take-Home Vehicle Program

Members of Patrol and School Resource Officers are assigned part-time take-home police vehicles, on a voluntary basis, after completion of field training.  Members of command staff, detectives, public information, motor and K-9 officers are assigned full-time take-home vehicles.  Certain restrictions apply.


Once employed as a police officer you will become a member of the City’s retirement program. The City has two plans and you will be automatically enrolled in both. The first is a City retirement plan for Public Safety employees. The second plan is the Virginia Retirement System, which is managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. These plans are separate and distinct plans with their own eligibility regulations, benefits and options.

City employees are also given the opportunity to participate in an Internal Revenue Service approved deferred compensation program (457 plan). Under this program you may use a payroll deduction to set aside up to

$18,000 each year with interest earnings being tax deferred.

City of Fairfax Public Safety Retirement Plan
The City retirement plan provides you with full retirement when you have completed 25 years of service. Both you and the City contribute to this plan. Your cost for the plan is 7 percent of your base salary, tax deferred, paid through a payroll deduction. Your actual retirement pay is based on your total years of service, your age and your highest average salary during 36 consecutive months. There is no minimum age needed in order to retire, but you must have a minimum of 25 years of service.

If you retire under the age of 55, your retirement will be 62.5% of your highest average salary period until you reach the age of 55. When you reach the age of 55, or retire after reaching 55, the percentage rate drops to 37.5% of your highest average salary. There is an additional reduction on the date you are eligible for payments from the Social Security Administration. The percentage rate drops to 32.5% of your highest average salary.

The City retirement plan also provides retirement options for both work related and non-work related disabilities.

The Virginia Retirement System Plan

The second retirement plan provided to City employees is the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). This is a state wide retirement plan of the Commonwealth of Virginia and available to all state employees and to local governments who desire to participate. Your contributions to this plan are portable to any other Virginia state agency or local Virginia agency that participates in VRS. Your VRS retirement account will remain intact, your years of service with the City will be fully credited and you can continue to contribute under your new employer’s account. At retirement as a City police officer, you may immediately begin to receive income from the City’s retirement plan. If you obtain employment with another agency that is a member of the VRS plan and continue to contribute into the VRS plan, you will earn additional years of service time towards your VRS retirement.

The City pays its share of the VRS costs and you pay your own contribution to VRS, which is 5 percent of your current base salary. You are eligible for retirement under the VRS plan based on a combination of age and total years of service. For more information about the benefits of this plan please contact the City Personnel Office or speak with the Police Department representative during your application phase.

Health Insurance

For current health and dental plans offered by the City of Fairfax please refer to the personnel office home page.

Contact Information

Please see individual job postings for job descriptions, benefits and required qualifications.  Any specific questions can be directed to the Police Applicant Processing team at policerecruiting@fairfaxva.gov, or by calling 703-385-7955.

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