Ohio Police Officer Requirements

Ohio is #6 in the country in robberies and #7 in burglaries. You can help stop this distressing trend by being a cop in Ohio.  To do that, you need to be a US citizen, 21 years old, and have no felony convictions.

You will also have to go through an application process that involves either a written exam or a Civil Service exam, an interview, a physical agility test, a background investigation that may involve a polygraph test, a medical, psych, and personality assessment, and a drug screen.

The police academy requirements in Ohio may have some differences depending on the police department and some may have additional requirements. There may be different physical fitness test standards as well.

Columbus Police Department

In Columbus, you can be 21 years old when you apply as long as you’re 21 by the time of your appointment to the force, and you’ll also need a valid driver’s license. You can check the Columbus Police Department website for any news regarding any available positions inside the police department.

The application process is very typical, and the Civil Service Test will be part of the process. This will include a physical fitness test that will score you according to how fast you can run 300 meters, how many sit-ups you can do in 1 minute, and how many pushups you can perform. Your medical test will also check your vision and hearing, and will also include a cardiovascular stress test.

Cleveland Police Department

To be a cop in Cleveland you need to be 21 at the time of your Civil Service exam, and you also can’t have any domestic violence conviction or a number of misdemeanors on your record. You also need a valid Ohio driver’s license. The application process is the usual mix of Civil service exam, interviews, a drug screen, and medical and psych tests. Your background will of course be checked as well, and you will also need to pass a physical agility test. Your personality will be assessed as well.

The physical agility test is based on the physical fitness requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy standards. The Police Academy training will last 26 weeks, and during this time you need to maintain at least a 70% grade. You will also have to pass a State of Ohio written exam with a grade of 70%.

Cincinnati Police Department

You can apply to the Cincinnati PD if you have a valid driver’s license for at least a year, and even if you are still in the process of applying for US citizenship. You can’t have any misdemeanors within 5 years of your application. Using drugs (except marijuana) or having a drug conviction (including marijuana) will also be grounds for disqualification. Other crimes on your record which can disqualify you includes sexual offenses, assault, gun control ordinance violations, or serious driving violations. There is also a long list of other offences which can disqualify you.

There’s no civil service exam, but you have to take a written exam that covers a wide range of skills and abilities.

The physical fitness standards you need to meet are the following:

  • 15 proper sit-ups in 1 minute
  • 15 proper pushups in 1 minute
  • 5 minutes to complete a half-mile run.

Toledo Police Department

You should be at least 20 years old, but you can’t be more than 35 years old if you want to be a Toledo cop. You can check the recruitment page of the Toledo Police Department website for news regarding openings, and if the department isn’t currently hiring you can submit an interest card to the department so you will be notified when recruitment begins again.

You will need to pass the civil service exam along with all the medical tests, interviews and background checks. The physical ability examination will include a timed 1.5-mile run and the number of one-minute pushups and sit-ups you can do will also be noted.

Akron Police Department

To be an Akron police officer, you can’t be more than 31 years old. Your hearing and vision should adhere to Civil Service Commission standards. Your valid driver’s license should also not have more than 5 points on your driving record.

You can only apply when there are posted positions at the Akron Police Department. You will also need to pass the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) physical fitness standards. This is a tough standard, since males who are 29 years old or younger have to do 40 sit-ups in a minute, 33 pushups in a minute, and complete a mile and a half run in 11 minutes and 58 seconds. Guys in the 30 to 39 years old age bracket need to do 36 sit-ups 27 pushups, and 12:25 on the 1.5 mile run. Even the women have it tough, as those who are 29 years old or younger have to be able to do 35 sit-ups, 18 pushups, and 14:15 on the 1.5-mile run.


In many police department websites, you can download some study guides that can help you prepare better for some of the tests you will have to take. But these studies guides, however, are not complete, and often they may lack crucial information. For example, you may be told that there is no way you can prepare for a psychological evaluation.

Your best bet is to supplement these study guides with the excellent Prepare for the Police Academy review manual that was written by an actual cop who actually experienced these tests himself. The author is not just a cop, but a cop with a degree in psychology who can help you learn how to prepare for the police academy through proper studying techniques.

The author is also a strength and conditioning expert as well as a certified personal instructor, and you can learn valuable tips on how to ace the often seemingly impossible physical fitness tests.

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