Now Hiring:

Emergency Communications Operator

Questions Answered

Will I be notified if I am disqualified from the process?

Yes, at each step of the process you will be sent an e-mail which will tell you if you are going to move on to the next step or if you have been disqualified. If you don’t see this e-mail in your inbox, please check your spam and junk boxes. If you still have not been contacted, please call our Human Resources at 616-456-3176.

What percentage do you need to pass the civil service exam?

You need at least a 70% to pass the civil service exam.

What are the age requirements for police officer candidates?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of the application.

Can I make copies of my Personal History Statement after I submit it to GRPD?

No, we will not make copies after it has been turned in.  We encourage you to make copies prior to turning in the background investigation questionnaire.

As an out of state applicant, how many trips will I need to make to Grand Rapids during the hiring process?

Out of state applicants will have to make 2-4 trips to Grand Rapids depending on circumstances. We may be able to make accommodations to lessen this with proper notice.

How long does the hiring process usually take?

The hiring process can take approximately 3-6 months depending on when you take the civil service exam and if you apply for the sponsorship or certified officer process.

If I was disqualified from the hiring process, how long must I wait before I can reapply?

If you are disqualified, you must wait until the next open process to reapply.  You will begin with the online application.  The civil service exam is valid for one year.

What do I wear for my initial oral board interview and background investigator interview?

You should dress appropriately in a suit or business attire, to all interviews or meetings with recruiting staff. The wearing of cut-off shirts, shorts, torn or faded clothing, gym attire, flip flops, or sandals does not display the professional appearance we look for in our applicants. Athletic attire should only be worn to MCOLES agility testing as this is when the physical fitness test is conducted.

What will happen if I omit important information or am found to be deceptive in the hiring process regarding my background history?

Honesty and integrity are important values found in Grand Rapids police officers. If you are found omitting important information or are found to be deceptive at any point throughout the hiring process, you will be disqualified. All applicants must successfully complete a background investigation in order to continue in the hiring process.

Are there residency requirements to work for the Grand Rapids Police Department?

No, the City of Grand Rapids does not have a residency requirement.  However, the City does offer incentives to reside in the city through the City Employee Home Ownership Incentive. If you are already a resident of Grand Rapids, the incentive amount is $6,000 towards the purchase of a home.  If you live outside of the city limits (non-resident), the incentive amount is $7,000 towards the purchase of a home.  There is a $2,500 additional incentive for 1st time home buyers applies to both residents and non-residents on top of the $6,000 or $7,000 incentive. Additional information on this program can be found at

Is it possible to do a ride along with a GRPD officer?

Yes. The GRPD Ride Along Program is designed to give citizens a first-hand view of police work in Grand Rapids, MI. After completing an application, you will be paired with a patrol officer in a marked vehicle and will observe as he or she responds to calls for service. This is one of the best ways to learn if police work is right for you.  

Prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in the program prior to applying, if possible. All police officer candidates must complete a ride along with an officer as a part of the hiring process. Any citizen or applicant wishing to participate in the program can obtain information by contacting the Community Engagement Unit at 616-456-3301.

Does the GRPD have a policy on tattoos?

Yes, officers may have tattoos except for on the hands, neck, face, and scalp. The content of the tattoos cannot be unprofessional or offensive in nature. Some examples of unacceptable content are nudity, violence, sexually explicit, profane, or vulgar words, phrases, or art. Content cannot contain symbols that are likely to incite a strong negative reaction. Examples include initials, symbols, numbers, or acronyms that represent criminal or historically oppressive organizations.

How do I notify the Community Engagement Unit if I need to withdraw from the hiring process or if I can’t make my scheduled testing dates?

If withdrawing or you are going to miss a testing date, please contact Human Resources or the Community Engagement Unit with your name and reason.


Human Resources



Community Engagement Unit


If I am hired for the sponsored police recruit position, do I have to live at the Academy?

No. Recruits do not have to live at the police academy. Work hours are typically Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. There are several training sessions throughout the academy; however, that will require evenings and/or weekends depending on the lesson plan or project being completed. You typically work an average of 40 hours a week while in the academy. However, they may be longer at times.

Are there any waivers for testing for active-duty military?

No. Waivers are not allowed at any time.

I don’t have the best driving record. Will that disqualify me?

An applicant’s entire driving record is reviewed, with the last five years being the most critical. However, the following are automatic disqualifiers: Operating While Intoxicated 2nd, no license, license currently suspended or revoked, loss of driving privilege through suspension or revocation of license for unsatisfactory driving within the last 2 years, accumulated more than 8 points on driving record within the last 2 years, and conviction of driving while license suspended/revoked within the last 4 years.

Is drug use an automatic disqualifier?

Drug use is not automatically a disqualifier. Disqualification timeframes depend on many factors including the substance used, age at time of use, and frequency of use. For specific questions, please contact the Community Engagement Unit. Below are a list of some of the disqualifiers for drugs:

  • Selling of marijuana

  • Possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drugs

  • Using a controlled substance or dangerous drug

  • Selling a controlled substance or dangerous drugs

What are some additional reasons I might be disqualified from the hiring process?
  • Failure to answer every question in the Personal History Statement.
  • Failure to meet application process deadlines.
  • Failure to pass the Medical screening (including hearing and eyesight), Psychological screening, and Drug Test screening.
  • Making false statements and being deceptive by statement or omission in the hiring and selection process.
  • Failure to keep appointment(s) or provide documentation related to the hiring process.
  • Failure to meet Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) licensing standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers.
What are the benefits and incentives to working for GRPD?

Once hired as a full-time employee, full health, vision, and dental coverage starts immediately for you and your family. GRPD offers a Defined Benefit Plan Pension, a fully funded pension for tenured officers. New officers start with a 2.0% multiplier, with the option to purchase up to a 2.8% multiplier. New employees starts with 80 hours of vacation, 8 hours accrued for each year, thereafter (maximum of 200 hours), up to 40 days of vacation can carry over from year to year with 12 paid holidays. Maternity/Paternity Leave, up to 80 hours of paid leave. 8 hours of sick time are awarded for each month of service. An unlimited amount can carry over year to year. 1,265 hours of sick time counts toward 1 year of pension credit at retirement.

What incentives does GRPD have for Lateral Transfers?

Applicants with at least one year of law enforcement experience have additional benefits when hired with the Grand Rapids Police Department.  You start at our pay step consistent with your years of service from your previous law enforcement employment.  For salary, a pay step increase will be applied from the first working day at the police department.  In addition, officers are typically required to have a year or two of experience on patrol to apply for a specialized unit.  However, requirements may be waived with lateral transfers.  After 16 weeks of FTO, you may be allowed to apply to a specialized unit.

Do Lateral Transfers from Out of State need to complete the police academy again?

No, if you have completed one year of full-time and fully empowered paid police service following your police training. Out of state lateral transfers must complete the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Recognition of Prior Training and Experience (RPTE) class in order to be licensed in the State of Michigan. If you are successfully hired by GRPD, you will be reimbursed for the costs of this class. You will need to complete this class to satisfy the Conditional Offer of Employment. For more information you may contact the Community Engagement Unit at 616-456-3301 or visit

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