Job Opportunities

For many Officers, one of the best rewards of working in a department as big as the Norfolk Police Department (NPD) is the fact that they can do many jobs during the course of their career. It is possible to move from division to division, and to learn new skills of the job.

After completion of the six-month Police Academy training, Police Officers are assigned to field operations to begin their career. Probationary officers are assigned to a Police Training Officer during their first three months of field training and are then released to serve the citizens of Norfolk. The next two to three years are spent in patrol assignments. Specialized assignments such as Traffic Unit, Harbor Patrol, Detective Division or Vice & Narcotics, etc., require extensive experience prior to application.

The first step in the career ladder with the Norfolk Police Department is Police Recruit. It is the entry-level classification given to all NPD officers upon entering the Police Academy. For six months in the Police Academy, officers are taught criminal law, human relations, and report writing. In addition, they are trained in tactics, firearms, and driving. Physical fitness and self-defense play a big part in Academy training.

After graduating from the Police Academy, a Police Officer is assigned to a geographic patrol division within the City of Norfolk where they must utilize all the knowledge and tactics learned in the Academy. They are placed under a Police Training Officer for the next three months for additional hands-on training.  Once this is complete, they are “cut loose” to serve the citizens of Norfolk as a Police Officer. 

All NPD Officers start in patrol. While many Officers will choose to remain in patrol, others put in for promotions or for transfer to specialized divisions after a few years in the field. Patrol is the primary provider of police services to the community and is the backbone of the NPD. NPD is challenging and rewarding. No day in patrol is ever the same, “Today will be different”.

A Police Officer assigned to a patrol unit performs basic duties such as: responding to the scene of a crime or an accident; interviewing suspects and witnesses; writing crime reports; responding to radio calls; monitoring any suspicious activity of ongoing crimes; coordinating vehicular traffic; visiting open businesses such as banks, markets, department stores, and service stations to establish a rapport with owners; booking suspects and evidence and transporting them to the appropriate Police Department facility; responding to citizens’ and visitors’ questions; and performing numerous other activities in support of community policing.

There are many different jobs in the Norfolk Police Department.  These are specialized positions, like Special Operations Team (SOT), Traffic/Motorcycle Unit, Harbor Patrol/Divers, Beach Officers, Detectives, Vice & Narcotics Investigators, Public Information Officers, K-9 Units, and Bike Officers to name a few. Most of these require specialized training which we provide. 

Many Police Officers work several different specialized assignments during the course of their careers. All Officers who have finished their probationary period are eligible to apply for specialized divisions. Although some specialties, like SOT, are very selective and competitive, and will not take every applicant, there are many different jobs to choose from.

Career Ladder

You can choose to remain a police officer and explore field operations and different specialty units throughout your career, or you can promote from Police Officer to Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and finally Chief of Police.  Promotion is always from an eligible list established by the Office of Support Services as the result of a Civil Service examination.


NPD Recruitment Division Recruiters with prior military service are available to assist veteran candidates.

Benefits include:


NPD officers that are military veterans are highly encouraged to wear their military emblem on their NPD uniform.

The City of Norfolk is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is inclusive of all persons. Employment with the City is not limited by race, ethnicity, class, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, marital status, age, sexuality, pregnancy, disability, medical condition, education, spiritual beliefs, creed, culture, tribal affiliations, national origin, political beliefs and/or veteran status.