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12 simple steps -- that's all that lies between you and the most rewarding career you can imagine. It's not an easy process. It is intended to identify the best of the best, to separate will-be's from want-to-be's, and we're here to support and help you succeed.


The steps below are presented in the order they typically follow; however, scheduling constraints and other factors may result in your completion of them in a slightly-altered order. The entire process from initial application to the first day of your Academy will most likely take several months.

Image by Mick Haupt


"Apply Now"

Potential Tulsa Police Recruit applicants must first complete the information section here. Once submitted, a Recruiter will contact you to arrange a test date and send you application links. 


Create Guardian Alliance Account

Your Recruiter will send you an invitation to Guardian Alliance where you will create an account, accept the invitation, and complete the Personal History Questionnaire. The PHQ includes personal information such as education history, work history, credit history, criminal history, and references. It is imperative that you follow all directions and provide all requested information!


The PHQ must be completed and certified prior to the arrival of your scheduled test date. 

This is also where you will upload required documents and complete your Biography and Pre-Polygraph Form (which must be completed in order to schedule the Polygraph Examination). 


Polygraph Examination

The purpose of the Polygraph Examination is not to find the perfect person or someone who has never done anything wrong.  It is designed to identify those that are honest and able to acknowledge their mistakes.  It is important to complete the Pre-Polygraph Form and the Polygraph Examination with honesty to the best of your ability.   

Upon review of the completed Pre-Polygraph Form, you will be contacted by the Polygrapher to schedule your Polygraph Examination.  The Polygrapher will go over the Pre-Polygraph Form with you and allow any questions or concerns to be addressed prior to starting the examination.  The meeting with the Polygrapher can range from 2-4 hours.


Pension Application & Physical

As a Tulsa Police APO, and eventual officer, you will benefit from TPD's pension and benefit plan. This being so, you will complete your Pension Application, which is followed by a Pension Physical. This physical ensures you are physically capable of participating in all Academy-related activities. The physical is conducted at no cost to you. 


Written Test, Physical Ability Test, and 16pf

Your Recruiter will schedule you for initial testing.  This includes the Comprehensive Written Test, Physical Ability Test (PAT), and Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16pf). These tests occur back-to-back in one day/evening located at the Tulsa Police Training Division.  


The Written Test, required by the State of Oklahoma, is to ensure that applicants possess the basic, minimal reading and writing skills typically acquired through a high school/college education.  The PAT is an obstacle course and tests for minimum required agility, speed, strength, and endurance.  The 16pf is a multiple choice test built to comprehensively measure normal range personality for a Police Officer.

Get the Study Guides.


Structured Oral Assessment

Following a successful Written Test, PAT, and16pf, you will be invited to the Structured Oral Assessment (formal interview). You will arrive early wearing business formal attire and be prepared to sit in front of a number of officers who will ask you a set series of timed questions. These questions are designed to explore your motives for becoming a police officer, ethics, and to test your thought process and critical thinking skills.

Get the Study Guide


Chief Selection

Upon being approved by the Training Division Commander, your application packet will be presented to the Chief of Police for consideration. Your packet includes all of your personal information, test results, and Background Investigator notes from your entire application process. From these packets, the Chief selects which applicants will be offered a position in an upcoming TPD Academy. You will be notified, regardless of selection.​If you are not selected, you may be eligible to be considered for a future class. Future consideration typically involves remaining in contact with your Background Investigator and providing updated information as needed. Certain steps in the testing process may need to be repeated if enough time elapses since the original completion. 


Orientation Day

About one month prior to the start of your Academy, your entire class will meet at the TPD Training Division for orientation. This day-long event includes tours, introductions, uniform measurements, and clear expectations for Academy behavior, performance, and outcomes.

You will also to take your last pre-Academy test, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The MMPI is a widely-used psychological test comprised of 567 true/false questions that assesses personality traits and psychopathology.


City of Tulsa Police Officer Application

Your Recruiter will send you a link to the City of Tulsa Police Officer Application.  This is required by Human Resources to be approved to take the Written Test and must be completed prior to your scheduled test date.


Background Investigation

Upon arrival to the Structured Oral Assessment, you will be assigned a Background Investigator. Our Background Investigators are veteran Tulsa Police Officers with years of experience. Their investigation begins with an interview immediately after the SOA and may involve multiple follow-ups, further information, review of the PHQ, and review of your social media, credit, employment history, educational requirements, and references. 


The important thing to keep in mind during this phase of the process is that you should strive to be as responsive and timely as possible when your Background Investigator requests something from you. 


Conditional Offer of Employment

The Chief of Police has reviewed your candidacy and personally wants you to join TPD as one of the next Apprentice Police Officers (APO) in an upcoming academy class. As such, you will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment to formalize our offer to you. Your signature then formalizes your commitment to us.


Academy: Day 1

Approximately one month following class orientation and MMPI, you finally begin your Academy training. You have shown exceptional determination and performance to this point, but now your work truly begins. We are proud to have you here...let's get to work!

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