Police Officer Exam Practice Questions

The hiring process to become a police officer is brutal. I think I sent out around 20 applications by mail when I graduated college and I didn’t get a single reply. When I did get a callback to attend and participate in the police physical fitness test, I didn’t realize that a police written test was coming right after. I guess I should have done my research right, but I didn’t.

I was a young college student who was oblivious to how this thing all works. I breezed through the agility test as I was in excellent condition, but the police officer exam was a totally different story. I didn’t quite score as high as I wanted to.  The first police exam that I took was for the Detroit Police Department, and there were well over 500 applicants.

Although I scored in the high 80’s, it wasn’t quite good enough as I never received a call back for a police oral board interview.  Don’t be like me and show up to the police examination site unprepared. Here are a few things I learned that will help you.

Take a look at some practice questions below that can help you.

1. Officer Bettis has arrived at the scene of a family disturbance. Two other officers are in the front yard of the residence, fighting with family members. Officer Bettis pulls out his departmentally approved baton and runs up to help one of the officers. A woman steps up and swings a broken beer bottle at Officer Bettis’s head. What should he do next?

A. Try to snatch the beer bottle out of her hand and hope he doesn’t get cut.

B. Strike her in a departmentally approved target area so she will drop the bottle.

C. Immediately call for more backup.

D. Dodge her blows and continue on to help the officer being attacked.


The correct answer is B. Police officers are required to subdue combative suspects as quickly and safely as possible. If Officer Bettis is in a situation where the baton is an approved weapon and he or other officers are in physical danger, he should use his baton. The situation does not change because the attacker is female. No other option is safe or feasible.

Officers who use pepper spray to disperse a crowd should do the following:

1. Warn other officers that pepper spray is about to be deployed.

2. Order the crowd to disperse.

3. Take a position upwind of the crowd.

4. Direct the spray into the crowd while continuing to order them to disperse.

5. Provide first aid to anyone who is overcome by the spray.

2. Officers Brady, Dion, and Rodriguez are called to the scene of a large fight in front of Omar’s Grill. When they arrive, they see around 15 adult males bunched up in the parking lot punching each other. Officer Dion pulls out his canister of pepper spray. What should he do next?

A. Order the crowd to stop fighting.

B. Warn the other two officers that he’s about to spray the crowd.

C. Warn the crowd that he has pepper spray.

D. Stand downwind of the crowd before spraying.


The correct answer is B. According to step 1 in the procedure, the officer should warn the other officers before he takes further action. The officer does want the crowd to stop fighting and will order them to do so, but choice A is step 2. Choice C is not listed as a step, and choice D is not a good answer because the officer will always want to be upwind of pepper spray, not downwind.

3. Officers Perez and Navarro arrive at City Hall to find a mob rocking Mayor Dickson’s car back and forth in the street. Officer Navarro shouts to Officer Perez that he is going to use his pepper spray. What should he do next?

A. Stand downwind of the crowd.

B. Shout to the crowd to disperse.

C. Warn the crowd that pepper spray is about to be deployed.

D. Stand upwind of the crowd before using the spray.


The correct answer is B. The officer has already taken step 1, having warned his partner that he is about to use the spray. Step 2 is to order the crowd to disperse.

In conclusion:

Try to prepare yourself as best as you can for the law enforcement exam. You can do this by going to your local library and grabbing a few books on police exam.  Make sure that it’s up to date because a book that was published in the 70’s won’t  do you any good.  Simply passing the test is not good enough anymore, you have to get a high score to stand out.

Visit Pass The Police Exam to learn more.

Author, Officer Forestal

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