Becoming a Police Officer in Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital and second largest city of Connecticut. Police officers of the Hartford Police Department protect life and property, prevent crime, apprehend suspects and perform public service duties for the 124,063 (2011) residents that live here.

The eight steps you need to take to become a police officer in Hartford are:

  1. Minimum Requirements
  2. CHIP Card
  3. Application
  4. Written and/or Oral Test
  5. Polygraph and Background Investigation
  6. Interview
  7. Physical Exam and Psychological Evaluation
  8. Academy and Probation


Step 1. Minimum Requirements

You must satisfy all of the following requirements in order to be considered for employment as a police officer in Hartford.

  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. citizen
  • High school graduate or its equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Vision in each eye of not less than 20/100 without correction, 20/30 with correction

Step 2. CHIP Card

The City of Hartford does not administer its own physical agility test; therefore, you must pass the Police Physical Ability Assessment offered by CHIP. Review Heartford police officer openings and follow instructions for submitting the proper forms and making an appointment to take the test. There is a $65 fee. The test consists of:

  • One minute of continuous sit-ups
  • One minute of continuous push-ups
  • Sit and reach exercises (to test flexibility)
  • 1.5-mile timed run, walk or jog

Minimum required standards are adjusted for age and gender. You will be given a CHIP card upon successful completion of the test.

Step 3. Application

Go to the Hartford police department website and follow instructions for submitting an application and the required fee. You can also visit or call Hartford Police Department, Recruitment Officer, 50 Jennings Road, Hartford CT 06120; Tel.: 860/527-6300.

Step 4. Written and/or Oral Test

You will be scheduled to take a multiple choice test that covers basic math, reading comprehension, English grammar, spelling and punctuation, memory, directional orientation and situational judgment. You may or may not be asked to answer additional questions orally.

Step 5. Polygraph and Background Investigation

You will be required to take a polygraph test and there will be a professional investigation of your background, including your employment history, school records, credit report, driving record, drug/alcohol usage, police record, etc. Any evidence of falsification on your application or elsewhere will result in immediate disqualification.

Step 6. Interview

You will be personally interviewed by the Hartford Chief of Police.

Step 7. Physical Exam and Psychological Evaluation

A thorough physical examination by a physician will be followed by an evaluation by a police psychologist to determine your physical and mental suitability for the work of a Hartford police officer.

Step 8. Academy and Probation

If you accept a job offer you will be required to attend the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, Monday through Friday, for 22 weeks, where you will experience a rigorous routine consisting of both classroom subjects and skill training. You’ll be able to return to your home on weekends. There will be a one-year probationary period following graduation from the academy.

Salary and Opportunities in the Hartford Police Department

Your salary for the first six months as a police officer recruit will be $790.75/week with regular raises thereafter.

Once the probationary year is over you will have the opportunity to pursue working in various departments/units, such as the detective bureau or Hartford’s popular mounted police unit. One of the mounted officers said that they are more approachable by community members because “everybody likes horses.” In addition, things can be seen from horseback that are easily missed from a patrol car.

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