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Becoming a Police Officer in New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, the home of Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University, has a population of 129,585 (2011) that is comprised mostly of college-aged residents. The New Haven Police Department is a “progressive, decentralized, police agency” that is committed to community-based policing.

This guide walks you through the eight steps needed to become a police officer in New Haven. You must successfully complete each step before moving on to the next.

  1. Meet minimum requirement and apply
  2. Written examination
  3. Physical agility test
  4. Oral interview
  5. Civil service eligibility list
  6. Conditional job offer
  7. Post-offer tests
  8. Academy


Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements and Apply

Applications will not be accepted if these requirements are not met:

  • U.S. citizen at least 21 years of age
  • High school graduate or GED– college background preferred
  • Good English vocabulary and writing ability-excellent English preferred
  • No felony, misdemeanor Class A-B, or domestic violence convictions
  • Connecticut driver’s license by academy graduation
  • Live within 20 miles-New Haven residents preferred
  • No discrimination on basis of race, gender, religion or other beliefs

Go to the City of Newhaven Police Department site to find out if applications for police officer jobs are being accepted and, if so, apply online per instructions provided. Preference is given to those with the following qualifications:

  • History of community service
  • Ability to speak Spanish and/or learn another language
  • Computer proficiency
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with citizens on neighborhood issues
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Enthusiastic hard worker; ability to work under stress

Step 2. Written Examination

You are required to pass a written examination that measures such abilities as observation/recall, judgment/reasoning, problem solving, reading comprehension and English usage/writing. No knowledge of police work is needed.

Step 3. Physical Agility Test

The physical agility test consists of four components:

  • One minute of continuous bent-leg sit-ups – tests muscular endurance
  • Sit and reach exercise – tests flexibility
  • Bench press – tests absolute strength
  • 1.5-mile run – tests cardiovascular capacity

Each element is scored and the final score needed to pass the test is adjusted depending upon your age and gender. For example, a 22-year-old male must do 38 sit-ups in one minute while a 50-year-old female must only do 14.

Step 4. Oral Interview

Wear business attire to an oral interview by police department and/or human resources personnel. You will be quizzed about past employment, your interests, activities, etc. Your overall demeanor and ability to communicate clearly and effectively will be evaluated.

Step 5. Civil Service Eligibility List

When you successfully complete the previous steps you will be placed on the civil service eligibility list and ranked by score. Job offers will be presented to persons on the list when there are openings; however, there is no guarantee, especially if your overall score ranks you considerably lower than other candidates.

Step 6. Receive Conditional Job Offer

You will be offered a position as police officer recruit with the contingency that you will pass the post-offer tests.

Step 7. Post-offer Battery of Tests

You will take a lie-detector test and your background will be investigated. Any evidence of purposeful falsifications will result in disqualification. You must also pass a thorough psychological, medical and drug screening.

Step 8. Academy

You will be required to attend the POST certified (Police Officer Standards & Training) New Haven Police Academy for six months. You will have classroom instructions in a broad range of law enforcement subjects as well as physical agility training. There will also be term projects and community placements. Following graduation you will spend approximately 16 weeks in field training paired with an experienced training officer.

The New Haven Police Department offers competitive salaries, comprehensive family medical insurance, paid life insurance, a retirement plan, paid uniforms/equipment, and university tuition reductions.

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