Law enforcement careers in Massachusetts are available to candidates who can pass a background check, and who are free of any major traffic violations, a criminal record, financial troubles, and drug use. In Massachusetts, police training is available throughout a variety of academies at different levels of government, which include the state, county, and city divisions.
Massachusetts State Police
The MSP is known for its enforcement of highway and interstate traffic laws, though the agency plays a much wider, often overlooked role in the state. The MSP provides a vital link between the state and federal authorities through joint collaborations with the Department of Homeland Security on cases related to terrorism and civil rights. It also includes local public safety departments among its partnerships and works throughout the state on a local level.
Candidates for the state trooper position must submit a high school diploma, pass an entrance exam, and not smoke any tobacco products to be considered for employment. Additional completion of the State Police Academy is required, and includes classroom lessons as well as paramilitary-style physical training.
Jobs and Training with Massachusetts County Sheriff’s Departments
Law enforcement jobs in Massachusetts’ counties require all applicants to possess the basic education requirement of a high school diploma or GED.
Suffolk County: The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department operates three facilities based out of Boston: the South Bay House of Correction, Nashua Street Jail, and a civil processes office. It runs an additional 9,500 square foot training facilities located in Chelsea, responsible for training every member of the sheriff’s staff. This sheriff’s department is primarily focused on issues related to its detention facilities. Job applicants must pass a written exam, an adult education test, and an oral interview as part of the employment process.
Worcester County: The Worcester County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for law enforcement activities in surrounding towns, and principally for the operation of its correctional facility and issues relating to inmate rehabilitation and community outreach. The West Boylston facility currently employs over 600 staff while housing over 1,000 inmates. Job applicants must have either an associate’s degree, 60 credits towards a bachelor’s degree, or two years of military service.
Hampden County: This sheriff’s department administers the Hampden County Correctional Facility which houses 1,800 inmates and includes an innovative prison industry program that manufactures uniforms, school products, and furniture, among other products. Correctional officer job requirements include passing a written examination and attendance in a basic training academy.
Jobs and Training with Municipal Police Departments in Massachusetts
City police departments require at least a high school diploma or GED for police jobs in Massachusetts.
Boston: The Boston PD is the oldest police department in the country. In the most recent statistics report, Boston police responded to 579,877 calls over a year’s time, seeing over 22,000 cases of reported property crime. The Boston PD is responsible for maintaining law and order in a city with a population over 625,000 according to the most recent census. Careers with the Boston PD begin with sitting for a civil service exam.
Worcester: Worcester’s police department is separated into a patrol, investigative, firearms, and a special projects division. This latter division recently hosted a charity boxing tournament featuring contestants from the Worcester Police Gang Unit Boxing Program. Successful officer applicants must pass a civil service examination.
Springfield: In its effort to make services more accessible to the public, the Springfield Police Department has recently introduced a new innovative program called, “Text-a-Tip.” This allows residents to send messages via electronic devices, providing important information to police officers to help them conduct investigations and protect the civil peace. Job applicants must possess a high standard of integrity and honesty, and Springfield residents will be given a preference for employment.
Lowell: Police in Lowell reach out to the local community through the citizen police academy, volunteer program, auxiliary police, and the community liaison officer. The department additionally has a new domestic violence center that focuses on reducing the level of this destructive behavior city-wide.
Massachusetts Law Enforcement Salaries
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median Massachusetts law enforcement salaries in 2010 were:
- Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $82,320
- Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $56,040
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $65,920
Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Massachusetts
Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Massachusetts
The average police officer salary in Massachusetts varies from city to city. Here is a look at some of the police departments in Massachusetts and the salaries they offer:
Boston Police Department
- Base salary: $46,000
Cambridge Police Department
- Starting salary: $39,915
Springfield Police Department
- Police Officer Recruit: $41,912
- Police Officer (after Academy): $47,112
The Springfield Police Department also pays according to the Quinn Bill, which gives additional financial incentive for educational accomplishments:
- Associate’s degree: 10% of base salary annually
- Bachelor’s degree: 20% of base salary annually
- Master’s or Law degree: 25% of base salary annually
Salaries for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Massachusetts
State Trooper Salary in Massachusetts
The starting state trooper salary in Massachusetts for recruits is $840.80 bi-weekly during training at the academy. After training has been completed and the promotion to trooper has been given, the salary increases according to this pay schedule:
- Step 1: $51,935.28
- Step 2: $60,337.20
- Step 3: $61,911.12
- Step 4: $63,486.24
- Step 5: $65,061.60
Of course, advancement opportunities exist for promotion to sergeant, lieutenant, and captain.
Salaries for Police Supervisors and Detectives in Massachusetts