Becoming a Police Officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In 2012, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts saw a three percent drop in crime from 2011’s statistics. Those holding Cambridge police jobs can be thanked for helping to facilitate this drop in overall crime in the city. Becoming a police officer in Cambridge means using the latest technology and social media to fight crime, including real-time crime tweets on Twitter.

Cambridge residents and others who wish to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Cambridge should follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that you meet the basic qualifications
  2. Pass a written examination
  3. Participate in an interview and background investigation
  4. Pass medical, psychological and physical ability screening
  5. Attend the Cambridge Police Academy


Step 1.  Meet the Basic Qualifications for Cambridge Police Officer Candidacy

Before you can register to take the police officer’s Open Competitive Exam, you must make sure you qualify – you must be able to answer yes to the following quesitons:

  • Will you be at least 21 years old on the date of the exam?
  • Are you a non-smoker?
  • Do you have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate? (Three years of service in the Armed Forces may be substituted for this requirement)
  • Are you a military veteran? If so, you will receive preference over other applicants.
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
  • Do you have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license?
  • Are you a Cambridge resident? You need not be, but if you are, you will have an advantage over other applicants.

If you meet these requirements, go to Step 2 for information on applying to take the Open Competitive Exam for Police Officers.

Step 2. Pass the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Competitive Examination for Police Officers

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Competitive Examination for Police Officers is offered every two years. The next test date is April 20, 2013. The Cambridge Police Department is offering exam preparation help to all Cambridge residents who are interested in taking the exam.

You must apply online to take the examination, which costs $150. It measures your general intelligence and aptitude to become a police officer in Cambridge. Your passing score on the examination will place you on an eligibility list. You will remain on the list for one year from the date of the exam and may be selected for an open position during that time.

If you fail the exam, you must wait until it is offered again in two years to re-take it.

Step 3. Pass an Interview and Background Investigation

You may be called from the eligible list to continue the hiring process to become a police officer in Cambridge. If so, you will be given an application with instructions on how to complete it. You will be told what documents are necessary to bring with you, along with your completed application, to your interview. This interview will be with members of the Cambridge Police Department as well as with a designated Background Investigator. The investigator will take the application and documentation you provided and use it in a full investigation of your background.

Step 4. Pass a Medical Exam, Psychological Exam and Physical Ability Test

Next, you must pass a Physical Ability Test. This tests your physical abilities in areas necessary for becoming a police officer in Cambridge. You must also pass a Medical Examination, which tests your visual acuity, hearing, and includes a drug and alcohol screening test. Finally, you must take a psychological assessment and be interviewed by a psychological professional appointed by the Cambridge Police Department.

If you pass these tests, you will receive a final job offer to become a police officer in Cambridge.

Step 5.  Attend the Cambridge Police Academy

Well done! You have made it through the grueling and sometimes daunting hiring process and are now a Cambridge Police Officer! You must attend Cambridge Police Academy training, which is actually held at the Lowell Police Academy. This training lasts for 22 weeks. After training, you will be a sworn Police Officer in the Cambridge Police Department.  You will be assigned to field training on-the-job for your first year, during which you are considered to be probationary.

As of April 2013, the starting salary for a police officer in Cambridge is $39,215 per year.

Back to Top