Law Enforcement Careers in Connecticut

As of 2022, the Connecticut Highway Patrol reported a “critical” shortage of troopers. The number of sworn troopers totaled just 853 during this time, down from an optimal total of 1,248. This type of shortage has resulted in staffing shortages throughout all programs, including the state’s Firearms Trafficking Task Force, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, and more.

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As of 2019, the Connecticut Highway Patrol posted a shortage of more than 240 state troopers, and these numbers are only expected to grow as nearly half of all current state troopers are eligible for retirement by 2023. At the municipal level, the New Haven Police Department reported more than 100 vacancies, while the Danbury Police Department reported having 132 officers in 2018, although the department was budgeted for 154.

While these shortages are troublesome for Connecticut, they spell opportunity for those who value honor, respect the law, and have the desire to make a difference. For qualified men and women who are willing to put in the time, effort, and training to serve with one of Connecticut’s respected law enforcement agencies, there may be no better time than now to forge ahead with a career with the State Police, State Marshall or one of the municipal police departments serving throughout the state.

Connecticut Highway Patrol Jobs

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is the governing agency that oversees a number of statewide agencies, including the Division of State Police.

The Division of State Police consists of 1,000 sworn state troopers in many specialized units serving from 11 barracks strategically located throughout the state. State troopers serve 82 of the state’s 169 municipalities in Connecticut and make up the third largest police force in New England.

Individuals interested in becoming state troopers in Connecticut must meet the minimum qualifications set forth by the DESPP, which include:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a United State citizen
  • Be in good health
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no felony or Class A or B misdemeanors
  • Pass the vision and hearing exams
  • Have a valid Connecticut driver’s license

Jobs with Municipal Police Departments in Connecticut

In the busy metro areas of Connecticut, police work is the responsibility of the city-specific departments that serve and protect the residents of their jurisdictions. While much of Connecticut posts crime rates that are consistent or below the national average, both Hartford and New Haven have experienced rising crime rates in recent years. In fact, according to 2017 FBI crime stats, New Haven has a crime rate of 54 per 1,000 residents – the highest in the state.


The Bridgeport Police Department has a number of special units within its police force:

  • Detective Bureau
  • Emergency Services
  • Hostage Negotiations
  • Marine Unit
  • Narcotics Enforcement
  • Scuba Team
  • Strategic Enforcement Team

Individuals who want to become a Bridgeport police officer must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
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Candidates must also undergo testing by an oral interview panel, pass a written entry test, a background investigation, a psychological examination, and test negative on a controlled drug screen.


The Hartford Police Department is divided up into the following Districts: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. The Hartford Police Department also has K-9, Marine, and Negotiation Teams, a bomb squad, and a detective bureau, which includes the following Divisions:

  • Crime Scene Division
  • Intelligence Division
  • Juvenile Investigation Division
  • Major Crimes Division
  • Vice and Narcotics Division
  • Victim Services

Candidates must show proof of a high school diploma or GED, U.S. citizenship, and a valid driver’s license.

New Haven

The New Haven Police Department is divided into the following Bureaus/Divisions:

Investigative Services Bureau – Includes Firearms, Firearms, Arson, Identification, Auto Theft, Burglary and Robbery, Intelligence, Fraud, and Narcotics Enforcement.

Identification Division – Includes the Forensic Division, which includes a Crime Lab Unit, Firearms Analysis Unit, Identification/Photography Unit, and Latent Print Unit

Major Crimes Division – Includes the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Missing Persons Unit, Financial Crimes Unit, Arson Unit, Firearms Unit, and Sex Offender Registry Unit

Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence Division – Includes the Narcotics Unit, Criminal Intelligence Unit, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Shooting Task Force, ATF Urban Task Force, DEA Task Force, U.S. Marshalls Task Force, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force

The Patrol Division of the New Haven Police Department is organized into 10 districts. To become a New Haven police officer, applicants must:

  • Be a New Haven resident
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have good English written and verbal skills
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a valid Connecticut driver’s license


The Stamford Police Department, in addition to a Patrol Division, has a number of specialized units, including:

  • Collision Analysis and Reconstruction
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Special Victims Unit
  • Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • Canine Unit
  • Marine Division

Candidates for Stamford police officer jobs must be U.S. citizens; must be at least 21 years of age; and must hold a valid CT driver’s license.

Jobs with the Connecticut State Marshals

The State Marshal Commission, located within the Department of Administrative Services, is the governing agency for the following counties in Connecticut:

  • Windham County
  • Tolland County
  • New London County
  • New Haven County
  • Middlesex County
  • Litchfield County
  • Hartford County
  • Fairfield County

Connecticut State Marshals are sworn law enforcement officers. The Connecticut State Marshals include about 250 state/post certified sworn and uniformed law enforcement officers who provide law enforcement within the geographical area of Connecticut’s counties.

Candidates must meet basic qualifications and be able to successfully pass a written examination, interview, and background investigation.

Connecticut Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), law enforcement professionals in Connecticut earned an average salary of $76,360 as of May 2021.

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The following police/sheriff’s department salary data was sourced from May 2021 BLS stats (early career = 25th percentile, senior/late career = 90th percentile).

Police Officer Salaries

The starting salary for police officers among Connecticut’s largest police departments tends to be fairly consistent, with most departments reporting salaries in the mid-$60,000s.

Bridgeport Police Department

Police officers with the Bridgeport Police Department earn a starting salary of about $63,250. After a one-year probationary period, the salary for police officers here increases. Senior officers here earn about $99,240.

Hartford Police Department

Hartford police officer recruits earn a starting salary of about $64,600. The top salary for these professionals is $100,800.

New Haven Police Department

Entry-level police officers with the New Haven Police Department earn a starting salary of $61,970.

Stamford Police Department

Entry-level police officers with the Stamford Police Department earn a starting salary of $63,250. The top pay for these law enforcement professionals is $99,250.

Waterbury Police Department

Police officers with the Waterbury Police Department earn a starting salary of about $66,740. The top salary for Waterbury police officers is about $97,480.

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

State troopers with the Connecticut State Police earn between $63,380 – $99,240.

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2022