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How to Become a Police Officer in Connecticut

Becoming a Police Officer in Bridgeport, Connecticut

The Bridgeport Police Department is dedicated to serving Bridgeport’s 145,638 residents (2011 census) “through the protection of life and property and the prevention of crime.”

Bridgeport was recently the recipient of a $5 million federal stimulus grant allowing the department to create 20 new police jobs for officers who will work on the strategic enforcement team, which focuses on preventing and reducing teen, gang and drug-related crime.

This guide describes the steps you must take in order to join Bridgeport’s team of dedicated police officers. If you’re interested in learning how to become a police officer in Bridgeport, Connecticut, follow the steps in this guide:

  1. Check Requirements and Submit Application
  2. Take Written Examination
  3. Participate in an Oral Panel Interview
  4. Be Fingerprinted and have Background Investigated
  5. Take Physical Fitness Test
  6. Have a Psych Evaluation
  7. Take a Physical Exam with Drug Screening
  8. Attend Training Academy

Step 1. Requirements and Application

Check the following requirements for Bridgeport police officer to see if you qualify:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • At Least 21 Years Old
  • High School Graduate or its Equivalent
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • No Felony, Perjury, or Class A or B Misdemeanor Convictions
  • Vision Correctable to 20/20

If you meet all of these requirements, check to see if there are any current openings here. You can also visit or call the Bridgeport Police Department, 300 Congress St., Bridgetown CT 06604; 203/576-8332. Once an opening is posted, follow the instructions for submitting your online application. If your application is accepted you will be notified where and when to begin the testing process.

Step 2. Written Examination

The multiple-choice test is designed to assess the strength of qualities, like good judgment, that are essential for work as a police officer. The questions describe different situations you might encounter in law enforcement and you have to choose the best response.

Step 3. Oral Panel Interview

You will be interviewed by a panel that includes at least one Connecticut POST officer (Police Officer Standards and Training).

Step 4. Fingerprinting and Background Investigation

You will be fingerprinted and your prints will be checked with the police database to be sure you have no criminal record. There will also be a professional investigation of your background, including school performance, credit history, driving record, employment history and interpersonal relations.

Step 5. Physical Fitness Test

Wear exercise clothes and shoes to complete a test involving four timed components:

  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Sit and reach exercises
  • 1.5-mile run

The timing and number of repetitions required will be adjusted for age and gender.

Step 6. Psych Evaluation

A psychologist will evaluate your mental suitability for the work of a police officer.

Step 7. Physical Exam/Drug Screening

You will undergo a drug screening and thorough physical exam by a licensed physician.

Step 8. Academy

If you successfully complete all of the previous steps you will attend the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden where you will spend 22 weeks, from 8 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Friday. The curriculum includes 17 academic classes covering a wide variety of criminal justice subjects and 12 practical skills classes. You will be free to return to your home on weekends. After graduating from the Academy you will spend 400 additional hours in field training before being certified as a Bridgeport Police Officer.

 Bridgeport Police Department Jobs

Special opportunities for Bridgeport police officers include serving as members of the following Divisions:

  • Narcotics Enforcement
  • Scuba Team
  • Marine Unit
  • Strategic Enforcement Team
  • Detective Bureau
  • Emergency Services
  • Hostage Negotiation Team
  • K-9 Unit

The average annual salary for Bridgeport police officers is $60,469.

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.

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.

Becoming a Police Officer in Stamford, Connecticut

The Stamford Police Department (SPD) works to uphold the letter of the law while serving the law enforcement needs of the 122,643 residents who live in Stamford, Connecticut’s fourth largest city. For nine years the FBI has rated Stamford one of the safest cities in the U.S. Considerable credit is due to SPD’s collaborative community policing which involves officers and residents working together to identify and solve community issues before they become dangerous crime problems.

If you want to join the proud ranks of this elite police department, review the steps in this guide to learn how to become a Stamford police officer:

  1. Meet Minimum Requirements
  2. Apply
  3. Pass Written Examination
  4. Pass Physical Assessment Test
  5. Oral Panel
  6. Battery of Background Tests
  7. Conditional Job Offer
  8. Medical Tests
  9. Academy/Certification/Field Training

Step 1. Minimum Requirements

In order to be considered for the position of police officer in Stamford you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen over the age of 21
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license
  • Have no perjury, felony, or  misdemeanor class A or B convictions

Step 2. Apply

If you satisfy the basic requirements, go to www.cityofstamford.org and click on “employment opportunities” for an online application. You can also speak with a recruiting officer at the Stamford Police Department, 805 Bedford St., Stamford 06901; Tel: 203/977-4444.

Step 3. Written Examination

You will be notified where and when to take a written examination, which takes 1-1/2 hours to complete. Subjects covered include basic math, reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and ability to follow directions.

Step 4. Physical Assessment Test

If you pass the written examination you will be given a date and time for the physical assessment test. Wear comfortable gym clothes/shoes. The test includes:

  • Sit-ups (most you can do in one minute)
  • Reach and Stretch (as far as you can stretch)
  • Push-ups (most you can do in one minute)
  • 1.5-mile run (as fast as you can run, jog or walk)

Passing scores for each component are adjusted for age and gender.

Step 5. Oral Panel

You will be questioned by a panel of police officers, including at least one from the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) council. Answer clearly, succinctly and truthfully.

Step 6. Battery of Background Tests

You will be subjected to a polygraph test and fingerprinted. A thorough investigation of your background will be carried out, including your school, driving and arrest records; employment and credit histories; and personal behavior.

Step 7. Conditional Job Offer

You will be invited to join the Stamford Police Department as a police officer recruit contingent upon passing all medical tests and successfully completing training.

Step 8. Post-Offer Medical Tests

You will have a drug screening and be examined by a physician and police psychologist to ascertain your physical and mental suitability for work as a Stamford police officer.

Step 9. POST Academy/Certification/Field Training

You will attend the POST basic training program at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden where you will reside from 8 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Friday each week for 22 weeks. You must achieve a passing grade of 70% or better in each of 17 academic areas and successfully complete 12 practical skills areas, after which you will be issued a POST certification. Following graduation you will have a period of field training in Stamford, during which you will be paired with an experienced training Officer.

Stamford Police Department Salaries and Opportunities

The median annual salary for Stamford police officers is $56,998. There are many opportunities to serve in various units/divisions. The department has acquired state-of-the- art tactical and technological equipment and is planning to increase forensics capabilities. Stamford specialty units include:

  • Special Victims Unit
  • Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • Collision Analysis & Reconstruction Squad (CARS)
  • Canine Unit
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Marine Unit (three vessels)

Becoming a Police Officer in Waterbury, Connecticut

Waterbury, the fifth largest city in Connecticut, lies on the banks of the Naugatuck River, 77 miles northeast of New York City. Waterbury’s 110,189 residents are served with pride by the Waterbury Police Department.

This guide details the eight steps you need to take to become a police officer in Waterbury, Connecticut:

  1. Qualify/Apply
  2. Written Examination
  3. Physical Agility Test
  4. Oral Interview
  5. Background Check/Polygraph Exam
  6. Contingent Job Offer
  7. Physical/Mental Assessment

You must successfully complete each step of the process before being allowed to move on to the next step. The entire hiring process takes at least three months.

Step 1. Qualify/Apply

You must be 21 years old to become a police officer in Waterbury; however, you can apply earlier as long as you will turn 21 by academy graduation. You must also be a U.S. citizen with a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license and no felony convictions. Waterbury is an equal opportunity employer.

Check for available Waterbury Police Department jobs and get an application at the Waterbury Department of Human Resources website or in person at 236 Grand Street; (203) 574-6761.

Step 2. Written Examination

When your application is accepted you will be notified where and when to take the written examination. The test focuses on general education subjects like reading comprehension, English spelling/grammar, basic math and problem solving. No law enforcement knowledge is needed.

Step 3. Physical Agility Test

You will be scheduled for a physical agility test that consists of four components:

  • One-minute of sit-ups
  • Straight leg reaches
  • One-minute push-ups
  • 1.5-mile run

Passing scores are adjusted for age and gender. If you are a 25-year old male, you must do 40 sit-ups and 33 push-ups in one minute, reach 17-1/2 inches and run 1.5 miles in 11:58 minutes. If you are a 25-year-old female you must do 35 sit-ups and 20 push-ups in one minute, reach 20 inches and run 1.5-mile in 14:04 minutes. The numbers become easier with increases in age.

Step 4. Oral Interview

You will participate in an oral interview at which one or more police officers and/or human resources personnel will inquire about your background, lifestyle, ambitions, etc.

Step 5. Background Check/Polygraph

All aspects of your background will be investigated, including your financial history, former jobs, school achievements and driving record. You will be required to take a lie-detector test. There is nothing to fear as long as you answer all questions honestly and consistently with information provided on your application and during the oral interview.

Step 6. Contingent Job Offer

You will be offered a job as Waterbury Police Officer Recruit dependent upon your successful completion of steps 7 and 8.

Step 7. Physical/Mental Assessment

You will be examined by a physician and a police psychiatrist to assure your suitability for the often physically challenging and mentally stressful work of a police officer.

Step 8. Academy

You will be required to complete 22 weeks at the POST (Police Officer Standards & Training) Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden where you will live from 8 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Friday each week. You can return home on weekends. The curriculum includes 17 academic areas like federal/state/municipal laws and police procedures, and 12 practical skills areas, like firearms training and self-defense tactics. After certification as a Connecticut Law Enforcement Officer you will have additional in-field training in Waterbury where you will be paired with an experienced training Officer.

Waterbury Salary and Opportunities

You can expect to receive an entry level salary of $43,940/year, along with medical insurance, a retirement package, and sick, vacation and holiday pay.

The Waterbury Police Department offers many opportunities for serving in a variety of capacities, including patrol, emergency response, crash reconstruction unit, criminal investigation, forensics, juvenile crime unit, hostage negotiation team, victim’s services, community relations and vice/intelligence units.

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