Law Enforcement Careers in Maryland

If the latest news coming out of Baltimore isn’t enough to tell the story of the troubling state of affairs in the area, then the cold, hard data will. The 2017 Maryland Uniform Crime Report published by the Maryland Department of State Police in partnership with the Maryland Statistical Analysis Center (MSAC) showed that in Baltimore alone, 342 murders were committed, reflecting a continuation of a new upward trend since 2014. Even before then the numbers were extremely concerning, but in recent years street violence has only gotten worse. 2017 also saw nearly 6,000 robberies, another 5,800 assaults and over 12,500 violent crimes in all, representing a violent crime rate of 2,040 incidents for every 100,000 Baltimore residents.

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It can be a tough place to cut your teeth as a new police officer or sheriff’s deputy, but the dedicated men and woman of Maryland’s law enforcement community are working hard to make sure it’s also a tough place to be a criminal. Bringing with them a strong moral code backed up by the best training available, Maryland’s state, county and municipal law enforcement officers work on the front lines to keep communities safe for all law abiding residents.

Jobs and Training Requirements for the Maryland State Police

Since its inception in 1921, the Maryland State Police has been serving the state’s citizens while working in cooperation with local law enforcement officials. This full-service law enforcement agency is organized into three bureaus: Field Operations, Criminal Investigation, and Support Services.

State trooper candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and must be truthful in every stage throughout the application and vetting process. This lengthy process starts with attending an applicant orientation before going on to pass the Functional Fitness Assessment and Police Officer Standardized Test, then sitting for an oral interview, polygraph, background investigation, and medical and psychological evaluations.

Jobs and Training with Sheriff’s Departments in Maryland Counties

Outside the city limits of Baltimore and Maryland’s other larger cities, the county sheriff’s offices are responsible for virtually all law enforcement work. But that doesn’t mean they work exclusively in the suburbs or outlying areas. Since they have a county-wide jurisdiction that overlaps with the municipal police departments in their county, they often partner with and provide back-up for these smaller agencies, as well as provide other functions related to evictions, serving subpoenas and summons, inmate detention and more. All Maryland sheriff’s departments require their entry-level deputies to possess at least a high school diploma or GED equivalency and undergo a rigorous course of training.

Howard County Sheriff’s Office

Since 1851, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office has served local residents, including those in Ellicott City and Columbia. The Department also handles judicial services, domestic incidents, and landlord-tenant issues. Applicants that get through the rigorous vetting process and qualify as recruits go on to complete a course at the highly respected Maryland Police Training Commission Certified Training Academy.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is the foremost law enforcement agency in the county and one of the oldest in the country, with a founding date of 1777. Until the founding of the Maryland State Police, the sheriff’s department was the sole provider of law enforcement in the region, which includes Silver Spring. Qualified applicants go on to become cadets and attend the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy and Field Training Program.

Charles County Sheriff’s Office

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is the principal law enforcement agency in the area, providing patrol services and fulfilling its role to the judiciary branch of government, which includes operating a detention center. Qualified candidates for the sheriff’s deputy position attend training at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy.

Jobs and Training with Municipal Police Departments in Maryland

The issue of crime in Baltimore doesn’t tell the entire story for the state of Maryland as a whole, but it does tell an important one. City police departments work hard to keep the people and property within their municipal jurisdictions safe, swiftly brining anybody that gets in the way of that to justice.

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Baltimore Police Department

The Baltimore Police Department is the eighth largest municipal force in the U.S., with nearly 3,100 sworn officers and support personnel. The officers of the Baltimore PD protect and serve a population of more than 611,000. Police officer recruits complete a 25-week academic course of training, followed by 10 weeks of field training.

Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office

The Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office provides the same law enforcement services typical of most county sheriff’s offices but is atypical in that is operates as a city-level agency. The BCSO provides support to the judiciary branch of government, serving summons and subpoenas, transporting prisoners, and providing support to other law enforcement agencies.

Frederick Police Department

The Frederick Police Department is supported by a force of 141 sworn officers and 40 civilian employees. Specialized units here include canine operations, community relations, crime analysis, drug enforcement, investigations, and more. Prospective officer applicants with a college degree and who are able to speak another language may be shown preference during the hiring process.

Rockville Police Department

The Rockville Police Department takes on the responsibility of protecting the city’s nearly 62,000 residents. It is divided into several departments, including field and special operations, and works in a number of cooperative associations with local residents. Job candidates must be in excellent physical health and should not apply if personal marijuana use has exceeded 20 times.

Gaithersburg Police Department

The Gaithersburg Police Department is organized into a number of bureaus, including Administration, Community Services, Operations, and Special Operations. Police officer candidates must have either 30 college credits or a life-experience equivalency as determined by the police chief.

Bowie Police Department

The Bowie Police Department is responsible for providing law enforcement services to its 60,000 citizens, making it the fifth largest city in Maryland. To become a police officer in Bowie, applicants must be of good moral standing.

Maryland Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for all  law enforcement officers in Maryland was $67,030 as of May 2018. The top 10% earned an average salary of $95,170 during this time.

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The following salary information, which was sourced directly from the respective departments’ websites, provides an overview of starting salaries for Maryland’s largest police departments and sheriff’s offices. Additional information, including pay during academy training and salary step increases that come with additional years of service and change in rank is also included when available.

Police Officer Salaries

The average, starting (post-academy) salary for police officers in Maryland’s largest police departments is $52,777. The top-paid officers at the entry-level are those with the Gaithersburg Police Department, at $56,358.

  • Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore Police Department officers earn a starting salary of $51,953 and a top salary of $88,989. Additional salary incentives are available to those with a bachelor’s degree.

Sergeants of the department earn a salary of between $79,115 and $100,228, while lieutenants earn between $91,533 and $113,936.

  • Bowie Police Department

Police officers with the Bowie Police Department earn a salary of $45,592 during academy training and a starting salary upon graduation of $46,777.

  • Frederick Police Department

Police officers (called privates) with the Frederick Police Department earn a starting salary of $48,622 and a top salary of $77,209.

Corporals earn a salary of between $56,014 and $89,044, while sergeants earn a salary of between $64,688 and $103,230.

  • Gaithersburg Police Department

Police recruits with the Gaithersburg Police Department earn a salary of $53,540 while in academy training. Upon graduation, their salary increases to $56,358.

  • Rockville Police Department

The starting salary for Rockville police officers is $60,178.

Sheriff’s Deputy Salaries

The average, starting salary for sheriff’s deputies among Maryland’s largest sheriff’s departments is $51,507, just slightly below the $52,777 average starting salary for police officers with the state’s largest police departments.

  • Baltimore County Sheriff’s Office

Cadets with the Baltimore County Sheriff’s Office earn a salary of $27,315. Upon being promoted to police officer, these professionals enjoy an increase in pay to $54,037.

Promotion to police officer first class after five years of service comes with a salary increase to $65,268. The top pay for these law enforcement professionals is $106,119, at 24 years of service.

  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy sheriffs with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office begin their careers earning $48,890. The highest salary for deputy sheriffs is $66,637, although higher salaries may also be achieved through promotion to deputy sheriff II ($52,313-$76,383), deputy sheriff III ($55,975-$90,613), and sergeant ($61,572-$99,674).

  • Prince George Sheriff’s Office

Deputy sheriffs (private) with the Prince George Sheriff’s Office earn a salary of between $50,244 and $74,822. Deputy sheriffs (first class) earn even more, at $50,997 to $81,719.

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

The salary for trooper recruits with the Maryland State Police is $35,000. After the successful completion of academy training, troopers earn a starting salary of $48,099.


Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 –

BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Agency-level salary and employment data was sourced directly from the municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies named and reflects the specific salary ranges and seniority- or rank-based pay described by the respective agency.

All salary and employment data accessed in August 2019.

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