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How to Become a Police Officer in Maryland

Becoming a Police Officer in Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore police jobs involve protecting the more than 641,000 citizens of Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Police Department is the eighth largest municipal police department in the United States. With the Baltimore Police Department planning to hire 300 new police officers in 2013, there has never been a better time to learn how to become a police officer in Baltimore.

If you want to know how to become a cop in Baltimore by meeting police officer requirements, follow the guidelines below:

  1. Make sure you meet the requirements to become a police officer trainee
  2. Pass a written examination and Physical Agility Test
  3. Pass a psychological exam and turn in application and documentation
  4. Pass a background interview, polygraph test, and physical exam
  5. Complete Baltimore Police Officer training

Step 1.  Meet Requirements to Become a Baltimore Police Officer Trainee

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has two categories for persons wishing to become a police officer in Baltimore: Police Cadets and Police Officer Trainees. Police Cadets may apply at age 18 and, if they pass all the steps in the hiring process, will work an administrative position until they are 20 years and 9 months old. Then they will enter the police academy for training. The following requirements are necessary in order to become a Baltimore Police Officer Trainee:

  • Age of at least 20 years and 9 months at the time of application
  • U.S. citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Meet prior drug use standards (discussed later)

If you meet these requirements, fill out the application become a Baltimore Police Officer Trainee. Although you will not be mailing your application to the Baltimore Police Department, you must gather the following information to have on hand in the event that you pass the preliminary exams and are called in for application review and processing:

  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Copy of your high school diploma/GED certificate
  • Official high school transcript copies (must be sent directly from the high school to the BPD)
  • Copies of any college degrees and transcripts you possess
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Certified copy of current driving record
  • Copy of social security card
  • Official letter on school letterhead verifying graduation
  • Copies of other necessary documents (such as selective service, military service, marriage certificate, divorce decree)

Hold on to the completed application and information above until you are asked to bring it to the Baltimore Police Department.

Step 2. Pass a Written Examination and Physical Agility Test

You must pass a written examination, the Municipal Police Selection Test (MPST) as the first part of the hiring process to become a Baltimore Police Officer. This written Civil Service test consists of 100 multiple choice general knowledge questions. It is offered at the Recruitment Unit every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. (at 601 E. Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). This exam is free to take and you need not schedule ahead of time – you can just walk in and take the exam. Make sure to bring a valid form of identification (such as a driver’s license) to the exam. Review this study guide for more information on the types of questions on the exam.

If you pass the Written Civil Service Exam, you must next schedule a Physical Agility Test. It consists of the following:

  • Complete 29 sit-ups in 60 seconds
  • Complete 10 push –ups (females) or 20 push –ups (males) in 60 seconds
  • Sit and reach 16.5 inches
  • Bench press 64% of your body weight
  • Complete a 1.5 mile run in 16 minutes 28 seconds
  • Show familiarity and control of a department .40 caliber Glock pistol with your strong hand and with your weak hand

You must pass all elements of the Physical Agility Test in order to move forward in the hiring process. If you fail the Physical Agility Test, you may reschedule and take it again.

Step 3. Pass a Psychological Exam and Turn in Job Application and Documents

The next step is to take a written psychological multiple-choice exam. At this time, you will also turn in your completed application for employment and supporting documentation (you will need an original and two copies of the application and each document). This information will be reviewed with you in a preliminary interview. You must be prepared to stay for at least four hours to complete this step.

Step 4. Pass a Background Interview, Polygraph Exam, Physical Exam and Background Investigation

If your application is reviewed favorably, you will be contacted to meet with a Background Investigator of the BPD Application Unit who has been assigned to you. This background interview should last approximately four hours. The Background Investigator will then begin a thorough background investigation of the information you have presented.

You will next undergo a polygraph exam, physical exam and psychological exam. Trained and licensed examiners will conduct all of these exams. Passing all of these exams will enable your application to be submitted for a hiring decision. It may also earn you an offer to become a Police Officer Trainee in the Baltimore Police Department.

You may check the status of your completed application at any time by clicking here.

Step 5. Complete Baltimore Police Officer Training

Congratulations! You have made it through the challenging application process and are now a Baltimore Police Officer Trainee! You will now report to a specified location for six months of entry-level training, consisting of 25 weeks of academic training and 10 weeks of field training. Classes will include defense tactics, law, emergency vehicle operation, and firearms. You will then be sent to one of the BPD’s nine patrol districts for your 10 weeks of field training. At the conclusion of training, you will be certified as a Baltimore Police Officer.

As of 2013, the annual starting salary for a Baltimore Police Officer is $43,146.

Becoming a Police Officer in Bowie, Maryland

Bowie is the second largest city in Maryland in terms of geographical area, and the fourth largest in terms of population. The Bowie Police Department is fairly young, having been established in 2006. Today, the Bowie Police Department supports jobs for approximately 40 sworn police officers. Becoming a police officer in Bowie requires passing a series of tests and assessments.

Do you wish to know how to become a cop in Bowie by meeting police officer requirements?

  1. Verify that you meet the minimum qualifications
  2. Pass a written examination and physical fitness test
  3. Pass a background check and interview
  4. Pass medical, psychological and physical fitness screening
  5. Attend Bowie  Police Officer Training

Step 1.  Meet the Minimum Qualifications for Bowie Police Officer Candidacy

In order to apply for a job as a police officer in Bowie, Maryland, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Expect to be at least 21 when you would graduate from the Police Academy
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have no more than one point on your driving record
  • Have no felony convictions

If you feel that you meet these qualifications, complete a City of Bowie Employment Application. Mail it to Bowie Police Department, Attn: Renee Hance, 15901 Excalibur Rd, Bowie, MD 20716.

Step 2. Pass a Written Examination and Physical Fitness Test

If your application is reviewed and deemed to be complete, you will be contacted by mail and notified of the date of the next Entry-Level Written Examination. You must schedule to take this general knowledge exam. Passing the exam is vital to continuing in the hiring process to become a police officer in Bowie.

You must also pass an Entry-Level Physical Fitness Test. This test is designed to make sure that you have the physical abilities necessary to complete Police Academy training and to serve as a police officer in Bowie. It is graded on a pass/fail basis, and failing any of the exercises will result in a failing grade for the entire test. You must:

  • Complete a certain number of sit-ups in one minute (based on your sex and age)
  • Complete a certain number of push-ups in one minute (based on sex and age)
  • Complete a 1.5 mile timed run (based on sex and age)
  • Drag a 160 lb dummy ten feet in nine seconds
  • Climb a five foot high wall in less than 15 seconds

Step 3. Pass a Background Check and Interview

If you pass the two tests above, you may be called for an interview. This will be conducted by members of the Bowie Police Department, and is intended to gauge your suitability for becoming a police officer in Bowie. Applicants who pass the interview will then undergo a complete background investigation. All aspects of your life will be checked, including:

  • Personal
  • Residential
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial/credit
  • Criminal
  • Driving/traffic
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Medical and psychological records

Applicants who pass the background check will be issued a tentative offer of employment to become a police officer in Bowie. The offer depends upon you passing the final series of tests.

Step 4. Pass a Medical Exam, Physical Abilities Test, Psychological Exam and Drug Screening Test

Before you receive a firm offer to become a police officer in Bowie, you must pass tests designed to make sure you can handle the duties and responsibilities. A medical exam and more complete physical abilities test will ensure that you are physically and medically fit enough to work as a Bowie police officer. A psychological exam will assess your mental and emotional readiness to work in the Bowie Police Department. A drug-screening test will make sure that you are not taking any substances that would ban you from becoming a police officer in Bowie. If you pass this series of tests, you will receive a final offer to become a police officer in Bowie.

Step 5. Attend Bowie Police Officer Training

Congratulations! You are now a Police Officer (Cadet) in Bowie! You must complete state-mandated training, consisting of six months at a police academy and 10 to 12 weeks in the field with a fellow officer. Bowie utilizes the Howard County Police Academy and the Anne Arundel County Police Academy for training purposes.

The starting salary for a Police Officer (Cadet) in Bowie as of 2013 is $41,230 per year. A Police Officer who has gone through training and certification earns $45,812 annually.

Becoming a Police Officer in Frederick, Maryland

As of 2013, the Frederick, Maryland Police Department supports jobs for 141 sworn police officers. Frederick police jobs are rewarding and challenging, and involve protecting 65,000 members of the community.

Becoming a police officer in Frederick will make you a member of a nationally accredited law enforcement agency. Below please find instructions on how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Frederick:

  1. Verify you meet the basic qualifications
  2. Pass a written examination and oral Board interview
  3. Participate in a background check and polygraph test
  4. Pass a psychological screening, psychological interview, physical exam and drug screening test
  5. Complete Frederick  Police Officer Training

Step 1.  Meet the Basic Requirements for Frederick Police Officer Candidacy

You must possess a few things before applying to become a police officer in Frederick. They are:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • The age of 20 ½ (must be age 21 by the time you would graduate from the Police Academy)]
  • A valid driver’s license equivalent to a Maryland Class C license
  • U.S. citizenship

Qualities that are not necessary but put you ahead of others in the applicant pool include:

  • A college degree
  • Bilingual abilities

If you meet the basic requirements, complete a City of Frederick Application for Employment. Submit it to Frederick Police Department, 100 West Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701.

Step 2. Pass a Written Examination and Oral Board Interview

If your application is chosen, you will be contacted with the date and time of the entry-level written examination you must pass. This exam consists of basic, general knowledge and must be passed before you can go any further in the process to become a police officer in Frederick.

Next, you must appear before a Board made up of members of the City of Frederick Police Department. This interview is meant to judge your suitability to become a police officer in Frederick. Again, you must pass this portion of the process before moving on.

Step 3. Pass a Background Investigation, Polygraph Test and Physical Agility Test

A thorough background investigation will be conducted. The following records and/or persons may be contacted for information on your background:

  • Current and former neighbors
  • Current and former employers
  • Current and former co-workers
  • Educational records
  • Employment records
  • Criminal records
  • Driving history/records
  • Personal references
  • Credit/financial history/records

As part of the background check, you will be asked to submit to a polygraph (lie detector) test. Passing this is mandatory before you go on with the rest of the hiring process.

Finally, you will be asked to take a Physical Agility Test. You must:

  • Complete a 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes 20 seconds
  • Complete at least 18 push-ups in a row
  • Complete a 300 meter run in 68 seconds
  • Complete 27 sit-ups in one minute
  • Complete a vertical jump of 16.5 inches

Click here for information on how to prepare to pass the Physical Agility Test. You must pass all portions of the test before you can move on.

If you pass all of the tests listed above, you will receive a conditional offer of employment from the City of Frederick Police Department to work as a Frederick Police Officer. The offer is conditional upon the results of the tests in Step 4.

Step 4. Pass a Psychological Screening, Psychological Interview, Physical Exam and Drug Test

These tests are considered to be post-job offer but are vital to you obtaining a firm offer to become a police officer in Frederick. You must participate in a written psychological screening, and an interview with a psychologist appointed by the City of Frederick Police Department. You must also pass a complete physical examination, including a drug test. If you pass all of these assessments, you will receive a final offer to become a police officer in Frederick.

Step 5. Complete Frederick Police Officer Training

Well done! You are now a Police Officer in training within the City of Frederick Police Department! You must complete the mandatory police officer training prior to starting to work as a Police Officer in the city.

You will attend six months of training at the Frederick City Police Training Center. This will instruct you in basic law enforcement techniques, topics and skills. Physical conditioning is also included in this training.

Upon graduation from training, you must work with a Field Training Officer for a period of approximately 12 weeks. After completing this training, you will be a full-fledged Police Officer for the City of Frederick Police Department.

The salary range for a police officer in Frederick as of March 2013 is between $43,187 to  $46,711 per year.

Becoming a Police Officer in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Gaithersburg police jobs involve protecting the 58,000 residents of the city of Gaithersburg along with the Montgomery County Police. Three bureaus exist within the nationally accredited Gaithersburg Police Department: Special Operations, Administrative and Operations. Becoming a police officer in Gaithersburg is a challenging task but one that is ultimately rewarding.

This guide offers directions on how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Gaithersburg:

  1. Confirm that you meet the minimum requirements
  2. Pass a fitness test, written exam and oral interview
  3. Pass a background investigation, voice stress analysis and interview with the Chief of Police
  4. Pass medical, psychological and physical fitness assessments
  5. Attend Gaithersburg Police Officer training

Step 1.  Meet the Minimum Requirements for Gaithersburg Police Officer Candidacy

The Gaithersburg Police Department expects you to meet certain requirements before even applying to become a police officer. They are:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Age 21 by the time you would be appointed
  • Valid Maryland driver’s license
  • Good driving record
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Have at least 30 college credits (life experience may be substituted if approved by the Chief of Police)
  • No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • No current illegal drug usage

Do you meet these requirements? If so, apply online.

Step 2. Pass a Fitness Test, Written Exam and Oral Interview

If your application is reviewed favorably, you may be contacted to continue with the hiring process. The next step is to complete a preliminary physical fitness test. This includes:

  • Vertical jump (males- 18 inches; females – 13 inches)
  • Maximum number of sit-ups in one minute (should be at least 25)
  • Maximum number of continuous push-ups (should be at least 15)
  • Run 300 meters in 62 seconds (males) or 75 seconds (females)
  • Run 1.5 miles in 15 minutes 50 seconds

You must pass all components of the physical fitness test in order to continue in the application process.

Next, you must pass a written examination. You must provide a writing sample, writing for 30 minutes each about three of four provided topics. You must pass the standardized test portion of the exam, which is allotted one hour and a half. It assesses your abilities in:

  • Mathematics
  • Problem solving
  • Writing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Assertiveness
  •  Interpersonal abilities
  • Ethics
  • Team orientation
  • Stress tolerance

If you pass the written examination, you will participate in a structured oral interview with three members of the Gaithersburg Police Department. This interview is used to assess your skills in making decisions, interpersonal communication, and oral communication.

Step 3. Pass a Background Investigation, Voice Stress Analysis and Interview with the Chief of Police

If you pass the above tests, you will next undergo a background check. This will investigate the following areas (including, but not limited to):

  • Prior drug use
  • Court records for traffic, criminal and civil cases involving you
  • Military records
  • Credit and bank records
  • Interviewing your family members
  • Interviewing present and prior employers and co workers from the past 10 years
  • Interviewing neighbors from the past 10 years
  • Check of your criminal records at local, state and national levels (includes fingerprinting)
  • Personal references check
  • Driving records check

You will also undergo a Computer Voice Stress Analysis. This will be conducted by licensed, trained individuals who will then interpret the results.

Finally, you will interview one-on-one with the Chief of Police. If this goes well, you will be given a conditional offer of employment as a Gaithersburg Police Officer. This employment offer is contingent upon you passing the tests listed in Step 4 below.

Step 4. Pass a Psychological Exam, Medical Exam and Physical Fitness Assessment

If you have received a conditional offer of employment to become a police officer in Gaithersburg, you must still pass certain pre-placement examinations and assessments. Failing any of these will result in the offer being rescinded. A pre-placement psychological assessment and emotional stability test will be conducted by a licensed professional appointed by the Gaithersburg Police Department. A health care professional appointed by the Department will also perform a medical exam, including a drug-screening test. Licensed professionals will also conduct a more complete physical fitness assessment. These tests are all performed at no cost to you.

If you pass all of the pre-placement examinations, you will earn a final offer of employment to become a police officer in Gaithersburg.

Step 5. Attend Gaithersburg Police Officer Training

Congratulations! You have passed the grueling hiring process and are now a Gaithersburg Police Officer candidate! The next step is to complete the mandatory police officer training. Maryland requires all Police Officers to complete training and become certified by the State of Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission. This consists of about six months of academic and physical work. Then you will be placed on Field Training with a senior Police Officer in Gaithersburg for about 12 weeks.

You will be on probation for the first 24 months of your employment with the Gaithersburg Police Department.

As of March 2013, the yearly salary range for a Gaithersburg Police Officer is $50,800 to $78,956.

Becoming a Police Officer in Rockville, Maryland

It may take up to six weeks to become a police officer in Rockville, from the time you apply to the time you are hired. The Rockville City Police Department consists of 57 sworn police officers and 36 civilians.

If you would like to join them, you must first learn how to become a cop in Rockville by meeting their police officer requirements:

  1. Ensure that you meet the hiring standards
  2. Pass a written examination and fitness test
  3. Participate in an oral interview and background check
  4. Pass medical, psychological, drug, and polygraph tests, and an interview with the Chief of Police
  5. Complete Rockville City Police Officer Training

Step 1.  Meet Hiring Standards for Rockville Police Officer Candidacy

You must meet the following standards for Rockville Police Officers before applying for a position with the Rockville City Police Department:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Age 21 by the time you graduate from the Police Academy
  • High school diploma or GED (college degree is preferable)
  • Maryland driver’s license
  • No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • No selling or transporting of any drugs in your history
  • No drug use in the past three years
  • No use of heroin, LSD or PCP in your history
  • Must not have used marijuana more than five times since age 21, or more than 20 times in your lifetime
  • Must not have used any other controlled substance or narcotic more than one time since age 21, or more than five times in your lifetime

If you meet the above standards, complete a City of Rockville Application online.

Step 2. Pass a Written Examination and Fitness Test

You will receive written notification after you submit your application, listing the date and time of the written examination. Remember to bring two forms of identification with you on test day. You will be allotted three hours to complete this general knowledge, multiple-choice exam. If you fail the written exam, you may reschedule and take the test again by filling out another City of Rockville employment application online.

Next, you must pass a Physical Agility Test to prove that you meet Rockville City Police Department physical fitness standards. This test is also three hours long and consists of:

  • Running 1.5 miles in the fastest time possible
  • Running 300 meters in the fastest time possible
  • Doing the most push-ups you can
  • Doing the  most sit-ups you can in one minute

You must pass all parts of the Physical Agility Test in order to continue in the hiring process.

Step 3. Pass an Oral Interview and Background Investigation

If you pass the written and physical exams, you may be called in for an oral interview. This will be with a panel of representatives from the Rockville City Police Department, and will last for two hours.

The interview panel may regard you favorably and pass you on for a background investigation. This thorough investigation of 30 to 45 hours delves into your history in all areas: financial, credit, employment, educational, personal, criminal, driving, etc. If it is found that you lied on your employment application, you will automatically be disqualified from the application process.

Step 4. Pass a Medical Exam, Drug Screening, Psychological Exam, Polygraph Test and Chief’s Interview

You have almost made it to becoming a police officer in Rockville! You just need to pass another series of exams and an interview with the Police Chief.

The medical exam you must undergo will be conducted by a physician appointed by the Rockville City Police Department. Your height must be proportionate to your weight, and your overall health must be deemed excellent. Expect the medical exam to last about two hours. A drug screening test will also be run.

Next comes the psychological examination, also performed by a licensed professional appointed by the Rockville City Police Department. You will take a polygraph test, about three hours long, after the psychological evaluation is completed.

Finally, you will interview one-on-one with the Chief of Police of the Rockville City Police Department as the final step on your way to becoming a Police Officer in Rockville.

Step 5. Attend Rockville Police Officer Training

You have made it! You are now a Rockville City Police Officer candidate! The next step is to complete training. As the Rockville City Police Department does not run its own police academy, new police officer candidates are sent to training academies in the area, all of which meet the standards of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission. Training will last about six months.

You will then be assigned to Field Training with an experienced Rockville City Police Officer. This training lasts about 12 weeks.

As of March 2013, a Rockville Police Officer earns from $46,478.00 to $75,233.00 per year.

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