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How to Become a Police Officer in Massachusetts

Becoming a Police Officer in Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Police Department was established in 1854, making it the oldest police department in the United States. Today, the Boston Police Department serves as the model for police departments in other communities.

Becoming a police officer in Boston takes hard work and is time-consuming, but is well worth the effort. Here are instructions on how to become a cop by meeting Police Officer requirements in Boston:

  1. Verify you possess the necessary credentials
  2. Pass a written examination
  3. Participate in an Orientation Session, Interview and Background Investigation
  4. Pass Psychological, Medical, Physical Ability and Drug Tests
  5. Train at Boston Police Academy

Step 1.  Possess the Necessary Credentials for Boston Police Officer Candidacy

You must verify a few qualifications before applying for Boston Police Officer jobs. They are:

  • U.S. citizenship (by birth or naturalized)
  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED, or served at least three years in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Valid Massachusetts driver’s license
  • Live in the city of Boston for at least one year prior to taking the Civil Service exam

If you meet these qualities, apply online to take the Civil Service exam. The exam is only given every two years. The next exam date is April 30, 2013.

Step 2. Pass the Police Officer Civil Service Exam

The first step towards becoming a police officer in Boston is to pass the Police Officer Civil Service exam required of all officers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The test costs $100 to take and consists of the following:

  • Written Ability Test – measures cognitive abilities such as reading comprehension, writing, oral communication, reasoning, ordering information
  • Life Experience Survey – multiple choice questions related to your past history and its relevance to becoming a police officer in Boston
  • Work Styles Questionnaire – assesses your qualities of motivation, character, and values related to becoming a police officer in Boston

If you pass this exam, you will be placed on a list of persons eligible to continue in the Police Officer hiring process. If you fail, you must wait until the next scheduled Civil Service exam date in two years to retake the exam.

Step 3. Participate in an Orientation Session, Interview Session and Background Investigation

If you are called up from the eligible list, the next step in the hiring process will be a group orientation session. You will be given an Application Packet and instructed on how to complete it. You will also be told what documents to gather to give to the Background Investigator.

You will be given a date to report for an Interview Session. Bring your completed Application Packet and requested documentation with you to the Interview Session. The interview will be conducted with the Background Investigator, who will ask you questions about the information you have provided.

The Background Investigator will then commence the background investigation. Your history in all areas – criminal, driving, military, police, personal, employment and educational – will be investigated, with persons who were in your background and present day life contacted for references. The Background Investigator will also visit your home to verify that you live in the city of Boston and assess your living conditions.

Step 4. Pass Psychological, Medical, Physical Ability and Drug Tests

Next, you must provide a head hair sample for drug testing. This will show all drugs you have taken within the past 90 days. Your urine will also be tested for the presence of steroids. If you fail either of these tests, the Boston Police Department will recommend that you be bypassed from the rest of the hiring process to become a police officer in Boston.

Psychological testing will occur next. You will take the written portion of the evaluation, which lasts four hours and takes place at Boston Police Headquarters. A Department Psychiatrist will interview you at least once during this assessment.

The medical examination will take place at a hospital laboratory and will take three hours to complete. Lab tests that will be performed include pulmonary functions, blood work, and EKG. Your medical history will be reviewed. You must also plan to attend a physical examination at the Boston Police Headquarters, performed by a Department Physician. This will occur in two visits – the first lasting two hours and the second lasting a few minutes.

If you pass the medical exam, you will take a Physical Ability Test (PAT). You must pay a fee of $150 to take the PAT. If you do not pass the PAT, you may take it one additional time, at another cost of $150. As part of the PAT, you must:

  • Complete an obstacle course in 130.4 seconds or less
  • Squeeze a trigger six times with each hand in 7.1 seconds or less
  • Separate one person from another, in two sessions, in 14.2 seconds or less
  • Drag a dummy a certain distance in 11 seconds or less

If you pass the PAT, you will receive an offer of employment to become a police officer in Boston.

Step 5. Complete Training at Boston Police Academy

Congratulations! You have completed the long, arduous hiring process and have become a police officer in Boston! Now, you must pass training in the Boston Police Academy. This consists of six months of classes in:

  • Criminal law
  • Constitutional law
  • Physical training
  • Crisis intervention
  • Defensive driving
  • Patrol procedures
  • First responders
  • Firearm training
  • Self defense

When you have completed training, you will be a Boston Police Officer. As of March 2013, the annual base salary for a Boston Police Officer is $46,000.

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.

Becoming a Police Officer in Lowell, Massachusetts

Becoming a police officer in Lowell, Massachusetts involves a process that may take between six and nine months to complete. As a police officer in Lowell you’ll be responsible for protecting the citizens of the fourth largest city in Massachusetts. Lowell’s police officers describe the job as very rewarding.

This article provides directions on how to become a cop in Lowell by satisfying the department’s requirements:

  1. Meet the fundamental requirements
  2. Pass the Civil Service Exam
  3. Pass a physical assessment and background investigation
  4. Pass an oral interview and subsequent testing
  5. Attend the Lowell Police Academy for training

Step 1.  Meet the Fundamental Requirements for Lowell Police Officer Candidacy

Before beginning the arduous process to become a police officer in Lowell, you must meet fundamental requirements:

  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Possess a valid Massachusetts driver’s license

If you meet these requirements, apply to take the Civil Service Exam.

Step 2. Pass the Civil Service Exam for Police Officer in Massachusetts

The Civil Service Exam for Police Officer in Massachusetts is only offered every 24 months. The date of the next exam is April 20, 2013. The cutoff date to apply is March 18, 2013. You may apply online to take the test, which carries a $100 fee. A study guide is available to help you prepare for this general aptitude test.

If you pass the exam, you will be placed on a Police Officer eligible list. This means that you might be called to participate in the hiring process to become a police officer in Lowell.

Step 3. Pass an Interview and Background Investigation

If you are called from the eligible list, you will next report for an interview and background investigation. First, you will be asked to fill out an application packet, including documentation such as your birth certificate, driver’s license etcetera. Then, you will be instructed to bring the completed application packet and supporting documentation with you to your interview with a Background Investigator.

The Investigator will go over all of the information you have provided and verify everything. Then he or she will conduct a full investigation of your background in all areas: employment, education, residential, credit, family, military, and criminal. If any information is discovered that would bar you from the rest of the hiring process to become a police officer in Lowell, the Investigator will notify you.

Step 4. Pass Physical, Medical, Psychological and Drug Tests

Passing the background investigation means that you must next pass a physical ability test. This test will cost you $150 and consists of a dummy drag, separation of two persons, trigger pull test, and obstacle course. You must pass all facets of the physical ability test to continue in the process. If you fail, you may re-take the test in a couple of days and pay the $150 fee again.

Next, you will undergo a complete medical evaluation to assess your fitness to become a cop in Lowell. Your vision, hearing, weight/height ratio and more will be assessed, and lab tests may be performed. As part of this medical evaluation, a drug screening test will also be performed.

A psychologist will next administer a test to you and interview you to determine your mental suitability to become a police officer in Lowell.

If you pass all of the above tests, you will be offered a position in the next Lowell Police Academy class.

Step 5. Attend Lowell Police Academy Training

Congratulations! You have achieved your goal and are now a Lowell Police Officer recruit! The next step is to complete training at the Lowell Police Academy. This training will last 22 weeks and you will attend about 50 different classes.

After you graduate from the Lowell Police Academy, you will receive training on-the-job for 12 weeks. This will be with senior street supervisors and patrol officers who are known as Field Training Officers (FTO).

Becoming a Police Officer in Springfield, Massachusetts

Jobs with the Springfield Police Department in Massachusetts involve using the latest technology to keep the city safe and secure for residents to live and work. The Springfield Police Department has recently begun taking crime tips anonymously via text with its unique Text-A-Tip program.

Becoming a police officer in Springfield may take a while to achieve, but the rewards of the job will be well worth the time spent.

Use this information if you wish to find out how to become a police officer in Springfield:

  1. Verify you meet the prerequisites
  2. Pass a written Civil Service examination
  3. Pass the background and interview process
  4. Pass physical fitness, medical, psychological and drug tests
  5. Complete Springfield Police Officer training

Step 1.  Meet the Prerequisites for Springfield Police Officer Candidacy

You need to meet some basic prerequisites to become a police officer in Springfield:

  • Be 21 or older when you take the Civil Service exam
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Preference is given to Springfield city residents

If you meet these prerequisites, apply online to take the next scheduled Civil Service exam. They are offered every two years. The date of the next exam is April 20, 2013.

Step 2. Pass a Written Civil Service Exam

The fee to take the Civil Service exam is $100, payable when you register to take the exam. You must bring your driver’s license and social security card with you to the exam. You will be tested on basic abilities, work styles and on your life experience. Your score on the exam will determine your placement on the eligible list of persons who are eligible to become a police officer in Springfield. The higher the score, the higher your placement on the list.

Step 3. Pass the Background and Interview Process

If you are chosen from the eligible list, you will report to the Springfield Police Department to complete an application packet and learn what documentation is necessary to facilitate the process. You will be given a date to report for an interview with a background investigator. This investigator will go over the information in your packet and verify everything. The investigator will then conduct a thorough background investigation using this information. It is vital that you have a history of moral and ethical behavior. In general:

  • Your behavior in the past must display positive character traits necessary to become a police officer in Springfield
  • You must possess integrity and honesty
  • You must have a history of lawful behavior
  • You must have a history of good judgment using drugs and alcohol
  • Your financial records must demonstrate responsibility
  • Your driving records must demonstrate appropriate behavior

If the background investigator discovers anything that disqualifies you from the remainder of the hiring process to become a police officer in Springfield, you will be notified.

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

If you’ve made it this far, you are inching ever closer to your goal of becoming a police officer in Springfield.  Now you must pass a Physical Ability Test (PAT). You must pay $150 to take this test, which assesses your physical abilities to be an effective police officer in Springfield. Included within the test is an obstacle course, trigger exercise, dragging exercise, and crowd pull exercise. If you pass the PAT, you will move on in the hiring process. If you fail, you may re-take the PAT in a few days for another fee of $150.

You will be given a thorough medical examination by a trained, appointed professional. This will include a drug test. Your medical fitness to perform the duties of a Springfield police officer will be evaluated.

Your psychological suitability for the job will also be evaluated through a written assessment and interview with an appointed psychologist or psychiatrist.

If you pass these assessments, the Springfield Police Department will issue you an offer to become a Police Officer Recruit.

Step 5. Complete Springfield Police Officer Training

Kudos to you! You have endured the lengthy application process and are now a Police Officer Recruit in Springfield! You will spend six months at the Springfield Police Department Training Division learning how to become an effective police officer. Education will focus on four components: Community, Ethics, Law and Health/Wellness.

Upon graduation from training, you will start your career as a police officer in Springfield in the Patrol Division. However, you will have the opportunity to move to other divisions within the department after gaining some experience.

As of 2013, a Police Officer Recruit makes $806 per week ($41,912 per year). After graduating from training, a Police Officer in Springfield earns $906 per week ($47,112 per year).

Becoming a Police Officer in Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester police jobs involve protecting the citizens of this Massachusetts city from crime by upholding and enforcing local statutes. Becoming a police officer in Worcester is an arduous process, but for those who persevere, it will bring great rewards.

If you wish to know how to become a police officer in Worcester, read on to learn about the department’s requirements.

  1. Verify you hold the right qualifications
  2. Pass the Civil Service Exam
  3. Pass an interview and background investigation
  4. Pass medical, psychological, drug and physical fitness screening
  5. Complete Worcester Police Officer Training

Step 1.  Meet the Qualifications for Worcester Police Officer Candidacy

You must meet qualifications before applying to take the exam to become a Worcester police officer. They are:

  • Age 21 or older
  • U.S. citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Valid Massachusetts driver’s license
  • Preference is given to Worcester city residents
  • Preference is given to military veterans

If you meet these qualifications, contact the Boston division of the human resource department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by calling this number at 800-392-6178 for an application. You may also pick up an application at the HR department for the City of Worcester located at City Hall, 455 Main St.

Step 2. Pass the Civil Service Exam

The Civil Service Exam for Police Officer in Massachusetts is offered every two years. The next test date is April 20, 2013. You must pass this exam before you can be considered to become a police officer in Worcester. The fee to take the exam is $100, and you must apply by March 18 to take the April 20 exam.

Three parts exist in the three-hour long Civil Service Exam:

  • Abilities Test- measures:
    • Reading comprehension
    • Deductive reasoning
    • Inductive reasoning
    • Written comprehension
    • Written expression
    • Information ordering
  • Work Styles Questionnaire – you will be asked to rate yourself on different qualities necessary to become a police officer in Worcester
  • Life Experience Survey – multiple choice questions that relate your past history to your ability to become an effective Worcester police officer

If you pass the Civil Service Exam, you will be placed on a list of persons eligible to become a police officer in Worcester. You may be called from this list to proceed in the hiring process, but this is not guaranteed. If you fail the exam, you may re-take it when it is given again in two years.

Step 3. Pass an Interview and Background Investigation

You may be called from the list of those eligible for hire to become a police officer in Worcester. If you are, the next phase in the hiring process is to fill out an application packet in its entirety. This application is lengthy and will tell you what documentation is necessary to facilitate the process.

You will then be called to an interview, at which time you must bring the completed application packet and documents requested. The background investigator of the Worcester Police Department will meet with you and ask you questions about the information you have provided. He or she will then fully investigate your background in all aspects of your life – including financial, personal, family, residential, employment, education, and military. If it is discovered that you lied on your application about anything, you will immediately be disqualified from the rest of the hiring process.

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

If you succeed at passing the background investigation, you will be contacted to complete the pre-hire psychological, drug and medical examinations. Professionals appointed by the Worcester Police Department will perform all tests. Your medical fitness to become a Worcester Police Officer will be judged, as will your emotional and mental stability. You will also be tested for drug and substance use. Any un-reported drugs found in your system will immediately disqualify you from the remainder of the hiring process.

Finally, if you are found to be medically fit, you will take the Physical Ability Test. The fee for this test is $150. You will be tested in four events that simulate police work, including crowd control, trigger strength, drag ability and an obstacle course. You must pass all events in order to pass the test. If you fail, you may re-take the test in a few days at another cost of $150. If you pass, you will receive an offer to become a police officer in Worcester.

Step 5. Complete Worcester Police Officer Training

Congratulations! You have made it and are now a Worcester Police Officer, ready to enter the department’s training academy! You will attend the Worcester Police Academy for 25 weeks of training.  At the end of your training and prior to graduation from the academy, you will participate in simulated scenarios utilizing everything you have learned.

If you graduate, you will become a Worcester Police Officer, and will ride with a senior Police Officer for a few months on the job while you become acclimated to the position.

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