New York City Police Department Officer Requirements
How to Become a New York City Police Officer
Before applying to become an officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), candidates who meet hiring prerequisites must first take the written civil service exam. Candidates who pass must also complete medical and psychological exams, a character investigation, a physical fitness test, and a pre-hire interview. Prospective recruits who perform well throughout these stages will proceed to the final step, attending New York City Police Academy.
New York City Police Officer Job Description
The mission of the NYPD is to improve the quality of life in New York City. NYPD police officers work to maintain order and enforce local laws by preventing and investigating crimes and upholding the legal system. Approximately 35,400 uniformed officers work for the NYPD, serving the nearly 8.5 million residents of the NYC metro.1 As the largest municipal police force in the US, the NYPD houses numerous specialty divisions, including bureaus dedicated to counterterrorism, housing, intelligence, transit and transportation, and detective and patrol services. Officers may also specialize in aviation, emergency services, highway patrol, or crime scene investigation. With so many departments and chances for specialization, there are always opportunities to pursue career interests and seek promotion within the NYPD.
New York City Police Officer Training, Prerequisites and Educational Requirements
To be eligible to sit for the written civil service exam, applicants must be between the ages of 17.5 and 35. To be hired, candidates must be a US citizen and at least 21 years of age, hold a high school diploma plus at least 60 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA, have a valid New York driver’s license, and reside within the five boroughs of New York City or surrounding counties. The college experience requirement may be waived with two years of full-time service with the US Armed Forces.
Those who do not meet the college experience requirement or military service requirement may be interested in the NYPD’s Police Cadet Corps program. This work-study program places cadet recruits in various paid NYPD support assignments while providing tuition assistance.
Regardless of the route through which a candidate qualifies, once hired as a police recruit, prospective officers attend the New York City Police Academy. The rigorous program lasts 6 months. Courses cover such topics as law, behavioral science, physical training and tactics, police science, firearms training, and First Aid/ CPR. Classes in terrorism, identity theft, and other advanced law enforcement skills are also part of the curriculum. Recruits must pass 4 separate exams with a score of 75% or higher to graduate the academy.
New York City, New York Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
The starting salary for a New York City police recruit is $42,819, which is raised to $45,673 after six months.2 With typical step increases, an NYPD officer’s base salary is $78,026 after five and a half years of service.2 Officers also earn additional pay for overtime, longevity, and holiday work. Those who earn higher ranks earn commensurately higher salaries; for example, the top base pay for sergeants with the NYPD is $103,584 per year.2 All officers are entitled to paid vacation days, paid sick leave, competitive health and life insurance programs, and various retirement plan options.
New York Police Department
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10007
1. New York City Police Department: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/analysis_and_planning/qol.pdf
2. NYPD Recruit: http://www.nypdrecruit.com/#benefits