Washington DC Police Department Officer Requirements
The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) is one of the 10 largest municipal police agencies in the US.1 The department uses state-of-the-art technology to protect citizens and visitors in the nation’s capital. The MPDC is also increasing its focus on community policing and as part of these efforts has established multiple units within its Special Liaison Division focused on underserved and minority populations.
Steps to Becoming an MPDC Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an interest card and attend an orientation session.
- Complete the written exam.
- Submit a personal history questionnaire.
- Pass the physical ability test.
- Pass the polygraph exam.
- Pass the medical exam and psychological evaluation.
- Pass the background check and drug test.
- Complete police academy training.
- Begin working as a qualified MPDC officer.
How to Become a Washington DC Police Officer
All applicants to the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department who meet the minimum requirements outlined below will complete an extensive application process. The process begins with completing an online interest card and attending a candidate orientation day. Applicants will also be required to provide a writing sample, pass a written exam and a physical agility test, be fingerprinted, submit to a polygraph, and pass a medical exam and a psychological evaluation. An extensive background check investigates the candidate’s employment and credit history, criminal record, and social media activity. Successful recruits will complete a 28-week training program with the Metropolitan Police Training Academy and will remain on probation for approximately a year after graduating from the police academy.
Washington DC Police Officer Job Description
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department police officers work hand-in-hand with community members and leaders to fight against crime in the nation’s capitol. The District’s police officers must be able to solve problems, enjoy being around people, and have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. Newly-sworn DC police officers are typically assigned to regular patrols, including traffic patrol, and spend considerable time answering calls and completing follow-up paperwork.
Washington DC Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
All prospective recruits must meet eligibility requirements to be considered for a spot in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Training Academy. Applicants must have completed one of the following: two years of active service in the United States military; a minimum of 60 college credits; or five years of full-time duty experience as a police officer in another state. Applicants must also hold a valid driver’s license, be 21 or older, be a citizen of the United States, and be at a healthy weight (BMI). All applicants must also pass the screening process.
Successful applicants will be invited to complete 28 weeks of training at the Metropolitan Police Training Academy. Training consists of classroom work, physical agility training, firearms instruction, and first aid training. All recruits are on probationary status during training and for approximately 12 months following graduation from the training academy (18 months in total). It is important to note that the MPDC requires new recruits to agree to serve for at least two years following training.
Washington DC Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers in DC earn an average annual salary of $67,760.2 During academy training, officers earn a starting annual salary of $55,362.1 Following the 18-month probationary period, an officer’s pay is increased to $60,571 per year; additional step and performance increases are offered based on longevity and performance.1 Police officers in DC receive a range of benefits, including health insurance, sick leave, paid holidays, free access to fitness centers, tuition assistance, and attorney coverage for incidents that occur on duty. As of May 2015, an estimated 13,840 police officers were employed in the greater Washington DC metro area.2
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department
300 Indiana Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What types of Washington DC police jobs are there?
Answer: The MPDC serves and protects the US capitol, and as such has many specialized units with unique responsibilities for seasoned officers. These include the Civil Rights and Force Investigations Branch, the Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit, the Security Officers Management Branch, and the Criminal Interdiction Unit.
Question: How much do DC police officers make?
Answer: As of 2015, the average salary for Washington DC police officers was $67,760 per year.2
Question: How do I apply for a position as a Washington DC police officer?
Answer: The first step to becoming a District of Columbia police officer is visiting the MPDC website to fill out a job interest card.
1. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department: https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/salary-and-benefits
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_47894.htm