Detroit Police Department Officer Requirements

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The Detroit Police Department (DPD) is tasked with protecting and serving the approximately 677,000 citizens in the city of Detroit.1 Detroit’s patrol districts are divided into 12 precincts, within each of which are long-term Neighborhood Patrol Officers (NPOs) who are assigned to specific neighborhoods located within that precinct. Other community-focused policing programs within the department include the Citizens Police Academy, Clergy Advisory Board, and an expanding Cease Fire program.

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Steps to Becoming a DPD Officer

  • Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).

  • Complete a preliminary background check.

  • Appear in person at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters to submit a preliminary application to become a police officer.

  • Pass the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) reading and writing test.

  • Pass the MCOLES physical agility test.

  • Attend an orientation session and submit a formal application.

  • Pass the comprehensive background check and drug test.

  • Attend an oral board interview.

  • Take a psychological written exam and interview.

  • Pass the medical exam.

  • Attend a field orientation.

  • Complete police academy training.

  • Begin working as a Detroit police officer.

How to Become a Detroit, Michigan Police Officer

To become a Detroit police officer, applicants must first meet the requirements outlined below. Those who meet preliminary requirements may proceed to an intensive application process that includes a physical agility exam and pre-employment written test. Candidates must attend two orientation sessions and complete a formal interview. Candidates must also pass a comprehensive background check as well as psychological and medical evaluations. Successful applicants are then invited to complete recruit training at the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy.

Detroit Police Officer Job Description

The role of Detroit police officers is protecting and serving the people of Detroit. Officers do this by enforcing laws, including traffic codes, and assisting the public in times of crisis. Police officers new to the Detroit PD are generally assigned to patrol within a specific precinct, and may become Neighborhood Patrol Officers or NPOs. NPOs work to develop community relationships and address quality of life issues within their assigned neighborhoods and are a first-line non-emergency contact for community members. After earning patrol experience, officers can specialize in different areas of law enforcement, such as the detective unit, bomb squad, mounted unit, or marine unit.

Detroit Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

In order to qualify to work as a Detroit police officer, an applicant must first meet the following requirements: be 18 years of age, be a US citizen, have a high school diploma or GED, have 20/20 vision (or vision corrected to 20/20), possess a valid Michigan driver’s license and responsible driving record, and have a record free of any felony convictions (even if expunged). Accepted candidates who complete the screening process then complete basic training at the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy.

Basic training consists of a minimum of 19 weeks of instruction. The curriculum includes physical conditioning as well as training in defensive tactics, first aid, criminal law and procedure, and other integral policing skills. Once basic training is completed, recruits must pass the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Final Certification Exam to be sworn into the DPD.

Detroit Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

Officers with the Detroit Police Department typically begin at a base salary of $36,900.2 The starting salary can be higher depending on education and previous experience. After completing the 19-week basic training course, officers receive a $1,000 pay increase.2 Officers also receive annual step increases during their first five years on the force. There are opportunities for additional earnings such as longevity pay, shift differentials (for afternoon and midnight shifts), off-duty court appearances, and overtime. Officers also receive comprehensive health insurance benefits and paid time off, and may be eligible for tuition reimbursement after one year of service. As of 2015, the average salary for police officers in the greater Detroit metro area was $61,210.3

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Contact Information

Detroit Police Department
1301 3rd St
Detroit, MI 48226

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does the Detroit Police Department have an internship program for future cadets?

    Answer: Yes. The Detroit Police Department offers internship and junior-level training opportunities for future criminal justice professionals such as the High School Police Academy and the Collegiate Internship Program. You can find more information by visiting the Detroit Police Department website.

  • Do you need to have a college degree to work as a police officer with the Detroit Police Department?

    Answer: While a post-secondary education in law enforcement is an asset and may give applicants a competitive edge against those without a degree, it is not required. However, the DPD pays a 2% salary incentive to officers who have at least two years of college credit at the time of hire.

  • What types of police jobs are available in Detroit?

    Answer: After earning experience in patrol, officers may follow a variety of law enforcement career tracks with the Detroit PD, including advanced tactical assignments, crime analysis, and gang investigation and prevention.

1. US Census Bureau, Detroit:
2. Detroit Police Department:
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Detroit:

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