The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is among the 10 biggest police units in the United States and is the primary law enforcement entity for the District of Columbia. With its 4,000 sworn members and about 600 civilian staff members, the MPD works round the clock to maintain law and order in the district. The mission of MPD is “to safeguard the District of Columbia and protect its residents and visitors with the highest regard for the sanctity of human life,” the MPD is a highly efficient law enforcement agency.

How to Become a District of Columbia Police Officer
How to Become a District of Columbia Police Officer

How to Become a District of Columbia Police Officer

The process of becoming a police officer in District of Columbia can last for around 4 to 6 months. Following are the steps involved in this process.

Step 1: Fill out the online interest card to start your application.

Step 2: Attend the in-person MPD Prospect Day which includes the following stages:

  • Body fat screening.
  • Physical ability assessment.
  • Screening of documents.
  • Photographs and collection of fingerprints.
  • Candidates who successfully complete these 4 stages will be eligible to sit for the National Testing Network FrontLine National Written Exam. Those who have taken the FrontLine National Written Exam at any time in the past 1 year will be exempted from doing so on MPD Prospect Day.

Step 3: Fill out the Personal History Statement on the online system “eSOPH” to initiate a background investigation. This includes checks on any possible criminal records, social media, employment history, references, etc.

Step 4: Clear a polygraph test.

Step 5: Undertake a thorough background investigation.

Step 6: Undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation.

Step 7: Gain MPD approval and review.

Requirements to Become a District of Columbia Police Officer

In order to become a police officer in the District of Columbia, you must fulfill the following criteria.

  • Be a legitimate citizen of the United States, either through naturalization or by birth.
  • Be at least 21 years old. This is for the time of appointment. You can initiate your application process when you are 20 and a half years old.
  • Have a 20/100 vision at least which should be correctable to 20/30 (in both eyes).
    Candidates are allowed to wear contact lenses. However, they have to be worn for not more than 6 months or, in case of Lasik-type surgery, not more than 6 weeks before the examination takes place.
  • Have a valid driver’s license at the time of applying.
  • Willing to undergo a medical assessment, psychological evaluation, polygraph test and thorough background checks.
  • Possess any one of the following:
    • Completed 60 college credit hours (from an accredited college or university) in any degree program.
    • Active service for at least 2 years in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Organized Reserves, with an honorable discharge.
    • A minimum of 3-year service with a police department in any municipality or state of America with resignation/retirement in good standing.

Duration to Become a Police Officer in District of Columbia

It takes about 6 months to complete training at the Memphis Police Department Training Academy. All in all, the whole process of becoming a police officer in the District of Columbia (from applying to the completion of training) can take up to 2 years.

District of Columbia Police Officer Salary

The annual salary for a rookie police officer in District of Columbia is $58,163 per year. Once the 18-month probation period is successfully completed, the annual salary increases to $61,035 per year. Furthermore, if you become a top step officer, you can earn $106,742 annually.