If you have made up your mind to join the police force in your state, then you have come to the right place. Go ahead and read this guide that explains how to become a police officer in the District of Columbia.

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

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in District of Columbia

In order to be eligible to apply, the candidate has to fulfill the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be a US citizen
  • The applicant must be 20.5 years of age or older at the time of application and 21 at the time of appointment
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • The applicant should have completed 60 semester hours of college credit
  • Should possess a good moral character
  • Should be physically and mentally fit

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in District of Columbia?

The process is long and may take a couple of months to complete. It consists of the following steps:

  1. Submit the Application
    1. The applicants are required to submit the completed application along with the necessary documentation. They will be asked to attach the following documents with the application packet: birth certificate or proof of citizenship and/or naturalization paperwork, proof of educational qualifications (transcripts/degrees) and complete employment records.

      1. Clear the Exams
        1. The shortlisted applicants will also have to appear for the written and physical test. The physical exam will require the candidates to perform a number of physical tasks such as obstacle run, suspect drag, stair climb and fence climb.

          1. Document Screening
            1. An investigator will review the candidates’ documents and discuss with them several aspects of their background. This is done to check whether the candidate’s application has accurate information. Even minor violations can lead to disqualification.

              1. Interview and Background checks
                1. Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed to assess their potential. These candidates will also have to undergo an extensive background check. This process involves a criminal history check, reference check and employment check. You will also have to appear for a psychological assessment, polygraph test, drug screening and medical check.

                  1. Appointment
                    1. The shortlisted applicants are then handed the offer letters and are sent to the Police Training Academy where they are taught a number of courses related to Report Writing, Use of Fire Arms, Criminal Law and Patrol Operations etc.

                      Salary of Police Officers in District of Columbia

                      According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in District of Columbia earned an annual mean wage of $74,940 in May 2018. Thus this profession is lucrative.

                      Career Outlook

                      As per the data reported by O*Net Online, the employment of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in the District of Columbia will grow by 2% from 2016 to 2026. It is predicted that the annual job openings in this period will amount to 390.