Police Officers are first to appear on the crime scene, which is why they are also called the first responders. Providing emergency services, it is their responsibility to respond to calls and investigate criminal activities. Police officers in the District of Columbia are required to patrol assigned areas, protect life and property by enforcing laws and regulations, and conduct thorough investigation of criminals and traffic violators.
To become a police officer in District of Columbia, DC minimum education requirement is high school diploma or equivalent

Featured Programs and Schools in 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
Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Verbal and Written Communication Skills, Observational Skills, Fast Thinker, Adaptability/Decisiveness, Physical Fitness, Integrity, Courage, Mental Agility, Community Knowledge, Honesty and Good Judgment, Perseverance and Initiative, and Logical Reasoning Skills
Annual Mean Salary – District of Columbia, DC (2021) $92,390 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – District of Columbia, DC (2018-2028) 0% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*Net Online

Steps 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

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

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

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

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

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

O*Net Online forecasts a 0% increase in employment opportunities for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in District of Columbia, DC between 2018 and 2028. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 7%. $92,390 was the mean annual salary of police officers in District of Columbia, DC as per BLS in 2021. Below are the top 5 highest paying states for this occupation in the US in 2021.

State Annual Mean Wage 
California $102,920
Washington $92,390
New Jersey $91,690
Alaska $87,510
Illinois $82,800

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

Similarly, states with the highest employment level in police and sheriff’s patrol officers are also as follows:

State Employment 
California 70,050
Texas 60,440
New York 49,910
Florida 45,360
Illinois 30,640

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

Police Officer Career Outlook in Washington, D.C.

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.

You May Like

How to Become a Police Officer in Arkansas
How to Become a Police Officer in Kentucky
How to Become a Police Officer in Wyoming