How to Become a Boston Police Officer

There are two ways to become a Boston police officer – first by passing the Civil Service Exam which is held every 2 years or second, by being part of a Cadet Program. Aside from that make sure you meet the qualifications before taking any tests.

Minimum Requirements

  • Needs to be a U.S. citizen (naturalized or by birth)
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Has a high school diploma or G.E.D. or…
  • served a minimum of three years in the military and has an honorable discharge
  • Must have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license

Preference will be given to individuals who…

  • are residents within the city of Boston
  • are children or siblings of fallen police officers
  • have served in the Boston Police Cadet unit
  • are part of certain racial or ethnic background


Step 1:

Applicants will have to go through an orientation session were they will get important information about the employment process, during this time application packets will be given to each candidate. Instructions on how to fill up the application and documents they need to bring will be given as well. Prospective applicants will also be given to opportunity to ask questions about the the process and it is highly encouraged!

Step 2:

Individuals who attended the orientation will be scheduled for an interview. Remember to bring the application pack and other required documents during this stage. An investigator will conduct the interview as well as the background investigation. Applicants must remember to keep the contact information of the investigator on record should they have any questions regarding about the background investigation process, they can contact them any time.

Step 3:

Applicants will go through a background investigation soon after the interview. Remember that all past records will be checked including the person’s employment, driving, credit and criminal records. The investigator will also talk to people who have come in contact or have been associated with or are related to the applicant such as their friends, siblings, former co-workers or employees.

Step 4:

The Boston Police Department’s Occupational Health Services Unit will do a series of medical and psychological tests on prospective cops to determine if they are fit enough physically and mentally to be a cop. These tests include:

  • Hair sample drug and steroid testing
  • Psychological test and screening
  • Medical exam

Step 5:

Candidates who passed all medical screening tests will then have to successfully complete the PAT or the Physical Abilities Test, take note that participants will need to pay $150.00 fee to take part of this event.

The PAT includes the following:

  • Obstacle course – participants will have to go through an obstacle course simulating a real life suspect chase.
  • Trigger pull event – participants will raise and squeeze the trigger of a handgun six times on each hand, time limit is 7.1 seconds.
  • Separation event – participants need to pull a hanging bag backward, touching it on the ground across a marked line. Needs to be completed within 14.2 seconds, this event simulates crowd control situations.
  • Dummy drag – participants will have to drag a dummy over a straight course and should be completed in 11 seconds, this simulates dragging a victim or suspect.

Step 6

Individuals who’ve successfully completed the PAT will attend the New Hire Orientation by which they’ll be given final offers of employment. Staff of the academies are also present in this event to give new hires’ a glimpse of what’s life like in the police academy.

Step 7:

All new hires will have to go through a rigorous training program in the Boston Police Academy which will last for 6 months. The training includes:

  • Constitutional law
  • Self defense
  • Weapons training
  • Criminal law
  • Crisis intervention
  • Physical training
  • Defensive driving
  • First responders training

For more information on becoming a police officer in Boston, visit Boston police department website or call (617) 343-4677.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Boston.

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