How to Become a Police Officer in Maryland

Cadets who want to learn more about how to become a police officer in Maryland should know that the most promising and reward career choice (with many openings at this current point of writing) is the police officer position.

The common standards applicable throughout the state include having an American citizenship, possessing a valid driver’s license, being at least 20 years old (and not exceeding 59), having an excellent physical condition and being of good reputation, integrity and morally sound. Depending on the police academy where the candidate will apply, additional requirements may be included.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Maryland

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Has a high school diploma or GED.
  • A valid driver’s license from any state.
  • In excellent physical condition.
  • Applicants should have good moral character.
  • Must be at least 20 years old and not over 59 years old.

Potential Dis-qualifiers

  • A driving record exceeding 3 points.
  • Use of illegal drugs or narcotics 3 years prior to application.
  • Domestic violence conviction.

Vision Requirements

  • Must have binocular visual acuity (both near and far) of 20/20 (both corrected and uncorrected).

The Orientation Phase

The orientation phase is typically held by members of the recruitment staff and it comprises of presentations (video and lectures) and discussions on what the job implies. The orientation presentations are usually announced by the Maryland State Police and hence, applicants are highly advised to check their website before attending.

Despite the fact that this is an open house presentation, so as to speak, candidates are asked to wear the appropriate business attire.

Functional Fitness Assessment Test

After the orientation phase, interested parties can file in applications for reviewing and gaining acceptance to the FFAT (Functional Fitness Assessment Test).

On a side note, the approved cadets will generally receive a FFAT invitation one week after submitting the application.

This test has the role of evaluation the fitness level of the future cadet and because it implies an intense aerobic and anaerobic evaluation, there will be no breaks between the exercises.

The exercises based on which the candidate will be evaluated include:

  • Push-ups (at least 18 in 1 minute)
  • Flexibility (reaching about 1.5 inches beyond the toes while being seated)
  • Sit-ups (minimum 27 within 1 minute)
  • 1.5 mile run (completed in a maximum of 15’20’’)

The Application Process

Passing the FFAT qualifies the aspiring cadet for the next step of the evaluation, namely the application review.

In short, all applicants who have proven themselves physically fit to join the police force will receive an application package (and the necessary instructions on how to fill it correctly).

It is necessary to point out that the application needs to be submitted to the Maryland Recruitment and Selection Unit within a maximum 30 days after receiving it. However, if a candidate cannot submit his application in the specified time, he can always ask for an extension by forwarding a formal request to the Recruitment Unit.

Maryland Police Training Academy

Accepted cadets will have to complete a 25-week program of intense and rigorous training, usually at the Maryland State Police Training Academy.

In addition to firearms and physical training, Maryland cadets will also need to take on college level courses, as they are a mandatory part of training.

After successfully graduating from the academy, police officers will be working under the direct supervision of certified officers for a given period (which depends on the distinct requirements imposed by individual police departments in Maryland).

For more information on becoming a police officer in Maryland, visit the department of Maryland state police website or call (410) 875-3920.

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

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