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Recruiting Division FAQ Page

Do I qualify?

You must be at least 21 years of age, a United States citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and have completed 60 college credits; or you must have 2 years of active duty military with an honorable discharge (if applicable); or you must have 3 years of prior police (full service department) experience.

Does MPD have a maximum age limit?

No.  However, under current DC law, a sworn officer has to retire at 64 years of age.

How much will I be paid?

The starting salary is $55,362 per year, effective October 2, 2016.  You will receive this on your first day of employment while in the academy.  After successful completion of the 18 month probationary period, members earn $60,571.

When will I be paid?

You will begin earning your full salary upon entering the Academy.

Does MPD help to pay for expenses or defray costs of travel and/or any other expenses?

MPD does not provide travel reimbursement for traveling to mass processing, polygraph examination or the medical/psychological evaluation.

Is there a cost to apply?

At this time, there is no cost to apply. However, each applicant is responsible for paying $49 to take the written multiple-choice test.

As of June 24, 2016, any new applicant to the Metropolitan Police Department who is a resident of the District of Columbia will be reimbursed the total cost of the FrontLine National Exam within thirty days of taking the exam.

As of June 24, 2016, any new applicant to the Metropolitan Police Department who takes the FrontLine National Exam at any of the four testing locations in the District of Columbia will be reimbursed $25 within thirty days of taking the exam.

If I can’t afford to pay for the entry-level test what can I do?

You may complete and submit a hardship voucher form located here: .  The test is available throughout the country, thus minimizing the need to travel to Washington, DC to take an assessment.    

Will I be paid more for having a degree?


When can I retire?

Sworn members are eligible for retirement after 25 years of service with MPD at any age.

I speak more than one language. Can I get more money?

Yes, MPD has a language stipend program. Upon successfully passing a foreign language test that emphasizes conversation skills-you will receive a language stipend of $50 per pay period or $1,300 per year in additional pay.  This can be earned while you are in the academy.

Does MPD offer a Tuition Reimbursement program?

Yes.  You may seek reimbursement up to $800 per semester, with a maximum allowance of $2,400 per academic year.  Further, you must maintain a C average.  You can begin receiving this benefit upon hire.

I have a security clearance. Will I be hired faster?

No.  MPD will conduct its own background investigation whether you have a clearance or not.

Does MPD have a tattoo policy?

Yes, tattoos that are offensive cannot be visible to the public.

I have an arrest on my record, am I eligible to become a police officer?

Please see the list of automatic disqualifiers to see what arrests would make you ineligible if not expunged.  Further, it is recommended that an applicant have any arrest expunged before moving forward in the application process. 

I have done drugs.  Can I still be an MPD police officer?

All applicants are encouraged to give a complete, accurate and truthful history of drug usage.

I work for another police department. Can I transfer to MPD?

You may be eligible through our Experience Officer Program.

I am in the military. How can I start the process of applying to become an MPD police officer if I have not yet received my DD-214?

You can still begin the process.  However, the DD-214 must be provided to the Recruiting Division before you can be hired

I am currently active duty in the military.  When should I apply?

Although there is no way to predict the actual length of time the application process can take about three months from the end of your active duty time may be a good time to apply.

Does MPD honor Military Service Commitments?

Yes.  When you are scheduled for military training, you will be requested to present a copy of your orders to your commanding official(s).  Please keep in mind that any commitment that you must fulfill during your time in the academy would cause you to be placed with a different academy class other than the one you started with upon your return from service.

Does MPD pay relocation costs?

No, MPD does not offer relocation incentives.

What is the body fat percentage for males and females?

Males: less than 30% at mass processing and 28% at medical.
Females: less than 36% at mass processing and 34% at medical.

Do I need to reside in District of Columbia in order to be an MPD police officer?

No.  There are no restrictions on residency preferences.  MPD police officers live wherever they want. Each MPD officer is responsible for reporting to work on time regardless of where they live.

How many times will I have to visit the Washington Metropolitan area during the process?

You will be required to visit the Washington metropolitan area approximately three times.  Those times will be for Mass Applicant Processing Day, polygraph testing, and the psychological/medical evaluation.

How long is the selection process from the time I apply to the time I am hired?

The entire selection process may take up to six months but this estimated time depends on various factors.  The number of times an applicant has moved or the number of different states that an applicant has lived in could lengthen the process; or a lengthy work history could also lengthen the process.  Your response to requests from your background investigator and meeting any deadlines or appointment will also play a role in how long the process will take.

What if I do not have all my documents required for Mass Applicant Processing Day?

We require that you bring the requested documents with you for mass processing.  If you are unable to obtain a copy of your official college transcript we will ask that you bring an unofficial copy with you and provide the original within 10 days of completing mass processing.  If you have any expungements, those documents must be provided on the date of mass processing.

What is the Written Examination?

There are three components to the FrontLine Testing System: a video-based human relations test, a reading ability test and a report writing test. Testing takes approximately 2 hours.

Where is the academy located?

The academy is located within Washington, D.C. at 4665 Blue Plains Drive, SW.

When is the next academy class?

Currently, we have one academy class starting each month.

When I’m in the Academy do I live there?

No, MPD does not offer a residency program.  

How long is the academy?

MPD's Academy includes approximately 24 weeks of intensive academic and physical skills training including two weeks of firearms training, one week of civil disturbance training, one week of vehicle skills training, and officer survival skills training.

Do I need prior law enforcement training?

No, we will equip you with the skills and training that you will need upon graduating from the academy.

Where will I be assigned?

At the conclusion of your academy training, you will be assigned to one of the seven patrol districts.  You will be provided an opportunity to request what district you would like to go to, but the final decision will be based on the needs of the department.

How do I become a detective, Sergeant, ERT member, K9 member, or a member of another type of specialized unit?

Each specialized unit has different requirements to include the length of time on the department.  For example, to be eligible for detective, you must have three years, but to become a sergeant, you must have five years before taking the promotional exam. Constant hard work and dedication to the job, along with a high degree of self-motivation, will serve those who seek promotion. 

Have More Questions?

Email [email protected], or, if you have questions regarding any matters personal in nature please contact us directly toll-free at (800) 994-MPDC (6732); or, in the Washington area, at (202) 645-0445. You may also visit the Recruitment Outreach Unit located at 101 M Street, SW, Washington, DC, 20024

Chief Lanier



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