Police Officer Requirements – District of Columbia

Entry-Level Minimum Requirements

MPD is a force composed of the city’s finest. To qualify for the position of Police Officer, you must:

  • Be a US citizen at the time of application
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Possess at least 20/100 vision, correctable to 20/30 in both eyes (contacts are permitted, but must be worn for six (6) months or Lasik-type surgery at least six (6) weeks prior to examination)
  • Pass a written test
  • Pass a physical ability test
  • Submit to a polygraph examination
  • Pass a medical examination, including a drug-screening test (blood, urine, and hair), and being of proportionate height and weight as measured by percentage of body fat
  • Pass a psychological examination
  • Possess a high moral character for carrying out law enforcement duties
  • Possess a valid driver’s license at the time of application
  • Have one of the following:
    • Successfully completed at least 60 semester hours of college credit — essentially the equivalent of two years of higher education with coursework in any subject matter. Credits from any accredited college or university will be accepted; or
    • Served in the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Organized Reserves and National Guard, for at least three years on active duty and, if separated from the military, have received an honorable discharge; or
    • Have served at least five years in a full-duty status with a full-service police department in a municipality or a state within the United States, and have resigned or retired in good standing.

Obligated Service

A candidate for appointment to the MPD must agree to serve a minimum of two years as a sworn member upon successful completion of the initial training program.

Police Officer Selection Process

The police officer background investigation process can take four-six months for completion. The selection process follows the following steps:

  1. Fill out an initial job application online
  2. Upon completion of the initial application all applicants will receive a list of upcoming new candidate orientation dates. Applicants must RSVP to one orientation date
  3. Attend a new candidate orientation
  4. Complete online qualifications survey within 72 hours of new candidate orientation
  5. Applicant processing day
  6. Physical ability test
  7. Written examination
  8. Writing sample
  9. Applicant screening and document collection
  10. Fingerprinting
  11. Background investigation (criminal checks, references, employment, social media checks, etc.)
  12. Polygraph examination
  13. Medical and psychological evaluation
  14. Review and approval