Police Officer Requirements – New York

New York Civil Service Law and the Municipal Police Training Council

Most written examinations for Entry-level Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff prepared by the New York State Department of Civil Service and administered by municipal civil service agencies for local jurisdictions are offered each November.

What are the minimum qualifications needed in order to participate in a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?

Minimum training and experience necessary to participate in examinations does vary from location to location. Please refer to the examination announcement for each agency participating in the examination to determine the minimum qualifications for that jurisdiction.


There are several qualifications/ standards that have been set forth by Section 58 of theCivil Service Law and the Municipal Police Training Council that must be met in order to participate in an examination for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff. They are as follows:

  • Age: not less than 20 at the time of appointment nor more than 35 as of date of written examination. It is recommended that candidates be not less than 19 on the date of the examination;
  • Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma;
  • Medical and physical fitness requirements are set by the New York -State Municipal Police Training Council and must be met prior to appointment;
  • Municipal civil service agencies may establish other additional or higher qualifications than those listed above, so you must closely review the announcement for the examination where you are interested in being employed.

Residency Requirements
Municipal civil service agencies may require residency requirements to participate in law enforcement examinations. You should carefully review the examination announcement to verify if you meet the residency requirements for a particular examination before filing and paying your application fee. Any questions regarding residency must be addressed to the municipal civil service agency that has jurisdiction.

Age Limits
New York State’s maximum age for employing law enforcement officers was enacted by the New York State Legislature in April 1999. Section 58 of Civil Service Law was amended to establish a maximum age limit of not more than 35 years of age for provisional or permanent appointment as a competitive class Police Officer or Deputy Sheriff. The maximum age established in Section 58 requires the candidate must not have reached his/her 35th birthday on or before the date of the written examination.

The age requirement for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff in New York State is in conformance with the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The exemption allows states to establish age requirements for positions such as Police Officer and Deputy Sheriff.

Is there any circumstance which would allow an extension or a waiver to the age requirement?
Candidates who are veterans of the armed forces may have time spent on military duty, up to a maximum of six years, as defined in Section 243 (10-a)of the Military Law, deducted from their age for purposes of determining whether they meet the age requirement. Beyond this exemption for Veterans there is no ability for a municipal civil service agency or the New York State Civil Service Commission to provide a waiver to the age requirements.