The Requirements to Join the NYPD

The New York Police Department is the largest police force in the United States. Employment as an NYPD officer offers a number of benefits such as paid vacations, medical insurance and an optional retirement after 22 years of service. The NYPD also offers promotional opportunities as well as educational benefits to employees. The requirements to join the NYPD are similar to those of most metropolitan law enforcement agencies.

Written Exam Requirements

All applicants for a position with the NYPD must first complete a written examination that is designed to test mental acuity, cognitive ability and observational skills. In order to sit for the examination, an applicant must be at least 17 and one-half years old but not have reached his 35th birthday. An exception to the age limit is made for those with active U.S. military service by allowing them to take the exam up to the age of 41 years old. The exam is offered six days a week in Brooklyn and Manhattan. No pre-registration is required. A fee is required when taking the examination.

General Employment Requirements

A candidate for a position with the NYPD must be a U.S. citizen and must be 21 years old on, or before, the date of employment. A valid New York driver's license is required and the candidate must live in one of the five burroughs or a surrounding county. The educational requirements call for the candidate to have completed 60 credit hours of college with a 2.0 grade point average, or to have a high school diploma or equivalent along with two years of active military service with an honorable discharge. A character and background investigation will be completed as well as drug and alcohol screening.

Possible Reasons for Disqualification

Certain criminal convictions will disqualify an applicant from employment with the NYPD. A conviction for a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison, usually a felony, or a conviction for petit larceny or domestic violence will disqualify a candidate. In addition, repeat offenses that tend to show a basic disregard for the law, violent tendencies, or poor moral character may also disqualify an applicant. A dishonorable discharge from the military or a discharge from employment based on unacceptable behavior can also lead to disqualification.

Application Process

The written test is the first step toward employment as a NYPD officer. A list of eligible applicants is then passed on to the NYPD for a pre-hire interview. After the pre-hire interview, a candidate must take a complete physical and written psychological examination. A Job Standard Test, or timed physical agility test, is next, followed by an oral psychological examination. The final step is a complete background and character investigation by the NYPD before an offer of employment can be extended to the candidate.

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