To become a police officer in Massachusetts, all applicants must first receive an endorsement to enroll in one of the state’s many police academies. There are over 16,000 police officers actively employed in the state, and each member of the police force receives training from the extensive network of academies. This network has ten different academies that are accredited to provide basic training to new recruits. Cadets are accepted on a space-available basis, and most entry-level police are sponsored by hiring agencies or other branches of the police force. The type of person that is best suited for police work is not just looking for a comfortable wage; all officers are expected to hold themselves to extremely high standards in regards to physical condition, moral fiber, and the quality of their public service.
The main qualifications required to become a police officer are a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, citizenship in the U.S., and all applicants must be at least 21 years old. Without sponsorship, applicants must first contact a municipal police chief or a University of Massachusetts police chief. If you are already sponsored, the hiring agency will assist with the application process. Cadets are screened along several different parameters. A written test evaluates applicants’ understanding of police protocol and civil rights. Physical condition is also extremely important and health screenings are conducted to eliminate cadets with health complications that may prevent them from completing basic training or performing their regular duties as an officer. Fitness tests are required and cadets will be judged based on their strength, endurance, and speed. Background checks are also conducted, and financial histories and criminal backgrounds are heavily scrutinized. A poor credit score may eliminate an applicant from the pool of cadets. Further, any applicant convicted of a felony will not be permitted into basic, and some misdemeanors will also be grounds for denial, including domestic violence or drug-related charges.
Popular Police Training Academies
There are ten options for police academy training in Massachusetts. There are six regional police academies, four municipal academies, and one center for state troopers, the Massachusetts State Police Academy. The regional police academies are the Western Massachusetts Regional Police Academy, Bolyston Regional Police Academy, Randolph Regional Police Academy, New Bedford Regional Police Academy, Plymouth Regional Academy, and Reading Regional Police Academy. These institutions can provide basic training to cadets that will be stationed nearby, though it is possible to transfer districts. For basic training in the Boston area, cadets must enroll in the Boston Police Academy. The MBTA Transit Police Academy is another academy that provides a specific subset of police training, allowing cadets to oversee and protect the many different public transport routes and stops in the Massachusetts Bay area. There is a specific test required for this subset of police training, called the Civil Service Entry Level Police Officer Test.