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How To Become A Police Officer In Philadelphia

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Is 48 Years Old Too Old To Become A Police Officer

Philadelphia Police Begin Training Again For First Time Since Pandemic


Dont write off your dreams of being a police officer just because youre over 30. Though some police departments have a maximum age for new recruits, others will be consider your candidacy even if youre in your 40s. But carefully consider if entering law enforcement in middle age is the best choice for you.

Cities And Police Departments Near Philadelphia

About 14,000 police and sheriffs patrol officers work in the Philadelphia metropolitan corridor, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.5 In addition to urban police departments like that serving Philadelphia, the area is home to several suburban departments offering career opportunities. The below table provides information on police employment and crime statistics for selected area cities.


Delaware Sheriff Deputy Requirements

Delaware has the fewest number of counties of any state in the US, with only three: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. As provided for by the state legislature, each county may set its own requirements for sheriffs deputies. However, county sheriffs in Delaware, unlike in most other areas, do not have the same law enforcement duties and powers as other law enforcement officials. In 2012, this was codified in law by the passage of House Bill #325, which clarifies that sheriffs and sheriffs deputies in Delaware do not have arrest authority. Instead, the focus of sheriffs offices in Delaware is largely administrative.

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Philadelphia Police Department Information

The Philadelphia PD is divided into 22 districts, each headed by a captain. These districts are further divided into six police divisions . Like many big cities, Philadelphia has a number of special units such as the harbor patrol, SWAT Team, K-9 squad, and a community relations unit. PPD officers begin their careers in patrol and are eligible to take the corporal or detective exams after one year of service and the sergeants exam after two years of service.

While the Philadelphia Police Department has not been placed under a federal consent decree, the Department of Justice did find in 2015 that the PPD was engaging in inappropriate use of force and lacked adequate training and transparent review processes.4 The DOJ report led to reforms in the department, including enhanced recruit and in-service training, which has lead to a steady decline in police-involved shootings.3

The department is actively invested in the communities that it serves and has a number of community programs that facilitate a strong bond between the police and Philly neighborhoods. The Police Athletic League, the Explorer Cadet Program, the Youth Police Camp, and the popular Heads-up Program are four of its most popular community programs.

Icipate In Field Training

Police Officer Tab Ali, Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

After graduating from a training academy, you can complete your field training. Field training involves working with an experienced officer, known as a field training officer, to grow your skills and prepare you for your position in law enforcement. You may observe them as they perform standard policing tasks and you may assist them in various situations, including arrests and traffic stops. The number of required field hours that you may complete can vary depending on the police department. Generally, the field training officer determines when youâre ready to work independently as an officer.

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Entry And Promotion Qualifications

In most countries, candidates for the police force must have completed some formal education. Increasing numbers of people joining the police possess tertiary education qualifications and in response to this, many police forces have developed a “fast-track” scheme whereby those with university degrees spend two to three years as a Constable before receiving promotion to higher ranks, such as Sergeants or Inspectors. Police officers are also recruited from those with experience in the military or security services. In the United States, state laws may codify statewide qualification standards regarding age, education, criminal record, and training but in other countries requirements are set by local police agencies. Each local Police agency has different requirements.

Promotion is not automatic and usually requires the candidate to pass some kind of examination, interview board or other selection procedure. Although promotion normally includes an increase in salary, it also brings with it an increase in responsibility and for most, an increase in administrative paperwork. There is no stigma in shunning promotion, as experienced line patrol officers are highly regarded.

Dependent upon each agency, but generally after completing two years of service, officers may apply for specialist positions, such as detective, police dog handler, mounted police officer, motorcycle officer, water police officer, or firearms officer .

A New Police Role: Prevention

In 1856, Mayor Robert T. Conrad described the purpose of the new Police Department as prevention. Rather than wait patiently until crime was committed, the police would commit to overspreading and guarding the whole community. Philadelphia police focused mainly on public-order offenses like drunkenness and vagrancy. Most street policing was done by officers walking the beat. In 1889, the department purchased ninety-three horses to supplement foot patrol. Sixty years later, the force switched to automobiles.

The departments stance on race and ethnicity also changed over time. In the mid-1850s, when nativist politicians controlled city government, native birth was a condition of employment for police. Nativism proved short-lived, but the prejudice held. It was not until the turn of the century, when one out of every four city residents was foreign-born, that the department began hiring Irish and Italian immigrants. In 1884, Mayor Samuel G. King appointed the first black officer by 1896, the force had sixty black officers, assigned mainly to predominantly black neighborhoods. However, whites dominated the force until the 1970s, and they used their power to harass racial minorities. A 1926 study found that police considered African Americans easy prey for illegal arrests. A survey from 1952 showed a similar pattern of police misconduct and harassment against African Americans and mixed-race social gatherings.

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Police Officer In Philadelphia Pa Jobs

Job Title
Camden County Department of Corrections Camden, NJ
Jefferson – Center City, Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA
Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia United States
Middlesex County Department of Corrections North Brunswick, NJ

Preparing For A Police Officer Career: Find The Right Environment

Viral Video of Officer Confronting Man Leads to Philly Police Investigation

When an aspiring police officer chooses to go to school to obtain formal education, a world of possibilities opens up. Here are some of the potential places where the certificate or degree can be earned.

Vocational/Trade School

Some vocational or trade schools have certificate programs that may count towards college credit, such as for a future associate or bachelors degree. Some might offer associate degrees. Vocational or trade schools can provide a way to save money on college costs while receiving necessary college course instruction.


Military experience is well regarded by law enforcement agencies and police departments. Familiarity with firearms, mental toughness, physical conditioning, discipline and an understanding of command structure and culture are all benefits that come with hiring a recruit with military experience.

Community College

Community colleges provide multiple options for students who want to become police officers. Students can complete their associate degree in two years or a certificate in a few months. As an added bonus, many community colleges allow credits earned in a certificate program to go towards an associate degree.

Law Enforcement School

4-year schools

Departments that require a bachelors degree are often found at the federal level. However, even if a four-year degree isnt required, getting a bachelors degree can be a prudent decision: it can increase the chances of getting hired and promoted.

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Philadelphia Police Officer Requirements

Becoming a police officer in Philadelphia requires candidates to fulfill a number of eligibility standards as well as quite a few administrative steps. To meet the initial qualifications, candidates must:

  • Be at least 22 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a US citizen
  • Hold a valid drivers license
  • Be or become a resident of Philadelphia within six months of hire
  • Not have any felony convictions or convictions for disqualifying misdemeanors

The process to become a Philadelphia cop begins by filling out the application during an open recruiting period. Qualified applicants may be invited to an orientation, followed by a reading comprehension exam. Next, all potential officers must pass the physical fitness and agility exam that consists of a 300-meter run, sit-ups, bench press according to body weight, and a 1.5-mile run. In the next stage, prospective recruits will be subjected to an extensive background check and are required to take a medical examination and drug screening as well as a psychological evaluation and a polygraph exam. Top-performing applicants will be selected to attend the police academy for training.

During the testing process, those who are military veterans and relatives of veteran Philly police officers may be eligible for preference points that add to their cumulative score in the hiring process. There are also added preference points for those who have bachelors and/or masters degrees.3

Probationary Police Officer Lower Merion Township Police Department Montgomery County Pa

The Lower Merion Police Department will be accepting applications for the position of Probationary Police Officer beginning Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. There is a $30.00 application fee. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 4, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.

Applications are available online at:

The written test will be conducted on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. at the Lower Merion High School Cafeteria . The physical fitness test will be conducted on Sunday, November 13, 2022 beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Harriton High School running track .

2022 Salary:

  • $71,675 Hired without Act 120 Training
  • $80,350 Hired with Act 120 Training
  • $114,180 Current 2022 salary for Senior Police Officer


  • 2 weeks after 1 year
  • 3 weeks after 5 years
  • 4 weeks after 11 years
  • 5 weeks after 19 years


  • Tuition reimbursement up to $1,000 per year for pre-approved courses

Civil Service Requirements:

  • United States citizen
  • Must be at least 21 years of age at the date of filing application
  • High school graduate or GED and have 60 college credits at the date of filing application

5 years full-time experience as a municipal or state police officer

  • Must pass any and all written and/or oral examinations
  • Must pass physical agility test
  • Must pass physical and psychological examinations
  • Must be of good moral character and pass extensive background investigation
  • Must have a valid operators license No in-state residency requirement

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Delaware Trooper Or Highway Patrol Requirements

The Delaware State Police has one of the highest officer-to-civilian ratios in the country, with approximately 650 sworn officers.4 Headquartered in Dover, the departments Traffic Section is tasked with the primary goal of reducing motor vehicle collisions. In addition to traditional patrol, Delaware state troopers may also work for the motorcycle unit, which primarily works in highly congested areas. During training, state troopers earn $48,000 per year, which rises to a base salary of $59,000 following training.4

To work as a Delaware state trooper, candidates must:

  • Meet minimum state standards for law enforcement officers
  • Be at least 21 years of age by completion of training, and not older than 39 on the first day of training
  • Have at least 60 semester hours from an accredited college, or have 30 semester hours plus two years of active duty military service, Delaware police service, or trooper service in another state
  • Not have used illegal drugs within two years prior to application, nor have used hallucinogenic drugs at any time
  • Establish residency in Delaware by the conclusion of academy training

A Department Hemorrhaging Cops

Philadelphia Police Department ~ news word

While agencies across city government have buckled under persistent short-staffing over the last year, police in Philadelphia are leaving more quickly than other municipal workers. They also make up a disproportionate amount of expected retirees, according to city employment records.

As of July, 809 Police Department employees were enrolled in the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan, known as DROP. While uniformed police and civilian staff account for about a quarter of the city workforce, they make up more than 40% of the workers enrolled in DROP.

The full number of department retirees in the coming years will likely be even higher, because not all Police Department retirees enroll in DROP over the past three years, more than a third did not.

In all, the department is likely to see more than double the 100 annual retirements averaged before the pandemic.

In addition to those retiring, some officers will inevitably quit. And resignations similarly surged last year: According to the department, 128 officers quit in 2021, more than twice the year prior.

While resignations across the municipal government as a whole slowed this year, the same cannot be said for the Police Department. Eighty-seven officers have already resigned this year, meaning the department is on track for more resignations than 2021.

Aaron Chalfin, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, said shortages have a real effect on crime.

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Pennsylvania Highway Trooper Or Patrol Requirements

These officials are responsible for taking care of traffic concerns, and responding to crime scenes. People looking to become a trooper in Pennsylvania would be required to fulfill the basic medical, psychological and educational requirements, along with the completion of a training program lasting nearly 27 weeks.

Career Considerations After Applying

Being a police officer is a physically demanding job and you will likely be working with rookies much younger than you. Police officers work long hours and are often scheduled on a shift rotation. Carefully consider if the job requirements match with your current lifestyle and commitments at home. Also remember police officers go through a probationary period and promotion through the ranks usually requires years of service as well as more exams and physical testing. If youre applying to be an officer at 48, you wont likely be applying for a promotion until into your 50s.


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Women Cops And Domestic Violence

In a recent study, researchers out of the University of Virginia examined the period after major American cities added women to their police departments some by mandate, some on their own. They found that when a city added more female officers, that led to a significant and substantial increase in the rate at which domestic violence victims reported their crimes to the police.

Cases of repeated domestic violence, in which a woman called the cops multiple times, also went down, as did incidents of partner homicide.

The researchers didnt examine why rates of domestic violence went down when women were added to the force. But they had some ideas:

Its possible that female victims might be more willing to call the police and seek help if there are female officers there, said Amalia Miller, who led the research.

This notion that more women police officers spurs higher rates of domestic violence reporting has been borne out internationally. India and Brazil, among other nations where rates of violence against women are high, have been experimenting with women-only police departments for more than a decade.

Reporting rates could also have gone up, and serious incidents down, because women officers were taking domestic violence seriously, Miller said. At a time when domestic violence was more likely to be treated as a private matter between partners, women officers were treating it as a crime.

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The Push to Find More Philly Police Officers, Challenges to Filling Job Openings

The first thing you would need to decide upon is whether you want to work for the municipal police departments or become the state law enforcement agent. These are the two types of Pennsylvania police officers careers you should look into in great detail, since the regulations and training methods for these vary as well.

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How To Become A Police Officer In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a great state to start a career for aspiring police and sheriffs deputies. In terms of both officer and civilian recruitment, the state offers a wide range of rewarding career opportunities. There are about 27,460 police and sheriff officers in Pennsylvania and at many major police agencies in the state recruitment is ongoing.1 Below you will find detailed information about state and local requirements for those looking to become Pennsylvania police officers, state troopers, or sheriffs deputies.

New Regulations Require Philadelphia Police Recruits Be Residents Of City For A Year

The change was implemented last summer but now more recruitment efforts are underway.

PHILADELPHIA — A new ordinance passed by Philadelphia City Council requires anyone interested in joining the police force to be a resident of Philadelphia for at least a year.

Leaders with the Philadelphia Police Union are furious and they say it only dwindles the capacity of the force when the homicide rate is spiking. The change was implemented last summer but now more recruitment efforts are underway.

For Lelan Brown from Ewing, New Jersey, the announcement comes as a rude awakening. After two years of training to become a Philadelphia police officer, he was pulled from taking the test to progress to the next step in the process.

“I felt surprised. I felt frustrated. I feel like the last two years of my life were just wasted,” Brown said.

The residency requirement was passed right after the death of George Floyd. City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said the goal was to have a more diverse department.

“We believe we can foster and create a better relationship between members of our community, as well as the City of Philadelphia police officers,” Councilmember Johnson said.

But union leaders disagree.

“We have individuals leaving the police department in droves for retirement, for other positions at other police departments and the manpower is probably at its lowest it’s been in years,” Vice President of FOP Lodge 5 John McGrody said.

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