Experienced Officer Program

The Experienced Officer Program offers qualified applicants the ability to join the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) through an abbreviated (approximately 11 week) police academy training program, based upon their prior law enforcement training.  The police officer background investigation process can take approximately four to six months. 

Selection Process

The police officer background investigation process can take approximately four to six months. Applicants must:

1

Complete an interest card and attend a web-based orientation (information provided by email).

2

Pass the written multiple-choice test (select "Experienced Officer Program" option). Visit www.nationaltestingnetwork.com to apply and select a testing location.

3

Complete the Personal History Statement through our online system “eSOPH” to begin the background investigation process (criminal checks, references, employment, social media checks, etc.).

4

After you have passed the written multiple-choice test, attended a web-based orientation, and completed your Personal History Statement (through eSOPH), you will be invited to attend an in-person applicant mass processing day during which you will take part in the following events:

  • Physical ability test
  • Applicant screening and document collection
  • Fingerprinting

5

Take a polygraph examination.

6

Submit to a medical and psychological evaluation.

7

Receive MPD review and approval.

Benefits

  • Competitive Salary*
  • Language Stipend Program**
  • Annual Leave
  • Paid Holidays
  • Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Retirement
  • Additional Duty
  • Savings Plans
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Health & Life Insurance
  • Sick Leave
  • DC Paid Family Leave
  • DC Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Dental & Vision Coverage
  • Uniforms and Equipment
  • Union
  • Attorney Coverage
  • Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program (MPEAP)
  • Police & Fire Clinic
  • Fitness Centers
  • Training
  • Housing

*Experienced Officer Program starting salary is $55,362. After a period of one year members earn $58,130; and after successful completion of the 18 month probationary period members earn $60,571. Recruits begin earning their full salary upon entering the Academy. A top step officer can earn $98,576 after 25 years of service. Officers who work the evening tour of duty receive a three percent pay differential. Officers working the midnight shift receive a four percent differential.

**Police officers who are certified as fluent in any language other than English, including American Sign Language, receive a $50 stipend per pay period approximately an extra $1,300 per year. To qualify for the stipend, members must pass a certification test administered by an outside contractor.

Visit the Benefits page to learn more.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Be a US citizen by birth or naturalization 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)
  • Possess a valid driver’s license at the time of application
  • Willing to submit to a background investigation, medical evaluation, psychological assessment and polygraph examination
  • Currently or previously employed within one year of the date of application by a full service police department in a municipality or a state within the United States.
  • Never fired or have any sustained adverse actions from current/former law enforcement agency.
  • Completed one of the following:
    • Successfully completed at least 60 semester hours of college credit 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 two years on active duty and, if separated from the military, received an honorable discharge; or
    • Served at least three 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many years will I have to complete with MPD to be eligible for retirement?

Each officer will have to complete 25 years or may serve until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 64.

Will I be able to transfer my leave accumulated from my prior agency?

You will be given an opportunity to submit prior federal or District government time for service and leave. Service in non-District or non-federal agencies cannot be transferred.

Will there be college equivalent credits earned after completion of the Experienced Officer Program?

College credits are not given; however, some officers may take their credits to academic institutions to have them evaluated for credit.

How many years are required to apply with specialized units within MPD?

Each unit has different requirements, all entry level and experienced officers must successfully complete the 18-month probationary period before being considered for other specialized units.

Will I have the opportunity to qualify with the same sidearm I qualified with from my prior agency?

Participants are only permitted to qualify with and carry an MPD approved sidearm, on or off duty.  MPD currently utilizes the Glock service pistol. 

Will I have the opportunity to negotiate my starting salary based on my law enforcement experience?

The starting salary for entry-level and experienced police officers is non-negotiable and set at $55,362.

Will my experience determine where and how I’m assigned with MPD?

Experience does not determine assignment. MPD Police Academy graduates are assigned to patrol locations in the city based on the operational needs of the Department.

Will there be any housing assistance for relocation?

Not at this time.

Will my time and experience be deducted from the 25 year mandatory retirement?

Credit from prior service time is not counted toward retirement. Prior military and/or Federal service may be purchased for the purpose of retention of credit for retirement calculation purposes after successful completion of the 25 years of service.

Is there a signing bonus?

Not at this time.

As an experienced officer will I have to attend the entire 28 week police training academy?

No, the Experienced Officer Program curriculum is an abbreviated 11 week transition program at the training academy.  You may elect to complete the full police academy if you prefer.

August 6, 1861, Congress passed an Act which declared the boundaries of DC to constitute...

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...a police district to be called the “Metropolitan Police District”. The newly elected President, Abraham Lincoln presided over the creation of this new police department. Washington, DC was divided into 10 precincts; each headed by a sergeant with 150 privates divided among the precincts. An officer’s salary was $480 a year and they had to be at least 5 feet 6 inches tall, able to read and write, between the age of 25 and 45, and were required to provide their own guns.

March, 1865 – MPD handled their first Presidential Inauguration...

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...MPD intercepted John Wilkes Booth during his first attempt to assassinate President Lincoln at the inauguration of Lincoln’s second term.

In 1890 women were officially hired as Matrons which handled female prisoners and children...

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...In 1917, the Women’s Bureau of the MPD was created in order to give women a more active role in investigating. The Bureau became nationally recognized for its proactive ideas and methods.

In 1913, the Department purchased the first motorized vehicles (10 motorcycles) to assist the...

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...bicycle squads and by 1914, five “motor patrol” wagons were purchased. In 1915, the first police school was established to train officers in using their firearms and basic first aid.

In 1934 the first Metropolitan Police Boys Club was established The club was designed to...

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...keep young men out of trouble and provide them with positive role models, and the club still exists today as the MPD Boys and Girls Clubs. The club was such a success that other cities quickly followed in the footsteps of the MPD.

In November 1948, the Metropolitan Police Reserve Corps was established and...

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...first deployed on October 31, 1951 with the original responsibility to guard fire alarm boxes to prevent people from mischievously sounding fire alarms on Halloween Night.

In 1951 the Chief, Robert V. Murray established an Internal Investigations...

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...Division during his tenure.

In 1962 Officers began to patrol and monitor traffic in a private helicopter.

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In 1966 the first cadet class graduated. 

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May 1-4, 1971, “May Day” when over 50,000 demonstrators came to Washington to...

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...force the closure of the Government. This was the largest mass arrest in history with a total of 12,000 people arrested. Due to the professionalism and effectiveness of the MPD, there were no serious injuries to police officers or protestors, no use of deadly force, and very few complaints of misconduct.

In 1978, Burtell M. Jefferson became the first African American Chief of Police....

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...He was a very community minded person, having been a native of Washington DC and having attended American University and Howard University. His tenure saw a reduction in crime while also dealing with restrictions due to the energy crisis and threats of personnel cuts.

In 1988, the Department switched from the long issued Smith and Wesson .38 caliber...

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...revolvers to the Glock 9mm pistols after Washington DC was named the Nation’s Murder Capital.

In 1993 the Office of Internal Affairs was created by Chief Fred Thomas to promote...

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...accountability among MPD officers.

In 1997, Chief Soulsby authorized the re-striping of the Scout Cars...

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...They were changed from the blue stripe and gold seal of the 1960s, to a red and blue striping that is still referred to as the Pepsi can design.

In 2004, the re-birth of the Air Support Unit (aka helicopter patrol, Helicopter Branch) was...

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...returned (original disbanded in 1996 due to budget cuts) along with a small cadre of horse-mounted officers.

In 2006, the joint Police and Fire Communications Center moved to a newly built state of...

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...the art communications center located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Southeast.

In Janury 2007, Chief Cathy Lanier was appointed by Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty... 

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...in January 2007, replacing outgoing Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. She was the first woman to achieve the position of Chief of Police in Washington DC.  In May 2012, Mayor Vincent C. Gray agreed to retain Lanier as police chief under his mayoral term.  Chief Lanier lead the Metropolitan Police Department until she retired 2017.  Chief Lanier was a great advocate for women in law enforcement and brought great technological changes to the MPD.  She was well known for her passionate involvement with the community.

In 2007-08, Chief Lanier initiated; patrol districts listserv; "Neighborhood...

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...Safety Zone” the replacement of in-car systems equipped with GPS.

On the morning of Monday, September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis entered... 

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...Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard, where he served as an independent contractor, and carried out the most deadly workplace mass shooting in the Nation’s Capital in recent memory.  Over the course of 69 minutes, Alexis terrorized thousands of employees of Naval Sea Systems Command, firing indiscriminately from a shotgun he had legally purchased two days earlier and a handgun he had taken from a security guard after mortally wounding the guard.  He would also get into multiple shooting engagements with responding law enforcement officers, seriously injuring a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer.  In his final confrontation with police, Alexis ambushed and fired upon another MPD officer.  Fortunately, the officer was saved by his protective vest and was able to return fire, killing Alexis and ending his rampage.  When it was over, Alexis had shot and killed twelve people and injured several others.

Chief Peter Newsham was confirmed as the Chief of Police on May 3, 2017. 

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Chief Peter Newsham joined the MPD in 1989 and rose quickly through the ranks, serving in a number of district operational assignments. Chief Charles H. Ramsey promoted him to Commander of the Second District in January 2000. In June 2002, Newsham was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Chief Newsham was sworn in as the 30th police chief for the MPD on May 3, 2017. Chief Newsham holds a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.

Questions? Comments?

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