How to Become A Police Officer in Massachusetts

The City of Somerville fills vacant positions of Police Officers and Firefighters through the Massachusetts Human Resources Division, Civil Service Unit as required by the State of Massachusetts. For more information on Civil Service testing or to apply for a test, please go to mass.gov/civilservice (or click here)

Police Officers and Firefighters are employed through the Massachusetts Human Resources Division, Civil Service Unit as needed. After the examination and certification of candidates by the Massachusetts Resources Division, which give preference to Veterans, the City of Somerville utilizes the Residency Preference system allowed by the Massachusetts law for new hires to police officer and firefighter positions.

Preference is given to candidates who reside in Somerville for one year prior to the date of the civil service examination. Veterans Preference is provided for appointment to Civil Service positions to veterans as per the Massachusetts Civil Service System.

All you need to know to become a municipal police officer, MBTA Transit Police Officer or State Trooper.

 First, you need to apply for the exam. Next, you will want to be prepared for the written exam. Once you take and pass the exam, your name will be placed on a list to be considered.

Being a police officer is a meaningful way to serve a community. As a police officer, you will be a public servant responsible for responding to fires and other emergency situations in your community.  You often respond to risky and physically demanding calls and work shifts that operate around the clock with your fellow police officers.

Please read the steps to becoming a police officer;

First step is to take the written exam. Check the exam schedule to find the next exam being offered. Requirement to take the exam is;

  1. You must meet the age requirements.

You do not need to be a resident of Massachusetts to take the exam. 

After taking the written exam, your name will be placed on the eligible list. When a police department is ready to hire, they request the eligible list and the Civil Service Unit sends a list of names.

If your name is reached, the hiring process will begin and may include the following; complete an extensive employment packet thorough background check interview.

If you are offered a job you can expect to first complete the following as part of the conditional offer of employment;

  1. Take and pass a medical exam
  2. Take and pass the Initial-Hire Physical Ability Test (PAT)

Once you have successfully passed the medical exam and PAT as well as any additional requirements from the department, you will begin your new rewarding career as a police officer.

See the Civil Service Examination Schedule and Physical Ability Test Schedule:

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Want the opportunity to practice before taking the Civil Service Examination?

The Municipal Police Institute officers a course on how to take the exam and other need to know information for you to succeed with your application process. 


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This information was provided by the Municipal Police Institute Website and Mass.gov

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