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Montgomery County Police Department - Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How long does it take to get into the academy?  Why does the employment process take so long?

About four to nine months. This is the period between submitting an employment application to entering the training academy. Processing many applicants requires a lot of time, which includes scheduling and administering tests designed to identify applicants whose backgrounds match the type of people the department seeks. After the initial testing, applicants may be selected for a background investigation, which takes from a few weeks to two months, depending on the applicant’s life history and experiences. Thereafter, a polygraph examination may be scheduled. Applicants successfully completing the polygraph examination may be scheduled for psychological and medical examinations, the final step before joining the academy.

  1. Can I laterally transfer to the Montgomery County Police Department from another police or Sheriff’s department?
No. All police officer candidates must attend a 30-week entry level police academy.
Applicants can buy retirement credits for previous service under the following terms:
  • Applicants who have been employed by federal, state, and municipal agencies may be eligible for retirement service credits. The Montgomery County Office of Human Resources determines eligibility for this credit.
  • Title 37 of the Annotated Code of Maryland governs the transfer of retirement credits. Check with your retirement system administrator for eligibility and other before transferring to another employer.
  • Applicants may also be eligible to buy previous military service. The Montgomery County Office of Human Resources determines eligibility.
  1. Is there an accelerated testing process available for applicants who live in another state?
Yes. The process requires at least three to five separate appointments to fully complete the employment process. All processing takes place at our Montgomery County facilities. If time allows, out-of-state applicants are given priority in completing the initial written test and oral interview on the same day.
  1. Can I substitute law enforcement or military experience for the required college education requirement?
Yes. We also accept:
  • Three years of active duty military service with an honorable discharge or three years of full-time law enforcement officer experience recognized by Montgomery County Police Department The applicant must have worked as a sworn or government agent with full arrest powers.
  • A DD-214 is required for proof of military service.
  1. Is there an age limit for applying to this agency?
  2. If my eyesight has been surgically corrected, will I be eligible to participate in the employment process for Police Officer Candidate?
Applicants who have had eye surgery to meet minimum vision standards (as listed in our minimum qualifications) may be required to submit medical data, at their own expense, to demonstrate visual stability.
  1. If employed as a Montgomery County police officer, do I have to live in Montgomery County?
No.  We do not require police officers to live in the county. However, you must live in the county to be eligible for the Take-Home Car program, which authorizes unlimited use of the assigned vehicle in the county. Existing guidelines and collective bargaining agreements govern this program.
  1. I am fluent in a foreign language. Does this help in my application?
Montgomery County is culturally rich and diverse. The need for bilingual employees is critical to the success of our community policing efforts. The county government authorizes pay differential for employees with this critical skill. To be eligible for this pay differential, employees must participate in a language certification program that evaluates the skill level. (Language skills include American Sign Language). Based on the certified skill level and the number of hours worked in a given year, a language pay differential of $1,000 to $4,000 per year, above base salary, may be earned by a police officer.
  1. Do rank and file police officers belong to a union?
All officers below the rank of lieutenant are members of, and are formally represented by, the Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.) Lodge 35. Lieutenants and above may maintain membership in the Alliance of Police Supervisors, a non-union employee organization.
  1. How many training academy sessions are scheduled per year and how long does a training session last? 
One to two academy sessions per year, usually starting in January or July. Each session lasts 26 weeks. After successfully completing the academy, the officer is assigned to a field training patrol shift for an additional 14 weeks. Uniform patrol officers work four 10-hour shifts per week.
  1. What is the work schedule during the training academy and will I receive a salary/paycheck during training?
The basic schedule during the academy’s training is generally Monday through Friday, eight hours per day. Occasionally, recruits may work evenings and weekends to accommodate certain training components. All recruit trainees will be paid their respective starting salary during these times.
  1. If I successfully complete all testing and background investigation, do I have to wait until the actual class start date before I can be employed with the department?
Currently, we have suspended the early hire program. All hired candidates will start on the assigned academy date.


Montgomery County Department of Police · J. Thomas Manger, Chief
Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Non-emergency: 301.279.8000
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