Becoming a cop in Connecticut

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Some kids want to be firefighters when they grow up. Others want to be police officers. So here’s a look at the basics of what it takes to become a cop in Connecticut.

One part of Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST), which looks to train police officers “to serve the public with commitment, empathy and competence.” That training is done at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, Although some departments, such as New Haven, have their own training academy which is certified by the state.

So, here are some basics. According to POST, potential officers must be:

  • 21-years-old
  • A U.S. Citizen (born or naturalized)
  • Have at least a high school diploma or GED
  • A valid driver’s license (or have one by the end of training)
  • No felony, Class A or B misdemeanor convictions (including domestic violence)

After the basics are met, men and women must pass their police curriculum and field testing. Departments may have their own stipulations, too. As an example, the New Haven Police Department requires applicants to “reside within 20 miles of New Haven after graduation from the Academy.”

There are also physical requirements, of course. Many departments say they’re looking for applicants who can meet certain standards, called the CHIP physical assessments test. For instance, Southington Police Department’s August, 2014, opening for entry level or certified officer says “Candidates must have a passing score at least 40% on the CHIP Physical Assessment test in order to submit their application.” For prospective officers between 20-29 years of age, that means at least 38 sit-ups, 29 push-ups, and a one and a-half mile run in 12:38 or under.

If you’re an officer looking to work in a new city or town, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council also has a list of openings for departments across the state. There is also, where departments can search for new officers, and officers can look for opportunities.

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