Career Opportunities

Qualifications & Requirements

To qualify as a Police Officer Candidate, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must have reached age 21 at the time of certification as a Police Officer
  • Must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent (higher degree preferred)
  • Must possess or be able to acquire a valid driver's
  • Must submit to and pass a written test, physical agility examination and an oral interview
  • Must successfully complete a thorough background investigation
  • Must never have committed, been involved in or been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor
  • Must be certified physically fit to perform the duties of a police officer
  • Must be certified through a licensed mental health care professional to determine whether the candidate is emotionally and mentally fit to perform the duties of a police officer
  • Must have vision which is correctable to 20/20, not to exceed 20/100 uncorrected, or must use extended wear contact lenses
  • Must not be color blind
  • Must be able to meet the physical demands required to perform the duties of a police officer
  • Must be willing to submit to a polygraph examination and drug screen as part of the background investigation
  • Must meet the prior drug usage policy as mandated by the State of Maryland, to wit:
  • No lifetime use or ingestion is allowed for:
    • Heroin
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)
    • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Selection Process

The selection process utilized by the La Plata Police Department is thorough and complete. The reason for this is to ensure the best-qualified candidates are selected. The following are the components of the selection process. These must be completed by every applicant. The approximate amount of time required for each segment is also indicated. Depending on the number of applicants, vacancy status and the individual applicants themselves, the entire process could take up to four months to complete.

  • Completion of a La Plata Employment Application: 1 hour
  • Written Examination: 3 hours
  • Physical Agility Test (Sworn Positions): 2 hours
  • Oral Interview Board: 1 hour
  • Background Investigation: 30 to 45 hours
  • Medical Examination: 2 hours
  • Drug Screening: 1 hour
  • Polygraph Examination: 3 hours
  • Psychological Screening: 4 hours

Officer Training

Entry-Level Training

The La Plata Police Department does not administer its own police academy. New recruits receive their entry-level training through local training academies that meet the requirements of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission. The academy requires a commitment of approximately six months. Applicants attending an academy must be willing to obligate themselves minimally to a two-year commitment to work for the Town.

Duty Assignment

Once a recruit has satisfactorily completed a police academy, he or she will be promoted to the rank of Police Officer. The recruit is then assigned to a field training position, which generally lasts approximately 14 weeks in duration. The probationary period for an entry-level Police Officer is one year.

Duties & Responsibilities

Police work involves considerable personal risk and requires the ability to immediately respond to emergency situations utilizing sound judgment. Duties and responsibilities of police officers include, but are not limited to:

  • Working rotating shifts
  • Being called back to duty when emergency situations are declared
  • Patrolling a designated area within the Town in order to prevent crime, discover criminal activity and arrest law violators
  • Working with the community to solve neighborhood problems
  • Directing traffic
  • Enforcing motor vehicle laws
  • Conducting preliminary investigations of crimes and protecting crime scenes
  • Testifying in a court of law