Northampton Massachusetts Police Department - Frequently Asked Questions (2023)

Northampton Massachusetts Police Department - Frequently Asked Questions (1)

being hired

Is the NPD a public service department?

No. We left the public service in 2005.

Do I need a written test to be hired as an officer?

No. We stopped requiring written proof in 2016.

Are there any age restrictions for new officers?

Applicants must be at least twenty-one (21) years old on the date of hire, but less than thirty-seven (37).

Are there physical disqualifiers for new officers?

Applicants must pass the medical examination before taking the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). Applicants must then pass the state-required PAT test. After completing the PAT, applicants must pass a physical fitness test. The City Police Training Committee requires all prospective officers intending to join a full-time police academy to first pass a physical fitness test. The fitness test includes four components: push-ups, sit-ups, a 1.5-mile run, and a 300-meter run. All student officers must meet the 30th percentile of the Cooper Aerobics Institute standards, with requirements set for different ages and genders.

Do I need to be a Northampton resident?

No. Pursuant to Chapter 41, Section 99A, applicants must establish their residence within fifteen (15) miles of the Northampton city limits within one (1) year from the date of designation.

Are there any educational requirements?

Yes. Applicants must have completed an associate's degree or earned an equivalent number of credits (60) toward a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning prior to the date of employment or have received an honorable discharge or release under terms honorable after two (2) years of uninterrupted military service (presentation of military waiver DD-214 at time of application) and requirement to be actively enrolled in an accredited college or university earning at least twelve (12) credits annually up to complete associate degree requirements. This requirement would begin upon successful completion of the department's Field Assessment and Training Program.

I have a college degree, but it's not in criminal justice. Will I be hired?

Many of our officers are graduates of different fields of study. We found that there is great value in different types of college degrees, including business, education, psychology, mathematics, sociology, and many more. We value education and encourage anyone interested in policing to apply, regardless of their college field of study.

Do you accept parallel transfers from other agencies?

Yes! Persons who are working or have worked full time for another law enforcement agency should complete the form. The hiring process is similar, but the interview is modified and the PAT is not required. Additionally, the length of the field training program may be reduced based on demonstrated knowledge and skills.

How can I apply?

It is easy! Click "Apply Now" on the left side of this screen and fill out our online form. Fill it out, submit your resume and cover letter, click submit, and you're done!

How long does the recruitment process take?

It can take 2-6 months depending on when the next gym starts. The local MPTC academy usually offers classes twice a year. When we are hiring officers who have not completed a full-time or part-time academy, we have to wait for the academy to start before we can hire a new recruit.

I completed the academy part time. Can I start working now?

Applicants who have completed the part-time academy may qualify for a waiver from MPTC that would allow them to start working before the start of the full-time academy. In those cases we usually hire the officer, he goes through the Field Training Program and then goes to the academy full time.

Benefits, Salary, Retirement

What is the salary range for new officers?

Under the current contract (fiscal years 23-25), the ranger salary range is $51,310 to $69,935 (fiscal years 23). Officers receive twelve (12) paid vacations annually.

What are the vacation and sick leave benefits?

Officers of one (1) year but less than 5 years receive 14 vacation days per year. Officers five (5) years old but less than 10 years old receive 21 vacation days per year. Directors aged 10 (ten) or older enjoy 28 days of annual vacation.

All regular full-time employees accrue up to fifteen (15) business days (120 hours) per year.

What is the health plan benefit?

Under the current contract, the city pays 80% of a full-time employee's health insurance.

Will I make more money if I have a college degree?

Yes! Directors can also participate in the Education Incentive Program. Officers with applicable grades earn the following amounts annually (1/2 paid in June and 1/2 paid in December) in addition to their base pay:

Associate Degree: $5,000
Bachelor's Degree: $9,000
Master's: $11,000

Applicable degrees must be in one of the following areas: public administration, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, forensic science, computer science with a concentration in computer forensics, law enforcement, or political science.

Officers holding a degree at any level in a subject area not in the previously identified areas of study earn $2,500 per year. The rank of each Officer is subject to review by the Chief of Police and the Director of Human Resources.

the police academy

How long is the police academy?

It's about 26 weeks.

In which academy will I study?

There are MPTC Police Academies throughout the state, but the closest one to us is in Springfield, on the Springfield Technical Community College campus. Most of the NPD recruits attend the Springfield academy.

What are the academy hours?

Most of the training in the gym takes place during the day, Monday through Friday.

Do I have to sleep in the gym?


Do I have to pay for the gym?

No. We pay the monthly fees and cover the cost of the equipment.

Do I get paid while I go to the gym?

Yes. Recruits are full-time employees of the City of Northampton and are paid the salary of a student officer.

field training

What is field training?

Field training is the on-the-job training that takes place right after an officer graduates from the police academy. New recruits are paired with the veteran officers who travel with them and help them learn how to apply academy training to the job.

How long is the field training?

For new officers, the field training program typically lasts 14 weeks. Some officers take a little longer if they need recovery training in specific areas.


What hours will I have to work?

We have three patrol shifts in the DNP: day, evening and night. During field training, new officers will go through different shifts with their field training officers. Upon completion of field training and depending on the time of year, officers will be temporarily placed on a shift. Calendar year changes are signed each fall. At that time, all officers will select their shifts based on their seniority with the department. Many new officers spend their first years on the midnight shift.

Can I work as a part-time police officer for the NPD?

No. Our Special Police are full-time ex-cops. We do not hire new directors for part-time positions.

Is there a way to skip patrol and go directly to a specialized unit?

No. All officers start out as General Patrolmen and, over time and based on performance, will have the opportunity to participate in specialized assignments. We have many specialist opportunities, and some officers take them after only a few years on the job.

What kind of specialized units are there?

We have a Detective Bureau and officers working in this area transitioning from patrol to Bureau. We also have a Bike Patrol Unit that works alongside the rest of our patrol force. We have other special assignments that officers work on in conjunction with their other duties. These include: Field Training Officer, Crime Scene Services Technician, Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, First Aid/CPR Instructor, Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drone) Pilot, DART Officer , LGBTQ liaison officer and many more.

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