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September 21, 2015

How To Become a New York City Police Officer


How You Can Join The NYPD

By Dr. Oscar Odom, III

ASA College Criminal Justice
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is one of the largest city law enforcement entities in the United States. The NYPD has a long history of recruiting the best qualified young men and women of New York City to grow its ranks and protect our city. Opportunities to grow in this field are many, with specializations in Highway Patrol, Emergency Services, Crime Scene Analysis, Criminal Investigations, Drug Enforcement and Aviation Patrol.
ASA College Criminal Justice

The Process

The NYPD sets high standards, requiring a minimum of 60 college credits from an accredited institution. Additionally candidates for the academy must have a grade point average of at least 2.0 to qualify. Candidates must be at least 21 years of age and a US Citizen on date of hire. They also must be a New York City resident and have a New York State Driver’s License.
  1. The Written Exam from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services
  2. Pre-hire Medical Interview and Medical Exam
  3. Standardize Written Psychological Exam
  4. The Job Standardize Test (JST) – The JST tests the applicant’s ability to perform different task which will be required on the job. The entire course of six stations must be completed in just four minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
  5. An Oral Psychological Interview
  6. Character Investigation -- You will meet with an investigator, review your application, provide any documents and address any discrepancies.

It is only at this time that a candidate maybe considered for entrance into the Police Academy as a recruit.

Tips for Successful Progress

  1. Be early to all exams and interviews. If you are on time it is considered TOO LATE.
  2. Avoid eating an hour prior to the physical exam
  3. Academic achievement is important, 2.0 GPA is the minimum but the competition is pretty stiff. A higher GPA in a Criminal Justice program could give you the edge you need to get in.
  4. Do your homework! The NYPD provides downloadable guides for the exams on their website (
  5. Eat well and get plenty of sleep before the JSP. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
  6. Avoid caffeine and do not exercise 24 hours before the physical exam.
ASA College Criminal Justice

The Pay Off

When you join the NYPD you will know you are part of an elite group. Your career path will bring you the respect of your peers as well as the public for the positive effect you can have on the community.
  1. The current total pay for a recruit in the academy is just under $45,000 and it will grow regularly from there and this amount does not include overtime. In less than six years an officer can double that pay to over $90,000 per year*.
  2. The NYPD offers many educational opportunities allowing officers to earn advanced degrees and that can lead to promotions both inside and outside the department. Promotional exams for rank advancement are offered every 2 to 3 years. The opportunities are endless.
  3. Other benefits include health, dental, paid vacation and unlimited sick days. Optional retirement at one half salary is available after only 22 years of service.

The New York City Police Department is a valuable and important career choice for any New York City resident. The road is not easy, but it brings a lifetime of career opportunity and respect. A Criminal Justice degree from ASA College will give you the 60 college credits you need to apply to the academy and because ASA College is regionally accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education ( and nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ( those credits can be transferred to similarly accredited four-year institutions. ASA College Division of Criminal Justice has retired and active members of NYPD who serve as faculty members. Also, many ASA graduates currently serve as members of the NYPD.  They will be happy to give you the insights and guidance you need to successfully apply to the New York Police Academy. Visit us at for more information.

About The Author
Dr. Oscar Odom, III Dr. Oscar Odom III is the Chairperson of the Criminal Justice Division at ASA College and serves as a Commissioner on the Districting Commission of New York City. Dr. Odom is the former First Deputy Sheriff Commissioner and Four Star Chief of the New York City Sheriff’s Office. Also, a Retired New York City Police Detective (20 years). Additionally Dr. Odom has an academic career with the New York City Police Academy, Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Mercy College, Adjunct Professor of Emergency & Disaster Management (Homeland Security) at the Metropolitan College Graduate School of Management and Facilitator of Perspectives on Profiling (Racial/Criminal) at the Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center.

*All salary and benefit information retrieved from

Images: Shutterstock, Dr. Oscar Odom, III


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