How to Become a Police Officer in
Pennsylvania

Learn the requirements to become a cop in Pennsylvania, as well as the hiring process and police academy qualifications for enrollment

Best 3 Reasons to Pursue a Law enforcement
Career In PA

Improve Your Community

One of the biggest reasons to become a police officer in PA is to contribute to your community in a more meaningful way. Policing your community is one of the most direct ways to make an impact on people's lives.

Be The change

The demand for good cops in this country is high. While some agencies have come a long way in police reform, There is still a lot of work to be done. It will take dedications of new applicants to change the image of policing in this country

Career Advancement

One of the benefits of working in law enforcement is the many career advancement opportunities available like SWAT, Detectives, aviation, Air Support, Crime Scene Investigator, Traffic, CSI, K-9, gang unit, mounted patrol & more

What is The Police Academy Like in PA

PA Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

Note: Every police agency in PA will require that you pass a comprehensive background check prior to becoming a police officer for their agency.

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a clean criminal record
  • Must have a valid PA Driver's License
  • Must Have high school diploma or GED
  • Must Be in good mental and physical condition
  • Must Successfully pass the written examination
  • Must pass all stages of the hiring process
  • Must Be someone of good moral character

Disqualification factors to be aware of:

Disqualifiers

  • History of Excessive Drug Use
  • Being dishonest during the hiring process
  • dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Intentional lying on your application about prior arrest
  • Having offensive & discriminatory tattoos
  • Failure to pass the drug screening test
  • Having tattoos on your hands, face, head, neck or scalp
  • Any Adult felony convictions
  • Submit Your Application
  • Written Examination
  • Polygraph Test
  • Background check
  • Medical Evaluation
  • Panel Interview
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Police Training Academy

8 things that are checked during your background investigation

What does a police background check consist of?

  • Truthfulness Check
  • Family History
  • Education Evaluation & Verification
  • Substance Abuse History
  • Traffic Record History
  • Employment History
  • Military History (veterans only)
  • Arrest History

What PA Cities/towns Spend the most on Police Officers

Sewickley Heights
Findlay
Homestead
West Homestead
Baldwin Township
Leetsdale
Frazer
Edgewood
Edgeworth
Robinson

What cities/Towns that spend the least on cops

West Deer
Oakdale
Liberty
Turtle Creek
North Braddock
Hampton
Elizabeth Township
Harrison
Port Vue
Fawn

Find Best Police Jobs in PA

Click below to search for police jobs near me in PA. Browse jobs by city/county or zip code

Police Academy Requirements in PA

If you’re not in excellent shape before you attend the PA police training academy, you won’t make it to graduation. That’s why you shouldn’t think about enrolling if you are overweight or in poor physical fitness shape. I would wait until you drop the weight and improve your overall fitness level before enrolling. If you’re planning on paying your way into the PA basic academy its more critical to be in great shape because you don’t want to pay all that money and end up being sent home for failing the fitness test.

Here are the police academy requirments in Pennsylvania:

  • Age Requirement – Applicants must be at least 20 years of age on or before the date the application is completed. Applicants must be 21 years of age and cannot have reached their 40th birthday prior to or on the date of appointment as a State Police Cadet.
  • Residency Requirement – Applicants must be a resident of Pennsylvania at the time of appointment. Applicants must also possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license upon appointment as a State Police Cadet.
  • Educational Requirement – Applicants must possess a high school diploma or a G.E.D. Certificate plus an Associate’s Degree or 60 semester credit hours in an accredited institution of higher education at the time of application. Only one waiver per candidate, as follows, is allowed:

60 semester credit hours waived for those applicants with two full years as a full-time police officer as certified by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC).

30 semester credit hours waived for those applicants with two full years of any law enforcement experience that encompasses the powers of arrest under State or Federal law, e.g., Liquor Enforcement Officer, Corrections Officer, Probation and Parole Officers, Fish and Game Commission Officers. Determination of relevant law enforcement experience to be made by the Pennsylvania State Police on a case-by-case basis.

30 semester credit hours waived for those applicants with at least two years of full active military duty with an Honorable Discharge or who have completed Officer Candidate School and have no term of obligation.

15 semester credit hours waived for those applicants who have successfully completed Act 120 training, as certified by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the PA  law enforcement training academy, contact the approved training centers near you below:

ALLEGHENY CO POLICE TRAINING ACADEMY
700 W Ridge Dr
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101
Phone: 412-935-3743
Fax: 412-935-6522

ALLENTOWN PD ACADEMY
2110 Park Dr
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18103
Phone: 610-437-7744
Fax: 610-437-8724

DELAWARE CO COMMUNITY COLLEGE-TRAINING ACADEMY
Malin & James Rd
Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008
Phone: 610-359-7386
Fax: 610-359-4155

DEPUTY SHERIFFS EDUCATION & TRAINING BOARD
Exec Dir Pa Comm Crime & Del
PO Box 1167
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108
Phone: 717-787-2040
Fax: 717-783-7713

GREATER JOHNSTOWN CAREER & TECH CENTER/POLICE ACADEMY
445 Schoolhouse Rd
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904
Phone: 814-269-3874
Fax: 814-269-4586

HOLY FAMILY COLLEGE-TRAINING ACADEMY

Frankford & Grant Aves
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19136
Phone: 215-637-7700
Fax: 215-824-2438

INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA-TRAINING ACADEMY

Rear Maple St R & P Bldg
Indiana, Pennsylvania 15705
Phone: 412-357-4054
Fax: 412-357-7595

MANSFIELD UNIVERSITY MUNICIPAL POLICE TRAINING ACADEMY

Doane Center Rm 217
Mansfield, Pennsylvania 16933
Phone: 717-662-4866
Fax: 717-662-4120

MERCYHURST COLLEGE-MUNICIPAL POLICE TRAINING ACADEMY

16 W Division St
North East, Pennsylvania 16428
Phone: 814-725-6121
Fax: 814-725-6112

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE-TRAINING ACADEMY
340 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania 19422
Phone: 215-641-6428
Fax: 215-653-0585

MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS EDUCATION & TRAINING COMMISSION
75 E Derry Rd
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
Phone: 717-533-5987

PENNSYLVANIA LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING SERVICES
32 Maffett St
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania 18702
Phone: 717-829-1642
Fax: 717-821-5793

PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE TRAINING ACADEMY
175 E Hershey Park Dr
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
Phone: 717-533-9111
Fax: 717-772-0030

PHILADELPHIA POLICE ACADEMY 
8501 State Road
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Phone: 215-685-8080
Fax: 215-685-8780

PITTSBURGH POLICE TRAINING ACADEMY
Washington Blvd At Negley Run
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206
Phone: 412-665-3601
Fax: 412-665-3657

READING POLICE ACADEMY

815 Washington St
Reading, Pennsylvania 19601
Phone: 610-655-6332
Fax: 610-655-6393

STATE POLICE TRAINING CENTER NORTHWEST

195 Valley View Dr
Meadville, Pennsylvania 16335
Phone: 814-332-6888
Fax: 814-332-6417

STATE POLICE TRAINING CENTER SOUTHEAST

2047 Bridge Rd
Schwenksville, Pennsylvania 19473
Phone: 610-584-8633
Fax: 610-584-9510

STATE POLICE TRAINING CENTER SOUTHWEST

2900 Seminary Dr
Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601
Phone: 412-832-5250

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List of Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Agencies

Abington PD
Allegheny County Sheriffs Office
Altoona PD
Altoona PD
Annville Township PD
Baldwin Borough PD
Bally PD
Bellevue PD
Bensalem Township PD
Bessemer PD
Bethel Park PD
Bethel Township PD
Bristol Township PD
Camp Hill PD
Carroll Valley Borough Police
Central Berks Regional PD
Chambersburg PD
Chester Hill Borough PD
Clinton County Sheriffs Office
Cochranton PD
Cornwall Boro Police Dept.
Covington Township PD
Cranberry Twp. PD
Cumberland County Sheriffs Office
Decatur Township PD
Delaware County Courthouse & Park Police Dept.
Derry Township PD
Donora PD
East Cocalico Twp. Police
Easton PD
Edinboro PD
Edwardsville PD
Elizabeth Township PD
Erie County Prison
Erie PD
Exeter Township PD
Fairview Township PD
Ferguson Township PD
Foster Township PD
Franklin County Drug Task Force
Franklin County Probation Department
Hanover Borough Police
Hazleton City PD
Hermitage PD
Homer City Borough PD
Houtzdale Regional PD
Jenkintown PD
Johnstown PD
Kilbuck Township PD
Kingston Municipal PD
Kutztown Borough PD
Lancaster City Bureau of Police
Lancaster County Sheriffs Office
Limerick Township PD
Lock Haven PD
Lower Merion Township PD
Lower Paxton Township PD
Lower Pottsgrove Township PD
Mahanoy City PD
Media PD
Monongahela City Police
Morris-Cooper Regional PD
Mount Carmel PD
New Brighton Area PD
New Britain Borough PD
New Castle PD
North Wales Borough PD
Northampton Township PD
Northern Cambria Regional Police
Northumberland PD
Palmerton PD
Patterson Township PD
Pennridge Regional Police K-9 Unit
Pennsylvania State Constable – Springfield Township
Pennsylvania State Constable -Warron County Office
Perkasie Borough PD
Philadelphia PA PD 14th District
Philadelphia PD 35th District
Philadelphia PD 6th District
Philadelphia PD 7th District
Pine Grove PD
Pittsburgh PD
Pitttston City PD
Plains Township PD
Pocono Mountain Regional PD
Pocono Mountain Regional Police Dept.
Point Township PD
Pottsville Bureau of Police
Quapaw PD
Radnor Township PD
Reading PD
Shamokin PD
Somerset PD
Springfield Township PD
St. Marys City PD
Stewartstown PD
Susquehanna Township PD
Swatara Township PD
Upper Dublin Township PD
Upper Southampton PD
Venango County Sheriff Department
Warwick Township PD
Washington Township Police
West Goshen Township PD
West Wyoming Borough PD
Westtown-East Goshen PD
Wilkes-Barre Township PD
Williamsport Bureau of Police
Willistown Township PD
Wright Township Police
York City PD


Bloomsburg University PD
Bucks County Community College Safety Department
Carlow College Security Department
Cedar Crest College Safety & Security Department
Drexel University Public Safety Department
East Stroudsburg University PD
Franklin and Marshall College Safety and Security Department
Indiana University of PD
Kutztown University Public Safety Department
La Salle University Safety and Security Department
Lafayette College Public Safety
Lock Haven University Police
Mansfield University PD
Messiah College PA Public Safety Department
Millersville University Police
Muhlenberg College PD
Penn State University – Erie Police
Penn State University Police
Pennsylvania College of Technology Police Dept.
Temple University Campus Safety Services
Thomas Jefferson University Security Department
University of Pennsylvania Division of Public Safety
University of Pittsburgh PD
Villanova University Department of Public Safety
West Chester University Public Safety
Wilkes University Security Department
York College of Pennsylvania Security Department