Rochester Police Department Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process to become a police officer?

The first step of the process is to sign up for the written examination, which is generally offered once a year in November. Results of the written exam are usually received in 2-5 months, but it can take longer. After receiving your results, you may be considered for further processing depending on your score and departmental needs. If your civil service score is being considered for further processing, you will be invited to attend the physical agility test. After successful completion of the agility test, you will be required to complete a background investigation process, which encompasses a medical exam, psychological exam, and a background investigation. After successfully completing all aspects of the hiring process, a determination is made to hire based on current staffing level needs.  Click here for more information. 

How will I know where and when I should take the exam?

After filling out our employment application, you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Resource Management giving you the date, time and place of the examination. This letter will come approximately two weeks prior to the exam and will outline what you need to bring with you.  If you do not receive notification of acceptance or rejection for the exam by the Wednesday before the exam date, call (585) 428-7599.

Does the Rochester Police Department offer testing outside the Rochester area?

No, but if you live in New York State and are taking another police civil service test on the same date you can “cross-file” with the Rochester Police Department and we will receive your score and process you as if you took the test in Rochester.  You must submit a Cross-Filer Form.  Click here for more information.

How long does the hiring process take?

Generally, the process to be hired as a police officer will take approximately 9-15 months from the time of the written exam until you begin the police academy.

After being hired, what other steps do I have to complete?

After being hired as a Rochester Police Officer you will receive first-step officer salary and benefits while you attend the police academy. After successfully completing the police academy, you will be assigned to the field training unit. During the field training program you will be assigned to work with a field training officer, where you learn to apply your academy training to real life situations. The field training program can be completed in as little as 12 weeks. After completing the field training program you will be allowed to gain experience on your own.

Do you need a criminal justice background to join the Rochester Police Department? 

No, although a criminal justice background could prove beneficial during and after training. The Rochester Police Department is an equal opportunity employer, and actively recruits persons of all different employment, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  This type of diversity is what makes the RPD a well-rounded agency.

Does the Rochester Police Department have age requirements?

Yes, you must be at least nineteen (19) years of age, and have not reached thirty-fifth (35th) birthday on or before date of written test, except as defined on Section 243 (10-a) of the Military Law. At the time of appointment, you must be at least twenty (20) years old . Contact the Department of Human Resource Management for specifics or additional questions.

Is there a residency requirement to become a Rochester Police Officer?

You must reside in and maintain residence in Monroe County, Wayne County, Ontario County, Orleans County, Livingston County, or Genesee County at the time of appointment to the position of Police Officer. 

Does the Rochester Police Department make arrangements for out of state applicants?

Yes, because traveling can be expensive and time consuming, the Rochester Police Department will work with out of state applicants to minimize the number of trips to the Rochester area. After successfully completing the physical agility test, Background and Recruitment staff will attempt to group two or three parts of the selection process together, provided applicants can stay in the area for 2-3 days.

Does the Rochester Police Department accept lateral transfers?

Yes, the requirements to be considered as a lateral transfer are a New York State certified police officer, and hired off of a competitive civil service list.  The Rochester Police Department does not accept out of state lateral transfers.  Interested lateral transfer officers that meet the above requirements should forward a copy of a resume with an attached uniformed picture to Backgrounds and Recruitment Unit, 185 Exchange Blvd, Rochester, NY, 14614.  Lateral transfers will be hired based on department needs.

Although the Rochester Police Department does accept lateral transfers, it is suggested that New York State certified police officers take the civil service examination.  Please call the Recruitment Unit (585) 428-6716 for further information.

What training are lateral transfers required to complete?

Lateral transfers are required to complete 7 weeks abbreviated academy training, which encompasses department specific training.

Does the Rochester Police Department grant Military deferment?

Yes, once the civil service list is established, you have two years from that date to be hired. Active military members can defer the process, and the deferment is specific to your situation. After returning from active duty it is your responsibility to place yourself back on the civil service list.  This should be done within a month of your return from active duty. Please contact the Department of Human Resource Management for further information, or for specific requirements for deferment.

What are the requirements for using veterans’ credit points on the civil service exam?

You must be a New York State resident, and you must declare use of the veteran points before the civil service list is established. For specific questions related to the use of veterans points contact the Department of Human Resource Management.

Is the police academy a local academy?

Yes, the academy is mostly Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.  The Rochester Police Recruits attend the academy at the Monroe Community College Public Safety Training Facility.

How long is the police academy and what are the requirements?

The police academy is approximately 26 weeks long, and encompasses areas in physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms training and basic police academic training.

I am thinking of relocating to Rochester, NY and am interested in becoming a police officer. What are the living costs like?

Most people will find that living costs, especially housing costs, are considerably lower than in other areas of the United States. If you would like an estimate on living costs, follow this link  

Is there a benefit to residing in the City of Rochester?

Yes, city employees are eligible for up to $6,000 assistance in closing costs towards the purchase of a city house. There is also an “Officer Next Door” program where officers can buy select houses at up to 50% off of sale price. 

Does the Rochester Police Department offer internship or Co-Op opportunities?

Yes, there are internship opportunities with the Rochester Police Department. For further information on internship’s or Co-Op’s call (585) 428-7496. 

How can I find out more information?

You can e-mail a recruiter at, or call (585) 428-6716 to speak with a recruiter.  Recruiters are available Monday – Friday (except for holidays), 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.  You can visit the RPD Recruitment Unit at the Public Safety Building at 185 Exchange Blvd, Rochester, NY, 14614.