Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions - Rochester Police Department

What is the process of becoming a Police Officer in the Rochester Police Department (RPD)? Serving with PRIDE - Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, Excellence

The first step of the process is to sign up for the Written Examination, which is generally offered once a year. Results of the written exam are usually received within three to five months. After receiving your results, you may be considered for further processing depending on your score and Departmental need. 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 physical agility test, you will be required to complete a background investigation process which encompasses a medical and psychological exam. After successfully completing all aspects of the hiring process, a determination is made to hire recruit officers based on current staffing needs.  

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

After completing your exam application, you will receive a letter from the City Department of Human Resource Management with the date, time and place of the examination. This letter should be received 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 Written Examination by the Wednesday before the exam date, please 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 RPD. We will receive your score as if you took the test in Rochester. You must submit a Cross-Filer Form.  Click here for more information regarding Employment Forms.

How long does the hiring process take?

The process to be hired as a police officer will take about nine to 15 months from the time of the Written Examination until the start of the police academy.

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

After being hired as an RPD Officer, you will receive first-grade officer salary and benefits while attending the police academy. After successful completion of 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 will learn how to apply your academy training to "real-life" situations. The field training program can be completed in as little as 12 weeks.

Do you need a criminal justice background to join the RPD? 

Obtaining a criminal justice degree is not a requirement for joining the RPD. The City of Rochester and RPD are equal opportunity employers and actively recruit persons of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This type of diversity and inclusion is what makes the RPD such a well-rounded agency.

Does the RPD have age requirements?

Yes, you must be at least 19 years-of-age and not have reached your 35th birthday on or before the date of written test, except as defined on Section 243 (10-a) of the Military Law. At the time of appointment, candidates must be at least 20 years-of-age. You can email the Department of Human Resource Management for detailed information or to answer any additional questions.

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

Candidates must reside and maintain residence within either the counties of Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans or Wayne at the time of appointment to the position of Police Officer. 

Does the RPD make arrangements for out-of-state applicants?

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

Does the RPD accept lateral transfers?

Yes, general requirements to be considered for a lateral transfer position with the RPD are that candidates must possess New York State certification as a police officer and be hired from a competitive civil service list. The RPD does not accept out of state lateral transfers. Interested lateral transfer officers that meet the above requirements should email the Recruitment Unit or call (585) 428-6716 for further information.

What training are lateral transfers required to complete?

Lateral transfers are required to complete seven weeks of abbreviated police academy training that will encompass Department-specific training.

Does the RPD 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, which should be done within a month of your return from active duty. Please email the Department of Human Resource Management for further information or specific requirements for deferment.

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

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

Is the police academy a local academy?

Yes, the academy is mainly Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 4 PM. 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 topics 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 home located within the City of Rochester. There is also an “Officer Next Door” program where officers can buy select houses at up to 50% off of the sale price. 

Does the RPD offer internship opportunities?

Yes, there are internship opportunities with the RPD. For further information on internship opportunities, call (585) 428-7496. 

How can I find out more information on becoming a Rochester Police Officer?

You can e-mail a recruiter at or call (585) 428-6716 to speak with a police recruiter. Recruiters are available Monday – Friday (except holidays) 8 AM - 4 PM.