A police department is defined by the quality of the people working for that organization. The men and women of the Northampton Police Department demand more from themselves and maintain an exceptional level of professionalism and integrity. Working as a police officer is not for everyone. It is a job that is extremely demanding and challenging. Police Officers must be dedicated individuals who possess strong communication skills, common sense, sound judgment, courage, self-motivation, dedication to duty, integrity, empathy, leadership skills, creativity and commitment to their peers and to the community that they serve.
The City of Northampton is a unique community. We have a downtown business district by day that transforms into a busy social center by night due to our many restaurants, nightclubs and concert arenas. The City also has two courthouses, a fairgrounds, a major hospital (CDH), Smith College, two large high schools, a middle school, four elementary schools, a Veterans Administration Hospital, Look Park, a bicycle rail trail that cuts through the middle of downtown, homeless shelters, a methadone clinic, multiple other social service agencies, hotels, and many, many other locations that make Northampton such a unique and challenging place to work as a police officer.
A career with the NPD offers challenge, excitement, variety, teamwork, job satisfaction, opportunities for special assignments and career development, opportunities for promotion, and excellent salary and benefits. It is a job like no other.
Candidates who are selected come from a variety of different academic and work backgrounds. Some of our candidates have studied criminal justice in college but many others have degrees in different academic areas such as psychology, sociology, social work, accounting, business, computers and English. Some candidates have worked for other police departments and some come from the private sector. Some candidates have military experience and some do not. The fact is, we hire candidates who we think will be successful police officers on our department and this includes people from varying backgrounds. The diversity within our department makes us more adaptable and best able to meet the needs of the community that we serve.
All new police officers will begin by attending a 21-week police academy. Once officers graduate from the academy, they will transition into the Field Training and Evaluation Program. After completing this four-month program working with a training officer, rookies will be able to work on their own. Officers begin their careers working as street patrol officers. Over time, as their skills and knowledge develop, more opportunities and special assignments will become available and officers can work toward their personal career goals by seeking out these special assignments.
The following is a list of special assignments on the police department:
- Highway Safety Officer
- School Resource Officer
- Bicycle Patrol Officer
- Crime Scene Technician
- Field Training Officer
- Cruiser Maintenance Officer
In addition to these special assignments, many officers also have specialized training that allows members of the department to contribute to the department in a wide variety of ways. This includes:
- Domestic Violence Specialist
- Sexual Assault Investigator
- Narcotics Investigator
- Hostage Negotiator
- Forensic Artist
- Video Forensic Technician
- Defensive Tactics Instructor
- Firearms Instructor
- Drug Recognition Expert
- Departmental Training Coordinator
- Community Services Liaison
- LEAPS Manager
- Voice Stress Analysis Examiner
- Infection Control Officer
- CPR/First Responder Instructor
- Lidar Instructor
The Northampton Police Department is a progressive and professional police agency. If you are interested in becoming a Police Officer in Northampton you are encouraged to participate in our Ride-along program that will allow you to ride with a Northampton Police Officer as he or she performs daily patrol tasks.
Northampton Police Department
Police Officer Entrance Exam Information
Recent Exams: April 12, 2008 and November 6, 2010
Next Exam: There is a Entry-level Police Officer Examination scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2013. Check-in for the exam is 8:00 AM and the test will begin at 9:00 AM.
Location: Smith College Campus, Weinstein Auditorium at Wright Hall, Northampton, MA. For a map of the Smith College campus, click here.
Duties: A Police Officer works under supervision to perform law enforcement duties, protecting life, property, and the civil rights of individuals. Primary duties include patrol; interacting with citizens to provide service and render assistance; and preparing and completing records, reports, and other paperwork documenting incidents for use in prosecution. A Police Officer is dispatched to crime and emergency scenes in response to reported violations, accidents, domestic disputes and abuses, and other incidents; carries out crime scene duties; makes arrests and performs search and seizure; conducts investigations; and interviews witnesses, suspects, and complainants.
Salary: Under the current contract, the patrol officer salary range is $39,921 to $49,009. You also receive eleven (11) paid holidays. Though the Northampton Police Department does participate in the Quinn Bill program, lack of state funding has resulted in the loss of a portion of this incentive pay. The status of these benefits or any other educational incentive program is undetermined at this time.
Education Requirement: Candidates must have completed an Associates degree or attained an equivalent number of credits (60) toward a Bachelors degree at an accredited institution of higher learning prior to the date of hire or have receipt of an honorable discharge or released under honorable conditions after two (2) years of uninterrupted military service (presentation of DD-214 military discharge at time of application), and requirement to be actively enrolled at an accredited college or university, attaining at least twelve (12) credits annually until completion of Associates degree requirements. This requirement would commence upon the successful completion of the department's Field Training and Evaluation Program
Age Requirement: Applicants must be twenty (20) years of age at the time of the examination and must be twenty-one (21) but younger than thirty-five (35) at date of hire.
Residency Requirement: In accordance with Chapter 41, Section 99A, candidates must establish residency within fifteen (15) miles of the limits of the City of Northampton within one (1) year from the date of appointment.
Medical and Physical Fitness Standards: Candidates must pass the medical examination before participating in the Physical Abilities Test (PAT).
Physical Abilities Test (PAT): All candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment will be instructed on how to schedule and take the PAT. The PAT is a test of the candidate's aerobic capacity and physical capability to perform various tasks required on the job. The PAT Training Guide is available on-line at HRD Physical Ability Guide. To view videos of the PAT, click here.
Academy Training: All candidates appointed as full-time police officers as a result of this examination will be required to successfully complete police academy training (MGL, Chapter 41, Section 96B)
Smoking Prohibition: In accordance with MGL, Chapter 41, Section 101A, candidates are prohibited from smoking tobacco products at the time of and after appointment.
Character: No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be appointed as a police officer. A candidate may be disqualified for evidence of character clearly unsuited for police services. A comprehensive background investigation is part of the selection process.
Firearms Permit: Candidate must qualify for a valid firearms permit to be a police officer in Massachusetts.
Driver's License: Applicants must display a valid motor vehicle operator's license at the timeof the examination. All candidates must have a valid Massachusetts operator's license before appointment.
How To Apply
We will begin accepting exam applications on March 1, 2013. Candidates who wish to take the exam must complete the Exam Application and mail that, along with payment, to the Northampton Police Department. All candidates MUST present a motor vehicle driver's license at the time of the exam.
Exam Application 2013
2013 Exam Notification (Printable Version)
Examination Fee: All registrations must be accompanied by a money order or bank check. The registration fee is fifty dollars ($50.00). Print your name, address, social security number, phone number, and the exam date on the front of the money order or bank check, made payable to the Northampton Police Department. NO CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS will be accepted. If you mail your registration, it is suggested that you send it by certified mail with return receipt requested.
Refunds: There will be NO REFUNDS of the registration fee unless the examination is cancelled by the Northampton Police Department.
Deadline for Registration: All exam registration forms with corresponding payment must be received by 3:00 PM, Friday, September 20, 2013.
Study Guide: Practice examinations may be purchased at McCann Associates Testing.
Selection Process: After the exams have been scored eligible applicants will receive notification via mail with instructions for the next phase of the selection process. Applicants will be instructed to complete two application forms- one for the police department and one for the City. Both forms are available at the following links:
Police Department Application (25 pages)
City of Northampton Application
Transfer Applicants: Applicants who have already completed a full-time academy and are interested in transferring to NPD will also be required to complete both applications. Anyone interested in transferring must contact the Captain of Operations before completing or submitting applications.
Applicants who are chosen to continue in the selection process will then complete the following:
- Background Investigation
- Oral Board Interview
- Medical Examination
- Psychological Evaluation
- Physical Abilities Test
Those candidates who meet the above requirements and are chosen as recruit police officers must successfully complete:
- Police Academy Training (21 weeks)
- Field Training and Evaluation Program (15 weeks)
- Probationary Period (one year from Academy graduation)
Any questions about the examination procedure or the hiring process should be directed to Captain Scott Savino, Northampton Police Department, 413-587-1112
The City of Northampton is an equal opportunity employer.
The Northampton Police Department is an accredited agency.