Employment Opportunities


12The 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 in 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.

2013 Exam 2All new police officers will begin by attending a 24-week MPTC 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
  • Detective
  • Community Outreach Officer
  • Community Liaison Officer
  • Officer Assigned to the Detective Bureau
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft System Unit

Det 193 and 220In 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/Crisis Negotiator
  • Video Forensic Technician
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor
  • Firearms Instructor
  • Drug Recognition Expert
  • Department 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.

The Northampton Police Department is actively seeking applicants who are female or people of color.  We strive to maintain a diverse agency that best mirrors the community that we serve.  


Northampton Police Department

Police Officer Entrance Exam Information

Recent Exams: April 12, 2008, November 6, 2010, October 5, 2013, April 4, 2015, and April 30, 2016 .


Next Exam: There is no exam scheduled at this time.


Location Smith Vocational High School Gymnasium (Building B), 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA.  


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 $42,988.14 to $53,929.20. Officers are also paid a $1,500 annual First Responder stipend in addition to their base salary.  Officers also receive eleven (11) paid holidays. Officers are also eligible to participate in the Educational Incentive Program. Officers with applicable degrees earn the following amounts annualy in addition to their base salary:

Associate's Degree:  $4,000
Bachelor's Degree:  $8,000
Master's Degree:  $10,000

Applicable degrees must be in one of the following subject areas: public administration, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, forensic science, computer science with a concentration in forensic computer science, law enforcement, or political science. Officers who have a degree at any level that is not in the previously identified areas of study earn $1,500 annually.  Each Officer's degree is subject to review by the Chief of Police and the Director of Human Resources. 

Education Requirement: Candidates must have completed an Associate's degree or attained an equivalent number of credits (60) toward a Bachelor's 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 Associate's degree requirements.  This requirement would commence upon the successful completion of the department's Field Training and Evaluation Program.  A useful tool for researching colleges and universities in Massachusetts and all U.S. states can be found at www.justicedegrees.com.

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 time of the examination. All candidates must have a valid Massachusetts operator's license before appointment.

How To Apply:

We are NOT currently accepting applications.  

2016 Exam Application

2016 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.  We will not contact you to confirm receipt of the exam application.  Once we receive it you will be registered to take the exam.

Refunds: There will be NO REFUNDS of the registration fee unless the examination is cancelled by the Northampton Police Department.

Deadline for Registration: There is no exam currently scheduled.

Examination Application:  Please submit ONLY the Exam Application and payment.  DO NOT submit resumes, transcripts, cover letters, or employment applications at this time.  If you pass the exam, you will be notified and we will request the necessary documentation.

Study Guide: Practice examinations may be purchased at McCann Associates Testing.

Selection Process: After the exams have been scored eligible applicants will receive notification 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.  They will also need to sign an Authorization for Release for the background investigation.  These documents are available at the following links:

Police Department Application (26 pages)

City of Northampton Application

Authorization for Release

Candidates should also review the Candidate Selection Guide so that they are familiar with the hiring process.  The guide can be accessed via the following link:

Northampton Police Officer Selection Guide 

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. 

patrolresizedApplicants 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 (24 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 John Cartledge at 413-587-1176 or
email at jcartledge@northamptonma.gov

The City of Northampton is an equal opportunity employer.
The Northampton Police Department is an accredited age


NPD: Located at 29 Center Street, Northampton MA 01060 | Emergencies: 911 | Business Line: 413-587-1100 | Fax: 413-587-1137