Lateral Police Officer

MPD is actively hiring police officers, with prior law enforcement experience, to join the Department as lateral law enforcement officers. MPD offers many benefits, including a $20,000 hiring bonus, up to $6,000 for rental housing assistance for properties in Washington DC, a strong salary, a generous defined benefit retirement/pension plan, and competitive annual leave, but best of all the opportunity to join the primary law enforcement agency for our nation's capital.

You will join the members of the Metropolitan Police Department, ensuring the safety and security of the residents and visitors of our great city. MPD has a primary role in many national events, to include presidential inaugurations, first amendment assemblies, and other activities, which make this city and its police department unique. With the size of the agency, MPD also offers great rank and specialization promotional opportunities.

More Reasons to Join MPD as a Lateral Police Officer:

  • Schedule: Patrol officers work four – 10 hour shifts and have three days off. Your shifts and days off are fixed (with the exception of training and special events).
  • Abbreviated Lateral Academy: Lateral law enforcement officers also complete an abbreviated (approximately 11 weeks) police academy training program, based upon their prior law enforcement training to ensure they meet all MPD standards.
  • Excellent Retirement Plan: MPD's defined benefit retirement/pension plan, allows members retiring after 25 years of MPD service, an annuity payment of 62.5% of their highest average pay. The maximum annuity payment is 80% of the highest average pay. Prior lateral service may be purchased from the DC Retirement Board. 
  • QUALIFICATIONS
  • Police officers hired under the Lateral Law Enforcement Officer program must meet all MPD suitability and selection standards to include:

    • Be a US citizen by birth or naturalization at the time of application
    • Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age
    • Possess at least 20/100 vision, correctable to 20/30 in both eyes (contacts are permitted, but must be worn for six (6)months or Lasik-type surgery at least six (6) weeks prior to examination)
    • Possess a valid driver's license at the time of application
    • Willing to submit to a background investigation, interview, medical evaluation, psychological assessment and polygraph examination
    • A suitable disciplinary history from the applicant's current/former law enforcement agency
    • Completed one of the following:
      • Successfully completed at least 60 semester hours of college credit with coursework in any subject matter. Credits from any accredited college or university will be accepted; OR
      • Served in the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Organized Reserves and National Guard, for at least two years on active duty and, if separated from the military, received an honorable discharge; OR
      • Served at least three years in a full-duty status with a full-service police department in a municipality or a state within the United States, and have resigned or retired in good standing.

    Lateral law enforcement officers must meet all MPD suitability and selection standards, in addition to possessing prior law enforcement experience. Lateral law enforcement officer applicants must have served within the past 12 months in a position with duties to include primarily the investigation, apprehension, or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States of America or any state of the United States of America.

    For treatment of prior service time, prospective lateral law enforcement officers from full-service law enforcement agencies (i.e., agencies primarily involved in 911 response), would be credited full-time for prior lateral experience. Members of theUnited States Capitol Police, United States Park Police, Federal Protective Services and the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division are eligible to apply and would receive full-service credit. Prospective lateral law enforcement officers from sworn law enforcement agencies, who are primarily involved in duties other than 911 response (i.e., sheriffs office w/out patrol responsibility), would be credited half­ time for prior lateral experience.

    Members may only claim eligibility of prior law enforcement service from one agency (i.e., not adding multiple agency service time credits).

  • Retirement Details
  • On date of hire with MPD, lateral law enforcement officers are automatically covered under the Police & Fire Plan as new Plan participants in the current retirement tier ("Tier 3"). Under Tier 3, members receive an annual retirement benefit of 2.5% of the average base pay for the total years of credible service. The maximum annual retirement benefit is 80% of the average base pay.

    Credit for prior lateral service is not automatic. Incoming lateral law enforcement officers who would like to receive retirement credit under the Police & Fire Plan for their prior law enforcement officer service towards their retirement eligibility and retirement benefit calculation must purchase their prior service at the full actuarial cost.

    The District of Columbia Retirement Board (DCRB) is responsible for the Police & Fire Plan and purchase of service calculations. MPD does not serve as an intermediary in this process. Incoming lateral police officer hires are fully responsible for this purchase, if they wish for prior lateral service to count towards retirement. Neither MPD nor the District is responsible for funding this purchase. Years of experience credited by MPD is not automatically credited for retirement purposes; that service may only be credited if purchased by the lateral police officer hire at the actuarial rate established by DCRB.

  • SALARY & BENEFITS
  • Lateral law enforcement officers receive the following primary benefits by joining MPD:

    • Credit of prior service for purposes of compensation
    • Accrual of annual leave based on length of service (to include credited prior law enforcement service)
    • Access to all MPD's benefits, including the participation in the Police Officers and Firefighters' Retirement Plan (Police & Fire Plan)

    FY2020 salary compensation, based on credited years of prior service is shown below:

    Years of Experience Credited by MPD Starting Step/ Salary
    < 2 years Step 2 - $63,208
    2 - < 3 years Step 3 - $66,367
    3 - < 5 years Step 4 - $69,684
    5 - < 7 years Step 5 - $73,170
    7 - < 10 years Step 6 - $76,814
    10 - < 13 years Step 7 - $80,670
    13 - < 15 years Step 8 - $84,703
    15 years Step 9 - $87,839
    16+ years Step 10 - $92,073

    After 18 months of service with MPD, lateral officers will receive an additional 4.2% increase of their current pay. MPD will also offer a hiring bonus of $20,000. This bonus will be paid in two equal installments at the time of hire and time of graduation from the lateral training academy.

    Additional Benefits Include:

    • Paid Holidays - 11 paid holidays per year
    • Sick Leave - 13 days of sick leave per year (4 hours per pay period)
    • DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) - The DCFMLA allows for up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave in any 24-month period for employees who are physically unable to work because of a serious medical condition (including maternity) or other specified reason. Documentation is required.
    • Paid Family Leave - District of Columbia Government employees may receive up to eight (8) weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
    • Annual Leave (Note: prior credited lateral time is applied for annual leave accrual)
      • < 3 years = 13 days of annual leave per year (4 hours per pay period)
      • 3 - < l 5 years=  20 days of annual leave per year (6 hours per pay period)
      • 15+ years =  26 days of annual leave per year (8 hours per pay period)

    To view additional benefits MPD offers, please visit this page.

  • FAQs
  • Question: I have less than three years of police experience – can I apply as a lateral police officer?

    Answer:  Yes, an officer with less than three years of police experience can be accepted as a lateral officer as long as they have 60 college credits or at least 2 years of active duty military service. 

     

    Question: I have less than three years of police experience and I do not have two years of military or 60 college credits, do I qualify as a lateral police officer?

    Answer: No, lateral police officers must still meet the minimum requirements (60 college credits OR 3 years of law enforcement experience OR 2 years of active duty military service). 

     

    Question: I was a police officer two years ago – do I qualify as a lateral?  

    Answer: No, lateral police officers must have served within the past 12 months in a position with duties to include primarily the investigation, apprehension, or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States of America or any state of the United States of America.

     

    Question:  What is the minimum amount of prior experience as a police officer to qualify as a lateral?

    Answer: You must have at least one year of service to qualify for a lateral.  You also need to have at least 60 college credits OR two years of active duty military service.  

     

    Question: Does the time I spent in the police academy count towards my prior police service?  

    Answer: Yes.  

     

    Question: I worked for two police departments. Can I add that time together to qualify?

    Answer:  No, you can only claim eligibility of prior law enforcement service from one agency.