How To Become a Police Officer in MD

 Getting into the police force is no easy task, and while some aspiring candidates think that it is all about the written exam or all about physical strength, the truth is that you would actually need both in order to be successfully recruited. While most people would opt to prepare on their own, which is the usual thing to do, there are actually professionals who could help you get in shape both mentally and physically.

How to Prepare for the Police Academy 

Preparing to become a police officer requires a good mix of intense review for the written exam as well as shaping up in order to match the physical fitness test standards which is a prerequisite for being recruited in the police force.

First and foremost, you have to be well equipped when it comes to information regarding the recruitment given how dates and requirements tend to vary per state and per county. While you would think that recruitment is done on the level of the state, you are unfortunately mistaken, but do not worry. To give you an idea, here is an overview per county.

Baltimore County

All the relevant information you would need for the preparation of paperwork and other requirements could all be found at which is a specialized website created exclusively for the goal of coursing necessary information to those who are interested with the recruitment process. Take note that Baltimore ranks eighth in terms of the largest municipal police force in the country, which should give you an idea how competitive it is.

Other Counties 

While Baltimore enjoys some sort of popularity for being a large municipal police force, smaller counties have neither luxury nor online presence when it comes to their very own recruitment process.

If you are looking for specific requirements and important dates for counties such as Columbia police department, Germantown police department, Silver Spring police department, or Waldorf police department, then check out the information that could be found on the website of the Department of Maryland State Police at, particularly in the Careers section.

General Police Academy Requirements in Maryland 

In any case, there would be similarities in terms of general requirements across the state, and a quick peek at the website of Baltimore County on would give you an idea regarding these prerequisites, which usually include:
Application either online, which is the only option for this particular county);

A written examination which is usually determined by the Office of Human Resources for each county;

The Physical Agility Test, which would determine if you are physically fit for the service; A background examination clearing you of previous convictions or felonies;
And a medical and physical examination which comes before recruitment if you would prove to be successful in all the phases of the recruitment process.

This is the recruitment flow overview.

 Are You Physically Fit?

 Not to discourage you or anything, but if you do not have the physical strength and stamina to catch a bad guy, then you might have to consider another form of employment, although this does not mean that you should totally give up if this has been your dream since childhood. There would always be a way for those who really want it, and asking the help of professionals to train you is just one method of securing your future.

 Training service agencies such as Prepare for the Police Academy, for instance, would provide you with helpful services which give you a better understanding on how the physical assessment test works, how to ace the criminal law exam, and how to be physically fit in order to be an effective cop police officer. Most of their services are outlined on their website at, which could lead you right to recruitment.

Are You Mentally Fit? 

One prerequisite that they might require you to take prior to recruitment would be a polygraph test which is part of the background check, as well as the written exam, which is one of the most important police academy requirements in Marylandbecause of its eliminatory nature. Do not pass that exam and you have to wait for the next recruitment day, which might not come in years.

In this case, you could also prepare your brain by engaging yourself in mock quizzes and timed simulations of the actual exam, which are services offered by several online agencies such as This gives you the option to choose a particular county for a more tailor-made and specific approach that would help you ace the test. 

Polygraph test and written exam aside, the best advice that anyone could give you regarding the career path of a police officer is to take care of your health, because this is not a field in which you would be tied to a desk from nine to five while eating donuts and endless cups of coffee which would make you fat.

You would be chasing thugs and criminals in the streets of Maryland all day long, and could even get caught in skirmishes which could endanger your life, which means that it could be a matter of life and death for you every day if you are not well-prepared both physically and emotionally.

As such, if you could access avenues where you could get help, and nowadays there are just numerous agencies out there offering such services, then go for it. They might just be the answer to your problem.


Physical Fitness test standards are something that you should also prioritize if you are planning to join the force, simply because you would need the strength while being in the front lines fighting crime face to face.

Even so, presence of mind is also a must along with familiarization with the system and how it works. So if you want to know how to prepare for the police academy the answer is: you must work your mind and body so you can pass both the written test and the physical fitness test.

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