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If I become a police officer in one state, then decide I would like to move, is it an easy transfer?

by tom44 on April 6, 2013

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Question by Blake B: If I become a police officer in one state, then decide I would like to move, is it an easy transfer?
I am looking into trying for the police force in Pennsylvania, but I’d like to live in Boston. I checked in the Boston PD requirements, and it says that I’d have to be a citizen of Boston for at least one year to try for the test. If I make it in Pennsylvania could I just transfer over to Boston?

Best answer:

Answer by perfectlybaked
It probably takes place on the resume’ level, since the only law that is universal in all of the states is federal law.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “If I become a police officer in one state, then decide I would like to move, is it an easy transfer?

  1. TM says:

    It depends on the agencies from which you transfer, as much as to where you transfer…And it depends what you mean by “easy.”

    Different agencies have different restrictions and unions…some more corrupt than others, unfortunately.

    Best to walk through the departments with some questions of your own to supervisors and other key personnel…find out where they are coming from…ask them to relate “typical problems” that they might know of, or have a problem with… This opens doors to the real job description…Is it policing, or is is politics?…There IS a difference….

    AVOID departments with whose policies you don’t agree. Law is black and white…opinions are grey. If you think it’s serious, talk to upper echelon and other departments you visit and ask their direct opinion. That can also help you in chosing another department or jurisdiction.

    Law enforcment is NOT limited to “police” departments…there are Sheriff (all kinds of law enforcement postions there – SAR, Posse, Disaster Worker, Coroner’s office, Juvenile Justice, etc.); there are also federal law enforcement postions…Go take a class on investigations and one-up yourself! In fact, add an accounting class and get promoted to forensic financial investigations!

    Good luck and stay safe! 🙂

  2. Samuel says:

    Most of those requirements can be waived if the department wants you. Those requirements are for the “ideal applicant” and it’s designed to shy people away that aren’t serious. Generally, lateral transfers to another state are hard, but it’s not hard if your home state has higher standards and it’s neighboring to the state you want to transfer to.

  3. impaler19120 says:

    None of the answers you received so far are correct.

    Each state has its own requirements to certify police officers. In order to go from one state to another, you must meet the training requirements of the new state, which at a MINIMUM includes many class room hours of training in that states criminal and motor vehicle laws.

    In some states, experienced and certified Police officers from other maybe hired, and only have to attend the training mentioned above. In other states, they require that even certified police officers from out of state must complete the ENTIRE course of study in the new state’s police academy.

    Because of that, very, very few Police departments accept ‘lateral transfers” from out of state. Most big city police departments require that all new hires be trained in their own academy, even if they are already certified police offciers in the same state. Also, to be hired by another department, either in your own state, or in another state, requires that you go through the entire testing process (except maybe for some very small departments, whihc might hire someone off the street without any testing). The testing procedure almost always includes written and oral tests, background and credit checks, physical agility tests and medical/psychological testing.

    I was a certifed police officer in one state, and left to take a job in another state (having gone all through the testing process) and then had to go all through the police academy a second time. There are some police departments in some states that do accept “lateral transfers” and they expedite the cerification process. However, that is pretty rare.

    Reference your Boston example:

    If you were a Philadelphia Police Officer, you would have to quit your job and move to Boston for one year, go through the testing procedure, and if hired, go through the Boston Police Academy and start at the salary of a probationary police officer.

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