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Metropolitan Police Department (MPD, also known as MPDC) is the official law enforcement agency of the district of Colombia, and the country’s capital city – Washington DC. With over 4,400 employees, 3,800 of whom are full-time sworn officers, MPDC is the sixth-largest municipal law enforcement agency in the country. Being one of the most efficient police departments in the nation, MPD is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies’ Gold Standard.
Motto: “We are here to help”
History: To tackle increasing security concerns in the city of Washington during the civil war, President Lincoln formally established the Metropolitan Police Department of Colombia in 1861. Prior to this, he delegated a board of members to study the functioning of the New York Police Department, so as to implement the same in DC. Thus, MPDC replaced already existing law enforcement agencies and provided for more institutionalized policing in the district. Since its founding, 123 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Size: The Metropolitan police department polices an area of around 68 square miles, in which a population of 700,000 people.
Headquarters: 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 5059, Washington, DC 20001
Divisions: The department is divided into 9 major bureaus: patrol services, homeland security, corporate support, professional development, investigative services, and internal affairs. MPDC also has 9 operational divisions, which carry out various law enforcement activities: special operations, robbery-homicide, emergency response team, air support, juvenile, criminal interdiction, narcotics, forensics and traffic enforcement. The special operations division is further subdivided into 40 other super-specialized units, each headed by a Lieutenant. The Chief of Police heads MPDC.
How to become a deputy: The first step is to obtain an MPD Interest Card from their website, stating interest in joining. Candidates must then attend the MPD Prospect Day that is regularly organized to undertake a series of screening events and tests, including a physical ability test (PAT), document verification and biometrics registration. Candidates who meet all criteria of the screening event are expected to take up a written test called National Testing Network Frontline Written Exam (NTNFWE) thereafter. The exam tests core competencies of logical reasoning and analysis, and grammar and report writing.
Average salary: $60,199-$65,853 annually, with other financial housing and educational benefits. Salary increases with experience and position within the department.
Police academy: On passing the District of Columbia police exam, candidates join the Metropolitan Police Academy. It takes 28-weeks of intensive training in core skills. MPD officers are required to serve an 18-month probationary period, which is included as part of the 28-week training program. Training is conducted at 4665 Blue Plains Drive SW, Washington, DC.
Registration: Further information on the procedure for applying can be found on MPDC’s official website. Due to its renowned reputation as a leading police department, competition for places is currently very high.
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