How to Become a Police Officer in Detroit

Detroit is a great city for a cop to start his or her career. The cost of living is much lower than the national average (by 27%) and housing costs are almost 80% cheaper when compared to the rest of the nation.1 Detroit is the 19th-most populous city in the nation and has a population of over 680,000.2,3 There are roughly 5,000 people per square mile in the city.3 Residents of Detroit can enjoy the city’s rich musical history, vibrant arts districts, and attractive sports venues.

Individuals wishing to become a part of the Detroit Police Department will find information on the application, selection and training process below.

Detroit Police Officer Requirements

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) is responsible for ensuring the public safety of the city’s residents and visitors. The Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) program operates throughout the city with an emphasis on community-oriented policing. The starting annual salary for a DPD law enforcement officer is $31,701, but the average DPD cop makes much more, $60,570 per year.4 To join the DPD, potential law enforcement officers must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no felony convictions

All candidates must pass a pre-employment (reading and writing) and physical fitness test. Hopeful cops will also have to undergo a background investigation, a psychological exam, and a medical exam. The written exam is $68 and the physical fitness test is $45.

For more information about becoming a law enforcement officer in a big city like Detroit, check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. For information on the full hiring process, visit http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/Police/Jobs/DPD%20Hiring%20Process.pdf.

Chief James Craig was promoted to Chief of Police in 2013. He has over 35 years of law enforcement experience and holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from West Coast University and a master’s in management and public administration from the University of Phoenix.

Detroit Police Department Information

The DPD has 12 precincts, each of which has a captain and at least one neighborhood police officer (NPO). NPOs are tasked with improving relationships with community members and businesses for non-emergency issues and problems related to the quality of life for residents in the city. DPD cops can work in one of the Department’s 10 bureaus, which include:

  • Arson
  • Child abuse
  • Court liaison
  • Domestic violence
  • Extradition
  • Homicide
  • Missing child
  • Narcotics section
  • Sex crimes
  • Violent crime task force

The Department also has a bomb squad, K-9 unit and mounted patrol division.

Detroit Police Training Academy

All DPD recruits must attend the six-month basic training academy at the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy. In 2014, 125 new police officers completed the basic training academy and were sworn in as police officers.5 The Class 2015-B graduated 17 new police recruits.5 In the same year, 25 officers were promoted to detective and 67 cops were promoted to corporal.6

Detroit Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

Over 4,000 cops are employed in the Detroit metropolitan area and they earn an average annual salary of $60,570.7 In the state of Michigan, the number of cops is projected to increase by 1% between now and 2022, creating an average of 540 law enforcement openings per year.8 The number of police officers recruited and hired ultimately depend on the city’s budget and priorities and the number of police officers who retire during the year.

To view open listings for police officers in Detroit, visit our jobs board page.

More Information on the Detroit Police Department and Crime

The DPD Police Athletics League (PAL) is a sports and mentorship program created by police officers for local youth ages four to 19. PAL builds leadership through athletic, academic and leadership programs. Over 12,000 children from Detroit participate in sports activities offered by Detroit PAL.9 Annually, PAL certifies 1,500 men and women to mentor youth in the program.9 Sports programs available include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, softball, T-ball, track and volleyball.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/detroitpolice
Twitter: @detroitpolice

Detroit Police Department Headquarters
1301 3rd Street
Detroit, MI 48226

Additional Resources

1. Sperling’s Best Places, Detroit, MI: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/michigan/detroit
2. National League of Cities, The 30 Most Populous Cities: https://www.nlc.org/the-30-most-populous-cities
3. US Census Bureau, Detroit, MI: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/detroitcitymichigan/PST045217
4. City of Detroit Police Officer: http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/Police/Jobs/DPDRecruit%20Pay%20Flier%20Rev10302014.pdf
5. City of Detroit, Board of Police Commissioners 2014 Annual Report: http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/policecommissioners/2014%20Annual%20Report%20final.pdf
6. City of Detroit, News from the City Government: http://www.detroitmi.gov/News/ArticleID/194
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates,
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19804.htm
8. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
9. Detroit PAL: http://detroitpal.org/about-us/