Frequently Asked Questions : Police Officer Examination


When is an examination offered for Entry-level Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff?
The  examination series for Entry-level Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff positions prepared by the New York State Department of Civil Service and administered by municipal civil service agencies for local jurisdictions is generally scheduled for September of each year.
How do I know which local agencies are offering a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?
You should contact the municipal civil service agency directly to find out if they are participating in the September 26, 2020 examination series. Each municipal civil service agency has different needs and they determine whether or not to hold a particular exam for a particular year. Civil Service eligible lists are established by municipal civil service agencies for a duration of one to four years. Therefore, a particular municipal civil service agency may hold an examination every year, while another municipal civil service agency may hold the examination only once every four years. This is a local determination.

How can I contact municipal civil service agencies to inquire if they will be participating in the Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff exam?
The New York State Department of Civil Service web site links to local civil service agencies with examination announcements on their web sites at: Jobseeker map and a complete contact listing of all the municipal civil service agencies in the State.
How can I locate a Test Guide to help me prepare for this year's Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?
The Test Guides for these examinations, as well as others, are available online at: Please note the most important document you should carefully read and consider is the examination announcement itself. Candidates should pay close attention to the "Subjects of Examination" section of the announcement to be informed about the test type and content, and focus their examination preparation upon the information described in this portion of the announcement.
Who would I contact to obtain specific information regarding the Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff eligible list?
Information on the establishment of the eligible list, duration of the eligible list, canvasses and vacancies must be obtained from the municipal civil service agency which held the examination and where you were a candidate in the examination.
What age limits are there for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff?
New York State's maximum age for employing law enforcement officers was enacted by the New York State Legislature in April 1999. Section 58 of Civil Service Law was amended to establish a maximum age limit of not more than 35 years of age for provisional or permanent appointment as a competitive class Police Officer or Deputy Sheriff. The maximum age established in Section 58 requires the candidate must not have reached his/her 35th birthday on or before the date of the written examination.

Is the age requirement for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examinations discriminatory?

The age requirement for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff in New York State is in conformance with the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA was amended by Congress on September 30, 1996, to provide an exemption for certain age limitations in state or local law for the hiring of Firefighters and law enforcement officers. The exemption allows states to establish age requirements for positions such as Police Officer and Deputy Sheriff.

Is there any circumstance which would allow an extension or a waiver to the age requirement?

Candidates who are veterans of the armed forces may have time spent on military duty, up to a maximum of six years, as defined in Section 243 (10-a)of the Military Law, deducted from their age for purposes of determining whether they meet the age requirement. Beyond this exemption for Veterans there is no ability for a municipal civil service agency or the New York State Civil Service Commission to provide a waiver to the age requirements.

What are the minimum qualifications needed in order to participate in a Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examination?

Minimum training and experience necessary to participate in examinations does vary from location to location. Please refer to the examination announcement for each agency participating in the examination to determine the minimum qualifications for that jurisdiction. There are several qualifications/standards that have been set forth by Section 58 of the Civil Service Law and the Municipal Police Training Council that must be met in order to participate in an examination for Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff. They are as follows:

Age: not less than 20 at the time of appointment nor more than 35 as of date of written examination. It is recommended that candidates be not less than 19 on the date of the examination;

Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma;

Medical and physical fitness requirements are set by the New York State Municipal Police Training Council and must be met prior to appointment;

Municipal civil service agencies may establish other additional or higher qualifications than those listed above, so you must closely review the announcement for the examination where you are interested in being employed.

Are there residency requirements to participate in Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff examinations?
Municipal civil service agencies may require residency requirements to participate in law enforcement examinations. You should carefully review the examination announcement to verify if you meet the residency requirements for a particular examination before filing and paying your application fee. Any questions regarding residency must be addressed to the municipal civil service agency that has jurisdiction.