Police Officer Frequently Asked Questions

You must reach your twenty-first birthday by the time you graduate from the police academy. The upper age limit is sixty years of age according to city code.

Candidates create an online profile where they can upload required documents.

The police academy training is a 24-week, full-time (919-hour) program that provides recruits with the initial skills and information necessary to begin his/her police career. The academy is not residentially based; you attend class during the day and go home afterward. Upon graduating from the police academy, officers will have at least an additional twelve weeks of field training.

Yes! You become a paid employee of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police once you complete processing and will be paid at the current rate for Police Officer One ($57,547).

After completing four years of service, you may qualify to join a specialized unit.

Learn more about Specialty Units →

To be promoted to the rank of Sergeant or Lieutenant you must pass both a written and oral exam. The promotional test is given annually. The position of Detective is appointed by the Captain of the Criminal Investigative Division. The rank of Captain is appointed by the Chief of Police.

U.S. VETERAN’S PREFERENCE – Ten points for veteran’s preference will be added to the scores of eligible veterans who pass the examination and have completed at least one full term of service. You must be honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces. Upload a DD214, member 4, to your profile if you wish for your eligibility to be reviewed.

RESIDENCE PREFERENCE – Three points will be added to the scores of candidates who have lived within the city’s limits for two years prior to the test date.

BILINGUAL PREFERENCE – Three points will be added to the scores of candidates who can communicate in a second language at a fourth-grade level or greater.

LATERAL PREFERENCE – Three points will be added to the scores of candidates who have a valid and current Act 120 certification.

BUREAU CADET PREFERENCE – Five points will be added to the scores of eligible cadets currently employed by the bureau.

BUREAU COMMUNITY SERVICE AIDE PREFERENCE – Three points will be added to the scores to community service aides that complete in 1 year of service with the bureau.

All sworn members of the Bureau of Police are permitted to reside within Lancaster County and any contiguous county (Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lebanon, and York) within Pennsylvania.

Please refer to the Municipal Police Officer Education Training Commission (MPOETC) standards online for disqualifications. There may be other criminal offenses that preclude employment. Please contact a recruiter to discuss the specifics of your circumstance.

Officers who join the Lancaster Bureau of Police with prior sworn officer experience shall be placed on the Police Officer pay scale based on the number of prior years’ experience, following successful completion of their Field Officer Training. Placement of an officer on the pay scale based on their prior years of sworn officer experience shall only affect the officer’s salary and have no impact on seniority, longevity, pension or any other aspect of pay or benefits based on years of service. The pay scale below shows the current starting salary plus the pay increases over the next 3 years.

Job Title 2023 Pay 2024 Pay

2025 Pay

2026 Pay

Police Officer VI




Police Officer V $76,392 $78,875 $81,439 $83,882

Police Officer IV

$67,903 $70,110 $72,389 $74,561
Police Officer III $66,800 $68,971 $71,213 $73,349
Police Officer II $61,560 $63,540 $65,626 $67,595
Police Officer I $59,416 $61,347