Portland Police Department | 109 Middle Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 874-8479


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Wages and Benefits

Important Information for Police Officer Candidates

The Portland Police Department’s hiring process is covered by a Civil Service Ordinance which is administered by the Civil Service Commission. The Commission is an independent board of local residents appointed to oversee the hiring process.  The Department will be using the newest testing instrument from IO Solutions starting in 2011.  The new  test will omit outdated mathematical questions and instead test for integrity of the candidate.  

All candidates for police officer must be a U.S. citizen, a high school graduate or equivalent, and have either two years of post high school employment or three years of post high school education or a combination of education and employment totaling three years.

The entry-level exam consists of multiple-choice questions pertaining to police and general knowledge.   Our on line testing company, IO Solutions, has practice tests on their website (testing/discount information)which will help you in preparation for the test.  Need more practice?  For a $5.00 discount on additional study materials.

Codes for Portland Police candidates - November 3th 2012
NCJOSI^2 Study Guide – PORTLAND12
NCJOSI^2 Practice Exam – PORT12

Other sites which may be helpful are:  http://www.testprepreview.com/sat_practice.htm

Remember, the more you take practice tests the higher your score will be! Many candidates are not good test takers, but with practice may easily overcome this hurdle!

The results of the written exam will be immediate. Next, you will be contacted to schedule your interview and physical fitness test. A link for details to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy fitness testing is: www.state.me.us/dps/mcja/forms.

Upon successful completion of the interview, a background investigation will be conducted.

The Chief reviews results and selects candidates. A job offer of employment is made to the candidate that is conditional on the successful completion of a polygraph, job suitability assessment and medical examination.

Once selected, new officers attend the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for an eighteen (18)-week basic police training.

Download and submit your application now for the next test date on:

This Department utilizes a thorough and extensive hiring process that is aimed at identifying and hiring the best candidates to serve as Police Officers in our City. The process is highly competitive. The following outline explains that process and gives some insight into preparation for it.

  1. Announcement of Entrance Test for Police Officers - The Portland Police Department tests for entry level positions on a rolling basis. You may submit an application at any time and will be notified of the next date. At this time applications are accepted by the Human Resource Department at 389 Congress Street, Room 113, Portland, ME 04101.
  2. Applications: An application form may be obtained from Human Resources or downloaded by clicking the Application button. It must be accompanied by a cover letter and a resume. Resumes are used as part of the screening process. Successful candidates should spend some time on preparation of a solid resume.
  3. Written Exam - Produced by a national testing firm, this exam is multiple choice questions that test general aptitudes in reading, deductive reasoning, and other areas including math skills. The test is administered online at the Portland Police Department. A minimum score of 70 is necessary to move forward in the process. All applicants will receive a test score immediately following the test.  
    Our on line testing company, IO Solutions, has practice tests on their website (http://www.publicsafetyrecruitment.com/) which will help you in preparation for the test.   Candidates may retake the test if they do not receive a passing score. Following a 2nd failure, the candidate may not retake the test for 180 days.
  4. Physical Fitness - The Department utilizes the Maine Criminal Justice Academy's entry test for physical fitness. Currently, that test requires sit ups, push ups, and a 1.5 mile run. Successful completion of this test is required for entry into the Academy Failure, therefore, eliminates candidates from consideration.
  5. Resume Review - The Civil Service ordinance determines the make-up of a committee that reviews the resumes of all candidates who scored a minimum of 70 on the written test. This committee reviews resumes for basic qualifications. Key to this review are educational experience, work experiences, skills (i.e. foreign languages), and activities. This process is competitive and a well written resume that shows some preparation for this type of work is helpful.
  6. Affirmative Action - The City of Portland and the Portland Police Department are committed to encouraging minority and/or female applicants.
  7. Oral Interview - All remaining candidates are interviewed by a panel made up of Department representatives and a Civil Service Commissioner. These interviews are low stress and seek to cause candidates to talk about themselves. The panel makes recommendations to the Chief of Police who determines which candidates will move on in the hiring process.
  8. Background Investigation - All candidates, remaining in the process, are given a background book to complete. This book and its information are assigned to an investigator who will work to verify its contents. The purpose of this investigation is to uncover any disqualifying events in a candidate's life. Honesty is a premium here. False information, misinformation, and undisclosed information will lead to removal from the process.
    NOTE: You may download a background book and complete it prior to your interview. This will expedite the process. The booklet may be found at:
  9. CONDITIONAL JOB OFFER - Candidates still alive in the process may receive a conditional job offer. Upon acceptance of that offer, the next 2 stages of the process take place.
  10. Polygraph Exam - All applicants, in the process, must complete a polygraph exam. Again, the emphasis is on honesty.
  11. Job Suitability Assessment - This stage consists of a number of written testing instruments employed by a Department's consultant. The results of these tests and an interview are transmitted to the Department. Candidates must be recommended by this process to continue.
  12. Medical Exam- At the direction of the Chief of Police, candidates are given final job offers. Upon acceptance, candidates are sworn in and sent to the Academy for 18 weeks of instruction before beginning their careers in Portland.  If you have questions about this process, email us at Police Hiring

Wages and Benefits

New Pay Rates - City of Portland City Council just approved 8 % raise for entry level candidates!


  EFFECTIVE 01/01/12 EFFECTIVE 01/06/13 
0-1 Years $38,646.40 $39,228.80
1-3 Years $41,787.20 $42,411.20
3-5 Years $44,221.84 $45,327.36
5-8 Years $45,965.40 $47,114.60
8-12 Years $47,758.36 $48,484.80
11-18 Years $49,620.48 $50,356.80
18+ Years $51,109.24 $51,875.20

Salary reflects BASE pay only; does not include any overtime, court time, education or night shift add-on’s.
The salary scale does not include night shift differential, court time or overtime – all factors which may increase your pay. Overtime is regularly available on a weekly basis for those that want it. For lateral applicants, the City of Portland recognizes prior municipal law enforcement experience and pays commensurate to their years of experience.

Employees accrue sick (12 days) and vacation time throughout the year. Employees start with two weeks of vacation time in the first year and may accrue as much as five weeks, dependent on years of service. Officers may also accrue comp time, as well as overtime, to increase pay and/or time off. There are 12 holidays offered, and the option is available to cash these out or use as discretionary leave. Two personal days are also allotted.

All full-time permanent employees and their dependents may participate in the city’s health insurance plan. Coverage is included for domestic partners upon completion of proper documentation.

For a single plan, the coverage is free, and weekly rates for dependents are $82.82 per week for a family plan and $48.71 per week for the two-adult plan. The health plan is administered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and is effective on the first day of the month following your start date.

Dental insurance is available for purchase by employees, domestic partners and dependents. Dental care benefits are paid through Patriot Mutual Insurance, and current rates are available through Human Resources at 874-8588.

Health and dependent care flex spending is available to new employees and during open enrollment at the end of each year.

Life insurance coverage is available at no cost to police officers. Higher levels and dependent insurance are available for a fee. Rates are based on salary and available through Human Resources.

Police officers are enrolled in their choice of two pension plans. The Maine State Retirement System offers a 25-year/no-age benefit into which the city contributes (7.5%) and the employee contributes (6.5%). The city also offers a 401-A plan administered by ICMA into which the same contributions are made. Both plans have long-term disability included. The Portland Police Department does not participate in social security.

An employee may purchase short-term disability at three levels of income protection. In the event of an accident or illness that is not work related, benefits are paid out at the level purchased: 40%, 55% or 70% of employee’s salary. Cost is $1.90 per $100 coverage.