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Age limits for Law Enforcement

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  • Age limits for Law Enforcement

    I have a question for any body that might know. I am considering making the Army a career probably 20-30 years in the Army. That would put me at around 38-48 years old when I retire from the Military. Now I know that is way too old for Federal Law Enforcement. But what are age restrictions for just your regular police departments, sherrif departments etc?
    Can you still get hired to be a LEO at that age plus are you even able to attend a Police academy at that age? Or do I need to consider getting out of the military early and going into LE at a younger age?

  • #2
    Won't be too old...

    This will obviously vary by department...but the Colorado State Patrol does not have an "older" age limit.

    On their academy website, there is a picture of recruits lined up on the first day...and the caption under the picture reads:

    "Just before 8:00am on July 18th, 37 new cadets were waiting outside the Academy entrance to begin their 22 weeks of basic training. There were 10 females and 27 males, ranging in age from 21 to 46." (emphasis mine)

    the link is

    Many departments put alot of emphasis on life expereinces, not just based on some pre-determined "age limit".

    Hope that helps...

    Dig anything to encourage a mime!


    • #3
      Some do, some don't. My S.O. doesn't. We've had people in our FTO program, during their first rookie campaign at 51.

      Certain agencies do cap you at older ages. Chicago P.D. does, so does the California Highway Patrol, no new recruiters older than 35.

      Every place is different, but age won't stop you most places.
      "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy


      • #4
        I'm a little lost. How old are you now? Are you even in the military? I don't know what is going to happen next week, let alone in 20 yrs so is this a serious question? You might not even be eligble to be a cop in 20 yrs, you might have 4 kids, you may be in a wheelchair. Who knows.
        It is not the critic who counts...


        • #5
          Yeah, as stated above, some do, some don't. Used to be that Florida had no restrictions. Now everyone seems to be following suit due to lawsuits. I wouldn't worry. By the time you get out of the military, all your going to want to do is be on vacation. If not, then I imagine that every agency will loose the cap on age as long as you can pass the physical fitness testing.
          "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There's no other end. They never learn."


          • #6
            Retired Military = Best Recruits

            Some of the best new hires in the past 20 years have been retired military, starting a 2nd career. They say "yes, sir!", not "Why??" As long as you pass the physical, age is not a barrier. As others stated, it does vary by agency, but you will not have a problem since so many agencies have eliminated age restrictions. Good Luck with your plans.
            "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

            "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers


            • #7
              Not many up here have age restrictions. We have hired several people starting their second careers. Life experience is great experience!


              • #8
                Had one officer start at SMU1 at age 69. He's still there, at 71. 9 more years, and he retires with full bennies.


                • #9
                  NY does have age restrications. This is from the NYS Police website
                  Must not have turned 30 before the Application Deadline, unless you have military service and qualify for a maximum age extension. The age limitation may be extended up to six years for active military service.

                  This was from another Civil Service Website in NY
                  On April 26, 1999, Chapter 32 of the Laws of 1999 amended Section 58 of Civil Service Law to establish a maximum age limitation of 35 years of age as of the date the individual takes the written examination (eligibility ceases upon a candidates 35th birthday). Time spent on military duty, not exceeding a total of six (6) years (Volunteer service after July 1, 1970 is limited to a total of four (4) years unless performed during a period of war or national emergency), shall be subtracted from the age of any applicant who has passed his/her 35th birthday.
                  IGNORE LIST - Banastretarlton AKA "banana boy"

                  "In the fields of observation chance favors only prepared mind"
                  -----Louis Pasteur

                  "Sweat in training saves blood on the battlefield."

                  -------Col. David "Hack" Hackworth

                  On my 7 year old 2nd Grade Class wall

                  ------------YOU are RESPONSIBLE for YOUR OWN ACTIONS


                  • #10
                    Good on you, US_Sofcskey. 20 years in the military will pass in a flash, and you need to be thinking long term even as you start.


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