Careers and Opportunities
Q: Does the BPD require residency for employment?
A: Yes, you must be a resident of the City of Boston in order to work for the BPD. You also must have been a resident for at least one year before taking the Civil Service Exam required of all potential officers. For more information, please contact Human Resources at (617) 343-4677.
Q: When can I take the Civil Service Exam?
A: The Civil Service Exam takes place every two years. For more information, please contact the Massachusetts Human Resources Division at (617) 727-3777.
Q: Does the BPD offer internships?
A: Yes, the BPD offers a range of internships in various units throughout the city. Duties vary among units. Please note that most positions are unpaid and that the residency requirement applies to interns. For more information, please contact Human Resources at (617) 343-4677.
Q: Does the City of Boston or the BPD offer summer opportunities for youth?
A: Many programs in the City of Boston serve children and young people over the summer. Additionally, the Boston Youth Zone website has information on summer jobs. Those interested in athletic activities may join the Police Athletic League (PAL). For more information, call the Boston Community Center at (617) 635-4920.
Q: How do I request a copy of an accident or incident report?
A: You will need to pick up the report in-person at BPD headquarters. The Public Service Counter is open from Monday-Friday from 9 AM-4 PM. Offices are closed on the Weekends. There is a $5.00 fee per copy of each incident report.
Q: I am moving to a certain neighborhood in Boston and would like more information on crime statistics in that area. How do I obtain this information?
A: Please contact Media Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org, please include your name, address, telephone number, and reason for your request. You may also request a printout of all 911 calls for service to a particular street. Additionally, you can find crime statistics posted on our blog and on our crime statistics page.
Q: I collect patches and would like to have one from the BPD. How should I request one?
A: Please contact Media Relations at email@example.com. Please include your name, address, and reason for your request. If you work in law enforcement, you may want to consider sending a patch from your police department as well.
Q: I want the BPD to perform a criminal background check on another person. May I submit a public information request for this information?
A: Massachusetts state law prohibits police departments from obtaining individual background checks, officially referred to as Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks, for public information requests. For information on a particular request, please call the Criminal History Board at (617) 660-4600.
Q: A relative of mine was employed by the Boston Police Department many years ago. How can I find out information about my relative?
A: The Boston Police Archives may have information. Please call the Records Manager & Archivist directly at (617) 343-5166. While the primary responsibility of this office is to manage recent records for the Department, we are happy to assist with archival requests as time permits.
Q: Does the BPD offer public tours of its headquarters?
A: We conduct tours on a limited basis. For information, please contact the Commissioner’s Office at (617) 343-4500.
Filing A Report
Q: I want to report an incident (e.g., “Someone stole my wallet,” “I forgot my cell phone in a taxi,” “A stranger is using my credit card,” etc.). What should I do?
A: If the incident occurred in the City of Boston, you should immediately call the Boston Police Department. Specifically, call the station covering the district in which the incident occurred. For example, if your wallet was stolen in the South End, call District 4. To find out the district and its contact information, please click here. If the incident occurred outside Boston, contact the police department of that jurisdiction.
Q: How do I file a complaint against a Boston Police officer or Department employee?
A: You may contact Internal Affairs at (617) 343-4320 or fill out an Internal Affairs Complaint Information Form. You may also contact or visit any district station to speak with a supervisor.
Q: What should I do if a police officer pulls me over?
A: Pull as far off the road as possible and turn on your emergency blinkers. If it is dark outside, turn on your interior light. Wait inside your car for the officer to approach you, unless directed otherwise. Since the officer does not know you at this point and may feel threatened by any furtive movements, keep your hands in plain view. Furthermore, do not attempt to fasten your seat belt now if you have not already done so – the officer may think that you are trying to conceal a weapon or other item. You must provide your driver’s license and registration upon request. The officer will then explain the reason for the stop and may decide to write a ticket. If you disagree with the ticket, the side of the road is NOT the place to contest it.
Q: An officer issued me ticket that I feel I do not deserve. What should I do?
A: Anyone who receives a ticket has the right to appeal it. You can do this by filling out the back of your ticket and sending it to the address printed on it. In six to eight weeks, you will receive a summons to appear at a clerk magistrate’s hearing, where you will have the opportunity to state your case. Note that your ticket will state the name and badge number of the issuing officer. An officer cannot retract a ticket after issuance; only a clerk magistrate or judge can dismiss it.
Q: What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
A: Safety should be your first priority. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the side of the road. Try not to alter the appearance of the accident scene or any damage to your vehicle, and call 9-1-1. The attending police officer will ask you for your driver’s license and registration, as well as a series of questions about the accident. Simply answer with the facts; do not try to blame or accuse anyone else involved. The police officer or your insurance company will make the final determination of fault.
Q: If I am involved in a motor vehicle accident, would I need to inform anyone?
A: Regardless of the severity of the accident, you must stop and identify yourself to any other driver(s) or property owner(s) involved. If the accident caused injury to a person or damage in excess of $1,000 to a vehicle or property, or if a vehicle fled the scene, you must report it to the BPD. The law requires that you submit a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report no more than five days after the incident; failure to do so may result in suspension or revocation of your license. You may obtain the form in-person at any police station statewide or at any branch of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, or online.
Q: May a police officer fill out the Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report for me?
A: No. Police officers are prohibited from assisting a motorist with completing the accident form. Your insurance company, however, may be able to help you.
Q: What does the law require for child restraints?
A: Infants and small children, defined as younger than 5-years-old and weighing less than 40 lbs, must ride in a federally approved child passenger restraint seat. Children younger than 5-years-old and weighing more than 40 lbs must ride in a booster seat. Those 5-years-old and older and weighing more than 40 lbs may ride in a passenger seat with a belt, though booster seats are still recommended. Stopping a driver that may be in violation of this law constitutes a primary stop, meaning that a police officer does not need another reason to stop the vehicle.
Q: How do I obtain a license to become a cab driver?
A: Please contact the BPD Hackney Carriage Unit at (617) 343-4475.
Q: What types of firearms licenses are available in Massachusetts?
A: There are two different types of licenses: a Firearms Identification Card (FIC) and a License to Carry (LTC), each of which vary in requirements based on the class of weapons for which you are applying. Please note that state law requires firearms owners to use a suitable locking device, such as a trigger lock or tamper-proof storage receptacle.
Q: What is the application process for obtaining a license to carry a firearm?
A: You must apply in-person at the Public Service Counter, located on the first floor of the BPD Headquarters. Each application costs $100.00, and approval takes approximately 40 days. If approved, the license will remain valid for six years. If you did not have a weapons license before June 1, 1998, you must present a gun safety certificate before filling out the application. All applicants must pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and have no felony convictions. Call (617) 343-4425 for more information.
Q: What are age requirements for obtaining a firearms license?
A: In order to apply for a Firearms Identification Card (FIC), you must be at least 15 years of age; those younger than 18 years of age must provide a written letter of approval by a parent. For a License to Carry (LTC), applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Additional restrictions exist and may be discussed at the Public Service Counter at BPD Headquarters.
Q: I am moving from another state, where I have a license to carry. What procedures must I complete?
A: If you are moving to the City of Boston, you have approximately 180 days upon your arrival to apply for a license. You must apply in-person at the BPD headquarters, be a resident of the city, and present photo ID. If you are moving to Massachusetts but not to the City of Boston, you need to contact the Massachusetts State Police for information.
Please contact us if you have any questions not answered above.