Please contact us if you have a question
Q: When is the next police exam?
A: The civil service exam is given every two years. The next exam will be administered in April 2013. For more information please contact the Massachusetts Human Resources Division at 617-727-3777.
Q: Is there a residency requirement?
A: Yes, in order to become a Boston Police Officer, you must be a resident of the city of Boston. In addition, you must also be a resident of the city for at least one year prior to taking the civil service exam. For more information, please contact Human Resources within the BPD at (617)343-4677.
Q: I am interested in a career in law enforcement. Do you have any internships in the BPD?
A:Yes, the Department does hire interns for temporary employment. The internships are paid and duties vary depending on the unit that you are applying for an internship. For more information on internships, please contact Human Resources within the Boston Police Department at (617)343-4677. Please note, the residency requirement does apply.
Q: How can I become a Cadet?
A: For this information please contact Human Resources within the BPD at (617)343-4677.
Q: I collect patches and would like to have a Boston Police Patch sent to me. How can I obtain a patch?
A: All requests must be sent in writing to The Office of Media Relations at One Schroeder Plaza, Boston, MA. 02120. You may also fax the request to (617)343-4481. Please include your name, address, and reason for the patch request. If you are in law enforcement, you may want to send a patch from your police department as well.
Q: I have a relative who was employed by the Boston Police Department many years ago. How can I find information about my relative?
A: The Boston Police Department Archives may have information on your relative. Please call Records Manager & Archivist Margaret R. Sullivan 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: How do I request a tour of the new headquarters building?
A:Please contact the Commissioner’s Office at (617)343-4200 for more information. Tours are given on a limited basis.
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:You can request crime statistics by sending a written request to The Office of Media Relations at One Schroeder Plaza, Boston, MA 02120. You may also fax your request to (617)343-4481. Please include your name, phone number, address, fax number if applicable, and reason for your request. In addition, you may also request a printout of all 911 calls for service to a particular street. There are also monthly crime statistics posted in our Statistics Section.
Q: How can I get a criminal check on another person?
A:In the state of Massachusetts, the police department may not obtain background checks on individuals as a public information request. This is called CORI – Criminal Offender Records Information and it is against the law for the police department to give out such information. However, you may call the Criminal History Board at (617)660-4600 for more information on how to obtain a criminal check on an individual.
Q: I want to report a crime i.e. stolen handbag, left my cellphone in the taxi-cab, someone is using my credit card, etc.
A:If the incident occurred in the city of Boston, you should immediately call the Boston Police Department. You should call the district of the police department in which the incident occurred. For example, if your wallet was stolen in the South End, you should call District 4. You can always call the Office of Media Relations at (617)343-4520 to find out what district you should contact. If you were not in the city of Boston at the time of the incident, you should contact the police department of that jurisdiction.
Q: How can I obtain a license to carry a firearm?
A:You must apply, in person, to the Public Service Counter at Boston Police Headquarters on the first floor, (617)343-4425. The cost per application is $100.00 and if approved, will be valid for six years. There are two different types of licenses: License to Carry and Firearms Identification Card which both vary in requirements, depending on what class of weapons license you are applying for. If you did not have any weapons license before June 1, 1998, you must present a gun safety certificate before filling out the application. It takes approximately 40 days for the license to be approved. Please note: all weapons must have a trigger lock or be kept in a tamper proof receptacle or other suitable locking device.
Q: What is the age requirement to obtain these licenses?
A:For an LTC, the minimum age requirement is 21 years of age. For an FIC, the minimum age requirement is 15 years of age and must be accompanied with a written letter of approval by parent up until the age of 18. All applicants must pass a criminal record check and have no felony convictions. There are also other restrictions that can be discussed at the public service counter at the above location.
Q: I have a license to carry from another state and am moving to the state of Massachusetts. What procedures must I complete?
A:You must contact the Massachusetts State Police for more information since you are not moving to the city of Boston.
Q: I have a license to carry from another state and am moving into the city of Boston. What procedures must I complete?
A:Once you have moved to the city, you have approximately 180 days to apply for your license. You must apply in person at the above location, be a resident of the city, and have a photo ID.
Q: How do I obtain a license to become a cab driver?
A:Please contact the Hackney Division at Boston Police Headquarters, (617)343-4475.
Q: How do I get my child involved in summer employment and/or sporting activities?
A:There are many programs involving children within the city of Boston. Check out the www.BostonYouthZone.com web site for more information on summer jobs. If you are interested in sporting activities, you can become involved with the Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) by calling the Community Centers at (617)635-4920.
Q: How do I contact the department to file a complaint against a Boston Police Officer or Police Department Employee?
A:You can contact Internal Affairs directly at 617-343-4320 or fill out the Internal Affairs Complaint Information Form. Additionally, you can contact or visit any District stations, and ask to speak with a supervisor.
Q: What to do if you are pulled over by the police?
A: PULL AS FAR OFF THE ROAD AS POSSIBLE: This sends a message to the officer that you care about his/her safety. It’s also good to turn on your emergency flashers.
KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN
- Relax- Don’t jump all over the officer
- Be calm
- Be polite
TURN ON YOUR INTERIOR LIGHT: This also shows the officer that you are concerned for his/her safety and helps with communication.
STAY INSIDE YOUR CAR: NEVER exit your car unless you are asked to do so by the officer. Let the officer come to you.
KEEP YOUR HANDS IN PLAIN VIEW: Let the officer ask for your drivers’ license and registration. This way, there is no misunderstanding. Also, if you do not have your seat belt fastened, don’t try to do it now. The officer may think you are trying to conceal a weapon or other item. Remember, the officer doesn’t know who you are at this point and may feel threatened by any furtive movements.
Q: I was only stopped for a minor offense, why did two or three other Police Officers show up or drive by?
A: Officers in the vicinity of a traffic stop routinely stop and check on a brother or sister officer conducting a motor vehicle stop – it’s for officer safety!
Q: Why did the officer “sneak up” along side of my car?
A: Police Officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic to keep from getting hit by passing vehicles. Also, Officers don’t know who you are; you may be a wanted felon on the run. The Officer is just being cautious and trying to assess the stop. Once the Officer feels that there is little danger, he/she will show himself/herself.
Q: Why do officers stay in their car so long? What are they doing?
A: The Officer is “running” or verifying the information you provided him/her with. National and Statewide computer checks are being processed and that takes a couple of minutes. Just try to be patient!
Q: The Police Officer wrote me a ticket and I feel that I didn’t deserve it. What should I do?
A: If you don’t agree with a ticket that an Officer wrote you, the side of the road is NOT the place to contest it. Every person that is issued a ticket has a right to an appeal. Simply fill out the rear of the ticket and send it in for an appeal. In six to eight weeks you will receive a summons to appear at a Clerk Magistrate’s hearing. There you will be given an opportunity to state your case. ONCE AN OFFICER ISSUES A TICKET, HE/SHE CANNOT TAKE IT BACK. THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN DISMISS A TICKET IS A CLERK MAGISTRATE OR A JUDGE.
REMEMBER: Police Officers are trained to ask for your ID first and provide an explanation for the stop second. Once you provide the officer with your proper paperwork, he/she will give you the reason for the stop. Most officers wear a nametag on their uniform, so you have the advantage of knowing whom you are dealing with. Extend to the officer the courtesy of providing him/her with your ID without argument – It’s the law!
Q: Do I need to report to the police if I’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident?
A: If you are involved in any type of motor vehicle accident (no matter how minor) you must stop and identify yourself to the other driver(s) or property owner(s) involved. If the damage to the other vehicle(s) or property exceeds $1000.00, or if someone is injured (no matter how minor), or if one of the vehicles involved has fled the scene then you must report the accident. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 26, you have five business days to file an accident report. Your license can be suspended or revoked if you fail to submit an accident report within this time period.
Q: What should I do if I’ve been involved in an accident and I need to report it?
A: Safety should be your first priority. If you can do so safely, 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 alter any damage to your vehicle. Once the police officer arrives on the scene, you will be asked for your driver’s license and registration as well as a series of questions regarding the cause of your accident. Do not try to assess blame or make accusations regarding other drivers or people involved. Just state the facts, and the police officer or your insurance company will make the final determination of fault. You must also complete a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Operators Accident Report. You can obtain a copy of this form at any police department in Massachusetts, at any branch of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles or online at the Registry’s website.
Q: Can a police officer fill out the accident form for me?
A: No. Police officers, including officers of the Boston Police Department, are not allowed to assist a motorist with completing an accident form. However, your insurance company and its staff may be able to provide you with some assistance in completing your report.
Q: How do I get a copy of a police report?
A: To obtain a copy of a police report, you will need to stop by our department. There is a $5.00 fee for copies of police accident and incident reports.
Q: What are the requirements for child restraints in a vehicle?
A: Under MGL. Chapter 90 Section 7AA : Infants & small children, who are under 5 years old and weigh less than 40 lbs., must ride in a federally approved child passenger restraint. (Child seat)
Children, who are under 5 years old but weigh more than 40 lbs., must ride in a booster seat.
Children who are 5 years old or older, and who weigh more than 40 lbs., must ride with a seat belt. However, it is highly recommended that they use a booster seat.
Under this section an officer may stop a vehicle whose passengers may be in violation of this law. This is a primary stop and the officer needs no other reason for the stop.
Q: How do I avoid becoming a victim of a scam or identity theft?
A: There are several things you can do to avoid being the victim of a scam or identity theft:
- Never give anyone your personal information, especially if you do not know who they are. That includes providing or confirming your address, bank account, credit card numbers, phone numbers or date of birth.
- Do not write account numbers on the outside of payment envelopes. Destroy any records, canceled checks, receipts, deposit slips, etc. before throwing them away. If you have a shredder, use it. If not, tear the bills, receipts, etc. into tiny pieces and try to put them in different trash cans.
- Anytime you are asked to pay money to get a “free” gift you should refuse to pay the money. It is likely that the offer is fraudulent and even if you were to receive the gift it would be a cheap imitation item.
- Guard your Social Security number. Do not have it imprinted on checks. If it is requested by a business, ask if there is an alternate ID that can be used. If not, ask for an explanation why the number is needed. It should not be used for identification purposes. Check with the National Fraud Information Center on 1-800-876-7060. The NFIC provides lots of valuable resources about telephone, mail and online scams.
- Always use common sense. If you have a gut feeling that something is not legitimate, you are probably right.
- You are required to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- When driving a motor vehicle, you must have a valid driver’s license and registration in your possession. Without these, you could be issued a citation.
- It is the driver’s (not the owner’s) responsibility to make sure all of the lights and safety equipment are functioning.
- As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that children are wearing their seatbelts or are in their child safety seats.
- You must signal your intent to pass or turn before performing the action.
- Following too closely to the vehicle is a moving violation. You should be at least three car lengths away.
- Children under age 12 and pets are prohibited from riding in the backs of open pick-up trucks.
- Thickly settled zones have a 30 mile per hour speed limit.
- You are required to stop for a solid yellow light when safe to do so.