View Full Version : Age limitations?

07-29-2011, 9:15 PM
I am curious. Is there a general age cutoff, for becoming a police officer? I know that the force is not supposed to discriminate.... but what is generally the experience cutoff?

I understand that if the individual is in good enough physical shape to pass the physical testing that they pass. But is there an invisible wall so to speak that just will not allow someone older to end up passing?

I guess what I am saying... is what is likely the oldest age that an individual has been able to pass the physical testing, or that you have heard of?


07-29-2011, 9:39 PM
When I was hired, the Sheriff also hired 3 gents in their mid 40s. Different state, but same job....

07-29-2011, 10:22 PM
When I was still working we had 3 guys in their early 50s get hired (not all together)...and they went through the academy along with all the 20 year olds.

I had a chance to talk to one at length. He had owned an electrical installation company (institutional work) and always wanted to go into LE. So he paid off his house, paid off all the cars, paid all his credit cards off, put money aside for his kids college, got his wife's support and sold his company to pursue his dream

07-29-2011, 10:49 PM
Guy in my academy class was retired Navy and in his mid 40's. The Marin County deputy killed last week changed careers at 40 and went into the business, and I know SFPD has hired at least a couple of guys in their 50's over the years.

CHP has a hard age cut off at 34 or 36, IIRC.

07-30-2011, 1:34 AM
I am thinking with CHP, it was their retirement system that made for the hard cut off age.

07-30-2011, 2:44 AM
The oldest I've seen get hired is 46.

07-30-2011, 7:39 PM
When I was a cadet in 1976, we had a cadet from a police agency who had been a reserve for them for years and was now training for a full time leo spot. He was 52 and he made it.

I heard a funny story about him a few years later: He was in foot pursuit and the suspect hopped over a wooden fence. Well, he was a bit on the "big" size and knew he probably wouldn't make it over, so he (leo) just ran into the fence, knocked the whole thing down and caught the suspect.:D

07-31-2011, 11:08 PM
I know for some, if not all federal agencies there is a cutoff at 37 for all gun carriers.

08-01-2011, 7:42 AM
I am thinking with CHP, it was their retirement system that made for the hard cut off age.

They do have a cut off age that is fairly young, I was waiting for my oral board and was talking to another candidate that said it was his last chance because of the age cut off. I want to say it was 37, but I could be wrong.

Bobby Ricigliano
08-01-2011, 2:56 PM
I do not believe our department has a cut off age. In the golden age of massive hiring I saw some guys come through the academy in their mid 40's and they made it. Of course at that age you are going to have a seriously prorated pension and retirement bennies when you reach mandatory retirement age.

By the way, 20-22 is awfully young to be handed that much power and authority, and a lot of youngsters screw it up and get canned. 28 - 38 or so seems to be the sweet spot for hiring candidates that are going to have a long successful career. Obviously young people with military experience, especially NCO/leadership experience are going to have maturity beyond their calendar years...

Bobby Hated
08-03-2011, 1:46 PM
im 33 and about to finish my PhD this school year. im going to be applying to as many LEO jobs as i can in addition to academic jobs. i'm told my education level will account for my age, so i have a decent chance of finding a job. i was trying to join the military, but it looks like im too old to get an age waiver, so LEO jobs are looking very attractive to me.

08-03-2011, 2:36 PM
My department (Probation) does not have a max limit. as long as you can pass the physical, you are good to go. I had a recruit at 60 make it through the academy. the guy was a retired LAPD commander and got bored at home and wanted to get back to work. He kept himself in great physical shape. He only lasted about 6 months after the academy, because starting at the bottom rung of shift work is a little taxing after you have enjoyed retirment and being able to get up when ever you wanted. Still, he made it and could have stayed on if he liked.

08-03-2011, 3:52 PM
In my academy class the oldest cadet we had was 48. He dropped out do to lack of family support, but would have no doubt graduated and made an excellent officer. It's going to depend on the department and how many years they think they can get out of you. You are considered a six-figure investment and they want to see a return on their money. As far as physical shape the best candidates I see are former military, but anyone can do it. You can easily look up online the physical requirements that CA POST wants and train to it. Trust me when I say the physical shape is important, but will be the least of your worries.

08-09-2011, 9:40 PM
I know for some, if not all federal agencies there is a cutoff at 37 for all gun carriers.

Yup. Former CBP here (I was agriculture, though, so I looked the same to the bad guys but couldn't shoot back).

Any position designated as "primary law enforcement" has a max entry age of 37 because the mandatory retirement age is 57 and it takes 20 years' service to retire. CBP has an exception and allows people up to age 40 to start as new CBP Officers and Border Patrol Agents.

Not all jobs requiring a firearm are so designated; CBP Officers are now but weren't four years ago (the legacy Customs and Immigration inspectors weren't). Security guards and the like still aren't. Special Agents of any department and Border Patrol agents always have been. To that end, we had a fair number of new officers over 50 without prior law enforcement experience. The CBPO job also used to have no fitness requirement even for new hires. Those days are gone.

There are two exceptions to the 37 rule in general:
1) any previous time in Federal law enforcement (colloquially called "covered" time) is creditable, even if it was years ago, e.g. if you were a Border Patrol Agent from age 21 to 30, you could qualify for a job as a LEO at age 46 having done something unrelated in the interim.
2) applicants who qualify for veterans' preference are exempt, but they still need 20 years' service for retirement. In theory at least this means one could start at 70 if all other requirements were met.

A nice thing for you very young guys and gals out there is that Federal LE retirement allows the officer to retire at any age with 25 years' service. If you're 21 joining the Border Patrol, this is a good deal indeed :D

08-10-2011, 4:52 PM
Several years ago a fellow that worked for the same large Ca company that I did submitted his retirement at age 55 and went to work as an LEO. He had been a reserve LEO prior.

I guess he is still at it and would be 60 or so by now..

08-10-2011, 10:50 PM
There is no upper cut off since it's called age "discrimination". You have to be at minimum 20 1/2 years old to start the academy however.

08-10-2011, 11:19 PM
If you are looking at the upper age limit, I imagine health would be a big factor. I'm 57, great shape, but would never be able to do the job. I hate thieves, liars, child molesters, wife beaters, drug dealers and users, bullies and bad drivers. I think I would be a liability to any agency I worked for. "Uh John, where is the Child Molester you arrested today?" Me, "Oh, he died, I buried him, all taken care of boss". Then all those darn questions about what happened, lol, I could not do it. My hats of to those of you that do.