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Recruitment Newsletter


The Maryland Natural Resources Police Cadet program is a paid training program that allows eager men and women between 18-20 years of age to learn about being a Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer through hands-on experience and prepares them for the police academy.

Admission to the program is competitive, as applicants must undergo a background check, physical and written test, psychological review, and various interviews. Every day will be different for the cadets. They will receive training in both the field and the classroom from the officers themselves. Classes include boater and hunter safety courses, self-defense, specialized units, and more.

​​Upon completion of the program, cadets will enroll in the Maryland Natural Resources Police Academy to become certified police officers.

Salary & Benefits


For a comprehensive list of benefits please refer to the attached State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance Memorandum of Understanding 2022-2025.

  • Salary
    • Cadets enjoy a salary between $35,041 - $51,674.
    • The cadet pay scale can be found on the State of Maryland - Standard Salary Schedule​. Please refer to grade 7, step 3 for the cadet starting salary.
    • The pay scale is also posted in the “Resources” section for your convenience.
  • Leave
    • Annual Leave
      • Annual leave may be accumulated to a maximum of 75 days or 600 hours and carried into a new calendar year.
      • Employees will earn annual leave at the following rates:​
      • ​Years of Service
        ​Days Earned Per Year
        ​Less than 5
        ​Up to 10
        ​5 - 10
        ​Up to 15
        ​11 - 19
        ​Up to 20
        ​20 or more
        ​Up to 25

    • ​​​Personal Leave
      • Employees are awarded 6 personal days per calendar year.
    • Holidays
      • Employees receive 12 holidays each year, plus an additional holiday in election years.
    • Sick Leave
      • Employees earn 15 days of sick leave every calendar year and accumulate on a bi-weekly basis.
      • Unused sick leave hours are carried over into subsequent calendar years.
    • Military Leave
      • Employees in the armed forces are entitled to 15 days of military leave per calendar year for training.
    • For more detailed information on the previously mentioned types of as well as other types of leave offered you can also refer to the Maryland Department of Budget and Management's leave information page here.​​
  • Health Insurance
    • Employees can participate in the State of Maryland Benefits package.
    • Open enrollment occurs yearly
    • Health options include: Vision, prescription drug, dental, life, accidental/death, behavioral health, child care
    • Spending, and health care spending. See individual plans for specific packages.
    • The state subsidizes medical, prescription drug, and dental benefits.
    • For details regarding our health insurance plan, please visit this site.
  • Retirement
    • Pension
      • Our officers participate in the Law Enforcement Officers Pension System (LEOPS)
      • This system provides officers with a lifetime benefit.
      • Normal service retirement is age 50 or 25 years of eligibility service at any age.
      • Officers will receive 50% of their salary at 25 years of service.
      • Officers can receive a maximum of 65% of their salary at 32.5 years of credible service.
    • ​DROP
      • The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) provides another path to retirement for eligible members of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System. Under this voluntary program, you can “retire” (and begin accumulating your retirement benefits in a DROP account) while you continue to work (and draw a paycheck) with your same employer. While in DROP, your monthly retirement benefits are deposited in a DROP account within the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System and earn compounded interest for as long as you remain in DROP.​​​
    • ​401K
      • Officers are offered the opportunity to open an unmatched 401K with the department.
    • 457
      • Officers are offered the opportunity to open a 457 deferred compensation plan with the department.
    • A copy of the Benefits Handbook - Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System can be found here​.​​
    • Visit the State Retirement Agency online at or call 410-625-5555 for specific information.

Minimum Requirements


Age Requirement

  • Applicants shall be between the ages of 18 - 20 when hired.
  • Applicants can apply at 17 years of age but must turn 18 before being hired.
  • Applicants that would turn 21 before being hired are ineligible.

Citizenship Requirement

  • Be a United States citizen
  • or a permanent legal resident of the United States who:
    • Is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces; and
    • Has submitted an application for United States citizenship that is pending approval (COMAR

Education Requirement

  • An applicant for the position of cadet shall possess a:
    • High school diploma issued by a high school or recognized by the State Board of Education; or
    • General Education Development (GED) certificate or diploma:
      • Issued by Maryland or another state, or
      • Recognized by the State Board of Education.
  • A college degree in place of these requirements is acceptable. (COMAR

Physical and Mental Health Requirements

  • Before an applicant may be selected for a position as a cadet, the applicant shall be examined by and receive a recommendation from a licensed, trained, and qualified medical doctor indicating that the applicant is physically able to:
    • Perform the duties of a police officer as determined by the employing law enforcement agency, and
    • Participate in the entrance-level training program.
    • Applicants should be in excellent physical condition and
    • have 20/25 eyesight and possess binocular far and near visual acuity, with or without correction
  • Before an applicant may be selected for a position as a police officer, a mental health professional shall conduct a psychological evaluation of the applicant and offer a positive recommendation indicating that the applicant is:
    • Emotionally and mentally fit; and
    • Able to perform the duties of a cadet as these duties are determined by the department. (COMAR

Driver's License and Driving Record Requirement

  • The applicant shall possess a valid driver's license.
  • A check of the applicant's driving record will be performed and maintained by the department. (COMAR

Background Requirement

  • An agency head or authorized agency under §A(7) of this regulation shall perform a comprehensive background investigation to determine if an applicant:
    • Is of good moral character and reputation;
    • Is emotionally stable; and
    • Displays the behavior necessary to perform the duties of a cadet. (COMAR

Record of Criminal Conviction

  • An applicant will be disqualified if the results of the criminal history records check reveals that an applicant has been convicted or otherwise found guilty of a felony, or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for 1 year or more could have been imposed.
  • Applicants should not be under a court order related to domestic violence. (COMAR

Drug Use

  • An individual is ineligible for a position as a cadet if:
    • They have been convicted or otherwise found guilty of selling, manufacturing, or distributing a controlled dangerous substance, narcotic drug, or marijuana;
    • Ever illegally sold, produced, cultivated, distributed, or transported a controlled dangerous substance, narcotic drug, or marijuana;
    • Illegally used a controlled dangerous substance or narcotic drug for any purpose within the 36 months before their 21st birthday; (NOT MARIJUANA)
    • Illegally engaged in the use of marijuana for any purpose within the 12 months preceding their 21st birthday; (COMAR

Application Submission

  • We are not currently accepting applications for the cadet program.​ All interested candidates can subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

Fitness & Written Testing


Prospect Day will consist of three parts.

  1. Initial Background Screening
    • Applicants will be asked to complete an NRP 571 Initial Personal Information Sheet. The information disclosed in this sheet will be utilized to begin an applicant’s background investigation. Applicants must answer the questions in this form honestly. Failure to honestly answer the questions on this form will result in the disqualification of the applicant.
  2. Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT)
    • The Functional Fitness Agility Test (FFAT) is used to determine if an applicant for the position of Officer Candidate is capable of completing the physical fitness and agility requirements to obtain initial certification by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (Commission). For this reason, there are no rest breaks between the exercises.
    • Y​ou will be evaluated on the following tasks:​
      • ​​The applicant will pull/drag a 150-pound dummy 15 feet.
      • ​​The applicant will demonstrate the ability to run up and down two flights of stairs.
      • ​​The applicant will climb over a 4-foot barrier.
      • ​​The applicant will demonstrate the ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds safely and place it onto a 22” tabletop.
      • ​​The applicant will demonstrate the ability to run for a distance of 300 yards.
  3. Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery (LEAB)
    • The Law Enforcement Aptitude Battery Test (LEAB) is the proposed written test for entry-level hiring. More information will be provided at a later date.

Background Investigation



  • Applicants will be interviewed by the hiring board
  • Applicants must pass an oral interview in accordance with COMAR

Psychological and Medical Examination



Thank you for your interest in becoming a Maryland Natural Resources Police Cadet.