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POST Study Guide
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.
For a comprehensive list of benefits please refer to the attached State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance Memorandum of Understanding 2022-2025.
- Cadets enjoy a salary between $34,353 - $48,692.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Officers are offered the opportunity to open an unmatched 401K with the department.
- 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
- Visit the State Retirement Agency online at sra.maryland.gov or call 410-625-5555 for specific information.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 12.04.01.16C)
- We are not currently accepting applications for the cadet program. Although we hope to hire a new group of cadets this year.
- Interested applicants can submit their applications on the Maryland State Jobs website when we start accepting applications. The Maryland State Jobs website can be found
- Applicants must pass a Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT)
- The Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT) measures the applicant’s level of fitness and physical preparedness for the Academy. This test is a high-intensity fitness evaluation. It is designed to test your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. For this reason, there are no rest breaks between the exercises.
- You will be evaluated based on a standardized set of criteria. The standards are as follows:
- Push-Ups: eighteen (18) in one minute
- Sit-Ups: twenty-seven (27) in one minute
- 1.5 Mile Run: maximum time of 15 minutes and 20 seconds (15:20)
- Applicants must take and pass a standardized timed written exam which consists of 4 sections: reading, math, comprehensive, and written. A passing score is a combined score of 70% or higher.
- Applicants will be interviewed by the hiring board
- Applicants must pass an oral interview in accordance with COMAR 12.04.01.04G.
- The hiring board will rank the remaining applicants. Approximately two weeks before the academy, the highest-ranked applicants will be offered an opportunity to accept a slot at the academy. Alternates will also be selected at this time.
- If an applicant becomes injured or resigns, an alternate may take their place.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Maryland Natural Resources Police Cadet.