43% Drop In Boston Police Civil Service Exam Applicants Over Past 4 Years

Do you want to become a police officer? The deadline to apply for the 2022 Municipal Police Officer and MBTA Transit Police Officer Examination is Tuesday, January 18. As Live Boston first reported in October, Massachusetts is now administering the entry level police and fire civil service exams annually rather than biannually.

Live Boston obtained figures from the last three police exams and they show a 25% drop in applicants statewide over the last four years. 13,866 people applied to take the exam in 2017 compared to 10,345 people in 2021. The biggest hit came between the 2017 and 2019 exams. There was actually a slight increase in the number of applicants in 2021 when compared to 2019.

On top of the steep decline in applicants, the passing rate for the exam administered in 2021 took a big hit. Only 61% of exam takers passed, compared to 72% in 2017 and 73% in 2019.

When you look at Boston residents only, the number of applicants has plummeted 43% over the last four years. 1,817 people signed up to take the exam in 2017, compared to 1,032 in 2021, a 43% drop. However, the passing rate for city residents has held steady the past three exams – 72% in 2017 and 2019 and 73% in 2021.