Civilian Careers

How to Apply

The Howard County Police Department is a nationally accredited agency dedicated to creating a better quality of life for the citizens of Howard County. Our employees demonstrate the highest standards and are guided by the agency’s values: Integrity, Pride and Community.

Full list of current Howard County career opportunities

Animal Control

Animal Handlers care for animals at the County Animal Shelter, maintain related records, and assist with shelter clerical functions. Assignments include cleaning and maintaining all facilities at the Animal Shelter and surrounding area; food preparation and feeding of animals; and providing animal health care. The starting salary for Animal Handlers is $34,652.

Animal Control Officers work to enforce the Howard County Code's animal control provisions. Assignments include capturing domestic and wild animals and transporting them and working at the animal shelter. The starting salary for Animal Control Officers is $38,251.

Openings for these civilian positions are posted on the county's main jobs page here.

Emergency Communications Operators (Dispatchers)

Now testing! Follow the link below for Emergency Communication Operator (Dispatcher) to begin your application.

The Communications Division is a mixture of specially trained call-takers, dispatchers and supervisors who handle all police, fire and emergency medical services calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The division is managed on a day-to-day basis by a combination of police and fire supervisors, under the command of a police lieutenant.

The starting salary is $43,680.

Emergency communications operator qualifications:

  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • No criminal record

Applicants must be able to pass a typing test (30 wpm), video dispatch test, panel interview, background investigation, psychological screening, and pre-placement drug screen.


A police cadet is a pre-entry level civilian position in the police department. The cadet assists police officers and members of the public with non-criminal incidents and provides support for various divisions of the police department. Some of the typical duties include providing assistance with clerical and communications functions, presenting programs to the public, transporting evidence and providing personnel support at special events in the county.

Starting salary for a full-time cadet is $31,721 ($13 an hour for seasonal).

Police cadet qualifications:

  • 18-21 years old
  • U.S. Citizen
  • High school diploma or GED 
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • No criminal record

Police application steps
Sample written test