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Police Recruit
  Human Resources Department

Police Recruit/Peace Officer Information

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  • must be 20 years of age at time of application and 21 years of age at time of appointment
  • must have a valid California driver's license at time of appointment
  • must meet citizenship requirements defined under California Government Code Sections 1031(a) and 1031.5


Be a high school graduate; pass the General Education Development Test indicating high school graduation level; pass the California Proficiency Examination; or have attained a two-year or four year degree from an accredited college or university.  The high school shall be either a United States public school meeting the high school standards set by the state in which it is located, or an accredited United States Department of Defense high school; or an accredited nonpublic high school.

Personal Qualifications

Must possess a good character and reputation; superior self-command, alertness, and judgement; ability to establish and maintain good working and public relations.  Convictions of a serious offense, repeated or numerous convictions of minor offenses, conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude, or discharge from the military service under other than honorable conditions may be disqualifying.

Physical Standards

Proportionate weight to height; excellent physical condition. Candidate must pass a stringent medical examination. Vision requirement: eyesight must be correctable to 20/40 both eyes and 20/20 uncorrected both eyes.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to write in a clear and concise manner; prepare reports using a computer; communicate effectively with co-workers and the public; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; perform a wide range of physical duties to include: running, stooping, jumping, climbing; walking on uneven surfaces; lifting heavy objects; driving an automobile; talking on a radio; using a firearm; and other physical duties as required. Must be willing to work in hazardous situations.


Applicants must pass ALL of the following assessments:

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed to ensure that candidates meet the age, licensing, citizenship, and education requirements. All statements made in the application materials are subject to verification; false statements will be cause for disqualification or discharge.

Written Examination

The written examination is a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)  Entry- Level Test Battery that has two components:
  1. Reading Component – measures reading comprehension; and
  2. Writing Component – measures clarity, vocabulary, and spelling

The written exam takes three hours to administer. This includes thirty minutes for the proctor to read the test instructions and for the applicants to code demographic information on the machine-readable forms. The scoring procedure is automated thus requiring the applicants to code their names, addresses, social security numbers, etc., on the forms. Two and one-half hours are allowed for actual completion of the test battery.

Harley Cops

POST scores the written examination. Results are released 2 – 3 weeks after the written exam. Successful candidates are eligible to continue in the selection process. Candidates who are unsuccessful on the written exam will not be eligible to continue in the selection process, however may re-apply, and test at a future date.

The Applicant Preparation Guide for the POST Entry-Level Test Battery provides a thorough overview of the test, practice test items, and test taking strategies.

Physical Agilities Test (PAT)

The Physical Agilities Test (PAT) is developed to assess fitness and agility capabilities necessary to perform the duties of a Peace Officer. Test events are designed to simulate actual areas of police work. The PAT is comprised of two timed events:

  1. 1.5 mile run to be completed in 15 minutes or less
  2. obstacle/agilities course to be completed in 3.5 minutes or less

The PAT is a pass/fail test, with no numeric score. Candidates are verbally notified immediately after the PAT if they passed or failed.  Successful candidates are eligible to continue in the selection process. Those who fail the PAT will not be eligible to continue in the selection process; however, may re-apply.


Oral Board Interview

The oral board interview will consist of questions regarding candidate’s education, experience, interest, and personal qualifications to determine suitability for law enforcement service. The oral board panel will have members from the Human Resources Department and ranking members from the Police Department.

Passing the interview requires a score of 70 or higher. The score you receive will determine your rank on the eligibility list. The City of Chula Vista certifies the top three ranks, plus any ties, to the department for continuation in the background process. Candidates will be notified if they are eligible to proceed to the background investigation.


Background Investigation

Peace Officers are responsible for protecting and serving the public and are entrusted with substantial authority to carry out these responsibilities. As such, the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requires that the history of peace officer applicants be thoroughly investigated to make sure that nothing in their background is inconsistent with performing peace officer duties.

Chief’s Interview

Psychological Evaluation and Medical Examination

California Government Code 1031(f) requires all California peace officers to be free from any emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. Peace officers must also be free from any physical condition that might adversely affect the exercise of peace officer powers.



For Peace Officer (Lateral): Written exam will be waived for applicants who have successfully completed an approved California POST Academy dated within the last three (3) years or have attained Basic POST Certification or POST re-certification dated within the last three (3) years. Copy of appropriate POST Certificate must be provided at the time of application. Currently employed Peace Officers who are interested in transferring to another California law enforcement agency have different selection requirements than new recruits. The procedures and requirements are described below.

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