About the job Police Officer I
JOIN THE SDPD TEAM TODAY!!!
See NOTE(S) below for future wage increases and/or additional compensation opportunities.
Please read through the entire bulletin for important information.
Do you have a strong dedication to public service? If you do, a career with the San Diego Police Department may be for you!
A career with the San Diego Police Department offers excitement, rapid growth opportunities, work-life-balance, and the chance to make a positive impact in your community. As one of the nation's leaders in Community Oriented Policing, we strongly value the partnerships we have built with the diverse communities of San Diego and are looking for Officers that will uphold that tradition. Throughout your career with SDPD, you'll have the chance to follow many paths in over 70 different positions, including: Detective, SWAT, New Technologies, K9 Handler, Beach Patrol and Motor Officer, among others. SDPD offers a competitive base salary, great benefits, and many additional pay opportunities.
The following skills and desirable attributes exemplify what we look for in a Police Officer I: Integrity; leadership skills; excellent judgment under pressure; ability to maintain sufficient level of fitness to safely perform as a law enforcement professional; the ability to be aware of, control, and express emotions appropriately, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically; ability to maintain confidence in uncertain situations; excellent judgment and ability to act under pressure; ability to thrive in diverse populations.
A San Diego Police Officer:
- Contributes to the team effort of maintaining a presence in the community that helps to deter crime and provide support to citizens
- Collaborates in building strong relationships with community members, upholding best practices of Community Oriented Policing
- Acts as a police presence at major public events to ensure public safety
- Identifies potential criminal activity or other hazardous situations and takes proper actions to protect citizens and property
- Helps to secure crime scenes and process evidence
- Responds to calls for service; Observes violations; makes arrests and citations when necessary
- Conducts criminal investigations by gathering evidence and interviewing victims and witnesses
- Documents observations and actions by radioing information; completing reports
- Fulfills court orders by testifying in court regarding criminal investigations and citations
- Maintains safe traffic conditions by monitoring and directing traffic; enforces laws and ordinances; investigates collisions; reports unsafe streets and facilities
Police officer I is not an entry-level position. If you have not graduated from a California P.O.S.T. academy or do not have prior peace officer experience within the last one year, you must apply for Police Officer (Recruit Level).
Police Officer I positions are designed for recent California P.O.S.T. approved Police Academy graduates and persons that possess current California Basic P.O.S.T. certificates. Police Officer I positions work under immediate supervision in a training program to perform increasingly responsible law enforcement and crime prevention duties; respond to emergency calls for police assistance; patrol an assigned area to enforce laws; investigate suspicious conditions, traffic accidents, and complaints; make arrests; question witnesses and suspects; issue citations; prepare evidence and testify in court; fingerprint, photograph, book, supervise, and transport prisoners; report unsafe or hazardous conditions; answer inquiries from the public; and perform other duties as assigned.
- Employees in job classifications represented by the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) are scheduled to receive a 5% general wage increase effective 7/1/23.
- Eligible benefitted employees originally hired on or after July 10, 2021, will be automatically enrolled in the San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS).
- Police Officer I employees must complete the Regional Academy Training and receive a Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate within ONE year of hire.
- Police Officer I employees may work a 4 day/10-hour, rotating shift work schedule, depending on assignment.
- After one year, Police Officer I employees receive a $900 annual uniform allowance.
- Bilingual pay (3.5% of base pay) is provided to qualified officers, if skills are required.
- Additional add on pays may be available if you meet the requirements.
- Initially, Police Officer I employees may either be assigned to the Field Training Program right away or they may be required to attend the Regional Police Academy.
In accordance with P.O.S.T Standards, candidates must be free of any felony convictions. Candidates will be screened by the San Diego Police Department and are subject to immediate disqualification if any of the following are found during the background investigative process: domestic violence conviction(s), or if you are a registered sex offender; for additional information refer to the following link: P.O.S.T. Disqualifiers (Download PDF reader).
You must meet the following requirements on the date you apply, unless otherwise indicated.
AGE: 21 years of age at time of hire.
CITIZENSHIP: Be legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law.
- Candidates screened by the San Diego Police Department must present proof of legal right to work in the United States when they submit their Background Investigation Questionnaire.
EDUCATION: You must meet ONE of the following options:
- Graduation from a High School located within the United States or a United States territory.
- Passage of the California High School Proficiency Examination (C.H.S.P.E.) or General Education Development (G.E.D.) with scores that meet the California standard established by the American Council on Education.
- Possession of a two or four-year degree from an accredited college or university. (Accreditation must be from an institutional accrediting body which has been recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation.)
- Candidates screened by the Police Department must present proof of education when they submit their Background Investigation Questionnaire.
POST CERTIFICATE/EXPERIENCE: You must meet ONE of the following options:
- Graduation from a California P.O.S.T. approved Police Academy with a Basic Peace Officers Course Certificate dated within the last one year.
- Possession of a California Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate dated within the last one year.
- Possession of a California P.O.S.T. Basic Course Waiver letter dated within the last one year.
- Full-time employment as a paid sworn Peace Officer with a city Police, county sheriff, state or federal law enforcement agency performing correction duties, patrol functions, or traffic enforcement WITHIN THE LAST ONE YEAR. Time served in a training capacity as a recruit/trainee as part of the Police Academy does NOT qualify for the experience requirement. Applicants meeting the experience requirement as specified above who lack the California P.O.S.T. Certificate may apply. If hired, attendance at a PAID Regional San Diego Police Academy is required to satisfy California state certification requirements. This certification is necessary to work as a Police Officer for the City of San Diego.
- Applicants currently attending a California P.O.S.T. certified standard length Police Academy or extended format Police Academy may apply. You must be within six months of graduation and provide a letter of good standing from your Training Officer.
- Applicants with certificates over one year old may qualify if they also submit a P.O.S.T. requalification certificate dated within the last one year; Or apply for Police Officer (Recruit Level) and waive the written test.
- Applicants who do not meet the California P.O.S.T. certificate or experience requirement as specified above may apply for Police Officer (Recruit Level).
LICENSE: A valid California Class C Driver License is required at the time of hire.
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (MUST SUBMIT WITH APPLICATION):
- California Basic Peace Officers Course Certificate, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
- California Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
- California Basic P.O.S.T. Requalification Certificate, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
- California P.O.S.T. Basic Course Waiver letter, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
- Proof of enrollment in a California P.O.S.T. approved Police Academy, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements. NOTE: On letter head, confirming enrollment, graduation date and the applicant's good standing in the class.
Required documents should be attached electronically to your application. If you are unable to attach at the time of application submittal, you must submit them as soon as possible via fax: (619) 533-3337; or to the Employment Information Center: City of San Diego Personnel Department, 1200 Third Avenue - Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101. Include your name and the title of the position for which you are applying.
The screening process will consist of the following components:
1. APPLICATION REVIEW: Please ensure all information is complete and accurate as the responses you provide on the supplemental questions will be reviewed using an automated evaluation system. If you are successful in this initial screening process, your application will be reviewed for applicable education, experience, and/or training to ensure all minimum requirements have been met.
2. PERFORMANCE TEST: The performance test is pass/fail examination which consists of 5 different events based on the California P.O.S.T. Work Sample Test Battery and measures a variety of physical abilities necessary in police work. The test requires candidates to: a. Complete a 99 yard Obstacle Course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb height obstacles, and a 34 inch high obstacle that must be vaulted; b. Jump, step and/or climb over 6-foot fence(s); c. Partially lift and drag a 150 pound "simulated victim"; and d. Complete a 500 yard run. Test information will be given to candidates prior to their scheduled test date.
3. PERFORMANCE TEST WAIVER: You may be eligible to waive the performance test if one of the following applies to you:
- You are currently employed as a Police Officer (Recruit Level) with the San Diego Police Department.
- You have been employed, WITHIN THE LAST YEAR, as a full-time Peace Officer AND possess a California Basic Peace Officers Course Certificate; OR California Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate; OR California Basic P.O.S.T. Requalification Certificate; OR California P.O.S.T. Basic Course Waiver letter dated within the last ONE (1) year.
- You have passed the Performance test within the last TWO (2) years.
If your application and request for a waiver is approved, you will bypass this step and be placed on the eligible list. NOTE: Requests for waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on your responses to the supplemental questions on your application.
Candidates who pass the performance test (or are approved for a waiver) will be placed on a list which will be used to fill position vacancies during the next one year. For each vacancy, only those candidates with the most appropriate qualifications will be contacted by the hiring department for an interview.
Individuals who are placed on the eligible list and are being evaluated by the Police Department for employment, must successfully pass the following prior to hire:
FIREARM PROFICIENCY TEST: This pass/fail test is conducted with a Police Department approved handgun and involves firing at a silhouette target from 3, 7, 10, and 15 yard lines with both strong and weak hands. A minimum score of 255 out of 300 or 85% is required to pass.
VISION/HEARING REQUIREMENTS: Vision requirements vary depending upon the corrective measures utilized.
1. If you wear eyeglasses or hard (non-orthokeratology) contact lenses, your uncorrected vision may be no worse than 20/70 both eyes together. Uncorrected vision worse than 20/20, but not worse than 20/70, must be corrected to 20/20 both eyes together.
- Hard contact lenses also include semi-soft, semi-rigid, semi-permeable, gas permeable, and similar lenses.
2. If you wear soft contact lenses and your vision is corrected to 20/20 both eyes together, there is no minimum uncorrected visual acuity requirement.
To qualify under this provision, you will be asked to present satisfactory medical evidence from your private optometrist or ophthalmologist documenting that you have been a successful wearer of soft contact lenses for six months prior to the medical examination given by the City of San Diego. Such documentation must also indicate if you have any medical contraindications to wearing soft contact lenses. We will request this information from you following the medical examination given by the City.
You will also be required, as a condition of your employment, to sign a pre-employment agreement obligating you to wear soft contact lenses at all times while on duty, except when otherwise authorized by the San Diego Police Department. Your use of soft contact lenses will be subject to verification by the City of San Diego and to such medical eye examinations as necessary in the judgment of the City.
3. (a) If you have undergone any type of refractive vision surgery (or "touch up" surgery) such as Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK), radial keratotomy (RK) or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) prior to being medically considered for a Police Officer (Recruit Level) or Police Officer position, you must be substantially free of vision problems including, but not limited to: impaired vision at night or under dim lighting conditions; sensitivity to glare; starbursts experienced around light sources such as street lights or headlights; hazing or blurring of vision; eye irritation and pain; progressive regression of visual acuity; and/or daily changes in visual acuity. Your vision must be 20/20 both eyes together. If it is not, it must be corrected in accordance with the requirements in No. 1 or 2 above.
To qualify under this provision, you will be asked to submit the results of a recent eye examination from your private ophthalmologist documenting the status of your vision. We will request this information from you following the medical examination given by the City.
(b) If you have undergone any type of refractive vision surgery (or "touch up" surgery) within six months of being medically considered for a Police Officer (Recruit Level) or Police Officer position, you may be hired on a "conditional" basis.
To qualify under this provision, you must successfully complete a City provided vision examination prior to hire until and six months from the date of your last vision surgery or "touch up" surgery. You must be substantially free of the vision problems outlined in paragraph 3 (a) above. Your vision must be 20/20 both eyes together. If it is not, it must be corrected in accordance with the requirements in No. 1 or 2 above.
4. In all cases, you need to have binocular vision (vision in both eyes), normal visual fields, normal binocular fusion, and freedom from other visual conditions that would interfere with your ability to perform the full range of duties of a Police Officer (Recruit Level) or Police Officer with the San Diego Police Department.
5. In all cases, you need an acceptable level of color vision. This is determined at the time of the medical examination given by the City using standardized color vision tests.
For hearing requirements, the City of San Diego uses the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission's guidelines for Police Officer (Recruit Level) applicants. These guidelines require pure tone threshold testing for each ear separately at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz. For acoustical reasons, audiograms must be done without hearing aids in place.
An additional examination by a medical specialist will be required if the screening audiogram is considered "abnormal" or there is a history of ear-related symptoms. In general, an audiogram is considered to be abnormal if thresholds exceed 25 dB. In these cases, the examining physician must determine 1) whether the hearing loss is functionally relevant to the safe performance of patrol duties, and 2) whether the candidate needs to be evaluated by a hearing specialist to assess treatment options and/or prognosis.
Candidates with hearing aids: Candidates who wish to be tested with their hearing aids will be administered a test to assess speech comprehension ability in noise and quiet. Both tests will be administered by sound field methods rather than headphones. An aided audiogram will be reviewed to evaluate sound detection ability.
Prior to testing, the candidate must attest that he/she has worn the aids regularly for at least one month. In addition, all records from the audiologist who dispensed the hearing aids must be provided, including documentation of the fitting program and other hearing aid settings, which are used on a regular basis by the individual.
As a condition of employment, candidates who wear hearing aids will be required to sign a pre-employment agreement obligating them to wear their hearing aids when assigned to field duty or other hearing critical tasks.
- Any evaluation by a hearing specialist, including additional audiogram testing, will be at the applicant's expense.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this position, which may include the following: confirmation of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review and exam (which may include drug and alcohol testing); reference checks; and fingerprinting. Fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes, which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol or illegal drugs, including marijuana, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, or misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening or selection process, may be cause for disqualification or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an express or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. Candidates must notify the Personnel Department of any change in their name, mailing address, email address, or phone number, otherwise they may miss employment opportunities.