What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in California?
Who does not know how attractive California is for any person who is in pursuit of making their career in the state's law enforcement agency? Irrespective of whether a person wishes to be associated with the law enforcement agency of the state for the very first time or simply wants to have a change in scenery, there is hardly a better place than this Golden State itself.
There is something alluring for everyone, starting from the lovely sea beaches in Santa Monica or the gorgeous Giant Sequoias at Yosemite. Just like almost any other American state, California requires police officers. There are as many as five hundred and nine law enforcement agencies in the state and hence you have plenty of alternatives to take your pick from. Check out how a person can get appointed and be police officers in the state of California.
Minimum California Police Requirements
Similar to all other States in the United States, there are many requirements to be fulfilled if a person wants to get appointed as a police officer in California. Following are the minimum requirements that have to be complied with for becoming a police officer in the state.
It is also imperative to note here that most of the state's police departments adhere to the POST requirements. While the exact requirement may not be the same, you will find that most of them are quite similar to the ones mentioned below:
- Should not be convicted of any felony
- The candidate should hold a valid driving license
- He or she should be an American citizen either through birth or naturalization
- They should have either attained their GED or a high school diploma
- There are some law enforcement agencies, which may need an Associate's Degree or a four-year degree
- The candidate should be a minimum of 18-year-old. However, some districts in this state may need the candidate to be more than 21-year-old
Required examinations to become a police officer in California
In order to become a police officer, the candidate has to appear in several examinations in the state. They have to appear in these examinations prior to, as well as, while their training is on. Prior to being considered for getting employed and for subsequent training, the applicants have to clear writing and reading ability test, psychological, physical, and medical examinations along with an employment interview.
After the aspiring police officers have adhered to all the basic criteria, they have to successfully complete an entry-level training program from an accredited academy. Such a course is popularly known as POST-Regular Basic Course.
Ways of making yourself more marketable in California
As mentioned even earlier, the state of California is quite a preferred place to work in. It can be highly beneficial when candidates attain a degree as an associate in Criminal Justice. However, if the applicant does not have such a degree, they may enroll in some kind of criminology classes for enhancing their expertise and knowledge.
Also, in case a candidate is bilingual, the skill might come in handy. There are several police agencies in California who are in the lookout for candidates with an ability to communicate in multiple languages, especially Spanish apart from English.
Steps in the employment process for becoming a police officer
- An application has to be submitted
- The candidate should clear various background checks including a polygraph
- Clear the stipulated medical exam
- Few counties also need a PQE or Personal Qualification Essay. In Los Angeles, a candidate must get a score of more than 70 to be included as a qualified candidate. The candidate may undergo this test once more within six months in case their score is not high enough
- Appear for a psych examination
- Undergo a test to check their ability in reading and writing
- Also, clear a physical ability exam
- Appear for an oral interview
In California, the entire process of becoming a police officer may take time duration of 6 months to 12 months.