LAPD Recruitment Brochure Online


Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in your disqualification from the Police Officer Examination.

You must be 20 years of age at the time of application and 21 years of age by police academy graduation.
Graduation from a U.S. High School, G.E.D. or equivalent from a U.S. institution, or a California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) certificate. A two- or four-year college degree from an accredited U.S. or foreign institution may be substituted for the high school requirement.
CITIZENSHIP (Revised 10/2005)
The City of Los Angeles requires that a Police Officer candidate be a United States citizen, or that a non-citizen be a permanent resident alien who, in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is eligible and has applied for citizenship.
During the selection process, each non-citizen will be required to prove that USCIS accepted his/her application for citizenship prior to the date the Police Officer written test was taken.
California State law requires that citizenship be granted within three years after the employment application date. For information regarding citizenship requirements, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Federal Government.
Police Officers are responsible for protecting and serving the public and are entrusted with substantial authority to carry out these responsibilities. The public has the right to expect that such authority is given only to those individuals who have demonstrated by their conduct that they will use the authority given to them in the public’s best interests. Past behavior will be closely scrutinized and only candidates with the highest probability of success will be appointed as Police Officers. The background evaluation will include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Your past behavior and the choices you have made must demonstrate positive traits that will support your candidacy for Police Officer and reflect favorably on your character.
  • You must have a history of lawful conduct.
  • You must possess high standards of honesty and integrity as demonstrated by your dealings with individuals and organizations. Behaviors such as theft from employers or others, deceitful acts whether for personal gain or not, and falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting information on any document or during the selection process will be closely scrutinized.
  • You must respect the rights of all people and have an appreciation for the diversity that characterizes Los Angeles. A history of domestic violence, physical altercations, or discourteous, abusive, or violent treatment of others may indicate a lack of self-discipline, an unwillingness or inability to cooperate, or a disregard for the rights of others.
  • You must have a history of making responsible choices regarding the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Your employment and military (if applicable) histories must demonstrate the motivation and success-orientation critical to success as a Police Officer.
  • Your financial and driving records must demonstrate responsible decisions and appropriate behavior.
In order to help you determine whether your background is suitable for the position of Police Officer, a Preliminary Background Application ("PBA") is available online. By completing this form you will be immediately notified if there are any issues in your background which may affect you in the Police Officer selection process.
You must be in excellent health with no conditions that would restrict your ability to safely complete Academy training and to perform all aspects of police work. You must also be in good physical condition.
Your uncorrected distance vision must not be worse than 20/40, unless you wear soft contact lenses. Soft contact lenses must have been worn successful for at least three months in order to satisfy this waiver. Regarding refractive surgery, most persons who have had these procedures will be passed. However, some may be deferred for several months or disqualified based on an individualized assessment of the surgical outcome. Regarding color vision, you must be able to accurately and quickly name colors and you must be free of other visual impairments that would restrict your ability to perform law enforcement duties.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT (Revised 3/1997)
There is no minimum or maximum height or weight limit. However, Your weight must be appropriate for your height and build.
You must have normal ability to understand speech in noisy areas, understand whispered speech, and be able to localize sounds.
If you meet the minimum requirements listed, you may begin the selection process by taking the qualifying written tests. Written test sessions are offered five times each week, at five different locations throughout the City, as well as at frequent special testing events throughout the year. You do not need to call in advance to schedule testing. Just show up! No application is required, but you must bring your PBA and JPQ results with you to the test. The written tests are offered four times each week and every weekend. Testing is conducted on a walk-in basis and no application is required to take the tests.

$59,717 (EFF. JUNE 2016)
The starting base salary for Police Officer I shall be $59,717. The officer will earn this rate until graduation from the Police Academy. Upon completion of the academy and assignment to the field as a probationary Police Officer I, the officer shall be paid $62,974. New recruits receive regular salary and benefits upon beginning Academy training. Officers are paid bi-weekly. Salary adjustments are made periodically. Click here for more information regarding LAPD Annual Salaries.

The following are some of the benefits provided to Police Officers by the City. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Police Department's Recruitment Section at (866) 444-LAPD
Several options are available in health and dental plans for active employees and their eligible dependents. The City subsidizes all plans.
The City has an independent pension system to which both the employee and the City contribute. Employees hired after January 1, 2002 become members of Tier 5 upon graduation from the academy. Additional information on the pension system may be found at
The employee's contribution is currently eight percent and is not taxable, but is refundable if an employee terminates prior to eligibility for a pension. There is no participation in Social Security, but Medicare contributions are withheld.
Sworn employees receive twelve days of 100 percent paid sick leave, five days at 75 percent, and five days at 50 percent, upon hiring. Employees may accumulate up to 100 days at 100 percent, 75 percent, and 50 percent paid sick leave. Employees are eligible for a service-connected disability retirement from the date of graduation from basic training
Sworn employees receive 15 days vacation after one year of service and 23 days after ten years. Every sworn employee also receives a total of thirteen paid floating holidays per year, one day every four weeks.
Additional retirement financial planning can be accomplished through regular contributions to a deferred compensation plan. The funds deferred are not subject to State or Federal taxation until withdrawn.

A LATERAL ENTRY program is available if you have a valid California Basic Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certificate. This program allows for a shortened Academy training period, although all other Police Officer requirements must be met. For further information call (213) 473-9060.

The City of Los Angeles has voluntarily agreed to a consent decree approved in Federal court which provides for increased representation of Blacks, Hispanics and women in the rank of Police Officer. In addition, the City is interested in increasing the number of Asian-Pacific Police Officers. Applicants who speak an Asian-Pacific and/or other foreign language(s) may be eligible for selective certification and bonus pay.

The written tests are offered four times each week and every weekend. Testing is conducted on a walk-in basis. A Preliminary Background Application (PBA) and a Job Preview Questionnaire (JPQ) must be completed online at before you appear for the written test. Once you fill out the PBA and JPQ online, you will receive immediate results regarding your responses. Be sure to bring your PBA results and JPQ results with you to the written test.
For the most current list of LAPD testing locations and recruitment events, please click here.

If you are not successful in the Personal Qualifications Essay (PQE), you may retake the test after 6 months. Candidates may not take the PQE more than once during a three-month period.

The Selection Process consists of seven steps, all of which must be successfully completed before a candidate may be hired as a Police Officer. Generally, candidates must complete each step before being scheduled for the next. Successful candidates may expect to make four to five visits to various City testing sites during the process. PLEASE NOTE: The period for which test results are valid varies according to the test. It is the candidate's responsibility to make sure all his/her test results are kept current. Most successful candidates complete the Police Officer testing process in four months to one year.
All candidates must complete the on-line, interactive PBA and JPQ prior to taking the written test. Go to and click on "How to Apply". The online PBA will identify issues that you should resolve before beginning the selection process and will tell you if you have a realistic chance of success in the background investigation portion of the selection process. The online JPQ includes questions designed to help you better understand the nature of Police Officer work. Bring the printed results to the test site.
The PQE consists of essay questions related to judgement and decision making and behavioral flexibility. Your written communication skill will also be evaluated. A passing score (70% or higher) places you on the hiring list and is valid for 18 months. You may retake the PQE once every 6 months.

Candidates are not successful in the PQE for numerous reasons, including the following:
  • Using poor examples that fail to showcase their abilities and potential
  • Failure to provide enough details that would make the essays clear and easier to understand
  • Failure to stay on topic (i.e. rambling, too much detail, or irrelevant information)
  • Failure to provide all information asked for in the essay questions (i.e. did not completely answer the questions)
  • Lacks adequate written communication skills (i.e. English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.)
If you feel that you may need improvement in your written communication skills, we encourage you to take steps to improve in this area. You may want to consider taking a college course in business English and/or essay writing. Below are some courses offered through the Los Angeles Community College District that may interest you.*
Course Name Course Number Description
Business English Business 31 (or CAOT 31) Knowledge of English grammar and punctuation rules; practice in writing sentences and paragraphs
College Reading Skills English 20 Techniques to improve reading skills and to write clear, coherent compositions
College Reading and Composition I English 101 Develops proficiency in college-level reading and writing through the practice of critical thinking and well-developed logical expository writing

*Course names, numbers, and descriptions from the Los Angeles City College 06-07 Catalog

For more information on the Los Angeles Community College District, please call (213) 891-2000 or visit
The Background Investigation begins with completion of a Personal History documents (which require compilation of extensive biographical information), fingerprinting, and an interview with a background investigator. The investigation will also include checks of employment, police, financial, education, and military records and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. The Polygraph examination is conducted to confirm information obtained during the selection process.
The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) consists of two parts. The first part is designed to measure strength, agility, and endurance. The second part measures aerobic capacity and it will be administered usually at the time of the Medical Evaluation. Passing the PAT only indicates the minimum physical ability required to undertake academy training. The PAT is a pass/fail qualifying test. You may take the test parts as often as is necessary to pass, and the score is valid for 12 months.
A Polygraph Examination is conducted to confirm information obtained during the selection process.
A panel interview will be conducted to assess your personal accomplishment, job motivation, instrumentality, interpersonal skills, continuous learning orientation and oral communication skills. Only those candidates who are selected during this part of the process will be scheduled for further testing. If you fail, you may retake the interview after 3 months. If you subsequently attend an Orientation/Oral Prep Seminar, you will not be required to wait 3 months for another interview.
Orientation/Oral Prep Seminars are held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month (excluding holidays) at the Personnel Department's Civil Service Commission Room (3rd floor).
700 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Medical Evaluation

The medical examination is thorough and it is essential that you be in excellent physical, emotional, and mental health with no conditions that restrict the ability to safely perform the essential functions of the police officer job. Good physical condition is necessary, as training in the Academy is rigorous. Failure to be in excellent physical condition may delay or disrupt training and result in a dismissal from the Academy. Medical examination results are valid for up to 12 months, at the discretion of the City's medical staff. Written psychological tests (valid for up to 18 months) and the second portion of the PAT will be administered at this time.
Vision must be at least 20/30 in each eye with the following exceptions. If glasses are worn, vision must be at least 20/30 in each eye while wearing the glasses and uncorrected distance vision must not exceed 20/70 in either eye and the better eye must be at least 20/40. If soft contact lenses are worn, they must have been worn for at least three months and vision must be at least 20/30 in each eye tested with the contacts in. If a LASIK procedure (refractive surgery) was performed, vision must be at least 20/30 in each eye. In addition, candidates must be able to accurately and quickly name colors, and must be free from other visual impairments that would restrict the ability to perform law enforcement duties.
Candidates must be able to understand speech in noisy areas, understand whispered speech, and localize sounds. Specialized testing methods are used to determine hearing capability. Although hearing aid use is not automatically disqualifying, additional specialized tests will be administered to determine if the use of hearing aids will be permitted.

Psychological Evaluation

The Psychological Evaluation consists of an individual oral interview and evaluation by a City psychologist on factors related to successful performance in the difficult and stressful job of Police Officer. The information evaluated includes the written psychological tests completed during the medical evaluation along with information obtained in the background investigation process. The results are valid for 12 months.
Disqualifying Psychological Factors
Candidates with a history or prior diagnosis of a psychological or psychiatric condition, including learning disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder, or who have been treated with psychotropic medication or therapy, will be asked to provide relevant medical records before a final psychological determination can be made.
Certain conditions that have been suspected or diagnosed such as most learning disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without hyperactivity, may require additional testing and review of relevant medical records. In many cases these conditions/diagnoses result in a disqualification due to a lack of adequate treatment and persisting symptoms.
Other conditions such as bipolar disorder, recurring major depression, with or without psychotic features or suicidal ideation, recurring anxiety disorders, with or without panic attacks, obsessive/compulsive disorder, and most diagnoses leading to a psychiatric hospitalization are highly disqualifying. Although the candidate will be asked to provide relevant medical records documenting the conditions and treatment received, these conditions often provide a basis for disqualification for a police officer position.
Certification and Appointment are the final steps in the selection process. This is a highly competitive process. Candidates must demonstrate their positive attributes at each step of the selection process. You must pass all test parts, be identified as the most qualified candidate by LAPD, and possess a valid Conditional Job Offer in order to be certified for hiring consideration. Appointments to the Police Academy are made by the Police Department from the civil service eligible list in accordance with the score on the eligible list and provisions of the Consent Decree.

(Revised 01/2010)
In this section you will find information on the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). The PAT is designed to measure your strength, agility and endurance; it is not an indicator of your overall health or your potential success in the police academy. If you haven't already, you should begin adjustments to your diet and exercise program now in preparation for a career in law enforcement.
As part of the Police Officer examination, you will be required to pass the Physical Abilities Test, which currently consists of two portions. The first portion of the test consists of three events designed to measure endurance, strength, and agility. The second portion of the test consists of a measure of aerobic capacity.


The first test portion is taken after placement on the eligible list and is administered at the City of Los Angeles Personnel Department Building - 700 East Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 - First Floor Lobby.
It consists of three (3) events designed to measure endurance, strength, and agility. A passing score will be based upon the cumulative score of all three test events. The first two events will each be performed more than once; the average of the attempts is used in the cumulative score.
The Physical Abilities Test (Part I) consists of the following three (3) events, administered in the following order:
You will have ten (10) seconds to move from one side of the center line to the other side as many times as possible. Performed two (2) times.
You will have five (5) seconds to pull horizontally as hard as possible while gripping a pair of handles. Performed three (3) times.
You will have two (2) minutes to pedal as many revolutions as possible against a pre-set resistance. One (1) try.


The second portion of the test consists of one event designed to measure aerobic capacity. For candidate safety, it will be administered usually at the time of the Medical Evaluation after appropriate medical screening at the City of Los Angeles Medical Services Division Building - 432 East Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
This test measures aerobic capacity. The treadmill is programmed to SIMULATE running 1.5 miles in 14 minutes on a track. During the test, the speed and incline of the machine will vary and, as a result, the actual test time is 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The pass/fail score for this test is based upon your completion of this test for the specified period.
Passing the Physical Abilities Test indicates only the minimum level of fitness required to begin academy training. Once in the Academy as a recruit, you will be required to perform physically at much higher levels.
If you are unable to perform any one of these exercises, you should initiate a regular physical fitness program to prepare yourself for the Academy. Before beginning, it is recommended that you receive a medical examination from your own physician. Remember, you do not achieve excellent physical fitness overnight and it does take physical and mental effort.
Many applicants prepare for this test by participating in the free Candidate Assistance Program (CAP) offered by the LAPD and using their Fitness Log to guide them through their workout routine. Even after passing the PAT successfully and/or with ease, it is highly recommended that applicants continue ti train in preparation for the Academy.

Among the most difficult challenges for both candidates and recruits are the physical requirements of the Police Officer examination and the Police Academy. Physical conditioning is stressed because of the physical demands placed upon Officers in the field. As part of the Police Officer examination, you will be required to pass the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). Passing the PAT indicates only the minimum level of physical ability required to begin Academy training. Once in the Academy, you will be required to perform physically at much higher levels.
To assist you in this area, the Los Angeles Police Department offers the Candidate Assistance Program (CAP) to help you get physically fit and accustomed to the training style you will encounter in the academy. We strongly encourage all LAPD candidates to take advantage of this FREE program.
Click here for CAP training session dates and times or contact LAPD for additional information 866.444.LAPD.
NOTE: This physical training class is NOT mandatory and is only designed to assist you as a Police Officer candidate. Participation in the class does not automatically qualify you to be hired. All candidates must pass the civil service Physical Abilities Test.

Advancement within the Los Angeles Police Department is of two types: (1) promotion and (2) assignment to a higher pay grade. The word "promotion" refers to an advance from one Civil Service class to another, such as from Police Officer to Detective or Sergeant. Promotion is always from an eligible list established by the Personnel Department as the result of a Civil Service examination. "Assignment to a higher pay grade" is assignment to a position carrying greater responsibility or expertise, without a change in Civil Service class. Examples would be reassignments from a Police Officer II to a Police Officer III position, or Detective I to a Detective II. Reassignment from Police Officer I to Police Officer II is automatic upon successful completion of 18 months of service (the Academy training and field probation period). Most assignments to higher pay grades are the result of Police Department internal selection procedures.
After completion of the eight-month Police Academy training, Police Officers are assigned to one of the geographic areas to serve as patrol officers. Probationary officers are assigned to a Training Officer during their one-year field training. The next two to three years are spent in patrol assignments. Specialized assignments such as METRO Division, Motorcycle Units, Air Support Division, etc., require extensive experience prior to application. Police Officers are eligible to compete in the Police Sergeant or Police Detective examinations after four years of service.
Promotion from Police Officer may be either to Police Detective or to Police Sergeant. A promotion may also be accomplished between Detective and Sergeant. Promotion from Sergeant or Detective is to Police Lieutenant; from there on, there is only one promotional ladder. Successive rungs of the promotional ladder are Police Captain, Police Commander, Police Deputy Chief, and Chief of Police. The position of Assistant Chief is a pay grade advancement within the civil service class of Deputy Chief.
The basic Sergeant position is a field supervisor position; this is the position for which Sergeant promotional candidates must demonstrate their qualifications. There are also administrative and specialist assignments for Sergeants. Detectives do specialized or generalized follow-up investigative work. Examples of the assignments in this civil service class are personnel background investigators, undercover narcotics investigators, internal affairs investigators, and traffic accident follow-up investigators.
Requirements and duties descriptions for higher ranks can be found in job bulletins published by the Personnel Department.

The City of Los Angeles strives to hire the best candidate for every position. Our goal is to fill each job with a person who is well qualified, has an interest in the job, and who will be committed to a career in that field. To do this, we feel it is important to give each applicant a realistic description of the job and its tasks so that the candidate can decide for him or herself if the position is truly one in which there is interest and ability to do well.
As a Police Officer with the City of Los Angeles, you will be required to perform a large variety of tasks. These tasks will encompass many diverse aspects including learned skills and "people" skills. Some of these may be appealing to you, some may not. Some of the skills you will need to perform will be taught to you in the Academy and some rely on traits you bring with you to the position. We urge you to consider the entire job of Police Officer and not just the exciting or glamorous aspects.
What follows is a realistic preview of the types of tasks which are required of all Los Angeles Police Officers. They are intended to give you a better understanding of the job and consequently your willingness and abilities to perform the job on a daily basis. The list is not intended to be exhaustive or to describe every task required of a Police Officer. Please take a moment to truly consider whether the job of Police Officer fits you, as well as whether you fit the job of Police Officer.
Police Officers are required to fill out many different forms, logs, and reports. Correspondingly, Police Officers must write legibly and clearly and have a good working knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and spelling. Police Officers must be concise, descriptive and thorough in all written documents.
Police Officers constantly communicate with members of the community. It is crucial to initiate contact with members of the community to better understand the needs and problems of a particular area. Police Officers must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact with the public on a daily basis. Police Officers also must interview and obtain information from victims and witnesses of crimes in a manner appropriate to the situation and culture of the people involved.
Police Officers meet with and make presentations to groups of residents and/or business people from various neighborhoods regarding local crime, traffic, and related problems.
Police Officers may be required to work the front desk at a police station. This involves numerous activities including answering phone calls from the public; taking reports; explaining the law and LAPD policies; listening and responding to complaints about police service, and handling complaints from citizens who walk into the station.
Police Officers must testify accurately and credibly in court regarding arrests, reports taken, evidence recovered, and victims' statements.
Police Officers must employ excellent listening skills, in person and on the telephone. Officers must listen closely to what is being said and retain that information, identifying needs and emotions being expressed and demonstrating interest and involvement.
Police Officers deal with all segments of society. Some members of the general public may have hostile feelings toward Police Officers and may express their hostility to the Officer in words or actions. A Police Officer must always behave professionally in the face of provocation.
Police Officers must evaluate situations, determine whether a crime has taken place, and make an independent decision as to what action is appropriate. In doing so, the Officer must simultaneously consider numerous factors, recognize patterns, and develop theories based on available information and evidence.
Police Officers must attend daily roll call meetings. In these meetings, vital information is given about suspects, planned or suspicious activities, and crimes in their area. Officers must organize this information for use during their shift. Officers must plan and complete their activities and paperwork in a timely and efficient manner.
Police Officers must pay attention to detail, noticing minute elements or components of a particular person or crime scene. Officers must also be able to visualize and recall an event after the fact in order to construct documentation of the event, possibly for future court testimony. Officers also recognize and gather evidence at the scene of a crime, and they are responsible for the safe storage and transportation of this evidence.
Police Officers are required to learn and memorize large quantities of complex and detailed material, including Penal Codes; legal terms; LAPD procedures and policies; Health and Safety Codes; Laws of Arrest; Search and Seizure Law, Laws of Evidence, etc.
Police Officers must be able to operate a computerized Mobile Digital Terminal (MDT). Officers must use the keyboard and special function keys using LAPD call codes and computer language to access the various types of information needed. Officers also use the MDT to receive assigned coded calls and communications from other units. Officers must be able to accurately initiate and respond to clear, precise communications over the MDT.
Police Officers must develop problem solving and reasoning skills in order to initiate innovative solutions to difficult and unique problems which are faced while on duty.
Police Officers resolve citizen conflicts such as business, neighbor, family and traffic-related disputes. Officers must separate the parties involved, interview them, and try to calm them down, and mediate a solution to the problem. These disputes can be loud, emotionally charged, combative and time-consuming.
Police Officers monitor and control crowds at scenes where tensions may run high such as picket lines and demonstrations. Officers must observe crowd behavior and communicate with group leaders to keep peace and order among those gathered.
Police Officers must exhibit leadership by taking control of situations, inspiring confidence, delegating tasks, and providing a positive example for others.
Police Officers must use their interpersonal skills to calm distraught persons, subdue angry or combative persons, and coax uncooperative persons into cooperating and providing information.
Police Officers may be involved in numerous physically demanding activities throughout the work shift. These may include : pursuits of suspects in a police vehicle or on foot, walking foot patrol for up to eight hours, physically subduing, detaining and arresting sometimes combative suspects, physically searching suspects, performing rescues by dragging or carrying victims, performing CPR and first aid procedures, controlling crowds, serving arrest or search warrants, and driving a patrol car.
Police Officers must be able to use firearms in a proficient manner. After Academy training, Officers are required to prove their proficiency with firearms by "qualifying" at the Academy periodically.
Police Officers must be able to respond to calls for help by using directional information such as north-south, left-right, and so on.
Police Officers work in all parts of the City, under all types of conditions, with all types of people. Officers may be required to search and/or touch suspects who are dirty, neglected, injured, or bleeding. Officers also may be required to enter buildings or establishments which are unsanitary or structurally unsound.
Police Officers, after establishing probable cause, must detain and/or take suspects into custody. This involves Department-approved techniques and equipment such as verbalization, control holds, batons, guns and handcuffs to physically subdue suspects while treating them with as much dignity as possible and using the minimum force necessary.
Police Officers typically work with a partner. This means that Officers will often spend a minimum of eight hours per day in a car or on a foot patrol with the same person, maintaining a professional working relationship.
Police Officers must be able to work under a great deal of pressure, yet still maintain a clear head and a positive attitude and work ethic.
Police officers in the City of Los Angeles deal with a wide variety of people. Officers must be open-minded, fair, unbiased and sensitive to deal with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and life-styles.
Police Officers may work any hour of the day, all days of the week, including holidays. Schedules are subject to change, and many times overtime is required. Officers must be adaptable and willing to adjust to frequent compulsory changes in work shifts, work locations, and other factors.
Police Officers are representatives of the City of Los Angeles. They are also symbols of stability and trust and must always behave ethically and resolve moral conflicts appropriately, both on and off the job.

If you need additional information, you may visit the Personnel Department Public Safety Bureau, 700 E. Temple Street, Room 150, Los Angeles, CA 90012. You may also call (213) 847-LAPD or (213) 473-9060 for current test information. If you wish to speak with a Police Department Recruitment Officer, you may call (866) 444-LAPD.

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