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    Hiring Process

    Being a Police Officer is a job that comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and dedication. Therefore, the Santa Monica Police Department takes the selection process very seriously. We have long set a standard of providing excellent public service with the highest level of professionalism.

    If you are interested in becoming a Police Officer, below you will find information about the hiring process. For information on the lateral process, please scroll down to the end of this page. 

    If you are interested in civilian (non-sworn) employment opportunities, the hiring process and requirements vary. Please contact the Human Resources Department for more information.

    Minimum Qualifications

    All police officer candidates must meet the following minimum qualifications:

    • Must be at least 20.5 years of age
    • Must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.
    • Possess a high school diploma or G.E. D. equivalent
    • Possess a valid California Driver's License
    • May not have misdemeanor convictions involving domestic violence or convicted of any felony. Other high grade misdemeanors may also be a disqualifying factor.
    • Upon being hired, must be a non-user of tobacco products

    Application Review

    All applicants are required to complete a City application. When submitting your application, you must provide clear, concise, and complete information regarding your qualifications for the position. Those candidates whose qualifications best meet the City's needs will be invited to participate in further testing for the position.

    Written Examination

    The written P.O.S.T. examination will test applicants' skills in vocabulary, spelling and reading comprehension. The exam also tests the applicant's general knowledge and may have some reference to law enforcement principles. Test examples may be found on the P.O.S.T. Website. A written test is not administered to Police Officer Lateral or Pre-Service applicants.

    Physical Fitness Qualifier

    This examination consists of four timed exercises that are designed to measure strength and endurance. The exam includes pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run. Each event is scored and the minimum passing score is 282 total points.

    Download Scoring Sheet

    Oral Interview

    The oral interview is the first assessment of the applicant's qualifications and verbal skills. Failure to attain a passing score on this interview will result in the applicant's disqualification from further processing. Applicants who obtain a passing score will be placed on an eligibility list, which is valid for one year, and may be selected to proceed in the process.

    Background Investigation

    Applicants who have successfully completed all prior phases of the selection process are required to undergo a thorough background investigation. The investigation is used to determine an applicant's moral character and suitability for employment in law enforcement. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, the following reviews: criminal record, polygraph examination, driving record, credit history, military record, current and previous employment history and references.

    Psychological & Medical Exam

    Applicants will be evaluated for their suitability for employment as Santa Monica Police Officers. All applicants must also successfully complete a City medical examination, including a drug screening, to determine if they meet the City's medical standards for the position of Police Officer.

    For more information on these requirements, you may contact the Personnel and Training Unit at 310-458-2203 or 310-458-8416, or visit the P.O.S.T. website.




    Education, Training and Experience:

    Graduation from high school or the equivalent.  Completion of a California P.O.S.T. approved police academy.  One year full-time, paid experience as a sworn peace officer with an organized, local government agency.  Applicants must be currently employed as a sworn peace officer in the State of California.

    Licenses and Certificates:

    Possession of a valid Class C driver license.  Must possess a regular Basic California  P.O.S.T. Certificate.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens who are eligible for and have applied for U.S. citizenship.  Must obtain citizenship within three (3) years from date of application.

    Candidates invited to participate in the Police Department's testing process will participate in the following:

    1. Oral Interview

    2. Background Investigation:  Candidates will be subject to a thorough background investigation.  The investigation is used to determine a candidate's moral character and suitability for employment in law enforcement.  The investigation shall include but is not limited to, the following checks: criminal record, polygraph, driving history, credit history, military record, previous record(s); and references.

    3. Polygraph Examination

    4. Executive Interview

    5. Psychological Exam

    6. Medical Exam

    For more information on these requirements, you may contact the Personnel and Training Unit at 310-458-2203 or 310-458-8416, or visit the P.O.S.T. website.



    Santa Monica Police Department © 2021
    333 Olympic Drive, P.O. Box 2200 Santa Monica, CA 90401 • 310.395.9931 •