Police Officer Trainees

Selection Procedure - Police Officer Trainees

The City of Escondido encourages the applications of bilingual persons, women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. We will attempt to reasonably accommodate applicants with disabilities upon request.

Step 1: Application for Police Officer Trainees

Applications for Police Officer Trainees are generally handed out twice a year. If you wish to be notified of the next application date, you should contact the Human Resources Department at City Hall, or the Training Division of the Police Department, and request an interest card to be put on file. Cards remain on file for one year from the following application period.

Fully completed City applications are required and may be obtained at:

City of Escondido
Human Resources Department
201 North Broadway
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 839-4643

The most qualified candidates will be invited to appear for testing.

Step 2: Testing

Types of tests may include written and/or oral examination, physical agility, practical exam or other appropriate selection evaluation.

Written Test – a general aptitude, multiple-choice test based on the skills needed to be a Police Officer, including: observations, decision-making, map reading/directional orientation, reading comprehension and report writing/written communication abilities. No prior knowledge of law enforcement is necessary to pass the test.

Physical Agility Test – consists of five timed events:

  • 99 yard Obstacle Course – 25 seconds time allowance
  • 165 lbs. Body Drag (30 feet) – 28 seconds time allowance
  • 6 foot Wood Fence Climb – 14 seconds time allowance
  • 6 foot Chain-link Fence Climb – 13 seconds time allowance
  • 500 yard Run – 110 seconds time allowance

For this test, appropriate clothing should be worn. Shorts or loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict arm and leg movements, along with a comfortable athletic shoe, are suggested.

Oral Interview — an appraisal of general experience, education, employment record and stability; and any other factors related to your readiness to begin a police career. This interview is usually conducted by representatives from both the Police Department and the City's Human Resources Department.

When testing is completed, candidates will be ranked on an eligibility list in the order of their test scores. If you are successful in ranking among the top 10% on the eligibility list, you will be invited to continue with the next phase of the selection process.

Step 3: Background Information Packet

You will receive a Background Information Packet and instructions on how to complete it. Upon completion, you should return the packet to the Background Investigator's Office. You may be called for an appointment at a later date.

Step 4: Background Investigation

The Police Department will conduct a thorough investigation of your background. You will be requested to authorize organizations and individuals who know you to release and verify relevant information about you. The investigator will check into your employment history, credit status, driving record, possible criminal activity, and other pertinent information. An in-depth background interview will also be scheduled by the investigator.

Step 5: Polygraph Examination

The next step is the polygraph examination. This involves being connected to a polygraph machine (lie detector) while answering questions about such things as your application information, health, prior employment, possible alcohol and drug usage, economic condition, driving record, etc. During this session, the polygraph examiner will assess the truthfulness of your responses.

Step 6: Captain's Interview

A designated representative of the Chief of Police will interview you and a tentative job offer may be made, contingent upon the successful completion of steps 7 and 8.

Step 7: Psychological Evaluation

You will then meet with a professional psychologist for an evaluation of your fitness for police work; and may be required to take both a written and an oral examination.

Step 8: Medical Examination

Lastly, you will be scheduled for a medical examination conducted by a physician designated by the City of Escondido who will determine whether you meet the medical standards required to be an Escondido Police Officer.

Step 9: Job Offer

Upon successful completion of the steps 1–8, a formal job offer may be given.

Step 10: Academy Training

The San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Training Center, located on the Miramar College campus, conducts a 32-week college-level training program (Academy) for which each recruit earns 20 college semester units. Recruits attend classroom lectures and demonstrations, read textbooks, laws, court cases, and articles dealing with law enforcement. They are required to complete homework, write reports, and take and pass examinations on course materials. Police recruits also complete six weeks of field training while attending the Academy.

Police recruits who satisfactorily complete the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Training Center (Academy) will attain the rank of Police Officer Trainee Step 2 at graduation.

If you have any questions about this process, please call the City of Escondido Human Resources Department at 760-839-4643, or the Escondido Police Department Recruitment Officer at 760-839-4795.