San Diego Police Department Officer Requirements

How to Become a San Diego, California Police Officer

The first step to becoming a San Diego Police Officer is to take a written exam for which the department offers a study guide. Next an individual will have to pass a physical exam, which is based on the actual physical demands officers deal with on the job. After passing the physical exam a background check and polygraph are completed. A recruit will then have a hiring interview. The final two steps are a psychological and medical evaluation. To start the process, candidates should go to the department’s website.

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San Diego Police Officer Job Description

All newly graduated police officers start on patrol units where they are responsible for patrolling their portion of the 331 square miles inside San Diego city limits. Officers maintain order by enforcing laws and ordinances. There are several divisions within the police department in order to accomplish this mission, such as detectives, SWAT, K-9, school patrol, and traffic.

San Diego Police Officer Training, Prerequisites and Educational Requirements

The minimum education requirements prior to being accepted to the academy are: a high school diploma, GED, or a two-year degree from an accredited college or university. In addition a recruit must obtain a typing certificate demonstrating the ability to type at least 30 wpm. An applicant must also be a US citizen, have a valid driver’s license and be 21 years of age by the time he or she graduates the academy.

Once accepted into the academy, recruits will complete a 6 month course. The course covers a wide range of topics including criminal law, patrol theories, laws of arrest, defense tactics, firearms training, search and seizure, and rules of evidence.

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San Diego Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

A new officer can expect to make about $3800 a month while attending the academy and top out at $6000 a month after their fourth year on a patrol unit. The department does offer an education incentive for officers who hold a degree, however this is not reflected in an officer’s salary until they have been with the department for about 2-4 years. After about 3-4 years a patrol officer may apply for a more specialized unit, which comes with increased pay.

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