Oakland Police Department Officer Requirements
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) bases its policing strategies on partnerships with the community. A particular focus area for the OPD and its officers is the reduction of gang-related violence in Oakland. New OPD officers are typically given patrol assignments within the Bureau of Field Operations, which is the largest division within the OPD with approximately 530 sworn officers and 170 civilian support staff.1
Steps to Becoming a OPD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an online application.
- Take the written entry exam.
- Pass the physical fitness test.
- Appear for an oral interview.
- Pass the background check and drug test.
- Pass the medical and psychological exams.
- Complete police academy training.
- Begin working as an Oakland police officer.
How to Become an Oakland, California Police Officer
The Oakland Police Department considers applications from candidates who meet the minimum qualifications outlined below. Eligible candidates will complete a thorough screening process that encompasses a written exam, a personal history questionnaire, a background investigation, a medical exam, a psychological evaluation, a drug screening, and a physical abilities test. Candidates will also complete an oral interview, in which they will be asked to discuss how they would respond to various common situations that police officers face. All candidates must also submit to a drug screening. Successful applicants will go on to complete 26 weeks of intensive training at the Oakland Police Academy.
Oakland Police Officer Job Description
Police officers with the Oakland Police Department must know how to solve problems and how to interact with people, especially in highly emotional situations. Police officers are motivated individuals who enjoy working in a fast-paced, pressure-filled environment. The Oakland Police Department’s police officers are often assigned to patrol specific residential, industrial, or commercial areas and have a variety of responsibilities, including writing reports, investigating a range of crimes from assault to burglary, and testifying in court. Police officers also assist in traffic accidents and direct traffic as necessary. The Oakland Police Department generally assigns patrol officers to work four 10-hour shifts per week or three 12-hour shifts per week. After two years of service with the Oakland Police Department, police officers can apply for promotion to specialized units.
Oakland Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
Interested parties must meet the minimum eligibility requirements to submit an application with the Oakland Police Department. All applicants must be at least 21 years old by completion of the police academy, have a valid driver’s license, possess a high school diploma or a GED, and be a citizen of the United States. Candidates should also have two years of full-time work experience with public contact. Applicants with felony convictions will immediately be disqualified.
After completing the hiring and selection process, accepted recruits will begin 26 weeks of training at the police academy. Based on a combination of academic and physical training, the Oakland Police Academy requires recruits to be on campus from 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Evening, weekend, and extended hours are also required, so recruits must be flexible. Before starting academy training, recruits should be able to do 28 consecutive push-ups without stopping, complete 35 sit-ups in a minute, and run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes and 36 seconds.
Oakland Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Oakland police cadets earn an annual salary between $29,993 and $33,072 while completing academy training.1 Police officer trainees who have graduated from the academy earn a starting annual salary of $66,001.1 After completion of the trainee probation period, the base salary rises to a minimum of $77,684 per year.1 Police officers with the Oakland Police Department have access to a full range of benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, paid vacation and holidays, a pension plan, tuition reimbursement, and shift differentials. Additional pay is offered for police officers who possess an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. Police officers also receive an allowance for uniforms and equipment. An estimated 4,570 police officers were employed in the Oakland metropolitan area as of May 2015.2
Oakland Police Department
455 7th St
Oakland, CA 94607
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How can I prepare for the Oakland Police Department hiring process?
Answer: The OPD runs a series of workshops to help candidates prepare for the screening and selection process. To learn more, visit the OPD’s workshops page.
Question: Do you need a college degree to work for the Oakland PD?
Answer: Prospective Oakland police officers are not required to hold a college degree. However, having a college degree can make applicants more competitive in the selection process as well as open opportunities for advancement. The OPD offers a paid Police Cadet internship program for college students interested in law enforcement careers.
Question: What career opportunities are there for Oakland police officers?
Answer: In addition to advancement by promotion, officers with the OPD may qualify for transfer to specialized units such as Special Operations, Special Victims, Homicide, or Robbery, Burglary, and Felony Assault.
1. City of Oakland Police Department: https://www.oaklandca.gov/departments/police
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_36084.htm