Jobs with the Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) is one of the most famous law enforcement organizations in the world.
The Force employs over 9,200 officers who are sworn “to protect and to serve” the city where they work. The Department has jurisdiction over the 465 square miles that make up the City of Los Angeles.
All new officers hired by LAPD start their career with the Force by working on patrol. There are over 250 different jobs offered by the Department. Here are some examples:
- Bike Officer
- Fixed-Wing Pilot
- Helicopter Pilot
- Horseback Officer
- K-9 Unit Jobs
- Motorcycle Officer
- Public Information Officer
- Traffic Investigator
Qualifications for LAPD Officers
If you are interested in working with the LAPD as a police officer, you need to meet the following qualifications to be considered:
- High School Diploma or G.E.D.
- History of Ethical and Moral Behavior
- Minimum of 20 Years of Age
- United States Citizen or Permanent Resident
Steps Involved in Applying for an LAPD Officer Job
The hiring process to become an officer with the LAPD is an involved one. The first step in the process is to complete a Preliminary Background Application (“PBA”) and a Job Preview Questionnaire (“JPQ”). Filling out the PBA will give you some guidance as to whether you have a realistic chance to be hired by the LAPD. The JPQ helps you to understand the nature of the job.
Once you have completed these two tests, you need to print off the results and take them with you when you move onto the next step in the process, which is to write a Personal Qualifications Essay (“PQE”). The PQE is written at a testing facility, and the candidates’ responses are judge on the following criteria:
- Behavioral flexibility
- Decision-making and judgement
- Written communication ability
Part of qualifying for a job as an LAPD officer includes taking the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). The PAT has two components and is designed to measure the candidate’s strength, agility, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
The Department will conduct a background check as part of the process, and you will be expected to submit to a polygraph interview to confirm that the information you have provided on your application is correct.
A panel interview will be scheduled if you successfully complete the steps in the application process up to this point. A detailed physical and psychological exam is the next hurdle that you will have to overcome if you want to become an LAPD officer. Being diagnosed with a learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder, or a mental illness doesn’t necessarily disqualify an applicant from being hired. Applicants are asked to provide detailed information about their condition, including sharing their medical records. Each applicant is evaluated individually on their history is likely to affect their ability to perform their assigned duties.
Candidates who successfully complete all the parts of the application process will be certified and have their names provided to the police department. More names are put forward than the number of available spots at the Police Academy, so that the best candidates will be offered the chance to attend.
How to Apply to the LAPD
To start the application process and access the PBA and the JBQ forms, visit the City of Los Angeles On-Line Application web site.