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Police Cadet Hiring Process

Flowchart of Hiring Process

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Applications are submitted electronically through our website.  Be sure to read the directions closely and complete the application completely and accurately.  Any questions about the application should be directed to Human Resources.

Written Exam

Once your application is received you will be invited to the written exam.  The written exam is administered through the City of Sacramento Human Resources Department.  The California POST PELLETB exam will be administered to anyone who does not provide a T-score of 45 or higher obtained within the last two years.  For test preparation please review the practice guide published by POST.  Any questions about the written exam should be directed to Human Resources.

Pre-Screen Questionnaire

After the written exam you will be given a notice, either in person or by email, to complete a short questionnaire regarding general background questions.  This questionnaire should be completed fully, accurately, and returned prior to the deadline.  The questionnaire is used to screen applicants to prevent placing applicants through unnecessary testing.  All of the answers will be verified at a later date and dishonesty or inaccurate responses will be grounds for terminating an application. 


After successful completion of the Oral Panel, you will be given numerous documents to complete.  This will include the Personal History Statement, which is an extensive collection of past residences, acquaintances, and employment information.  You will bring your completed documentation to a Questionnaire session.  During the session you will complete a short essay and a detailed background questionnaire.  The questionnaire will cover personal relationships, group affiliations, financial history, employment history, driving history, and illegal conduct (detected and undetected).  All responses will be verified through background investigation and polygraph examination.  

Oral Panel Interview

The Oral Panel interview is the first time you will meet with a Police Department Representative.  You will spend about thirty minutes answering a series of questions designed to evaluate your suitability for the position. We will evaluate your ability to communicate, your level of preparation, and decision making. 

Physical Agility Test

Prior to assignment to a background investigator, you will be required to pass a physical agility test.  We administer the POST Work Sample Test Battery as the physical agility test, with a passing score of 384 points.  We do not accept WSTB scores from other agencies.  You can find a description of the tests, sample score sheets, and suggested workouts in our physical agility guide. 

Background Investigation

The background investigation is a very thorough investigation into your past and current conduct, relationships, and employment.  An average background investigation can take 3-6 weeks.  You will be expected to provide your investigator with needed documentation in a timely and complete manner.  Dishonesty or omission of information will be cause for disqualification.

Polygraph Examination

As part of your background investigation you will be required to submit to a polygraph examination.  The examination is another tool used to verify an applicant’s truthfulness through the process.

Conditional Job Offer

After clearing a background investigation you may be invited to an interview with the hiring authority, usually a Deputy Chief.  This is a formal job interview, after which a conditional job offer may be extended.


Applicants with a conditional job offer will be sent to a psychological examination with a doctor prior to employment. 

Medical Exam

Applicants with a conditional job offer will be sent to a medical doctor for a medical screening prior to employment.  


More detailed information on state standards and recommendations for police officer candidates can be found on the California P.O.S.T website.

If you have questions regarding the Sacramento Police Department hiring process, please contact Recruiting at or call (916) 808-0880.