Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Hiring Process

Hiring Process - Flowchart

To review presentation materials and information made available at our Hiring Workshops, please Click Here.


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.

Be sure to check for periodic PELLETB workshops, or Click Here for information on additional free workshops and courses.

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.




Physical Fitness is a critical component of a successful Law Enforcement Career.  Maintaining your physical fitness will help to lower stress, prevent injury, and increase career longevity.


The Sacramento Police Department requires potential police officer candidates to possess 60 semester or 90 quarter units from an accredited university or college. Applicants will receive 25 semester units in the Police Academy, which can be applied towards the 60 unit requirement. Applicants that are short the required units at the time of graduation will be appointed as a Limited-Term Community Service Officer. These units do not have to be focused on a Criminal Justice or Administration of Justice major. Some of the various degrees currently held by SPD officers are: Communications, Business, History, and Horticulture. Writing and comprehension of the English language are crucial for today's law enforcement officer. People underestimate how important writing is to a law enforcement employee. Many candidates are screened out for poor grammar, punctuation and spelling.


Getting involved in alcohol and drugs will put you in a bad situation, regardless if you get arrested or not. The life choices you make at an early age will shape your future. Stay away from drugs and alcohol, and stay away from "friends" that do not respect your future aspirations. You are responsible for the choices you make in your life, make sure they are the right choices. Alcohol use is a drug that leads to a whole lot of disqualifying areas. For example: fighting, DUI’s, missing work, and poor health.


Agencies look at the number of tickets you have received, your vehicle accidents and license suspensions. Also, a disqualifying area is failure to carry proper insurance.


Be responsible with your finances. Pay your bills on time and do not show irresponsibility by amassing a large debt in relation to your take-home income. A check of your credit history is conducted as a part of your background investigation. Even if you have bad credit, take the necessary steps to show that you are responsible enough to rectify the situation. (You can contact a non-profit, consumer credit counseling service to help you manage your debt.) Do not go to credit repair agencies looking for a quick fix on a bad credit report. Many of these "credit doctors" recommend illegal (felony) ways to obtain new credit and will sink you further in financial trouble. It is wise to check your credit history with the three major credit agencies to verify its authenticity. According to credit counselors, more than half of the credit reports have inaccurate information.


Your conduct on the job is a factor when the Police Department considers you for potential employment. Be professional at your job and work well with your co-workers and management. While you may not get along with everyone, staying professional can earn you the respect of your co-workers and supervisors. Even a job working in the fast food industry will help you develop interpersonal skills with the public that is necessary for a job in law enforcement. Remember, we communicate with people from all walks of life, and must maintain a professional demeanor. You can develop necessary communication skills at every job you work.


Sure it’s an old fashion phrase, but many candidates are eliminated for stealing or lying. If a person is not honest, he/she has no business being a police department employee.  Peer pressure is a very powerful force, but the real test for a person is the ability to be true to his/her values.