To join the Los Angeles police force, download the formal job listing as posted by the City of Los Angeles.
In general, you will need to be prepared, do some studying and be honest and forthcoming. For in-depth detail on each step in the process and how to prepare for it, visit Prepare for the Tests and find the Police Department recruitment downloads section.
There are seven steps to the application process:
Step 1 - Online Application
All applicants must complete the Online Application. You must complete BOTH sections before your application can be processed. You MUST submit the Online Application before you go to take the written test.
Step 2 - Personal Qualifications Essay (PQE)
The Personal Qualifications Essay (PQE) consists of essay questions related to judgment and decision making and behavioral flexibility. Your written communication skills will also be evaluated. If you fail, you may retake the PQE after three months.
Effective September 15, 2012, any person appearing for a civil service test administered by the City of Los Angeles Personnel Department MUST present a valid State or Federal issued photo identification card when appearing for the test. Any candidate who does not have a valid State or Federal issued photo identification card WILL NOT be allowed to take the test.
Step 3 - Background Investigation and Polygraph Examination
The Background Investigation begins with completion of a Personal History Statement, which requires compilation of extensive biographical information, fingerprinting, and an interview with a background investigator. The investigation will also include checks of employment, police, financial, education, and military records and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. The Polygraph examination is conducted to confirm information obtained during the selection process. Check here to see if there are any issues that may impede your progress in the Selection Process.
Step 4 - Physical Fitness Qualifier (PFQ)
Effective October 1, 2017, the Physical Abilities Test 1 has been eliminated and replaced with the PFQ on an advisory basis.
In order to better prepare for the exam and the physical demands of the academy, you are required to attend the Candidate Advancement Program (CAP) and complete the Physical Fitness Qualifier (PFQ). Your score on the PFQ is advisory. You must complete the PFQ at least once prior to appointment. You are welcome to retake the PFQ as many times as you like, and the score is valid for 12 months. If you score less than a 50 on the PFQ, you are strongly encouraged to attend CAP more regularly and retake the PFQ.
Step 5 - Department Interview
The Department Interview will be conducted by a panel to assess your personal accomplishments, job motivation, instrumentality, interpersonal skills, continuous learning orientation, and oral communication skills. (Only those candidates who pass the interview will be scheduled for further testing.) If you fail, you may retake the Department Interview after three months. Beginning January 2010, candidates will be required to submit their Fitness Logs as part of the Department Interview, as it will be considered in your evaluation.
Step 6 - Medical Evaluation and Psychological Evaluation
The Medical Evaluation is thorough and it is essential that you be in excellent health with no conditions, which would restrict your ability to safely do police work. Written psychological tests and the second portion of the PAT will also be administered at this time. The medical evaluation also includes a Psychological Evaluation that consists of an individual oral interview and evaluation by a City psychologist on factors related to successful performance in the difficult and stressful job of Police Officer. The information evaluated includes the written psychological tests as well as the background findings.
Step 7 - Certification and Appointment
Certification and Appointment are the final steps in the selection process. To be considered for hiring, you must have successfully completed all steps in the selection process. When a candidate is appointed will depend on the next available class date, selection by LAPD management, and accordance with provisions of the Consent Decree.