The information provided in this section is quite lengthy. If you are a phone listener is it recommended that you call the Recruitment team at (949) 724-7106 during normal business hours. Once again, that number is (949) 724-7106.
What qualities and characteristics does the Irvine Police Department look for in police officer candidates?
There are 10 basic traits that the Irvine Police Department seeks in their police officer candidates:
3. Good communication skills
4. Good judgment/common sense
7. Knowledge of the job and the criminal justice system
8. Discretionary decision-making
10. Team oriented
What kinds of education & experience should I consider before applying to become a police officer with the City of Irvine?
Education: Most of the progressive agencies in California place a high value on a college education. The City of Irvine requires at least 60 college level units or an AA degree. The choice of a major is not nearly as important as the college experience itself.
Work experience: A track record as a dependable & reliable employee is just as important as education. The best predictor of future behavior is past performance. Positive job references from a reputable employer are extremely important. Any consistent employment is helpful, however jobs which emphasize public contact, interpersonal communications, dependability and responsibility are the most important.
Law enforcement Exposure: Make an ongoing effort to learn about law enforcement. Most agencies have part-time positions. They may be cadets, community service officers, police aides, public safety aides, etc. All provide exposure to the law enforcement environment. Agencies also have volunteer programs that can provide similar exposure and may also lead to employment opportunities.
Physical fitness: Start now on an ongoing physical fitness program, since you will need to be in good physical condition to successfully compete for employment and complete a police academy.
Moral character: Realize that any poor choices you make, especially as an adult, could jeopardize a future law enforcement career. While perfection is not expected or required, drug use, theft, dishonesty and poor judgment end many careers before they get started.
Balance: Above all, successful law enforcement applicants tend to be those who have balance in their lives. All of the above factors are important and development of one to the exclusion of the others will probably frustrate your career efforts.
What are the physical requirements of police officer candidates?
Weight must be in proportion to height; good physical condition as determined by an examining physician approved by the City of Irvine; vision must be 20/100 or better in each eye without correction, correctable to 20/20 in the better eye and not less than 20/30 in the lesser eye; and normal color vision.
What is involved in the hiring process for a police officer with the Irvine Police Department?
Our hiring process is highly selective and includes the following steps:
I. Application: The first step in the process is applying. Applications are accepted online. Applications are screened for minimum qualifications and the most qualified applicants will be notified if they are to continue to the next phase.
II. Application screening for most qualified. Human Resources and Personnel Services representatives review applications to assure job prerequisites are met.
Unqualified applicants are sent a letter by Human Resources thanking them for their interest and eliminating them from the process.
III. Written test.
The P.O.S.T. approved test that is administered at the City of Irvine is a general knowledge test to evaluate your language and problem solving skills.
IV. Oral interview.
One or more oral boards are established depending on the number of applicants. Generally, the oral board will include one police sergeant and one or more police officers from the Irvine Police Department.
Candidates that are successful in the oral interview will be invited to fill out a pre-poly questionnaire to be discussed with the recruiting sergeant or lieutenant.
VI. Polygraph examination.
Candidates that successfully pass the pre-poly will move to the polygraph stage. The applicant is responsible for arranging an appointment with the department authorized polygraph examiner. If applicant passes the polygraph examination, the background investigation moves forward. If applicant fails the polygraph, a letter will be sent from Personnel Services and they are then eliminated from the process.
VII. Background investigation.
The personal history statement given to the applicant in the background package must be completed and returned within 10 days. The applicant is responsible for arranging to have their photograph and fingerprints taken by the Irvine Police Department front desk personnel. The background investigation generally takes from 3-6 months to complete.
VIII. Second Interview.
The most qualified applicants are invited back for a second interview. This interview is with the Chief of Police. Applicants may schedule a police ride-along prior to the second interview to learn more about Irvine's policing philosophy. The ride-along can only be scheduled after successfully passing the first oral interview for police recruits. Lateral officer candidates may ride-along at any time before or during the hiring process.
IX. Psychological evaluation.
The applicant will be notified to schedule an appointment with the department psychologist. A copy of the background summary is faxed to the psychologist. The Personnel Services Lieutenant will be notified by the psychologist of the exam results. Successful completion of the exam advances the applicant to the medical examination. Unsuccessful applicants receive a letter from Personnel Services eliminating them from the process.
X. Medical examination.
Applicants are sent to the department approved medical facility for a physical examination. Any medical problems identified will be reported to the Human Resources Department representative. The Human Resources Representative will consult with the Personnel Services Lieutenant and a decision will be made to accept/reject the applicant.
XI. Physical abilities test. The P.O.S.T. Job-Related Test Battery includes the following five tests:
99-Yard Obstacle Course: Run a 99 yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb height obstacles, and a 34 inch high obstacle that must be vaulted.
Body Drag: Lift and drag a 165 pound lifelike dummy for 32 feet.
Chain Link Fence Climb: Run 5 yards to a 6 foot chain link fence, climb over the fence and continue running another 25 yards.
Solid Fence Climb: Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over the fence and continue running another 25 yards.
500 yard run: Run 500 yards (equivalent to 1 lap plus 60 yards of standard running track).
What kinds of specialty assignments does the Irvine Police Department have?
The following are specialty assignments available at the Irvine Police Department:
Do you have to be a United States citizen to become a police officer?
Yes. California State law, (California Government Code, sec. 1031) requires that peace officers be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens who are eligible for citizenship. The Irvine Police Department will allow you to test for the position of police officer while your application is being processed for citizenship, however, you will not be given a job offer until your citizenship is granted.
What is a "Lateral Transfer"?
This classification is for experienced police officers who have graduated from a P.O.S.T. certified basic academy, completed a probation period of full-time sworn police experience and be in possession of a California P.O.S.T. Basic Certificate at the time of filing the employment application.
Do you accept police officer lateral transfers?
Yes. We accept applications for lateral transfer on a continuous basis as needed. There is some flexibility on the education, depending on your experience.
What is the process for an out of state lateral officer applicant?
The requirements do include a California POST Basic Certificate, satisfactory completion of probation and either an AA/AS or 60 units. All out of state applicants will need to complete the California Peace Officer Standards & Training (P.O.S.T.) Re-qualification Course prior to testing as a lateral police officer applicant. Please refer to the California Peace Officer Standards & Training web page for more details on the re-qualification course at http://www.post.ca.gov.
What is P.O.S.T.?
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is responsible for regulating and certifying all law enforcement agencies in the state. The Commission's goal is to concentrate its services on the three ingredients believed to be most critical to effective law enforcement:
Meeting the statewide need for consistent peace officer selection standards by developing and updating job-related selection standards.
Assuring that California peace officers have access to appropriate training to acquire the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors which are consistent with the requirements and expectations of professional competence associated with the job at each career and experience stage.
Fostering and facilitating healthy and productive organizational environments in which officers work by providing a system of leadership development programs and offering management counseling services.
The Commission on POST is a state agency which was formally established in 1959. It consists of 14 members, 13 of whom are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, for three-year overlapping terms. Commissioners are selected to provide a balanced group of city and county administrators, law enforcement professionals, educators, and public members. The State Attorney General is a Commissioner by law.
The POST Advisory Committee is the Commission's "sounding board" and provides input on many of the Commission's complex issues. The Advisory Committee represents the major associations and organizations within California's law enforcement community. Educators and public members also serve on the Committee. The POST Commission establishes minimum selection and training standards, provides counseling on improving management practices, and provides financial assistance to agencies to support the training of their peace officers, dispatchers and para-professional employees. Other major responsibilities include:
administering a professional certificate program for peace officers, reserves and dispatchers;
incorporating instructional technology in training; conducting feasibility studies regarding peace officer status; and implementing statutory mandates as required.
For more information about P.O.S.T. visit their web page at http://www.post.ca.gov
What is a P.O.S.T. Certificate?
The POST Basic Certificate is the first of several levels of professional peace officer certificates issued by the state. The POST Basic Certificate is required within 18 months of being appointed as a peace officer. You can obtain a California Basic POST Certificate in two ways:
Seek employment with an agency that sponsors recruits through a POST basic police academy.
Sponsor yourself through one of the POST basic police academies which accepts independent recruits.
These basic police academies are operated by several community colleges throughout the state, including Fullerton, Goldenwest & Rio Hondo. If you are a lateral applicant from out-of-state, or you were not hired within 3 years of completing the basic academy, you may take the P.O.S.T. re-qualification course that is 3 weeks in length. For more information on POST certificates, refer to the California POST website: http://www.post.ca.gov
During the testing process, do you receive additional points for being in the military service?
No. However, military service, education, training and/or work experience will be included in your background file for review by the administration during the selection process.
How long is the training period for an entry level police recruit?
As an entry-level officer, you will need to complete the Basic Academy, which may range from 664 hours to 980 hours depending upon which academy is attended. The Irvine Police Department generally utilizes Rio Hondo College, Orange County Sheriff or Goldenwest College. After completion of the academy, you must successfully complete a 16-week training program provided by the Irvine Police Department.
Will I be paid while I attend the academy?
Yes. While attending the police academy you will receive the regular salary for a police recruit.
Do you have to live at the academy?
No. The general hours of the academy are 0700-1600 with weekends and holidays off.
Do you have to live in Irvine?
No. You do not need to be a resident of the City of Irvine, but you do need to be a resident of the State of California.
Do you have a tuition reimbursement program?
Yes. The City of Irvine offers a tuition reimbursement of $1,300.00 per year. A portion of that ($350) may be used toward professional development.
What kind of work schedule do the patrol officers have?
Patrol officers either work four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days. Those scheduled for the 4/10 work Monday-Thursday. Those scheduled for the 3/12 work Friday-Sunday.
Common Disqualifiers for Police Officer Positions
Below is a list of the most common areas that may disqualify an applicant for a Police Officer position with the Irvine Police Department. If you have a question regarding any of these areas, please contact Lieutenant Al Murray at (949) 724-7143.
Use of marijuana, hashish, or cocaine within the last 12 months.
Use of cocaine more than 5 times within the last 3 years.
Use of LSD or heroin at anytime.
Sale of marijuana, drugs, or narcotics at any time.
Knowingly remaining in place where narcotics were used.
Experimentation with barbiturates, amphetamines, or hallucinogenics, other than LSD.
Use of non-prescription steroids within the last 12 months.
On probation or parole.
Adult conviction for a property related offense.
Theft from any employer as an adult in excess of $100.00 (property or cash).
Sex act for which criminal prosecution would have resulted had the incident been reported.
Unable to obtain a valid California drivers license.
Unable to obtain motor vehicle insurance.
Conviction of 4 or more moving violations.
Revocation/suspension of drivers license within the past 3 years.
At fault in 3 traffic accidents within the last 5 years.
Continued responses indicating deception on questions asked.
Withholding information from polygraph examiner.
Failure to meet the standards as determined by the department psychologist (written and oral interview.
Physically incapable of safely performing job duties pursuant to ADA regulations.
Falsification and/or omission of any data on personal history statement.
Untruthfulness to the background investigator.
Not U.S. citizen or resident alien having filed for citizenship within the last 12 months.
Inability to communicate with a variety of types of people as is expected of a police officer.
Unfavorable work history (discipline, firing, attendance problems, etc.).
Signs of immaturity from background investigator.
NOTE: This list is not all inclusive and other information or facts revealed in the detailed background investigation may also be sufficient to disqualify an applicant.
Contacting the Recruiting Team
For more information, or to be personally contacted by a member of the Irvine Police Department Recruiting Team, email them at PS_RecruitmentTeam@ci.irvine.ca.us or click here for an information form to submit. Or you can call us direct at (949) 724-7215.
The Hiring Process
What does it take to get hired? The process for hiring all police officer applicants is essentially the same. The seven steps illustrated below are designed to identify those individuals best qualified for a career in law enforcement:
STEP 1: Application: The first step in the process is applying. Applications are accepted online. Applications are screened for minimum qualifications and the most qualified applicants will be notified if they are to continue to the next phase.
STEP 2: A written examination is administered and is designed to test your languange and problem solving skills.
STEP 3: An oral interview by an interview board is the next step in the process. The board members ask job-related questions designed to assess the applicant's knowledge and skills.
STEP 4: Pre-poly.
STEP 5: The next step in the process is the polygraph and the background investigation. A polygraph is used to confirm information on the application form, present and past use of narcotics or drugs, and any previous job-related problem. The background investigator will contact employers, references, family members and neighbors to assess the applicant's character. The background investigation normally takes between 3-6 weeks to complete.
STEP 6: Police officer applicants who successfully complete the first five steps may receive a job offer contingent upon the applicant passing the medical, psychological and physical agility test.
STEP 7: The final step in the process is complete medical, psychological and physical agility exams. These exams are conducted by the department to determine the applicant's fitness for duty. While these steps may take two to three months to complete, the successful applicant can then begin his or her career in law enforcement. Recruits are scheduled for a 26- week academy, while academy graduates and laterals officers from other police agencies are assigned to Field Training Officers for their assignments in Patrol. In past years the Irvine Police Department has enjoyed great success in recruiting highly qualified candidates for sworn positions within the department. This is due, in part, to the professional reputation that the department has earned over the past 35 years and to the continued support of City management and the Irvine City Council who have identified public safety as the number one priority in the City's strategic business plan.
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