Q. How do I know if I should apply to be a Police Officer, Police Officer Trainee or Police Officer Lateral?
A. If you have not graduated from a police academy, you are a Police Officer Trainee applicant. If you are POST certified and have completed a probationary period within a California law enforcement agency you are a Police Officer Lateral applicant. If you have not completed a probationary period, but you have completed a POST certified academy, you are neither a Trainee, nor a Lateral, but are a Police Officer Applicant, sometimes referred to as Police Officer – Academy Graduate. Regardless of the type of applicant, you must possess the minimum education and age requirements to apply.
Q. How long does the selection process take?
A. The time varies anywhere from 3-6 months from the time of application. In certain circumstances the time may be longer depending on available academies or testing dates.
Q. What does the background consist of?
A. The background consists of but is not limited to the following:
- Personal History Statement (PHS)
- Background interview
- Psychological evaluation
- Medical screening
Q. I have some spots on my credit record. Will this automatically pull me out of the running during my background check?
A. Everyone’s financial background is given individual attention. If you have something in collections or are delinquent in some payments, common sense would dictate that you take care of that. We are looking for candidates who are responsible and mature when dealing with their finances and other obligations.
Q. What does the physical agility examination consist of?
A. The physical portion of the exam consists of the following:
- 99 yard obstacle course
- 165 lb Body Drag 32ft.
- Chain Link Fence Climb 6ft.
- Solid Wall Climb 6ft.
- 500 Yard Sprint
- 1.5 mile run (completed in 14 minutes or less)
For more info go to: http://theacademy.ca.gov/tests
Q. What does an oral board consist of?
A. The Oral Board interview is typically conducted by a panel of three Police Department and/or City employees 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 eligible to continue in the selection process.)
Q. How often does the Mountain View Police Department test?
A. The Mountain View Police Department conducts Police Officer testing based on the department’s need for personnel. There are no set annual or semi-annual testing dates.
Q. Does my military service count?
A. The Mountain View Police Department strongly encourages applicants who have honorably separated from military service. Unfortunately, military veterans who do not meet the minimum college credit requirement, cannot use military service time in lieu of, or substitute for, the minimum college credit requirement.
Q. How hard or physically demanding is the Police Academy?
A. The training you will receive in the academy is very physically demanding. You work out 5 days a week and run 3 to 4 miles a day on the days you are not doing grass drills or calisthenics. If you are not in excellent physical condition when you enter the academy, you may experience delays or disruptions in your training or may be dismissed from the academy. Our Physical Preparation Tips is available for candidates who want to improve their fitness and strength.
Q. I experimented with marijuana when I was younger. What effect will this have on my background investigation results?
A. Each candidate’s background is reviewed on an individual basis. Past behaviors, choices, and decisions are evaluated in the context of the candidate’s complete life history, both positive and negative. Take a moment to thoroughly review the Background Standards and critically assess your own background in light of the standards. You must be fully forthcoming about yourself during the selection process. Many candidates purposely fail to disclose information during the background investigation. They think that the negative information will result in their removal from the selection process.
When the information is later discovered during the field investigation, they are indeed disqualified. But not necessarily for whatever behavior they failed to disclose. Rather, they are disqualified for what the failure to provide complete, honest, and accurate information says about their character. It is, therefore, in every candidate’s best interests to be completely forthcoming and truthful during the background investigation process. This will allow an accurate evaluation of the candidate’s complete life history and a fair determination as to whether the candidate meets the demanding standards for Police Officer.