The Hiring Process

Police Officers

Police Officer

Step 1. Application

(NeoGov) link to application if current job opening

Step 2. Screening

The screening is performed by Human Resources to determine that you are not automatically disqualified based upon some of your application answers. They use the LMPD Background Investigation Automatic Disqualifying Factors. 

Step 3. Peace Officer Standards and Training Written Test

This is a test written and created by P.O.S.T. The written test consists of multiple-choice questions that measure general aptitudes needed to be a Police Officer. No prior law enforcement knowledge is necessary to pass the test. See example of the Written Practice Test.

Step 4. Physical Agility Test

For this test, candidates will be required to run a 500 yard obstacle course which measures a wide range of physical abilities that are necessary in police work. This course, which simulates a suspect chase, will require you to dodge low hanging objects; climb ladders and stairs; run through a series of pylons; jump, step and/or climb over a 3 foot, 4 foot, and 6 foot wall; and partially lift and drag a 155 pound "simulated victim." Shorts or loose fitting clothes that do not restrict arm and leg movements are suggested as appropriate clothing. Footwear should be some type of comfortable athletic shoe with a gripping rubber sole. You will have 3 minutes and 30 seconds to pass the test. If you fail you will have a second attempt. If you fail on the second attempt you will be disqualified

At the time of the test, a test monitor will describe the test more fully and answer any questions you might have. This is a physically strenuous test designed to simulate the actual physical demands placed on police officers. If you are not in top physical condition, it is advised that you begin NOW to improve areas where you may need work

Step 5. Panel Interview and Pre-Background Interview

Candidates that pass the written and physical exams will be scheduled for an interview with staff members from the La Mesa Police Department. Your qualifications, communication skills, and many other job related factors will be evaluated relating to your suitability and fitness to begin a police career with the La Mesa Police Department. Following the interview you will sit down with a Background Detective and complete a Pre-Background Interview

Step 6. Background Investigation

The Police Department will conduct a thorough investigation of your background. You will be requested to authorize organizations and individuals who know you, to release and verify relevant information about you. The Background Detective will contact prior employers, relatives, and references. Information provided during these contacts may result in other individuals being contacted. The detective will check into your employment history, credit status, driving record, and other pertinent information. A criminal history check will also be made. You will be scheduled for an in-depth background interview with the Background Detective. During this appointment, you will be fingerprinted and photographed. The entire investigation can be lengthy (expect anywhere from two to eight months). Start collecting your personal, employee and residence reference information now to include names, home and work addresses, home and work telephone numbers, and personal email addresses. The more you do now the less stress it will cause you later. Also, locate or request documents you will need in the background process to include your high school and/or college diploma, birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, DD-214 if prior military, selective service information, marriage license and dissolution of marriage and any high school and/or college transcripts. View La Mesa Police Department’s background disqualifying factors.

Step 7. Polygraph

As part of the background process, the Background Detective will schedule you for a polygraph examination. You will be tested in different background areas. In addition, you will be asked to determine if you were honest with the background detective, truthful on your application, undetected criminal involvement, traffic history, illicit drug use, illegal gambling habits, and any other pertinent information discovered or revealed during the background investigation, including employment and military history.

Step 8. Command Staff Interview

Candidates that pass the background and polygraph will be scheduled for an interview with one or more of the Command Staff Members from the La Mesa Police Department. Your qualifications, communication skills, and many other job related factors will be evaluated relating to your suitability and fitness to begin a career with the La Mesa Police Department. 

Step 9. Chief’s Interview and Conditional Officer of Employment

You will sit down with the La Mesa Chief of Police and have a one on one interview. You will receive a job offer from the Chief contingent upon passing the Medical and Psychological examination.

Step 10. Psychological Examination

Candidates will meet with a professional psychologist for an evaluation of your fitness and suitability for police work with the La Mesa Police Department. All candidates must be found to be free from any emotional or mental condition which might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer and be free from job-relevant psychopathology, including personality disorders and/or abnormal behavior. This evaluation will include a written tests and a clinical interview. 

Step 11. Job Offer

You will receive a formal job offer after passing the Medical and Psychological Examination.

Step 12. Swearing-In

You will be sworn in by the Chief of Police at the La Mesa Police Department.