Chula Vista Police Department

Peace Officer (Lateral/Academy Graduate/Academy Enrolled)

Permanent, Full-Time - $7,528.86 - $9,608.93 Monthly
APPLICATION: Police Lateral -- Peace Officer (Lateral/Academy Graduate/Academy Enrolled) | Job Details tab | Career Pages (
Description and Essential Functions


Your Career Starts Here!

Chula Vista Police Department is a progressive organization that welcomes diversity, encourages innovation, and rewards employee performance.  The CVPD promotes employee involvement in decision-making and problem solving. Through this commitment to inclusiveness, the CVPD receives strong support and an exemplary approval rating from the community.

There are significant opportunities for career advancement through the CVPD.  We’re seeking motivated individuals who are beginning their careers, as well as those interested in a career change.  Prior law enforcement experience is welcome but not required.



The Chula Vista Police Department, in partnership with the Community, is dedicated to providing community policing, with the highest level of professionalism and transparency. Chula Vista Police Department Employees will provide fair, courteous, and compassionate service to enhance the quality of life in Chula Vista.


Leadership  |  Respect  |  Integrity  |  Accountability

The Position: Police Recruit is the entry-level position to a career in municipal law enforcement.  Police Recruits learn and participate in established curriculum and subsequently pass all tests given by training staff, including academics and manipulative skills such as defensive tactics, firing weapons with accuracy, and driving at high speeds on a set test course while maintaining control.  After successfully completing the Police Academy, the Police Recruit will then automatically promote to the classification of Peace Officer.  

Compensation: Peace Officer salary range effective 07/14/23 is  $7,528.86 - $9,151.35 monthly.   

For more information and resources click on this CVPD Career Opportunities link.

Essential Functions:

Functions may include, but are not limited to, the following: learn and participate in all classroom and field activities while attending the police academy; write/type reports and complete all assignments; participate in daily physical training at the same intensity as the majority of the group, or as directed by academy training staff; run up to six miles at an eight minute/mile pace; perform up to sixty sit-ups straight; perform sixty push-ups straight; spar with training staff and/or fellow recruits; fire weapons; drive vehicles; talk on radio; learn about community-based policing, familiarization between law enforcement and community residents and collaborative problem solving; build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees and the public using principles of good customer service; and perform other related duties and physical training activities as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be: must be at least 20 years of age at time of application and 21 years of age at time of appointment; must have a valid California Driver's License at time of appointment; must meet citizenship requirements as defined under California Government Code Sections 1031(a) and 1031.5.


Education - Per Government Code section 1031(e), United States high school graduation, or passage of the General Education Development (GED) test, or attainment of a two-year or four-year degree from an accredited college or university.  NOTE: Verification at time of hire is required. Additional college course work in Police Administration and/or Criminal Justice is highly desirable.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Physical Demands and Working Conditions

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Knowledge of: customer service; modern office practices and procedures; computer equipment and software applications related to assignment; basic mathematics; English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Ability to: participate in all physical training exercises; learn and participate in classroom lectures; prioritize and coordinate several activities/assignments; learn and apply procedures and techniques learned in the police academy, including community-based policing, familiarization between law enforcement and community residents and collaborative problem solving; use initiative and sound independent judgment within established guidelines; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; and work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner. 

Physical Demands and Working Conditions:

The Physical Agility Test (PAT) is designed to be a specific measure of the physical capabilities necessary to perform the duties of a Peace Officer.  Test events are designed to simulate actual areas of police work.  The events include: 1) a 1.5-mile run to be completed in 14 minutes or less; 2) an agility course.   Lift up to 150 lbs.  Must be able to see a target up to 50 yards away and focus enough on it to accurately fire a weapon at it.  Must be able to hear voices of training staff over other loud noises such as gunfire and yelling. Some of the work is performed indoors in a classroom setting, and some of the work takes place outside while performing the physical training exercises. 


Additional Information



To be considered for this position, applicants must submit a City Application and Supplemental Questionnaire by the closing date listed. Candidates whose applications indicate the required education and experience most directly related to the position will be invited to participate in the selection process. All notices will be sent via e-mail.

Unless otherwise noted, a passing score must be achieved at each step of the recruitment process in order to have your name placed on the eligibility list for hiring consideration. The eligibility list established as a result of this recruitment will be for a duration of twelve (12) months, unless otherwise extended. Please note: The examination materials for this recruitment are validated, copyrighted, and/or inappropriate for review.

Employees in the Police Recruit position are represented by the Association of Chula Vista Employees (ACE) and receive benefits afforded to ACE-represented employees.  After successfully completing the Police Academy, the Police Recruit will automatically promote to the classification of Peace Officer, a position represented by the Chula Vista Police Officers' Association (POA) and receive benefits outlined in the POA Memorandum of Understanding. Click  here to view POA benefit summary information.  

Personal Qualifications
Please click here for a list of disqualifying criteria.

Must possess a good character and reputation; superior self-command, alertness, and judgment; ability to establish and maintain good working and public relations. Conviction of a serious offense, repeated or numerous convictions for minor offenses, conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude, or discharge from the military service under other than honorable conditions may be disqualifying. Candidates will be subject to a thorough background investigation, a voice stress analysis, and after a conditional offer of employment, a psychological and medical evaluation.

Recruitment and Selection Process - Applicants must pass ALL of the following assessments: 

Application Review
Applications will be reviewed to ensure that candidates meet the age, licensing, citizenship, and education requirements. All statements made in the application materials are subject to verification; false statements will be cause for disqualification or discharge.

Written Examination - Tentative Dates:  7/11, 815, 9/5, 10/12 (more will be added as needed)
The written examination is a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Entry-Level Test Battery that has two components:
1. Reading Component - measures reading comprehension
2. Writing Component - measures clarity, vocabulary, and spelling

The written exam takes approximately 3.5 hours to administer. This includes thirty minutes for the proctor to read the test instructions and for the applicants to code demographic information on machine-readable forms. The scoring procedure is automated thus requiring the applicants to code their names, addresses, social security numbers, etc., on the forms.  Two and one-half (2.5) hours are allowed for actual completion of the test battery.

POST scores the written examination. Results are released 2 - 3 weeks after the written exam. Successful candidates are eligible to continue in the selection process. Candidates who are unsuccessful on the written exam will not be eligible to continue in the selection process, however may re-apply, and test at a future date.

The Applicant Preparation Guide for the POST Entry-Level Test Battery provides a thorough overview of the test, practice test items, and test taking strategies. For more information click here (Download PDF reader).

POST 30-Day Rule: Applicants must wait for a period of one month (30 calendar days) before taking a subsequent exam. If you have taken or will take the POST PELLETB exam 30 days prior to our scheduled exam, you are INELIGIBLE to take the written exam.
PELLETB Written Test Waiver Information

If you possess POST PELLETB written exam results from another agency AND the letter is dated within 6 months prior to our test date; you may submit these results with your application or via email to .  Only applicants with a Tscore of 46 and above will be invited to continue in the process.

If you possess an associate’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university OR have a foreign equivalency certificate, you may waive the PELLETB written test.  You must submit a copy of your diploma or transcripts confirming your degree with your application in order to waive the PELLETB written test.

If you are submitting a foreign equivalency certificate, the accrediting association must be recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education.  This means the accrediting association must hold full membership in the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), or hold full membership in AdvancED, or hold full membership in the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), or is an accrediting association recognized by the National Federation of Nonpublic School State Accrediting Associations (NFNSSAA).

Officer Pre-Background Questionnaire 
The preliminary background questionnaire is a confidential questionnaire designed to assist the Police Department in conducting a preliminary suitability screening. This confidential questionnaire will be provided at the written examination or later on in the process if PELLETB written test has been waived. You are required to pass both the written examination and the Officer Pre-Background questionnaire to continue in the selection process.  If you are waiving the PELLETB, the Pre-Background questionnaire will be completed at another step in the recruitment process.

Physical Agility Test (PAT) - Tentative Dates: 8/19, 9/16, 10/14, 11/4 (more will be added as needed)
The Physical Agility Test (PAT) is developed to assess fitness and agility capabilities necessary to perform the duties of a Peace Officer. Test events are designed to simulate actual areas of police work. The PAT is comprised of two timed events:
1. 1.5 mile run to be completed in 14 minutes or less AND
2. Obstacle/Agility Course 

You must pass both portions of the PAT to move forward in the process. Candidates will be notified via email if the PAT was passed or failed.  Successful candidates are eligible to continue in the selection process.

Background Investigation
Peace Officers are responsible for protecting and serving the public and are entrusted with substantial authority to carry out these responsibilities. As such, the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requires that the history of peace officer applicants be thoroughly investigated to make sure that nothing in their background is inconsistent with performing peace officer duties. Failure to pass the background investigation will result in removal of the candidate's name from the eligibility list.

Chief's Interview

Psychological Evaluation and Medical Examination
California Government Code 1031(f) requires all California peace officers to be free from any emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. Peace officers must also be free from any physical condition that might adversely affect the exercise of peace officer powers.