Police Officer Recruit (Bilingual and Non-Bilingual)

Santa Ana, CA
Santa Ana Police Department

$75,516.00 – $91,800.00 Annually


The City of Santa Ana is looking for individuals who are results-oriented, possess great attitude, demonstrate creativity and innovation, work efficiently, show a record of success and have a passion for public service. Having highly talented employees provides the best service to the community.

Police Recruits are non-sworn (civilian) employees who attend a police academy to prepare for a career in law enforcement. Upon successful completion of this training, they are sworn in as Police Officers at a salary of $8,727.00 – $9,622.00 per month (reflects base salary only, does not include pay additives such as bilingual pay, senior officer pay, etc.).

Police Officers are key participants in a partnership with the City and community to identify and resolve crime problems affecting the quality of life of all residents. This community support and the diversity of cultures in Santa Ana make it an exciting and demanding place to work.

Successful officers are characterized by the ability to make sound decisions which are based on fact, not emotion, quickly and repeatedly throughout the day. They demonstrate a strong sense of fairness and the ability to apply both the spirit and letter of the law within legal parameters of discretion. They embrace the principles of Community Oriented Policing by exhibiting a genuine concern for the safety of the community and the quality of life of its citizens, successful Police Officers are alert and ready to take action. They enjoy both working alone and as an integral part of a team effort. Ideal candidates are proficient in writing reports and handling paperwork and willingly work varying shifts, weekends and holidays.

Essential Functions Include But Are Not Limited To
Please refer to this link to see a comprehensive list of job functions:
Essential Functions (Download PDF reader)

Minimum Qualifications
To be further considered, all applicants must meet all requirements defined by P.O.S.T. in addition to those set forth by our agency. One year of work experience in any field, A.A. or B.A. degree, and/or military experience is highly desirable. Please refer to this link for a list of requirements: Requirements (Download PDF reader)

Bilingual fluency is not required at this time. Applicants interested in receiving bilingual pay upon completion of the academy must be fluent in both English and any one of the following languages: Spanish, Vietnamese, Samoan, Hmong, Korean, or Cambodian.

NOTE: If you have failed the written examination or oral interview examination, you must wait at least 6 months to reapply. Individuals who have failed the psychological evaluation or Chief’s file review must wait one year before reapplying.

Selection Process

All applicants are required to complete and submit a City application form online, as well as complete the supplemental questionnaire. Please note that resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an online application. To apply, click on the “Apply” link located at the top of this page. New users must create an account first. Click on this link for instructions on how to set up your account and apply for the first time: Online Employment Application Guide.


A step-by-step description of the selection process is listed below and on this link: Selection Process/Salary (Download PDF reader). Information on salary and benefits can also be viewed on that link.

If you pass the initial application, supplemental questionnaire, and background screenings, and possess the most pertinent qualifications, in order to be placed on the eligible list, you must pass each of the following components (except the bilingual fluency exam):

Please note, all dates listed below are subject to change depending on organizational needs.

1. FRONTLINE NATIONAL EXAMINATION: (qualifying) includes multiple-choice video simulations and computer administered test in which candidates must complete the following three test components: a video-based human relations test, report writing, and reading comprehension. The examination is administered by the National Testing Network. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THE FRONTLINE EXAM UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AN E-MAIL STATING THAT YOU MEET THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS. Candidates need a score of 65% or higher on the Video Section, 70% or higher on the Writing Section, and 70% or higher on the Reading Section to pass this examination.

The next three selection components (Physical Agility Exam, Oral Interview Examination and Background Orientation) are all consolidated in one full day of testing.

2. PHYSICAL AGILITY EXAM:(qualifying) will evaluate each applicant’s physical strength, agility and endurance in the following timed components:

  • 1.5 MILE RUN The 1.5 mile run must be completed within 14 minutes to pass the City of Santa Ana physical agility test.
  • 500 YARD RUN Run 500 yards
  • SOLID FENCE CLIMB Run 5 yards to a 6-foot solid fence, climb over fence, and continue running another 25 yards
  • CHAIN LINK FENCE Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over fence, and continue running another 25 yards
  • OBSTACLE COURSE/AGILITY RUN Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles, and a 34-inch high obstacle
  • BODY DRAG Lift and drag 165 pound lifelike dummy 32 feet

Each of the above events are timed. Candidate’s performance times are converted to points and summed. Candidates must successfully complete the 1.5 mile run AND accumulate a minimum total score of 384 points in the remaining five events to pass the physical agility test.

3. ORAL INTERVIEW EXAMINATION: (weight of 50%) will evaluate experience, training and personal qualifications for the position. Candidates need a score of 70% or higher to pass this examination.

4. BACKGROUND ORIENTATION: (qualifying) prepare personal statement, receive background packet, meet with background investigator.

5. BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: (qualifying) candidates will be investigated regarding employment, neighborhood conduct, references, financial stability, criminal history, driving history, educational history, and other related factors.

6. BACKGROUND ORAL INTERVIEW EXAMINATION: (weight of 50%) will evaluate each candidate’s background, experience, training and personal qualifications for the position. Candidates need a score of 70% or higher to pass this examination.

7. POLICE CHIEF’S BACKGROUND FILE REVIEW AND ORAL INTERVIEW: (qualifying) contents of the background file and results of the background investigation will also be evaluated by the Police Chief.
8. POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION: (qualifying) candidates will take a polygraph examination designed to determine the truthfulness of the candidate’s responses about his/her qualifications and suitability as a Police Reserve Officer.

9. PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION: (qualifying) candidates will be interviewed by a licensed psychologist to assess the candidate’s behavior and character to determine if an individual is at significant risk for employment problems as a Peace Officer.

NOTE: Prior to appointment, candidates will undergo a medical examination to determine minimum acceptable physical qualifications as established by Government Code 1031 Section (f) and POST Commission Regulation 1954.

Applicants must pass every component of the selection process in order to be further considered. Those who are successful in steps 1 – 9 above will be placed on an eligible list and will be considered for appointment as vacancies occur.

The Santa Ana Police Department is also recruiting for the following positions:

The City of Santa Ana is an equal opportunity employer. If you consider yourself a person with a disability, you may contact us regarding providing reasonable accommodation.