Police Officer Trainee – Pre-Service

Whittier, CA
Whittier Police Department
Salary: $4,778.00-$6,098.00

Industry: Protective Service

Occupational Category: Law Enforcement


For a list of common disqualifiers, please visit the Whittier Police Department website here: http://www.cityofwhittier.org/depts/police/career/disqualifiers.asp The Police Officer Trainee is the entry-level (non-sworn) class in the Police Officer series that allows the incumbent to develop journey level knowledge and abilities. Incumbents generally occupy this class while attending or waiting to attend the Police Academy. Initially, under immediate supervision, incumbents perform the more routine and less complex assignments within an established procedural framework. Incumbents are expected to perform the full scope of assigned duties. Candidates who are bilingual in Spanish and possess a college degree are highly desirable. Employees who are bilingual in Spanish are eligible to receive an additional $90 per month.

As a Police Officer Trainee, the starting pay is $4778 per month. It is expected that Police Officer Trainee will advance to Police Officer upon the successful completion of the Police Academy and the pay will increase to $5833 per month at that time. Police Officer Trainee is a civilian position and on probationary status while awaiting or enrolled in the Police Academy. Police Officer is a sworn position and serves a one-year probationary period.


(Listed below are some of the duties performed by this position. For a complete listing of Essential Functions, review the class specification.)

  • Patrols assigned areas by car, foot, motorcycle, bicycle, or horse; performs crime suppression and prevention activities; answers special calls; conducts initial and follow-up investigations; interviews victims, complainants, and witnesses; answers complaints, including domestic disturbances, health code, and local ordinance violations; performs surveillance activities; conducts chemical, drug, and alcohol testing; investigates suspicious circumstances.
  • Enforces traffic laws; conducts complete accident investigations; controls and directs traffic when necessary; performs crowd control, special event or riot duties; assists in crime prevention activities and the control of juvenile delinquency; counsels and educates the community; administers first aid in cases of emergency; transports, books, and is responsible for the care and custody of detained persons.
  • Responds to questions, concerns and requests for service from the general public; assists the public and answers questions; provides information as appropriate and resolves complaints.

Desired Skills:

Knowledge of:

  • Operations and standard operating procedures of a Police Department.
  • Principles of crime prevention and suppression.
  • Modern law enforcement methods and procedures, including patrol, crime prevention, traffic control, and investigation.
  • Hazardous materials and proper storage and containment.
  • Improvised explosive devices.
  • Basic principles of law enforcement information systems.
  • Methods and techniques of training and motivation.
  • Basic principles of mathematics.
  • Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations.
  • Methods and techniques of scheduling work assignments.
  • Standard office procedures, practices, and equipment.
  • Modern office equipment, including a computer and applicable software.
  • Methods and techniques for record keeping and report preparation and writing.
  • Proper English, spelling, and grammar.
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety practices.

Ability to: 

  • Gather, analyze and evaluate facts and evidence and reach sound conclusions.
  • act quickly, calmly, and effectively in emergency situations.
  • enforce laws, regulations, policies, rules, and procedures; interpret, explain, and apply applicable laws, codes, and regulations.
  • read, interpret, and record data accurately.
  • make clear and concise radio transmissions.
  • observe and recall names, faces, and details of incidents.
  • write clear, concise, and accurate reports.
  • understand and follow verbal and written directions.
  • organize, prioritize, and follow up on work assignments.
  • work independently and as part of a team.
  • make sound decisions within established guidelines.
  • analyze a complex issue and develop and implement an appropriate response.
  • follow written and oral directions.
  • observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
  • work a variety of shifts as assigned.
  • communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • establish and maintain effective working relationships.

Skill to:

  • Operate an office computer and a variety of word processing and software applications.
  • Safely and effectively operate a variety of law enforcement equipment, firearms, and a police vehicle in emergency situations.

Physical, Mental and Environmental working Conditions: 

  • Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, running, jumping, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting, and stooping in the performance of daily activities.
  • The position also requires both near and far vision, the ability to distinguish colors and acute hearing.
  • Additionally, incumbents may work outdoors in all weather conditions, including wet, hot, and cold.
  • The position entails working in hazardous situations, and may involve abusive persons, potential physical violence and the potential risk of exposure to chemical and biological hazards in the performance of law enforcement duties.
  • The nature of the work also requires the incumbent to drive motorized vehicles, operate a variety of law enforcement equipment, work in heavy vehicle traffic conditions and often work with constant interruptions.
  • The need to lift 25 pounds or more is also required.

The City of Whittier encourages applications from qualified individuals with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Individuals who require accommodation in the application or testing process should contact the Human Resources staff at least 5 days prior to the application deadline or 5 days prior to the testing process so that a reasonable accommodation may be made. Persons requesting a reasonable accommodation will be required to provide documentation of such need. Seeking or receiving an accommodation by the City will have no negative impact on an individual's application or employment.


(The following are minimal qualifications necessary for entry into the classification.)

Education and/or Experience: 

  • Any combination of education and experience that has provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for satisfactory job performance. Example combinations for Police Officer Trainee include a high school diploma or equivalent and be 21 years of age by the time of sworn appointment.
  • A college degree is highly desirable.

Physical Requirements:

  • Weight proportionate to height in accordance with recognized standards; must be physically able to perform the duties of a Police Officer; eyesight must not be less than 20/80 uncorrected, corrected to 20/20 and normal hearing and color perception as required by POST.


  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid Class C California driver's license. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who is eligible and has applied for U.S. citizenship.