City Of Chula Vista
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  Police Department

About the Application and Testing Process

Police OfficersThank you for inquiring about becoming a police officer with the City of Chula Vista. One of the most frequently asked questions, from future applicants, is “How does the application process work?”

The following outline is a summary of the procedures we use and is only to be considered as a general description of the entire process. Each step must be successfully passed to proceed to the next stage of the process.

Step 1 Meet the minimum qualifications to get hired with the Chula Vista Police Department.
Step 2 Apply online for fastest service. Or, if you would prefer a paper application form, you may pick one up from the Department of Human Resources, 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista Ca 91910, or request one by calling (619) 691-5096. Paper applications must be turned-in or mailed to Human Resources at the above address.
Step 3 Successfully complete a Written Examination and Pre-Background Questionnaire (waived for lateral applicants). Click here for an overview of the test, preparation strategies and sample test questions.
Step 4 Attend an oral board interview conducted by peace officers and representatives from the Department of Human Resources.
Step 5 Successfully pass a thorough Background Investigation.
Step 6

Successfully complete a Physical Agilities Test (waived for lateral applicants).

Step 7 Successfully complete an interview with the Chief of Police.
Step 8 Successfully complete Psychological and Medical Examinations.
Step 9 Get hired to attend a future Police Academy. (Lateral applicants may start immediately.)

Detailed qualifications and more information about the selection process are included below.

We hope you consider joining the team of dedicated officers protecting the City of Chula Vista, and look forward to seeing you at one of our testing opportunities!




  • Must be 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 defined under California Government Code Sections 1031(a) and 1031.5


Be a high school graduate; pass the General Education Development Test indicating high school graduation level; pass the California Proficiency Examination; or have attained a two-year or four year degree from an accredited college or university. The high school shall be either a United States public school meeting the high school standards set by the state in which it is located, or an accredited United States Department of Defense high school; or an accredited nonpublic high school.

Personal Qualifications

Must possess a good character and reputation; superior self-command, alertness, and judgement; ability to establish and maintain good working and public relations. Convictions of a serious offense, repeated or numerous convictions of minor offenses, conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude, or discharge from the military service under other than honorable conditions may be disqualifying.

Physical Standards

Proportionate weight to height; excellent physical condition. Candidate must pass a stringent medical examination. Vision requirement: eyesight must be correctable to 20/40 both eyes and 20/20 uncorrected both eyes.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to write in a clear and concise manner; prepare reports using a computer; communicate effectively with co-workers and the public; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; perform a wide range of physical duties to include: running, stooping, jumping, climbing; walking on uneven surfaces; lifting heavy objects; driving an automobile; talking on a radio; using a firearm; and other physical duties as required. Must be willing to work in hazardous situations.

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Inidividuals with No Prior Peace Officer Experience

The Chula Vista Police Department and the Human Resources Department currently accept applications for Police Recruit (individuals with no prior peace officer experience) periodically throughout the year. Each group of applications has an acceptance deadline and the block of applications accepted during that time frame will be utilized to try to fill possible vacancies in a future police academy. To complete a job interest card and get notified when applications are accepted, please click here.

Current Peace Officers and Academy Graduates/Attendees

The Chula Vista Police Department and the Human Resources Department has an open/continuous selection process for Peace Officer (Lateral) applicants. This includes applicants who have successfully completed an approved California POST Academy dated within the last three (3) years or have attained Basic POST Certification or POST re-certification dated within the last three (3) years. Copy of appropriate POST Certificate must be provided at the time of application. The Written Exam and Physical Agilities Test will be waived for Peace Officer (Lateral) applicants. Applications may be submitted at any time online.

Current Police Academy Attendees who have completed at least 50% of the Academy may also apply as a Peace Officer (Lateral) applicant. A copy of this form ("Notice of Academy Training Status") must be provided at the time of application.

Officers who are interested in transferring to a California law enforcement agency from any other state have different selection requirements. The procedures and requirements are described below.

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.

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Written Examination

The written examination is a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Entry- Level Test Battery is required for all applicants for Police Recruit.

The written examination has two components:

  1. Reading Component – measures reading comprehension; and
  2. Writing Component – measures clarity, vocabulary, and spelling

The written exam takes three hours to administer. This includes thirty minutes for the proctor to read the test instructions and for the applicants to code demographic information on the 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 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.

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Oral Board Interview

The oral board interview will consist of questions regarding candidate’s education, experience, interest, and personal qualifications to determine suitability for law enforcement service. The oral board panel will have members from the Human Resources Department and ranking members from the Police Department.

Passing the interview requires a score of 70 or higher. The score you receive will determine your rank on the eligibility list. The City of Chula Vista certifies the top three ranks, plus any ties, to the department for continuation in the background process. Candidates will be notified if they are eligible to proceed to the background investigation.

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Physical Agilities Test (PAT)

The Physical Agilities Test is required for all applicants for Police Recruit.

The Physical Agilities 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 15 minutes or less
  2. Obstacle/agilities course to be completed in 3.5 minutes or less

The PAT is a pass/fail test, with no numeric score. Candidates are verbally notified immediately after the PAT if they passed or failed. Successful candidates are eligible to continue in the selection process. Those who fail the PAT will not be eligible to continue in the selection process; however, may re-apply.

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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.

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Chief’s Interview

Qualifying candidates will be interviewed by the Chief of Police or his/her designee.

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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.

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