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SWAT Team in camoWelcome to the Santa Clara Police Department Recruiting page. Please click on Job Opportunities to view details about current positions with the Santa Clara Police Department.

If you are interested in a career with the Santa Clara Police Department, please submit your completed application with any required attachments to the City of Santa Clara Human Resources Department, 1500 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara CA 95050. 

Preparing For a Career in Law Enforcement
It is never too early or too late to start preparing for a career in law enforcement. The only automatic disqualifiers for a position as a police officer are felony convictions as an adult or any misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.

If you are under the age of 18, and you are interested in a career in law enforcement, here are some things you should prevent/control:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse: Getting involved in alcohol and drugs will put you in a bad situation, regardless if you get arrested or not. The life choices you make at an early age will shape your future. Stay away from drugs and alcohol, and stay away from "friends" that do not respect your future aspirations. If you are unsure of your direction, talk to your parents, teachers, school counselors, or an adult that you trust for guidance.
  • Juvenile crimes: If you have made a conscious decision to become a police officer, you need to be a law-abiding citizen NOW. People will say that your juvenile record is sealed, so it doesn't matter if you commit crimes as a juvenile. While this may be true, such activity may still impact your ability to be hired by a law enforcement agency. The bottom line is this, if you want to work in a career where the community demands that its officers be ethical, honest, trustworthy, hard working, and law-abiding, you must embody those qualities now.

If you are over the age of 18, besides the above information, here are additional things to consider and control:

  • Employment History: Your conduct on the job is a factor that the Police Department reviews when considering you for potential employment. Be professional at your job and work well with your co-workers and management. While you may not get along with everyone, staying professional can earn you the respect of your co-workers and supervisors. Even a job working in the fast food industry will help you develop interpersonal skills with the public that is necessary for a job in law enforcement. Remember, police officers communicate with people from all walks of life, and must maintain a professional demeanor. You can develop necessary communication skills at every job you work.
  • Credit History: Be responsible with your finances. Pay your bills on time and do not show irresponsibility by amassing a large debt in relation to your take-home income. A check of your credit history is conducted as a part of your background investigation. If you have bad credit, take the necessary steps to show that you are responsible enough to rectify the situation. (You can contact a credible non-profit, consumer credit counseling service to help you manage your debt.) It is wise to check your credit history with the three major credit agencies to verify its authenticity.
  • Education: The Santa Clara Police Department requires potential recruit police officer candidates to possess 60 semester or 90 quarter units from an accredited university or college. These units do not have to be focused on a Criminal Justice or Administration of Justice major. Some of the various degrees currently held by Santa Clara Police Officers are: Communications, Business, and History. Writing and comprehension of the English language are crucial skills for today's law enforcement officer.
  • Physical Fitness: Prepare for the physical demands of the career field by keeping yourself physically fit. You must pass the physical agility test to move forward in the hiring process. This will also help you to prepare for the Police Academy's Physical Training regimen, if you are hired. You don't need to belong to a health club in order to prepare for the physical agility test. Running, pushup, sit-ups, jumping rope, and jumping jacks are some of the many types of calisthenics/exercises that you can do with little to no equipment. The physical agility test is held at Townsend Field (Buscher Middle School). From the Santa Clara Police Department (601 El Camino Real), travel west on Benton Street, turn left on Monroe Street, turn left on Rip Miller Way. (Rip Miller is a narrow street just past Bellomy), park on Rip Miller Way. The solid wall and chain link will be on your right side. You can practice on the 6-foot wall (chain link and solid fence) during non-school hours at Buscher Middle School; this is where the official physical agility test is held.
  • Know the Job: What you see in the movies is not the real story. An episode of "Real-Life Stories" or "Cops" only touches one small portion of the job. Educate yourself by going on a "ride-along" with your local law enforcement agency. The Santa Clara Police Department's ride-along program allows authorized participants to accompany a patrol officer in his/her patrol vehicle for half of their shift. You will respond to a variety of service calls with that officer. You will see and hear everything that the officer does during your ride-along. It could be a busy night and you might get exposed to a lot of different situations, or it could be a slow night, and you may get the chance to ask the officer job related questions. It would be the most realistic exposure to law enforcement. You may find yourself more excited about the prospect of becoming a police officer, or you may realize that becoming a police officer is not for you. Either way, it is a learning experience you won't soon forget.
  • Know the Process: Getting a job in law enforcement takes time and patience once you turn in your application. We want to make sure we hire the best candidates, and besides the written, physical, and oral examinations, potential candidates must undergo a thorough background check, polygraph test, psychological exam, medical exam, and a Chief's interview prior to getting hired. If you get hired, you will be paid to go through a 6-month intensive police academy where you must adhere to the rules, regulations, and protocols of the academy. (You will also partake in a rigorous physical training regimen while in the academy, so it is strongly advisable that you make working out a part of your daily life prior to entering the academy.)
  • Know the Department: The Santa Clara Police Department has an 18-month probationary period after the academy. Once you pass the probationary period, you will become a full-fledged civil servant. After two years on patrol, you will be eligible to test for any of the specialized units in the department (as openings in those units occur.) The Santa Clara Police Department has a wide range of specialized units to transfer to such as: POP (Problem Oriented Policing), Investigations: which includes Financial Crimes, Auto Theft, Narcotics, Vice, Robbery, Burglary, High Tech Crimes, Sexual Assaults-Child Abuse, K-9, Traffic (Motors), etc.

The Santa Clara Police Department wishes to thank The City of Sacramento for their contributions to the Interviewing Tips and Hints listed on our website.

The Santa Clara Police Department is committed in creating partnerships within the Community to further enhance positive relationships in the community. The department's mission statement is:

"The Mission of the Santa Clara Police Department is to always provide quality police service to the public. Working together, and in partnership with the community, we will identify and resolve problems utilizing all available resources. We will perform this service professionally and with integrity."

If you have any additional questions about the Santa Clara Police Department or the Recruiting Process, please email us at scpdrecruiting@santaclaraca.gov 

Last updated: 12/17/2014 4:19:11 PM