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Police Officer Position FAQs

Q: Will you hire me if I have been arrested or convicted of a crime?
A: Each applicant’s circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, felony convictions will make you ineligible. It is possible to be considered for employment with a prior, non-felonious arrest and/or conviction.

Q: Am I eligible to be hired if I experimented with drugs a long time ago?
A: Again, each applicant’s circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is possible to be considered for employment with prior drug use.

Q: What is the hiring process?
A: You must:

  • Submit an online application at
  • Pass a written examination (PELLETB)
  • Pass a physical ability test (PAT)
  • Pass an oral interview
  • Pass a thorough and comprehensive background investigation
    • Polygraph examination.
  • Pass a Chief's interview
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Pass a psychological evaluation

Q: What does the Physical Ability Test (PAT) consists of?
A: The PAT consists of five individually timed events:

  • Obstacle Course
    Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles and a 34-inch high obstacle that must be vaulted
  • Body Drag
    Lift and drag a 165-pound lifelike dummy 32-feet
  • Chain Link Fence
    Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
  • Solid Fence Climb
    Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
  • 500-Yard Run
    Run 500 yards

With the exception of the 500 yard run, all tests must be attempted twice and successfully completed at least once.

Q: If I am currently employed as a California Police Officer (lateral), am I eligible to waive any portion of the hiring process?
A: Yes. A lateral applicant employed as a full-time peace officer with another California Police Department or Sheriff's Department is eligible to waive the written portion of the hiring process. Applicant's must possess a Basic POST Certificate and a copy of this certificate should be included with the applicant's application.

Q: As a U.S. Military Veteran, am I eligible for extra points during the hiring process?
A: We encourage candidates to emphasize military experience to demonstrate quality work and life experience that comes with service in the military.

Q: Is there a Pre-Academy?
A: Yes. The UCLA Police Department Pre-Academy has been established to prepare Police Trainees for the 26-week Regular Basic Course at the Police Academy. All UCLA Police Department Police Trainees attend the Pre-Academy, which begins two weeks prior to the Police Academy. All topics discussed in the Basic Training Academy are covered, although at an extremely compressed pace.

Police Trainees participate in academic and physical training just as in the Basic Training Academy and may be disqualified prior to the Basic Training Academy if it is determined by the Training Staff that there is insufficient compatibility with a career as a Police Officer. Police Trainees are encouraged to improve these deficiencies but they are reminded that it is not always possible for everyone to become a Police Officer.

Q: Should I anticipate any personal expenditure during the Police Academy?
A: Recruits will have to purchase their uniforms and education supplies over the course of the two week Pre-Academy and the 26-week Basic Training Academy. All duty gear and safety equipment will be provided by UCLA Police Department. Candidates will receive a $1,000 uniform replacement allowance after one year of sworn service.

Candidates sent to a POST Basic Training Academy will be hired as a Police Officer Trainee at a salary approximately 10% below a Police Officer. The UCLA Police Department will pay for trainees to attend a Basic Training Academy, which must be successfully completed prior to being sworn in as a Police Officer.

Q: Are there opportunities for special assignments and promotions?
A: The UCLA Police Department offers many specialty assignments. After a Police Officer completes his/her probationary training period, he/she is eligible to compete for assignment to one of the following specialty assignments: University North Housing Lead Officer, University South Housing Lead Officer, Ronald Reagan Medical Center Lead Officer, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center Lead Officer, Traffic Investigator, Field Training Officer, Motor Officer, Bike Officer, Range Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Crime Prevention Officer, Background Investigator and Detective.

Police Officers meeting the requirements can participate in the selection process for Police Sergeant. Police Sergeants meeting the requirements can participate in the selection process for Police Lieutenant.

Q: What is the starting salary and what are some of the employment benefits?
A: The starting salary is listed on the UCLA Title and Pay Plan. A higher salary may be available to individuals who have experience as a sworn Peace Officer.  The information below is a summary of benefits offered as of January 2019.  Please contact UCLA Campus Human Resources for specific details, terms, and collective bargaining agreements.


  • Several medical plans offered; dental & vision paid for by the University
  • $50,000 life insurance provided automatically.
  • $1,000/year uniform allowance.


  • 13 paid holidays
  • Start at 3 weeks vacation/year with increases based on years of service
  • 12 sick days per year with unlimited accrual


  • Vesting after 5 years of service in the UC Retirement Plan; 3% at 50. (PERS reciprocity)
  • Sick leave converted to service credit upon retirement

UC Tuition

  • Employees pay only 1/3 of tuition fees at any UC campus.

Incentive Pay

  • POST Certification pay; up to an additional 8% of base salary
  • Specialist Assignments including Field Training Officer, Detective, Lead Officer, Traffic Collision Investigator, Range Instructor; up to 10% of base salary specialty pay dependent on assignment

Q: How can I go on a ride-along?
A: If a candidate is selected to participate in the oral interview, they are highly encouraged to go on a ride-along to improve their opportunity for successfully completing the process. Ride-alongs can be done on any shift or day of the week. Participants must arrive dressed in casual business attire (collared shirt, dress pants or Docker type pants (no jeans or shorts), shoes) and must present a valid driver license.

You must contact the Watch Commander to schedule a ride-along by calling (310) 825-1526.

A criminal history and driving history check will be conducted on all participants upon arrival at the Police Station. Any participant with a disqualifying background will not be allowed to participate. Additionally, any candidate found to have an outstanding warrant will be disqualified from the hiring process and he/she will be subject to arrest.

After reviewing this information, if you have any additional questions regarding Police Officer recruitment, testing, hiring or training, contact the Personnel and Training Division at

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UCLA Police Department
Phone: (310) 206-8883
Fax: (310) 267-2546
Mail Code: 136408


601 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1364

Business Hours

Monday – Friday 8 a. m. to 5 p. m.

Station Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week