Plan Your Career
It is never too early or too late to start preparing for a career in law enforcement.
The California Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) regulates the hiring and selection standards law enforcement agencies must follow in order to hire prospective candidates. Individuals applying for a peace officer position in California are required to meet several statewide minimum standards for employment. A law enforcement agency may have stricter standards than the minimum required by POST. These standards include:
A law enforcement agency may have stricter standards than the minimum required by POST. The Campbell Police Department’s requirements are as follows:
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. Your dependability, reliability, attention to detail and general conscientiousness will all be considered during the hiring process.
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.
The Campbell Police Department requires potential recruit Police Officer candidates to possess 40 semester or 60 quarter units from an accredited university or college. A lateral Police Officer must 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 Campbell Police Officers are: Communications, Business, and Political Science. Writing and comprehension of the English language are crucial skills for today’s law enforcement officer.
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 Campbell Police Department uses the Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) physical agility test, which is conducted at any of the local police academies. The attached link has the requirements for the test and links to testing dates: Physical Agility Tests.
Know the Job
What you see in the movies is not the real story. An episode of "The First 48" 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 Campbell Police Department’s ride-along program allows authorized participants to accompany a patrol officer in his/her patrol vehicle for four hours 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. It is a good opportunity to ask relevant questions of the officer about the job and department.
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.)
The Campbell 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 completing probation, you will be eligible to test for any of the specialized units in the department (as openings in those units occur.) The Campbell Department has a wide range of specialized units to transfer to such as: Investigations: which includes Financial Crimes, Narcotics, Robbery, Burglary, High Tech Crimes, Sexual Assaults-Child Abuse, Traffic (Motors), etc.