Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.


Under general supervision, patrols a beat or sector; enforces laws and ordinances and makes arrests; protects life and property and performs the necessary related tasks to fulfill these objectives; performs related duties as required.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  • Patrols assigned areas by car, bike, motorcycle or on foot.
  • Answers calls for assistance, including investigation of crimes, deaths, accidents, and injuries.
  • Conducts initial and follow-up investigations.
  • Enforces, controls and directs traffic when appropriate.
  • Stops drivers who are operating vehicles in violation of the law and enforces traffic violations; Warns drivers against illegal practices.
  • Performs arrests for all criminal violations of law.
  • Testifies in court in connection with the prosecution of offenders.
  • Serves warrants and subpoenas.
  • Administers first aid in emergency cases.
  • Answers complaints on such problems as domestic disturbances, obnoxious animals, health code and local ordinance violations.
  • Investigates suspicious circumstances.
  • Takes custody of stolen, lost or found property and evidence.
  • Performs crowd control, parade or riot work.
  • Takes crime prevention measures and assists in controlling problems of juvenile delinquency.
  • Performs detective work in criminal investigation and identification work.
  • Transports prisoners to be booked at county jail.
  • Furnishes information and directions to the public.
  • Submits complete written reports on all cases investigated.
  • Participates in required training courses and programs.
  • Supervision may be exercised over non-sworn positions
  • Provides vacation and temporary relief as assigned.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

  • The principles, methods, materials, equipment, and techniques of peace officers.
  • Crime scene procedures.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information on peace officers.
  • State and federal statutes and case law covering contraband, drugs, and the use of physical evidence in court, the rules of criminal procedures concerning time limits, discovery, evidence, and expert witnesses.
  • Police Department policies, procedures, rules, regulations and unit functions.
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety precautions.
  • Office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications.
  • Customer service principles and techniques.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Ability to:

  • Prepare clear and concise police reports.
  • Interpret, apply, and make decisions in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local policies, laws, and regulations.
  • Analyze emergency situations and adopt quick, reasonable and effective courses of action.
  • Respond to requests and inquiries from the general public.
  • Lift and move objects of moderate to heavy weight.
  • Maintain a calm and professional demeanor at all times.
  • Participate in the high level of customer service to internal and external customers.
  • Operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing software applications.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and Maintain effective working relationships with other employees, staff, vendors and the public.

General Standards:

  • Fingerprinted and a search made of local, state and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
  • Not convicted of a felony by any State or Federal Government of a crime including imprisonment in a Federal or State prison.
  • Good moral character as determined by a polygraph examination and a thorough background investigation as prescribed in Specification #1, Personal History Statement.
  • Successfully complete requirements of medical and psychological evaluation.
  • A United States citizen or qualify as a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.
  • Must not be less than 21 years of age at time of appointment.

Education and Experience Guidelines - Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Entry Level Trainee

Education/Experience: High school graduate or equivalent.  Written test is required.

Applicants who have successfully passed probation with a Federal Police Agency are not required to take the written test but are required to attend a California POST certified police academy if they do not possess a POST Basic Course Waiver certificate.

Academy Graduate

Education/Experience: High school graduate or equivalent. Must have graduated from a POST Certified California Police Academy within the past three years, or must currently be attending a California POST Certified Standard Length Police Academy. Must be within six months of graduation if attending an extended format academy. Per POST Commission Regulation 1008 (DOC), requalification of Regular Basic Course (RBC) training (POST Requalification Course) is required if:

Not employed in a position that requires the RBC within three years of successful course completion, or RBC was successfully completed and there subsequently was a three year or longer break in service from a position that requires the RBC. Written test may be waived.

Lateral Entry

Education/Experience: High school graduate or equivalent. Must have one year of experience with a California Enforcement Department and possess a Basic POST Certificate. Per POST Commission Regulation 1008 (DOC), requalification of Regular Basic Course (RBC) training (POST Requalification Course) is required if:

Not employed in a position that requires the RBC within three years of successful course completion, or RBC was successfully completed and there subsequently was a three year or longer break in service from a position that requires the RBC.

The three year period will be determined from last date of employment as a California Peace Officer, or from date of last completion of a basic course, or from date of last issuance of a basic course waiver by POST, whichever date is most recent. Written test may be waived.

License or Certificate - Possession of a valid Class C California driver’s license at time of appointment.


The following are requirements according to POST regulations:


Personal History Statement: This requirement supplements Section 1002 of the POST Commission Regulations. A personal history investigation must be conducted of each recruit employed pursuant to Part 4 of Title 4, Chapter 1 of the California Penal Code. The purpose of the personal history investigation is to find examples of any character traits in the applicant’s life which might prevent the applicant from becoming a successful peace officer.


Physical Examination: This requirement supplements Section 1002 (b) (1) of the POST regulations. In order to render proper service to the community, California Peace Officers must be mentally alert, physically sound and free from any physical defect or mental or emotional instability which might adversely affect their performance of duty. The peace officer’s safety record and the safety and lives of others may be endangered if the peace officer lacks these qualities. This shall include psychological testing to determine emotional stability.

Vision and Hearing: The hiring authority shall establish minimum standards for hearing, color vision and visual acuity. The following is required: HEARING - must pass a hearing test which will consist of a whisper test of each ear. Candidates must be able to hear and repeat the whispered word(s) at a distance of not less than 15 feet, uncorrected. COLOR VISION – must pass a color vision test which will consist of an Ishihara color plates test. Candidates must properly identify 12 color plates in the series. VISUAL ACUITY – must possess visual acuity corrected not to exceed 20/20 in each eye. It is important that officers possess good eyesight to be able to properly identify victims, suspects and for their safety and the safety of others during the course of their duty. Eyesight shall not exceed 20/100 in each eye, uncorrected.

Waiver: The hiring authority may waive visual acuity not to exceed 20/200 correctable to 20/20, based on outstanding achievements and potential to the department, and provided an examination by an ophthalmologist reports the eyes are free from disease with no indication of an accelerated progression toward further decreased visual acuity.

Porta-Clinic Examination: The majority of a police officer’s duty is driving at night. This examination determines glare recovery from lights, depth perception and reaction time – all important in the safe operation of an automobile.

Performance Test – Test of Strength and Agility: During the course of an officer's duties, they are called upon at times to effectively take persons into custody who are combatant and force has to be used. If officers are not in good physical condition, they are in danger as well as others. The applicant must be in good physical condition and display strength and agility before employment. Appointees shall be required to maintain good physical condition and display strength and agility to continue their employment status with the City.


In addition to the above, the conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: EXPOSURE to extreme heat and humidity working outdoors, extreme cold of walk-in coolers; temperature swings from indoors to outdoors; extreme noise of traffic, sirens, crowds, firearms; mechanical hazards of factory environments, equipment; electrical hazards of traffic accidents, power lines; explosive hazards of fireworks, traffic collisions, weapons, chemicals; radiation hazards of industrial accidents, traffic collisions; fumes, odors, dust of drug labs, industrial accidents, traffic collisions, fifes; toxic substances of fifes, drug labs, traffic collisions, industrial accidents. Work is performed both indoors and outdoors and in offices, buildings, automobiles. Work environment is formal, both team-oriented and autonomy-oriented having both routine and variable tasks, high pressure, variably-paced. Work hours are four 10-hour days per week; overtime, holiday, weekend and shift work are required.

Physical: CONTINUOUS transporting up to 30 lbs.; working outdoors. FREQUENT reaching at shoulder height; upward and downward flexion of neck; side-to-side turning of neck; lifting up to 10 lbs below and at waist level; strong or power grasp of evidence, property, suspects; tight grasp, wrist and arm movement to manipulate baton; fine manipulation of paperwork; light grasp and finger control of radio and telephone; moderate grasp, reach and manipulation of steering wheel. OCCASIONAL walking, standing, sitting, bending and stooping, squatting, crawling, climbing, reaching above shoulder height, kneeling, pushing/pulling, twisting at waist; lifting of items weighing from 11 to over 100 lbs below and at waist level, either with or without assistance; transporting items weighing 26-50 lbs for distances up to 50 yards without assistance; transporting items weighing from 51 to over 100 lbs. for 30-50 yards with or without assistance; reach, grasp, finger strength and manipulation to operate firearms. INFREQUENT balancing above ground; lifting of items weighing from 11 to over 100 lbs from chest to above shoulder level, either with or without assistance.

Communication: In addition to specific vision and hearing requirements detailed above, the position requires: SPEAKING by using telephone, radio and personal contact. WRITING of reports, citations and field interview forms. READING of reports, legal material and court orders.

Date: December 2009 
Revised by JP/Department

Date: April 2006
Revised by MH/Department