Becoming a Police Officer
What does it take for you to become a police officer with the West Covina Police Department?
Here's how to become a police officer for the West Covina Police Department:
What Are The Minimum Requirements?
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must be lawfully allowed to work in the US.
- You must have attained either your high school diploma or GED.
- You must have a valid driver’s license.
- No felony convictions or misdemeanors that prohibit ownership, possession, or control of a firearm.
What Is The Employment Process?
If you meet the minimum requirements, the employment process to become a police officer for West Covina is:
- Submit an application: Make sure to proofread your application and enter all data that is requested. Your application is a recruiter’s first impression of your effort and work product. It is important to make a good first impression.
- Take and pass the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB). Information regarding the test is available online. The current passing score for West Covina on the POST PELLETB is 46 or higher. We also accept POST PELLETB scores that were taken within 6 months from other departments.
- Take a physical ability test: Ways to prepare for the exam and for the policy academy can be located online. The current physical agility exam requirements to pass for the West Covina Police Department are:
- 5-mile run under 14:40
- 34 pushups in 1 minute
- 38 sit-ups in 1 minute
- 300-meter run under 65 seconds
- Participate in an oral interview: The interview usually consists of two to three city employees who are evaluating your experience, education, life goals, city knowledge, department knowledge, and overall desire to be a police officer. As with any interview, it is important to study and practice in advance so you can give your best performance. You are competing with other applicants so let us know what you bring to the table.
- Undergo a background check: You must pass a background check where your past behavior will be closely scrutinized and only candidates with the highest probability of success will be appointed as police officers. Be honest with your answers as deception may not only disqualify you from working for us, but it may disqualify you from ever becoming a police officer.
- Participate in an interview with the police chief: As with your first interview, it is important to be prepared with your answers. This is your time to make an impression.
- Complete a polygraph exam: As long as you have been honest during your employment process, this will be a breeze. This would not be the time to suddenly start remembering some things that happened in your past!
- Undergo a medical exam: A medical doctor will evaluate you through a physical exam to make sure you are fit to become a police officer. The examination can include an eye test, hearing test, blood test, urine test, and physical exercise test.
- Undergo a psychological exam: Here you will take a written psychological exam and also participate in a session with a psychologist. This assists us in evaluating your personality and helps determine if you have what it takes for a career in law enforcement.
It can take anywhere between six months to a year to complete the hiring process. There are a lot of steps and we do our best to promptly complete your employment process.
What Happens After You Are Hired?
Congratulations, you have been selected as a police recruit. Now what? At the West Covina Police Department, we do our best to prepare you for the academy. You will participate in a 2-4 week pre-academy orientation where you will learn what to expect from the academy.
As a police recruit, we will provide you with all of the uniforms and equipment while you attend the academy. As a West Covina employee, you get paid to attend a POST-certified academy.
Which Academy Will I Attend?
The West Covina Police Department utilizes many POST-certified academies in the area. You would be more likely to attend the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department Academy, the Orange County Sherriff’s Department Academy, the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department Academy, or the Rio Hondo Police Academy. However, other POST academies can be utilized based on availability.
We encourage you to visit the links to the various academies to understand what will be expected of you during the academy. POST also offers a brief explanation of academy expectations.
The length of each academy varies but is usually four and a half to six months. The days and hours of the academy also vary by each academy.
What Happens After I Graduate From the Academy?
Upon graduation, you will be sworn in as a police officer for the City of West Covina. You will be a police officer in training for the next several months.
- Orientation: You will participate in a three-week orientation to familiarize yourself with the policies, procedures, and equipment provided by the department.
- Field Training: You will spend at least 16 weeks riding with a field training officer who will assist you in becoming a solo competent police officer. Depending on your performance, this can be extended for several weeks until you are confident enough to perform alone.
- Special Assignment Orientation: You will spend a week rotating between our special assignments and support staff to understand their role. This can include our traffic unit, special enforcement team (SET), the detective bureau, our homeless outreach and park enforcement (HOPE) unit, dispatch, and records.
What Happens After I Complete Training?
Completion of Training: After completing training, you will be assigned to patrol to work as a solo competent officer. This usually consists of working solo in your police unit while responding to various calls for service that are generated during your shift or proactively looking for crime or community needs.
Probation: When you are sworn in as a police officer, you will be on probation for 18 months, as you navigate your way through training and working independently.
Basic POST Certificate: Upon completion of probation, you will be eligible for your POST Basic Certificate.
After probation, and depending on department needs and your ability, you can then apply for special assignments within the department based on eligibility. This can include becoming a detective, traffic officer, K9 handler, SWAT member, or a variety of other assignments we offer.
So Where Do I Sign Up?
If this career interests you and you think you have what it takes to succeed, apply online today!
Police Officer Recruit: If you are currently not employed as a police officer with a POST-certified law enforcement agency, you will need to complete the Police Officer Recruit application. This includes if you are currently in a law enforcement academy.
If the Police Officer Recruit position is not listed on the website, please complete a job interest card and select the Law Enforcement and Public Safety categories to be notified when the position is open again for applicants. We occasionally close the position to process applicants and completing a job interest card will ensure you are notified when the position is open again.
More information about becoming a police officer can be located on the POST website.