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Police Recruitment Information
Selection Standards
This position requires an ability to learn and interpret laws, regulations, policies and procedures; carry out oral and written directions; analyze situations and make quick decisions requiring sound judgment; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; and meet the on-going physical requirements of the position. Basic selection standards for hiring Police Officers include an evaluation and assessment in the following areas:
  • Personal Characteristics: Including but not limited to level of maturity (independence, responsibility, indebtedness, financial obligations, etc.), commitment, motivation, dependability, integrity and credibility.
  • Skills: Communication skills (verbal and written), observational skills (remembering details, recognizing signals indicating a wrong or suspicious situation), interpersonal skills, etc.
  • Abilities: Ability to problem solve, ability to comprehend and retain factual information, ability to make effective and logical decisions while under pressure, ability to demonstrate physical coordination, stamina and agility.
  • 20 years of age or older at time of application
  • Able to perform the essential job functions of the position, as determined by a thorough City pre-placement physical examination
  • Meet vision requirement of not less than 20/100, correctable to 20/30
  • Possess a high school diploma or G.E.D.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien with an application for citizenship completed at least one year prior of date of application (citizenship must be obtained no later than three years after date of application or disqualification will result)
  • Have a valid California Class C driver's license and a satisfactory driving record
  • Have a minimum of 30 verifiable semester college units with a college degree preferred or 2 years active military
  • No Felony Convictions and No Misdemeanor Conviction which preclude one from lawfully possessing firearm

Application and Testing Process (Phase I)
The testing process for the position of Police Recruit begins with the application, which should be filled out completely by candidates. Applications are continuously accepted.

Employment Applications
The Employment Application form below is an interactive PDF document. You may type your information directly into the document. You must sign the completed document and deliver it to the Human Resources Division by email, regular mail, or in person.

All Police Department applicants must also complete the Supplemental Application Form along with their Employment Application form:

All Employment Applications and Supplemental Applications must be signed and returned to the Human Resources Division.  You can email your signed and scanned application forms to .  

You can also mail or hand deliver your application forms to the Human Resources Division at El Cerrito City Hall:
10890 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530 
(510) 466-5005

Any supplemental questionnaires, information, and/or resumes must be included with your Employment Application. 

Additional Employment Application information can be found at this page: How to Apply for Employment with the City of El Cerrito.

The Evaluation & Selection Process
Candidates meeting the minimum requirements to file an application are invited to the written examination. The evaluation and selection process will consist of a written examination, and an oral qualifications appraisal interview. Failure of any portion of the examination and selection process will result in removal from consideration for employment.

Written Examination 
Successful Completion of the P.O.S.T. - approved reading and writing test designed to measure the ability to identify clear writing, and the ability to spell and understand commonly-used vocabulary words (Qualifying - Pass/Fail).
  • Exception 1: Applicants who have taken the P.O.S.T.-approved Entry Level exam for Police Officer, having received a "T" score of 50 or better, within the preceding six months of the date of their application, will have this test waived upon presentation of proof of passing score. 
  • Exception 2: Lateral Police Officers or Deputy Sheriffs who have a current Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate are not required to take the Written Examination.

Peace officers must be able to read and write at the levels necessary to perform the job of a peace officer as determined by the use of the P.O.S.T. Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery or other job-related tests of reading and writing ability. The P.O.S.T. test battery is provided to law enforcement agencies in the P.O.S.T. program at no charge. Download the Applicant Preparation Guide for the P.O.S.T. Entry-Level Test Battery, which provides a thorough overview of the test, practice test items, and test taking strategies. 

After completion of the written test, candidates receive Pre-Polygraph PHQ examination questionnaires and Scantron answer sheets. The answer sheets and questionnaires must be returned to the El Cerrito Police Department within one week.
  • Instructions on completing the PHQ Scantron form will be provided to qualified candidates. The form requests information on present and past employers, educational history and other personal history data forms. Failure to follow the instructions to complete the form, including meeting the deadline to return the form may result in removal from consideration for employment.

Qualifications Appraisal
An oral qualifications appraisal interview designed to measure the job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities deemed critical to successful job performance. (Weighted 100%)

After successful completion of the Written Examination, and Qualifications Appraisal, candidates are placed on an Eligibility List in ranked order.