Join Us – Police Officer: Recruit & Academy Attendee

The Salinas Police Department invites motivated men and women seeking a challenging career in law enforcement to apply for the Police Recruit (Entry Level) position. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with the desire to serve the Salinas community and part of a hard-working team. Upon successful completion of the academy, incumbents are promoted to the sworn Police Officer classification. 

Under direction, utilizes specialized training and equipment to protect life and property by enforcing laws and preventing crimes.  Performs related special assignments and other work as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is the entry journey level classification in the City’s sworn police officer series.  Incumbents may enter the class either as a recruit, academy graduate or lateral status.  Police recruits are entry-level positions with little or no related training or experience required.  Recruits must complete a State certified Police Academy prior to appointment to probationary status as a police officer.  Academy graduates and lateral entry police officers are appointed to full probationary status at time of hire.  The police officer class is further distinguished from the police specialist class by the broader, more complex and supervisory assignments of the specialist class.

Essential Job Functions

Patrol Division Assignment

  1. Operates a police vehicle, and/or walks a foot beat in patrolling an assigned area. 
  2. Prevents crimes by communicating with and advising individuals and groups on residential and business district safety practices. 
  3. Enforces State Penal and Vehicle Code Sections, and other state and local laws and regulations governing public safety.
  4. Responds to radio and telephone dispatches and handles activities at the scenes of crimes and other disorders. 
  5. Investigates and prepares reports on arrests and impounded property. 
  6. Contacts, questions, and interviews crime suspects, witnesses and other persons; searches and seizes contraband and other types of controlled property. 
  7. Arrests, transports, supervises and assists in processing detainees and other individuals in custody.
  8. Trains in tactical and other departmental assignments, and performs related duties as assigned. 
  9. Collaborates and works with a wide range of internal departments and external agencies; provides reports, background checks, database inquiries, verification for lost or stolen items including missing persons (Department of Justice validation lists) and other orders or requests.
  10. Performs searches of suspects and obtains evidence samples and other necessary information.
  11. Performs other duties as assigned.

Other Major Assignments

  1. Learns and implements investigative techniques and procedures. 
  2. May conduct criminal, traffic, narcotic and vice investigations within the Department’s Detective Division.
  3. Develops leads, apprehends and arrests suspects in connection with felony and misdemeanor crime investigations. 
  4. Collects and preserves evidence. 
  5. Patrols high incidence crime areas, utilizing undercover tools and techniques. 
  6. Investigates and processes juvenile criminal offense matters. 
  7. Performs community and public relations tasks to support Departmental crime prevention efforts. 
  8. May perform the duties of Citizen Assistance Officer, as part of the City’s and Police Chief’s Community Oriented Policing Program. 
  9. May operate a police motorcycle in the course of performing patrol duties as part of the Department’s Motorcycle Unit. 
  10. May perform the duties of a patrol officer in coordination with a trained canine partner, as part of the Department’s Canine Unit. 
  11. May perform crime prevention and investigation in middle and high schools in the Department’s School Resource Program. 
  12. Assists the Patrol Division as necessary and/or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Knowledge of:

  • City, State and federal laws, statutes, ordinances, and court decisions as pertinent to assigned duties. 
  • Police department policies, practices, regulations and procedures. 
  • Law enforcement and crime prevention principles, practices and techniques. 
  • Human behavioral theories, principles, methods and practices. 
  • Geographic layout and demographic characteristics of the City. 
  • Current methods and practices of criminal identification and investigation. Criminal law with particular emphasis on rules of apprehension, search, seizure, arrest and prosecution of persons.
  • Narcotics investigation techniques. 
  • Departmental organization and the functions of the various Divisions. 

Skill in:

  • Properly handling individuals exhibiting problem behavior, and situations presenting disorder and/or danger to self or others. 
  • Carrying out orders from supervisors and other senior officers. 
  • Working effectively with a variety of co-workers and members of the public from a cross-section of educational and socio-cultural backgrounds. 
  • Demonstrating physical ability and stamina appropriate to perform the duties of the position. 
  • Reading and interpreting complex technical documents, such as laws, ordinances and court decisions.
  • Communicating verbally in a clear concise manner.
  • Writing clear and comprehensive reports.

Education: High School Diploma/GED

Licenses and Certifications: A California State Driver’s License


Physical Demands and Working Conditions:

Essential duties require the mental and/or physical ability to maintain physical and emotional conditioning to optimally perform in this position; manual dexterity sufficient to write, type, use telephone, two-way radio, computer, use and control of firearms; see well enough to drive vehicles, read small print on documents and maps, detect subtle shades of color; hearing sufficient to conduct in person and telephone and two-way radio conversations; speaking ability in an understandable voice with sufficient volume to be heard at fifty feet of distance, on the telephone and in addressing groups; physical agility to push/pull, squat, twist, turn, bend, stoop, reach overhead, climb over obstacles such as fences and walls while running in foot pursuit of a crime suspect; physical mobility sufficient to move in and out of a vehicle repeatedly, sprint from a stand-still; physical strength to carry 30 pounds of equipment on the body for period of at least ten hours per shift, occasionally lift more than 120 pounds, repetitively lift up to 100 pounds; physical stamina sufficient to sit and drive for prolonged periods of time, to carry 30 pounds of equipment worn on the body for ten hour shifts and to repetitively move in and out of a vehicle several times per shift; mental acuity and alertness to collect and interpret data, evaluate, reason, define problems, establish facts, draw rapid valid conclusions, make rapid valid judgments and decisions.  Other physical requirements as described the P.O.S.T. Medical Screening Manual.

APPOINTMENTS: Prior to appointment, all candidates must successfully complete a background investigation, polygraph examination, psychological evaluation, Chief’s interview, meet the current Police Officer Standards and Testing (P.O.S.T.) medical standard for peace officers, and a drug & alcohol screening test.   Candidates must meet the department’s pre-employment policy regarding illegal use or possession of drugs.  The City reserves the right to use alternate testing procedures if deemed necessary.  Police Recruits have a probationary period of eighteen (18) months. CITY COMMUNICATION REGARDING THE SELECTION PROCESS WILL BE VIA E-MAIL. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE E-MAIL ON YOUR APPLICATION.  Finalist interview/assessment will be held with the City of Salinas. 

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY: Candidates offered employment must pass a pre-placement medical exam, which includes a drug and alcohol-screening test, prior to final appointment.  Hiring decisions may be based upon the results of the pre-employment drug and alcohol screening.  Positive samples are retained for 90 days from the date of notification.  Applicants with a positive result must notify the City in writing prior to expiration of the 90 days to request retention beyond the 90-day period.  A copy of the City’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy is available upon request.

VETERANS PREFERENCE: A veteran is defined in accordance with California Government Code 18540.4. In order to exercise this preference, the veteran must submit the City’s Veteran’s Preference Application (found here: ( and provide a copy of his/her DD-214 form at time of application as proof of military status. Failure to submit the required forms will be deemed a waiver of veteran’s preference. Military veterans shall be given preference in initial appointment to City service. Further details can be obtained from the Human Resources Division, at 831-758-7254.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER:  The City of Salinas does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor.  The City of Salinas will make reasonable accommodation for the disabled.  Requests for accommodation should include an explanation of the type and extent of accommodation needed to participate in the selection process and/or to perform the duties of the job for which they have applied.  Requests can be submitted via mail to Human Resources, City Hall, 200 Lincoln Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901 or via facsimile transmittal (831) 758-7941.

Required Documents: Candidates must attach a copy of the following documents to their application. Certificates must be valid within the last twelve months prior to application. 

  • South Bay Regional- Work Sample Battery (WSTB) Certificate with a score of 320 or higher. We will not accept WSTB from another agency unless the testing components are exactly the same as South Bay. Candidate must provide components of agency’s testing components. 
  • POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) with a minimum T-Score of 48

NTN results will only be accepted from out of state applicants with the following minimum scores: 65% video, 70% writing, and 70% reading. Scores must be submitted to the Salinas Police Department online through the National Testing Network. We will not accept copies of scores. 

Recruitment/testing questions can be addressed to Maria Avila at (831)758-7231 or [email protected]. For specific law enforcement questions, contact Sergeant James Godwin at (831)758-7120 or [email protected].