Hiring Process

Written Examination
Designed to assess job-related experience and training, technical knowledge, and interpersonal, observation, leadership and communication skills. The written examination is a timed, multiple-choice test.

Physical Agility Test (PAT) consisting of four events
25 push-ups in one minute
(The correct form and only acceptable performance for a push-up)
The evaluator places a fist on the ground below applicant’s chest; applicant places hands flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart; applicant must keep back straight at all times and from a position with the hands flat, arms fully extended and toes touching the ground; applicant lowers self to the ground until the chest touches the Evaluator’s fist. Applicant then pushes self to the up position with the arms fully extended; this is one repetition. The rest position is the up position and from this position the applicant may “shake out” one arm or leg at a time and then continue repetitions.

If at any time the legs, knees, elbows or chest come in contact with the ground, the exercise is over and only the pushups completed properly will count.

30 sit-ups in one minute
(The correct form and only acceptable performance for a sit-up)
Applicant begins by lying on his/her back, knees bent, heels flat on the ground, and hands cupped around the ears; a partner holds the feet down. The applicant then performs the sit-ups by starting from the lying position, sitting up and touching the elbows to the knees, and returning to a full lying position. The applicant performs 30 sit-ups in one minute. The rest position for this exercise is with the elbows touching the knees.

165-pound body drag, 32 feet within 28 seconds
This test shall consist of dragging a 165-pound body dummy 32 feet within 28 seconds.

1½ mile run in 14:55 minutes
The 1½-mile run is administered on a measured course. The time is kept by the evaluator and must be completed within 14 minutes, 55 seconds. Stopping and/or walking will result in an automatic fail.

All events are pass/fail. Applicants failing any event, with the exception of the 1.5-mile run, will be allowed to re-test. There will be no re-test for the 1.5-mile run.

Preliminary Investigative Questionnaire (PIQ)
Once you have successfully completed the written exam and physical agility test (PAT), the next step is to complete a Preliminary Investigative Questionnaire (PIQ). This is an extensive questionnaire covering all aspects of your life. 

Certification List
Upon successful completion of the written exam, physical agility test, and PIQ, applicants’ names will be placed on a certification list.

Background Process
Police applicants will receive a Background Packet from the OPD Background Investigations Unit. The completed package and copies of all required documents will be due to the Background Investigations Unit within 10 working days.

Pre-Background Interview
Each applicant for employment with the Department shall be required to meet with a background investigator prior to the commencement of any background investigation for the express purpose of conducting an initial inquiry into the applicant’s apparent qualifications

There are very few automatic reasons for rejection. Even issues of prior misconduct, such as prior illegal drug use, driving under the influence, theft or even arrest or conviction are usually not, in and of themselves, automatically disqualifying. However, deliberate misstatements or omissions can and often will result in the application being rejected regardless of the nature or reason for the misstatements/omissions. The number one reason an individual “fails” a background investigation is because they attempt to deliberately withhold or misrepresent job-relevant information from their prospective employer.

All applicants for positions with access to classified or confidential information, computers, records, evidence, weapons and/or property shall be required to submit to a pre-placement examination.

All applicants will submit their person for fingerprinting. The service will include all state and federally required criminal history checks and checks in the child abuse crime index.

All applicants in the background process will be photographed, and a copy of the photo will be placed in their background file.

Background Investigation
The overall purpose of the background investigation is to verify that all information provided to the City of Oceanside, concerning your qualifications, is true.

Both State and Federal courts have also held that there is an absolute necessity for public employees to be truthful. A lack of truthfulness, or deception of any type, will automatically and irrevocably result in your application being rejected from further consideration.

A preemployment background investigation is not intended to be an intimidating experience or an unwarranted invasion into your privacy. The Background Investigator will contact persons you know, including present and/or former employers; examine official documents and records to assure you have been honest in your application and that your qualifications fulfill the legal mandates imposed by the courts and legislature. The more forthright you are, the greater likelihood your background investigation will be completed in a timely and successful manner.

Personal traits explored during the background investigation include:
MORAL CHARACTER – Integrity, impulse control, attention to safety, substance abuse, and other risk-taking behavior
HANDLING STRESS AND ADVERSITY – Stress tolerance, confronting and overcoming problems, obstacles, and adversity
WORK HABITS – Conscientiousness, reliability, and adherence to rules, regulations and policies
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS – Interpersonal skills, persuasiveness, assertiveness, teamwork
INTELLECTUALLY-BASED ABILITIES – Decision-making and judgment, learning ability, communication skills

Reference Checks
A thorough investigation into each applicant’s background will be conducted. This will include talking with as many individuals as possible to verify:
Relatives and other references
Education History
Residential History
Employment History
Military History
Financial History
Legal History
Driving History

Hiring Interview
Once the background investigation is completed, selected applicants will be invited to a final interview with the hiring authority for the Police Department.

Conditional Offer of Employment
If an offer of employment is made, it will be contingent on the applicant successfully passing a medical exam, drug screening, and psychological exam.

Employment as a Police Recruit
An Oceanside Police Recruit will attend the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Academy at Miramar College. Upon successful completion of the Police Academy, the police recruit will be sworn in as a peace officer with the Oceanside Police Department. The new police officer is then responsible for successfully completing the Field Training Program and field probation.