LAPD Hiring Process: Job Application, Interviews, and Employment

By | July 16, 2023
LAPD Hiring Process
The Los Angeles Police Department hiring process involves taking
a multiple choice test, which consists of spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and clarity.

This post presents detailed guide to help you to successfully go through the LAPD hiring process to achieve your dream of becoming a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles.

If you are seeking employment with the Los Angeles Police Department, LAPD, you will need to complete the organization’s recruitment process, which involves the job application and interview stages, to be offered the job that you are applying for.

Please, continue reading:  

LAPD Hiring Process

The hiring process of the Los Angeles Police Department involves the following stages:

LAPD Job Application Process

To apply for a position at LAPD, you must first fill out an online application. You should read through this before filling it out.

There are two parts of the job application, Part A and Part B:

Part A requires you to provide information about yourself while Part B asks you to answer questions regarding your education, training and experience.

If you are applying for a specific position, you must complete Part B of the application.

However, if you are applying to be a general officer or detective, you can skip Part B.

Part A consists of four sections that ask you to provide basic personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, social security number, etc.

These sections include the following: personal information, employment history, references and education.

Part B consists of five sections. They are listed below: Education, Training, Experience, Physical Fitness Standards, and Special Requirements.

You must complete the online application and print a copy to present at the written test.

LAPD Job Assessment Test

The job assessment test for the LAPD is called the Multiple Choice Test and is divided into four phases: Spelling, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Clarity.

Because multiple choice test results do not expire, you will only need to pass the tests once.

Statement of Personal History (PHS)

The first step in the Background Investigation is to complete and submit a Personal History Statement (PHS).

The PHS needs comprehensive biographical information to be compiled, fingerprints, and an interview with a background investigation.

The inquiry will also involve background checks on family members, neighbors, supervisors, coworkers, and friends, as well as interviews with family members, neighbors, police, financial, educational, and military records. 

The Physical Fitness Qualifier (PFQ) and the Candidate Advancement Program (CAP)

You must attend the Candidate Advancement Program (CAP) and complete the Physical Fitness Qualifier to better prepare for the exam and the physical rigors of the school (PFQ).

Prior to your appointment, you must complete the PFQ at least once. Your aim is to get a PFQ score of 50 or above, and you are welcome to take it as many times as you wish.

If you are having difficulty reaching your objective of 50, you must visit CAP to receive advice and training from our recruiting professionals.

The PFQ comprises of four events:

  1. One minute of maximum sit-ups
  2. A 300-meter sprint
  3. One minute of maximum push-ups
  4. A 1.5 mile run.

The physical fitness exam is the same one that prospective officers face on the third day of the Police Academy.

The Academy Physical Training Program is rigorous and challenging, with the first physical fitness test taking place during the Academy’s first week.

It is vital that applicants get into good physical form before entering the Academy. It is advised that you start a physical fitness program as soon as you apply.

Medical Examination

The Medical Evaluation part of the LAPD hiring process is extensive, and it is critical that you are in good health and have no disease that might limit your ability to properly execute the core tasks of the police officer’s job.

Because training at the Academy is demanding, it is vital to be in good physical shape. Failure to be in great physical shape may cause training to be delayed or disrupted, and may result in removal from the Academy.

Vaccine Validation

Candidates must be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 or get an exemption and submit their vaccination status prior to appointment by the Los Angeles Police Department/Los Angeles Fire Department, according to Los Angeles City Ordinance 187134.

Investigation in the Field

Checks of job, police, financial, educational, and military records, as well as interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, coworkers, and acquaintances, are all part of the Field Investigation.

You will be examined based on your previous conduct and the extent to which it exhibits favorable attributes that support your application for the police officer position.

The Field Investigation gives you the chance and time to be in fitness for the Academy.

During this stage of the process, you have very few active duties, so you are encouraged to attend as many CAP sessions as possible and to continue taking the Physical Fitness Qualifier.

Psychological Assessment

The Psychological Evaluation comprises of an oral interview and assessment by a City psychologist on aspects associated to successful performance in the challenging and stressful job of a police officer.

The written psychological tests, as well as material gathered throughout the background research process, are included in the information reviewed.

LAPD Interview Process and Polygraph Examination

The Polygraph Exam is used to check information gathered throughout the screening process.

A panel will conduct the Department Interview to evaluate your personal successes, job drive, instrumentality, interpersonal skills, continuous learning orientation, and oral communication abilities.

Only those applicants who successfully complete this round of the process will be given a Conditional Job Offer.

Tips for passing the LAPD Interview Questions

Here are tips to help you pass the Los Angeles Police Department interview:

  • Answer honestly but do not exaggerate.
  • Do not lie.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Don’t talk over people.
  • Ask questions if you’re unsure.
  • Follow up after your interview. 

LAPD Interview Questions and Answers

Here are sample LAPD interview questions and suggested answers to help you to effectively prepare for the interview:

  1. What motivates you to choose this industry?

“I have always appreciated and admired those who risk their lives daily to protect our communities.” My interest in law enforcement was kindled after witnessing a domestic altercation and watching the responding cops settle the situation. As I saw the cops calm the situation and remove one of the individuals out from danger’s way, I heard the call. It was then that I realized this is what I was intended to accomplish.”

2. Please share a little about yourself.

I’m a really vibrant and a well-rounded individual that can easily follow directions. I’m an excellent communicator and team player. At my previous department, I started advanced medic classes for officers who wanted to acquire new first-aid skills. It had such a favorable impact that they are repeating the course this year.

3. What is the reason for your departure from your existing position?

I’ve learnt a lot in my present position, but I’m seeking for a new challenge, to widen my horizons, and to acquire new skills – all of which I see potential for in this area.

4. In five years from now, where do you envision yourself?

I’d like to have a greater knowledge of what it takes to be a good officer in five years. I also appreciate being the first to arrive at a situation and operate well under pressure. Ultimately, I’d like to be in a position of leadership, where I can use my organizational abilities and industry expertise to assist the individuals I work with and those we serve.

Hearing from the LAPD after the Interview

If you pass all the stages of the selection process, you will be invited to meet with the Chief of Police and discuss the next steps in the recruitment process.

After meeting with the Chief of Police, you will receive a letter offering you a conditional offer of employment.

This is not a final decision and does not guarantee employment. Your acceptance of this offer will be contingent upon passing a series of medical examinations, including a drug test, and completing a period of probationary service.

Major LAPD Careers and Jobs

Here are some of the major careers jobs available within the LAPD:

  • Patrol Officers

Patrol officers respond to calls for service, investigate crimes, make arrests, and provide security.

They patrol assigned areas, perform traffic control, issue citations, and direct emergency services.


  • Has to be a Citizen of the United States between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • Must be able to obtain a valid California driver’s license.
  • Physically fit and able to pass a vision screening.
  • Must have a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Traffic Enforcement Officers

Traffic enforcement officers enforce laws regarding driving, parking, and other traffic violations.

They also support motorists who want assistance.


  • Candidates must be U.S.-citizens aged 21 through 34 years old.
  • High School Diploma or equivalent minimum educational qualifications.
  • Must be able to pass a physical examination, a criminal history check, and a drug screen.
  • Detective

Detectives work closely with the public to solve crimes. They gather evidence, question suspects, and testify in court.


  • Candidates must be at least 21 years old, U.S.-citizen, and have a High School degree or its equivalent.
  • Must be able to pass a physical exam, a polygraph exam, and a drug screen before being hired.
  • Criminal Investigator

Criminal investigators use their investigative skills to find out what happened during a crime.

They collect evidence, analyze facts, and prepare reports.


  • Candidates must be at least 21, U.S. Citizenship, and have a High School education or its equivalent.
  • Must pass a physical exam, take a polygraph exam, complete a police academy training course, and pass a background investigation. 

What to Expect Working at LAPD

LAPD is a great place to work. Here are some things that you can expect from your colleagues and supervisors:

  • A sense of community
  • Respectful treatment
  • Friendly atmosphere
  • A sense of pride in serving your city
  • Opportunities to advance
  • Competitive pay
  • Career growth opportunities
  • Flexible schedules

What Some people dislike about Working at LAPD?

Some people don’t like the following aspects of working at LAPD:

  • Long hours
  • Stressful situations
  • Working conditions
  • Overtime
  • Job insecurity

Company Profile

The Los Angeles Police Department, LAPD, was established in 1869 as one of the first municipal police departments in the United States.

It has grown into an organization with more than 9900 police officers and 3000 unsworn personnel.

The department operates under the authority of the Los Angeles City Council, which appoints all members of the force.

The Chief of Police is appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Police Department provides law enforcement services to approximately 3 million residents within the city limits of Los Angeles and the surrounding communities.

The department’s primary responsibility is to protect life and property and to preserve peace and order.

In addition to traditional patrol duties, the department performs specialized functions such as gang suppression, narcotics investigations, undercover operations, intelligence gathering, and special events security.


This post has provided valuable information about the hiring process of the LAPD, to enable you to effectively prepare to meet the requirements of the position that you are applying for and successfully complete the recruitment process.