Officer Recruitment and Selection Process
Those who want to apply for the Los Angeles Police Department should be ready to do some studying. Each applicant needs to go through several steps to see if they are qualified for training with the LAPD. In the first step, applicants have to go through a preliminary background application and job preview questionnaire. These must be completed online before taking the written test. This online preliminary background application helps the department identify the issues that should be resolved before the start of the selection process. They also help the police department tell if the applicant has a realistic chance of becoming a member of the force. Particularly, it helps weed out those who may have a difficult time passing the background investigation part of selection. The job preview questionnaire helps to create a better understanding of the nature of the police officer work.
The second step is the personal qualifications essay, which asks questions that relate to the decision making, judgment and behavioral flexibility of the applicant. This is also where the written communication skills are put to the test. Anyone who fails is allowed to retake the test after six months. Step three is a background investigation and polygraph examination. This involves a considerable amount of biographical information about the applicant. Questionnaires are also required. An interview and fingerprinting are also included. Step four includes a physical abilities test that measures agility strength and endurance. A second part includes aerobic ability that is measured during the medical evaluation. A pass only shows the minimal physical ability that is needed to go through training.
Step five is the department interview. This is conducted by a panel that looks at the job motivation, personal accomplishments, interpersonal skills, instrumentality, oral communication and continuous learning. Step six is the medical evaluation and psychological evaluation. Each candidate needs to be in peak health with no medical conditions that could prevent the officer from completing their tasks. A psychological test is also included. An oral interview by a psychologist that measures how well the applicant would perform given the job pressures is conducted. Step seven is the appointment and certification, (Application, 2013).
Major Training Components
The training division aims to provide the new officers with the best possible training they could receive. The division also helps improve the performance of the police personnel and in-service officers. About 80 civilian employees and 208 who are sworn are involved in the training division, so it is quite extensive. There are six sections included in the division, and they include course coordination, police sciences, support, firearms, defensive tactics and instructional systems.
A couple of the more popular sections are the defense tactics section and the firearms sections. The firearms section involves in-services combat training, as well as issuing duty ammunition, weapons of mass destruction, gas mask fitting, tours and demonstrations, product evaluation and research, purchasing orders for equipment/supplies, monitoring bi-monthly qualification records, developing lessons plans for every class, mobile field force, issues all department firearms, maintaining/repairing all department firearms and those that are approved personal firearms, auditing invoices from the security company and supervising civilian security personnel.
The defense tactics section is involved in using the force policy for self-defence techniques. The section includes the use of the collapsible baton and side handle baton. Evaluations on the items that are used in the field for self-defence techniques and restraint devices are also a part of the training. Furthermore, the section focuses on training the employees for weight lifting, and conducting direct training that is ordered by a Board of Rights or by the Use of Force Board, (Defense, 2013).
Career Development Programs
The LAPD has two types of ways to move up. The first is through a promotion and the second is through an assignment of a higher pay grade. Promotions refer to advancing a person from one civil service class to the next. For example, going from a police officer to a sergeant or detective is a promotion. Officers start out as a “Police Officer I,” during which the officer learns about criminal law, Spanish, human relations and report writing. Training also includes firearms, tactics and driving. Self-defense and fitness are also major factors. This lasts for 18 months and then the officer goes on to “Police Officer II,” and then “Police Officer III.” Through each one of these steps, there is a certain time period that is needed before moving onto the next, and each involves a different type of training. If the officer performs well during these periods, they could be eligible to move on to the position as “Sergeant,” which has two steps and covers more intensive training. They are also giving different types of assignments. For example, they could do researching, labor relations, complaint investigation, auditing or community relations, (The LAPD, 2013).
“Application Process.” (2013). LAPD.
“Defense Tactics Section.” (2013). LAPD.
“The LAPD Career Ladder.” (2013).