LAPD Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the first step in the process?
A: Visit joinLAPD.com and click on the yellow Apply Now animated banner on the top leftApply Now! button on the bottom of the screen. Fill out the Job Preview Questionnaire (JPQ) and Preliminary Background Application (PBA). Print the results and take them with you to take the Written Test. Click here for dates and times.
Q: Do I have to live in the City of Los Angeles to join LAPD?
A: No, but it will help you to become familiar with the City.
Q: What does it mean to have a background befitting to become a police officer?
A: Los Angeles Police Department is looking for individuals that demonstrate positive personal and professional growth and consistent adherence to the law. Click here to learn more.
Q. If I pass the PAT, am I ready for the Academy?
A. No, that is why you are encouraged to attend CAP, which provides a realistic view of Academy expectations.
Q: If I have too many tickets, will I have trouble becoming a police officer?
A: It is to be determined on a case-by-case basis, and it depends on how many and the most recent. The reason for the ticket is also taken into consideration, in particular, moving violations.
Q: What is the uniform policy?
A: You are required to wear a uniform unless you are in an administrative position or doing under cover work.
Q: Will my tattoos affect my ability to become an officer?
A: It depends on the nature of the tattoo(s). Candidates with tattoos are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Candidates with tattoos who are subsequently hired must ensure that the tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty
Q: Do I get paid while in the police academy?
A: Yes. Your start earning salary and benefits from your first day at the academy!
Q: Is the 24-hour Academy like a military boot camp?
A: It is not a live in academy. Instruction is generally Monday - Friday, 6:30 AM - 3:00 PM, with study time thereafter. You will have weekends and holidays off.
Q: How long do I have to work patrol?
A: You must complete a minimum of (12 months) one-year field probation.
Q: How do I get a ride along?
A: Contact one of the twenty-one divisions (Click here).
Q: Is there expedited testing?
A: We are not currently offering expedited testing.
Q: How long does the process usually take?
A: The process usually takes about 6-9 months, but it varies. The process is candidate driven (for the most part), so do your best to prepare and get through each portion.
Q: Is there any cost to apply?
A: There is no cost for the application or for any test portion.
Q: Will my bad credit score hurt my chances of becoming an officer?
A: It is to be determined on a case-by-case basis, and the economic downturn is taken into consideration. Your financial status is considered from a risk-management perspective. Making responsible fiscal choices and living within your means are examples of maturity and discipline, which may make you less susceptible to impropriety on the job.
Q: How do I join SWAT?
A: You need to attain the rank of POIII in order to apply. You will also need to pass a PFQ and an interview.
Q: Is there a difference between a Regular Test and Pocket Test?
A: No. A regular test is administered at a city facility test location at a fixed date and time. A pocket test is the same written test administered by a Recruitment Officer at a location other than a regular test location, usually after a presentation, special event or at a venue far away from the regular test sites.