LAPD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is the first step in the process?

A: Visit joinLAPD.com and click on the Apply Now button at the top of the screen. Fill out the Online Application. Print the Online Application and take it with you to 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 get a score over 50 on the PFQ, am I ready for the Academy?

A. If you score less than a 50 on the PFQ, you are strongly encouraged to attend CAP more regularly and retake the PFQ.  Most candidates who score over 70 on the PFQ significantly increase their chances of success in the selection process and in the academy.


Q. If I took the PAT, do I have to take the PFQ?

A. The PAT is valid for one year, if you are appointed before your PAT expires, you will not have to take the PFQ.


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 how recently the tickets were issued. 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 undercover 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 one-year (12 months) 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: Yes. To participate, please select Expedited Testing when you fill out your Police Officer Application by checking the box next to the instructions. 

  • To move forward in the Expedited process, you must agree to the following conditions: 
    o   Complete both the Multiple-Choice Test and the Personal History Statement (PHS) within 15 calendar days of the date that you submit your application.
    o   You will be expected to have time available to schedule and complete your Department Interview, Physical Fitness Qualifier, Medical examination, and Polygraph appointments within two weeks of the date you pass the PHS. 
  • If you pass all your test parts without experiencing any deferrals or unforeseen delays, you can expect to be appointed to an academy class within 4 months of the date you submitted your myPD application.
  • If you do not complete the Multiple-Choice test and PHS within 15 calendar days of submitting your application or are not available to schedule the subsequent test parts during the two week period after you pass the PHS, you will be dropped from the expedited process and returned to the standard testing process. 
  • Out of town candidates who may have trouble meeting these conditions should call 213-473-9060 after passing the PHS, to schedule remaining test parts.

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 PO III 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.


Q: Will I be subject to drug screening prior to appointment?

A: Yes. Once appointed to an LAPD academy class, candidates will be required to complete a drug test using a hair sample approximately three weeks prior to the Academy start date. The hair sample process involves the nurse cutting off approximately 1 inch width of hair which is sent to a special lab that tests hair for different drugs.  If the candidate has a shaved head then hair may need to be collected from the arms or legs. 


Q: City of LA Full Vaccinated Definition:

A: Pursuant to City of Los Angeles Ordinance No. 187219, you must bring verification of your full COVID-19 vaccination status, or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test you have taken within 72 hours prior to your scheduled test date and time to enter a City facility.  Otherwise, you will not be allowed to test.

Please note the following:

  • The City only recognizes Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson Janssen as Authorized COVID-19 Vaccines.

  • An individual is considered "Fully Vaccinated" after 14 days have passed from the date that they completed the entire recommended series of vaccination.

  • Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test means a printed document, email or text message displayed on a phone, from a test provider or laboratory. At-home tests will not be accepted.


Q: Where can I learn more about the City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate?

A: Please review Los Angeles City Ordinance 187134, which states that candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an exemption and report their vaccination status prior to appointment by the Los Angeles Police Department. The ordinance is available at https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2021/21-0921_ord_187134_8-24-21.pdf


Q: How do I request a Medical or Religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement?

A: You will have an opportunity to indicate whether or not you would like to request an exemption on your initial myPD.joinlapd.com application. If you have already submitted an application and would like to request an exemption then you can contact the Public Safety Division at (213) 473-9060.


Q: What happens after I submit a COVID-19 vaccination exemption request?

A: Please note that the exemption request will be reviewed upon the receipt of the required documents.  If the exemption request is granted it will only ensure an interactive process with the hiring authority. It is possible that the requested exemption may not meet the requirements of the position pertaining to working in the field, and if so, positions in the field may not be available. If no Police Officer position is available the City will assist you with identifying other positions that you may qualify for. The approval of the exemption request does not guarantee that you will be allowed to move forward to the field investigation stage for Police Officer.  If you have already received a conditional job offer (CJO) or have been placed on the certification list, the approval of an exemption request does not guarantee that you will be allowed to move forward in the hiring process.