What are the minimum requirements to become a Police Officer?
The following is a list of the minimum requirements to become a Police Officer:
• High school diploma or G.E.D. certificate • 21 years of age by the end of the police academy • Height in proportion to weight • Vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes; free from color-blindness • Hearing within normal limits • Valid California driver’s license • United States citizen or an application for citizenship within the past 12 months • No use of tobacco products either on or off duty
What are potential reasons why a person may be disqualified from the background process?
• Lying or deliberately misstating or misrepresenting information either orally or in writing • Recent use of illegal drugs • Illegal sexual activity • Theft, including theft from the workplace • Any felony conviction, or act committed that would be a felony • Incidents of domestic violence • Poor credit history • Multiple traffic moving violations (speeding, red light violations, speed contest, driving under the influence of alcohol, etc.) • Terminations, reprimands, and poor behavior at work • Harassment or discrimination towards others based on race, gender, and sexual orientation
The above items are not all inclusive, but rather list examples of behavior that may result in disqualification. Few things are automatically disqualifying. Your background is taken in context. For example, more recent or recurring events carry more weight than something occurring once or many years ago.
Honesty is the hallmark of our profession and any dishonest answer to the background investigator will result in disqualification. Failure to disclose any relevant information to the background investigator is considered dishonesty and will result in disqualification from our process. Oftentimes we find candidates who attempt to conceal information that would not have been disqualifying had they been honest.
Are Police Officer Recruits paid while they attend the academy?
Police Officer Recruits are paid while attending the academy. In addition, the Downey Police Department pays for the academy tuition and equipment the recruit will need during the academy.
Do Police Officer Recruits live at the academy?
Recruits do not live at the academy. The recruits commute to and from the academy, Monday through Friday.
What is the recommended physical fitness level when entering the academy?
When a recruit begins the academy they should be able to run 3 ½ to 4 ½ miles at a nine minute pace. It is recommended that the recruit trains by running on asphalt, not treadmills, between the hours of 1 to 4 p.m. This is recommended because most of the physical training sessions will occur on asphalt surfaces during these hours.
A recruit should also be able to do several sets of push-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups and “mountain climbers.” At the beginning of the academy the recruit will do several sets of 10 repetitions. During the academy the sets will increase and the repetitions will increase to 25. A test to determine whether you meet the requirements is to time yourself for five minutes, alternating 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. You must complete a set of 10 before moving on to the next exercise. When you complete a repetition of 10 you immediately move on to the next exercise. Your goal is to be able to do 50 or more of each exercise in the five minute period.
A recruit should also be able to climb a solid six foot wall with little difficulty.
A recruit should not enter the academy thinking that the academy will help them become physically fit. Entering the academy at a low physical fitness level will cause the recruit to struggle and often times to be unsuccessful. Applicants should take the proper steps to ensure they are at a high physical fitness level. At a minimum, the recruit should begin a training regimen six to eight weeks prior to the start of the academy.
What hours do Downey Police Officers work?
Downey Police Patrol Officers work one of two 12 1/2 hour shifts with one additional 10 hour payback shift each month. Non Patrol Officers work four 10 hour work days. The days off vary depending on assignments and seniority.
Does the Downey Police Department hire Police Officer Laterals?
The Downey Police Department accepts applications for Police Officer Laterals on a continuous basis. The Police Officer Lateral must be in possession of a California P.O.S.T. Basic Certificate when they complete their employment application. The next step in the hiring process for the Police Officer Lateral is the oral interview. The written examination for a Police Officer Lateral is waived.
What are the special assignments at the Downey Police Department?
The following is a partial list of the special assignments at the Downey Police Department:
• Motorcycle Officer • Special Enforcement Team Officer • Accident Investigator • Field Training Officer • Detective Bureau, including Narcotics, Robbery/Homicide, and Gangs • K9 Officer
How long is the Field Training Program?
New Police Officers will attend a one week orientation at the Police Department. After the orientation week the officer will begin the 22 week Field Training Program. The officer will be trained by five different Field Training Officers over six phases. Included in this program is a two week traffic period, one week with the Gang Unit, one week as a Crime Suppression Unit, and a one week “shadow” period where the officer will demonstrate their suitability to be released from training.
Are there incentives for being bilingual?
Officers who can speak and translate in Spanish or Korean earn $70 per pay period.
Is there a tuition reimbursement program?
The City of Downey offers to pay for tuition related to career development. The City will reimburse the officer the equivalent tuition charged at California State University, Los Angeles, and California State University, Long Beach. The City of Downey also pays for all required books.
There is also a pay incentive for officers who possess a degree. Officers are paid an additional 7% for having an AA degree and an additional 10.5% for a BA degree.
Patrol (3/12 Schedule)
Motor Officer (11% Pay Incentive + Motorcycle Transportation)
Police Corporal (5.5% Pay Incentive)
Field Training Officer (3.5% Pay Incentive)
Crime Impact Team
Force Training Staff
Special Enforcement Team
School Resource Officer
PERS 3% at 55 for "classic" members or 2.7 at 57 for "new" PERS members
11 Paid Holidays (Paid at 2 1/2 Times Pay if Worked)
Education Incentive Pay: An additional 7% of base pay for an Associates degree or equivalent units (60) OR Intermediate California (CA) P.O.S.T. Certificate. An additional 10.5%for a Bachelor's degree of equivalent units (124) OR Advanced California P.O.S.T. Certificate
Health, Dental, and Life Insurance Benefits
College Tuition and Books Reimbursed (at Cal-State University Rate)
Longevity Pay: Employees become eligible for additional merit longevity pay increasesafter 5 years of service at 2.75%, 10 years at 5.5%, 20 years at 8.4, and 25 years at 13%. Peace Officer with service at another CA P.O.S.T law enforcement agency shall qualify forlongevity as though the accumulated time was earned with the City of Downey (after the initial probationary period has been completed).