The process for hiring all police officer applicants is essentially the same. The eight steps illustrated below are designed to identify those individuals best qualified for a career in law enforcement:
STEP 1: The first step in the process is applying. Applications are accepted online and screened for minimum qualifications.
STEP 2: Candidates meeting the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in a written examination. Applications and supplemental answers of applicants passing the exam will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be selected to continue to the next phase.
STEP 3: An oral interview by an interview board is the next step in the process. The board members ask job-related questions designed to assess the applicant's knowledge and skills. Oral interviews are typically scheduled every month after written examinations.
STEP 4: The next step in the process is the pre-polygraph questionnaire and interview.
STEP 5: A physical agility test (PAT) is the next step for candidates who successfully pass the pre-polygraph step. A PAT is provided to determine the applicant’s ability to perform job-related tasks. The physical agility test may be scheduled at any point after the pre-polygraph, depending on available dates.
STEP 6: The polygraph and the background investigation are the next steps for candidates passing the PAT. A polygraph is used to confirm information on the pre-polygraph questionnaire, the application form, present and past use of narcotics or drugs, and any previous job-related problems. The background investigator will contact employers, references, family members and neighbors to assess the applicant's character. The background investigation normally takes between 4-8 weeks to complete.
STEP 6: Applicants will be scheduled for a ride-along after they have submitted their background packet. The ride-along will help candidates learn more about Irvine’s policing philosophy. Laterals may schedule ride-alongs after successful completion of the oral interview.
STEP 7: Applicants who successfully complete the background step will be invited to an interview with the Chief of Police. Candidates who are successful in passing their Chief’s interview will receive a job offer contingent on passing the medical and psychological exams.
STEP 8: The final steps in the process include completing a medical and psychological exam. These exams are conducted to determine the applicant's fitness for duty.
After completion of these steps, the successful applicant can then begin his or her career in law enforcement. Recruits are scheduled for the police academy at Golden West or the Orange County Sheriff's Academy. Academy graduates and laterals officers from other police agencies are assigned directly to Field Training Officers for their assignments in Patrol.
In past years the Irvine Police Department has enjoyed great success in recruiting highly qualified candidates for sworn positions within the Department. This is due, in part, to the professional reputation that the Department has earned over the past 35 years and to the continued support of City management and the Irvine City Council who have identified public safety as the number one priority in the City's strategic business plan.