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 TORRANCE california

 | Hiring Process
*New Hire Applicant *Lateral Police Officer  

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New Hire

To become a Police Officer for the City of Torrance, you will need to complete the entire hiring process. The links on the left represent all the steps of the process. You can click on the links to see a detailed explanation of each step. Some of the steps are explained via video clips and you will need the appropriate player-QuickTime or Windows Media-to view them.

Civil Service Testing
To begin the process, you must first apply. Contact Human Resources at  or email a request to jobinfo@TorranceCA.Gov with your name and mailing address. Once you have submitted the application, a written test card with date, time and location will be sent to you via US mail.

New hire applicants begin the testing process with two exams:

Exam 1

Written Exam:
Written Exam- Measures reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. There is also a section where the applicant is required to fill in the most appropriate word in two separate reading passages. The written test is a POST test and 4 sample tests can be found on the website. This part of the test will take approximately two hours and a half hours to complete.

Exam 2

Oral Interview:
Upon passing the above exams you will be notified via Human Resources. A standard City application will be mailed to you and upon completion and submission, a date will then be set for you to take an oral interview. A three-panel board comprised of members of the Torrance Police Department will conduct the oral interview.

Physical Agility
All new hire applicants will be required to successfully complete the P.O.S.T. (Peace Officers' Standards and Training) physical agility test.

This test consists of five individually timed events:

1) Scale a 6 foot chain link fence. The applicant must run 5 yards to a 6 foot chain link fence, climb over the fence, and continue running for another 25 yards.

2) Scale a 6 foot solid wall. The applicant must run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid wall, climb over the wall, and continue running for another 25 yards.

3) Drag a 165 pound dummy 32 feet. The applicant must lift and drag a 165 pound lifelike dummy 32 feet. The applicant must lift the dummy by holding it under the arms and with the back of the dummy to the applicant's chest. The applicant will walk/run backwards while dragging the dummy's legs on the ground. There is an exception for applicants whose height is such that the dummy's legs do not touch the ground. In this instance, they are still required to walk/run backwards. This is the technique required in the dummy drag events throughout the academy.

4) Run a 99 yard obstacle course. The applicant will run a 99 yard obstacle course consisting of numerous sharp turns, a number of curb height obstacles, and a 34 inch obstacle that must be vaulted. 

5) Run 500 yards. The applicant must run 500 yards, which is equivalent to 1 lap plus 60 yards on a standard running track.

This is a pass/fail test. The applicant must get above a total of 338 points. The applicant will have 2 attempts to pass each test. If the applicant fails once, they have one more chance to pass. If they fail the second time, they can attempt to make up the points lost on another portion of the test. The exception is on the 500 yard run. Applicants will only have one attempt to pass the 500 yard run.

Background Process

The Background process consists of several meetings between the applicant and the background investigators.
During each meeting different aspects of the applicant's job related preparation and life experiences are discussed.
Applicants that successfully complete the Background portion of the interviews and the follow-up background investigation move on to the Polygraph exam.


Polygraph Exam
Both lateral and new hire applicants must complete a polygraph exam. The Polygraph is one of the last steps of the background investigation. And it's an investigative tool used to confirm the consistency of your statements and the thoroughness of our background investigators.

The test is not designed to eliminate you from the process. It is only a device that contributes to the overall completeness of the background investigation.

Psychological Exam
The psychological exam consists of two steps. The first step is the completion of two written tests-the MMPI2 and the 16-PF psychological exams. Each exam measures personality traits in both the normal and abnormal ranges.

Upon completion of the exams, the tests are scored and the results sent to one of our department psychologists. He will review the results and conduct a follow up interview with you. During the interview the psychologists will discuss the results of the test. He will also discuss any other areas of your character that he feels are important to your ability to perform the job.

Medical Exam
Lateral and new hire applicants will be required to complete a medical exam. The exam consists of a general physical in addition to an EKG, treadmill stress test, and any necessary x-rays.

Police Academy
Upon successful completion of the psychological and medical exams, all new hire applicants will be assigned to the Police Academy. This assignment will last for a period of 26 weeks.


Field Training
New hire and lateral applicants must complete the field-training program. However, new hire applicants are assigned to the field-training bureau for a period of seven months. And lateral officers with patrol experience are assigned to the field-training bureau for only four months.



Patrol Operations
Upon completion of the field-training program you will be assigned to day watch patrol. Day watch is the only shift within our department that patrols in one-officer units. And this is your opportunity to demonstrate an ability to perform the job functions of a police officer.