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Why work for the Salt Lake City Police Department
- Lateral Entry Program
To qualify for the Salt Lake City Police Department Lateral Entry Program, a candidate must meet the following:
In-State and Out-of-State Candidates:
- A candidate must have at least 1 year of previous law enforcement experience as a Post-certified Category I Police Officer and either be currently working with a law enforcement agency in this capacity or have been employed in this capacity within 12 months prior to the date of application with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
- Candidates would be required to meet all minimum requirements to become a Salt Lake City Police Department Officer.
- Candidates must fill out an employment application for the Salt Lake City Police Department and attach a copy of their Utah N.P.O.S.T. results.
- Candidates must successfully complete all stages of the Salt Lake City Police Officer Testing Process approved by the Civil Service Commission. The testing stages include the following: Utah National Police Officer Selection Test, Written Examination, Physical Agility Test, Background Investigation, Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA), Psychological Examination and Evaluation, Interview, Medical Examination, and Chemical Screen.
Upon successful completion of all stages in the testing process, the Lateral Entry Program would include the following:
- Credit given for prior experience as a POST-certified Category I Police Officer with any public law enforcement agency on a 1-for-1 basis.
- Up to 8 full years of experience as a POST-certified Category I Police Officer would be credited towards base compensation and vacation accrual.
- No credit would be given for less than 1 year (12 months) of law enforcement experience as a POST-certified Category I Police Officer.
- Candidates would be required to complete the Salt Lake City Police Academy. The Police Academy would begin the first day on the job and is held Monday through Friday (40 hrs per week). You are paid your lateral entry salary while attending the Police Academy.
- Veterans' Preference Points
Honorable Discharge Status
Disabled Veteran Status
5% added on top of final score
10% added on top of final score
Applicants claiming veterans’ preference points MUST submit a copy of their DD-214 with their application.
The eligibility register will be presented and adopted by the Civil Service Commission. The eligibility register may be approved for a maximum of two years. Once the register expires, individuals who remain interested in the position of police officer will be required to reapply for the position and complete the testing process a second time from start to finish.
It is each candidate’s responsibility to keep the city informed of their current address and phone number during the entire time the list is active.
The minimum requirements to become a Salt Lake City Police Officer are as follows:
- Graduation from high school or possession of GED certificate.
- Must be a U.S. Citizen on/by the date of the first examination.
- Must be at least 21 years of age by the date of hire.
- Successful completion of Civil Service examination process which may include written examination, physical examination, background investigation, physical agility test, computer voice stress analysis, psychological examination and evaluation, drug screen, and oral interviews.
- Successful completion of Utah N.P.O.S.T. exam prior to designated application deadline.
- Graduation from Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy within six (6) months of hire.
- Considerable human relations and communications skills.
- Ability to work independently, make critical decisions, and use initiative and common sense.
- Must have valid Utah Driver License or the ability to obtain one within 30 days of employment.
Testing and Selection Process
The testing and selection process for this position consists of the following phases:
- UTAH N.P.O.S.T. SCORES (pass/fail and hurdle)
All candidates must turn in a copy of their Utah National Police Officer Selection Test (Utah NPOST) scores prior to the application deadline. Candidates must have received an overall score of 70% on each of the four components of the exam.
- PHYSICAL AGILITY TEST (pass/fail and hurdle)
On the day of the physical agility test, candidates are required to present photo identification (i.e. driver license, passport, or military I.D. card), Release of Information Form, Background Personal History Questionnaire, DD-214 (if applicable), and additional background documents to check-in at the examination site. Identification must display date of birth. The physical agility test consists of the following four exercises: push-ups, sit-ups, vertical jump, and a mile and a half (1.5) run. Physical agility examination results from any other jurisdiction cannot be substituted for Salt Lake City Police Department’s physical agility test for Police Officer. Candidates reaching this phase will be notified of the event date, time, and location.
- WRITTEN EXAMINATION (hurdle)
On the day of the written examination, candidates are required to present photo identification (i.e. driver license, passport, or military I.D. card). Identification must display date of birth. The multiple-choice exam is designed to measure each candidate’s proficiency in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure specific to the English language. The exam will also help determine which candidates possess skills to effectively work with the public and other members of the department. The written exam scores may be used to determine a cutoff or pass rate, and the department will consider the natural break, adverse impacts and departmental need. The written exam will identify a candidate that closely matches the needs of the Department. The written exam is primarily intended as a hurdle exam to advance those candidates to the next phase of the process. Candidates invited to this phase will be notified of the event date, time, and location.
- PRELIMINARY BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (hurdle)
The top ranked candidates after phase I of the selection process will be required to participate in a preliminary background investigation.
- ORAL BOARD INTERVIEW
The top ranked candidates passing a preliminary background investigation will be required to participate in the Oral Board Interview. Candidates will be asked a series of interview questions.
- BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (pass/fail)
The top candidates after the interview will be required to undergo an extensive background investigation. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, the following: employment history, driving history, arrest and conviction record, financial responsibility, and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends.
- COMPUTER VOICE STRESS ANALYSIS (CVSA) (pass/fail)
The top candidates passing the background investigation will be required to complete a Computer Voice Stress Analysis evaluation. This instrument is used for truth verification which measures “microtremors” in the voice, then provides the examiner a visual chart which is interpreted as deceptive or non-deceptive. The examination uses only a microphone and no wires are attached to the subject.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION AND EVALUATION (pass/fail)
The top candidates passing the Computer Voice Stress Analysis will be required to complete and pass a thorough psychological examination and evaluation. It is important to note that the examination is not designated to measure mental health.
The top candidates who have successfully advanced after each of the above hurdles in the recruitment process will be contacted by phone and invited to interview with the Police Chief.
- PRESENT POLICE OFFICER ELIGIBILITY REGISTER TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Candidates will be ranked according to their current and/or final score and placed on the Police Officer eligibility register.
- MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND DRUG SCREEN (pass/fail)
After receiving a conditional offer of employment candidates must successfully complete and pass a thorough medical examination, including a drug screen. Physicians who perform the medical examination consider the severity of any problem in making the pass/fail decision.
Physical Agility Test
Candidates are required to pass the physical agility test at 50% in each area to continue with the selection process. Following are the instructions for the physical agility exercises, to include: vertical jump, push-ups, sit-ups, and the 1.5 mile run.
On the day of the physical agility test, candidates MUST bring picture identification (i.e., driver license, passport or military I.D. card) with which we will verify each candidate’s birth date (must be 21 years of age on/by the date of the physical agility test). Candidates reaching this phase will be notified of the event date, time and place of the physical agility test.
Explosive Strength (Vertical Jump, Men and Women)
Candidates must jump from a stationary, standing position with both feet on the ground. Either arm may be extended to reach maximum height.
Minimum requirement for jump 15 inches
Strength Test (Push-ups, Men and Women)
The candidate assumes a front-leaning position with the hands placed where they are most comfortable. The back, buttocks and legs must be straight from head to heels. Begin the push-up by bending the elbows and lowering the entire body until the tops of the upper arms, shoulders and lower back are aligned and parallel to the floor. (A fist may be placed under the candidates sternum and should be touched.) Return to the starting position by locking the elbows. During the test the candidate cannot rest the body on the ground. It is possible to rest, but one cannot relieve pressure from the upper body while in the resting position. If the candidate does not keep the body straight or lock the elbows completely, that repetition does not count. The score is the number of push-ups completed in one minute.
Minimum requirement for push-ups 16
Muscular Endurance (Bent-knee Sit-ups, Men and Women)
The candidate lies on the back with the knees flexed at a right angle. A partner kneels at the candidate’s feet and presses down on the candidate’s insteps to keep the heels in contact with the floor. The hands must remain in contact with the head and the fingers cupped behind the ears. When ready, the signal “go” is given and the candidate sits up to touch the knees with the elbows breaking the vertical plane. Without pause, the candidate returns to the starting position just long enough for the shoulders to touch the mat and immediately sits up again. The score is the number of sit-ups that can be completed in one minute.
Minimum requirement for sit-ups 25
Cardiovascular Endurance (1.5 Mile Run, Men and Women)
The test involves measuring the time spent in running 1.5 miles. The distance covered in a specific amount of time is then used to determine the fitness category of the individual. This test requires a nearly exhaustive effort. It is assumed that the individual has had the proper medical examination and has been cleared for an exercise program.
Minimum time requirement for 1.5 mile run 15:37
On the day of the testing, it is recommended that the candidate should abstain from smoking or eating for a minimum of two hours preceding the test. It is advisable to allow adequate time prior to the test for stretching and warm-up exercises. An important consideration at the end of the run is the “cool down” period. The candidates should be cautioned about standing around immediately after the run, to prevent pooling of the blood in the lower extremities, which reduces the return of the blood to the heart. An additional walk for at least five minutes after the test should be sufficient for the cool down period.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Must I already be certified to be considered for the position of Salt Lake City Police Officer?
- What are my chances of getting hired as a Salt Lake City Police Officer?
Your chances of becoming a Police Officer will depend upon the number of openings that occur and the number of candidates competing for the position. It is difficult to determine exactly how many positions will be filled during the life of the register. Such factors as budget, retirements and other unforeseen circumstances make estimates difficult.
- How is each candidate ranked on the Salt Lake City Civil Service Police Officer Eligibility Register?
Salt Lake City Police Department Police Officer candidates are ranked on the Civil Service Police Officer Eligibility Register as follows:
- 20% – Utah National Police Officer Selection (N.P.O.S.T.) Scores
- 80% – Written Examination
- What is it like working for the Salt Lake City Police Department?
Salt Lake City Police Department’s Style of Policing:
The Salt Lake City Police Department is committed to Community Oriented Policing (COP), or as it is sometimes referred to: Problem Oriented Policing (POP). These styles of policing move the focus of policing from responding and reporting criminal acts to one of responding to criminal or civil problems, analyzing the causes of those problems, and then implementing a plan of action to eliminate the roots of the problem, thus eliminating the need for a continued response from officers of our department to that problem. This process requires the officers of the SLCPD to become familiar with the other agencies within the City that can be utilized to resolve the criminal or civil problem the officer is attempting to resolve.
Due to the style of policing incorporated by the Salt Lake City Police Department, we are looking for those individuals who possess analytical skills. We need individuals who have a desire to formulate and implement plans of action in response to problems—both criminal and civil—within the boundaries of Salt Lake City.
What is employment with the SLCPD like?
The Salt Lake City Police Department is the largest department within the State of Utah, and one of the larger agencies located in the western United States. Due to the size of the Department (432 sworn officers), employees are afforded numerous opportunities to work in specialized assignments; these same opportunities do not exist in smaller agencies.
During the course of a career, employees with the Salt Lake City Police Department will have the opportunity to work in a patrol division and on one of the four bike patrol squads. There are also opportunities to work SWAT, Traffic Enforcement (either on motors or in accident cars) and K-9. Additionally, the Department has an extensive investigative bureau that allows officers to work assignments in homicide, robbery, larceny/burglary, auto theft, financial crimes, and homeland security, as well as undercover in vice and narcotics. It is this ability to work many and varied assignments that provides our officers with the skills and knowledge to be some of the best law enforcement officers in the nation.
Most officers on the Department work four 10-hour shifts per week. If the officer is working a uniformed assignment, he/she will bid for the shift they will work, as well as their days off, by their seniority on the department. Thusly, the newer the officer is to the department, the less likely they are to have weekends off or a day-shift assignment; officers working investigative assignments generally work a day-shift assignment and have weekends off.
The SLCPD has two gyms located within its buildings, as well as locker and shower facilities. Officers are afforded a one-hour lunch break for each shift they work. Many of the officers use that one-hour lunch to work out.
The SLCPD has an indoor shooting range located within the Pioneer Precinct, which is available to the employees all year long; there is an outdoor range, as well, that incorporates a rifle range.
Currently, each officer has the option of participating in the “take-home-car-program.” There are restrictions as to the distance one can live from the City and still have a take-home vehicle; there is a fee associated with this program the officer must be willing to pay in order to have the take-home vehicle; the fee is based on how many miles the officer lives from the City.
Reasons to choose to live and work in Salt Lake City?
Salt Lake City is the capital city for the State of Utah, and it is the largest city located in Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City has become a large metropolitan city with a population of 181,743; Salt Lake County has a population of 1.2 million. Despite the size of this metropolis, the area holds the distinction of having the nation’s highest literacy rate; the fourth-highest percentage of high school graduates; and, the 11th-highest percentage of college graduates. The area has the distinction of having the seventh-lowest rate of violent crime in the nation, and has the third-longest life expectancy in the nation.
For the year 2006, Utah’s household income ranked ninth in the nation at $55,619 per household, while the average home price in Salt Lake City was at $284,756.
Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas offer numerous opportunities for entertainment. The area has several theaters that offer a full season of live theater. The Salt Lake area is host to a professional basketball team, the Utah Jazz, which consistently makes the playoffs; an indoor arena football team, the Blaze; as well as a triple-A baseball team, the Bees; and a minor league hockey team, the Grizzlies. Additionally, there are numerous shopping centers, theaters and restaurants to serve all of your needs.
Salt Lake City hosts a nationally recognized arts festival every June, and our neighbor to the east, Park City, hosts a renowned arts festival every summer. Park City also plays host to Robert Redford’s world renowned “Sundance Film Festival” each winter.
For the outdoor-loving individual: the Wasatch Mountains are a mere 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and host to several ski areas. Area residents can take a 30-minute drive and be skiing in the best snow in the world. The area’s ski resorts receive more than 400 inches of snow annually. Additionally, the state of Utah has some of the most striking National Parks in Zion and Bryce canyons, as well as endless boating on Lake Powell.
- What happens if I am hired?
The Police Academy begins the first day on the job. The Police Academy runs 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, and lasts approximately 20 weeks. Each recruit is monitored and evaluated closely during this period. Recruits should plan to study three hours each night, and they must pass required written and skills-based evaluations. Recruits are required to maintain a heavy physical fitness schedule, which includes daily physical training, as well as drills, on most days. Recruits are paid their police officer salary while attending the academy.
- Is there a probationary period?
Applicants who are hired are placed on probation for twelve (12) months. New employees who voluntarily resign during their probationary period may be required to reimburse their employer for the full cost of issued uniforms and equipment. You may be required to pass a physical examination on an annual basis and participate in programs to maintain your physical fitness after being hired.
- What can I expect during the Salt Lake City Police Department Academy?
Prior to July 2006, all applicants who were hired for the position of police officer with Salt Lake City and had yet to complete the Utah State Police Academy, spent the first 18 weeks of their employment at the Utah State Police Academy.
Upon successful completion of the State Academy, the recruit returned to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Training Division to spend an additional eight to 10 weeks in further, more specific training geared toward equipping each recruit with the skills they would need to function as a competent solo officer for the City of Salt Lake.
In an effort to shorten the time each new recruit spent in training between the two academies, the Salt Lake City Police Department petitioned the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council asking for permission to provide all of the POST required training to our recruits at the City’s training facility. POST granted permission for this request, and since July 2006 all new police officers for the City of Salt Lake are trained at the Salt Lake Police Pioneer Precinct. The curriculum covers all of the mandates set forth by POST, and it covers the training necessary to function as a police officer for the City of Salt Lake. Since the training is now combined, the amount of time each recruit must spend in training has been reduced from 28 weeks to 21 weeks. This reduction in training time saves the citizens of Salt Lake City tens of thousands of dollars yearly; however, it does not reduce the amount of quality training each recruit receives. Since the Salt Lake City Police Department started hosting the full academy, each class of recruits has graduated with a class average of 90% or better on all of the tests they were required to take.
Currently, all Utah POST-certified officers who desire employment with Salt Lake City must attend the academy in full.
While attending the Academy you should expect the following:
The Salt Lake City Police Academy runs for 20 to 21 weeks, depending on class size, holidays and training requirements. During that time each recruit will receive approximately 832 hours of instruction to include but not limited to: Constitutional Law, State Law, City Law, use of force, defensive tactics and handcuffing skills, emergency vehicle operation, police weapons and tatics training. Additionally, each recruit will be exposed to the effects of the “pepper spray” and the conducted electrical device (commonly called a TASER) they will carry while working.
The academic requirements for the Salt Lake City Police Academy are very strict. Each recruit must maintain an average of 80 percent or better on all tests and quizzes during the academy. If a recruit fails three tests, he/she will be dismissed from training and separated from employment.
Before graduation, the recruit must pass the Utah POST “Special Functions Officer” and “Law Enforcement Officer” tests. These tests are comprehensive and cover material learned during the academy.
Each recruit is strongly urged to enter the academy in top physical condition. The recruit will run three times a week with the length of the runs increasing up to five miles. Additionally, the recruit will participate in rigorous cross training.
Once the recruit has successfully completed all aspects of the academy, he/she will enter the Field Training (FTO) Program. This program is 14 weeks in duration, and the recruit will work with a minimum of four different training officers during that time. During FTO, the recruit will be evaluated daily in 37 different aspects of the job. At the successful conclusion of the FTO Program, the recruit is certified as a solo patrol officer and is assigned to a patrol division to begin their career with the Salt Lake City Police Department.