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. 

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. 

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 con-sideration, 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

Q: Is there expedited testing?

A: Yes, under certain conditions. Apply online, print out the application and call 213-473-9060. Select option 1 for details.

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: How do I apply for Airport or Port Police?

A: When filling out your application, be sure to select your preferred agencies, you can choose from LAPD, Port, Airport, and Reserve Agencies. If you have already submitted your application and would like to change the preferred agencies that are selected, you can do so by calling the Public Safety Division at (213) 473-9060.


1) What is the Chief like?

Chief Moore is the people’s Chief.

2) Who is the Chief’s boss?

The Chief of Police (COP) is the highest-ranking officer in the Police Department. As a General Manager of the Police Department, the COP is responsible for the planning, efficient administration and operation of the Police Department under the authority of the Board of Police Commissioners.

3 How do you become Chief?

The Chief of Police (COP) is generally selected from within the ranks of Deputy Police Chief and should have a college degree and at least 12 years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience. The COP is appointed by the Mayor and is subject to the approval of the Police Commission and the City Council. The COP can serve a maximum of two five-year terms.

4) What kind of guns do officers use?

LAPD Officers are authorized to use, as their on duty primary weapon,


92F, 92FS, 92FS-Stainless Steel, 8045 (4” barrel)

Smith & Wesson:

459, 5904, 5903, 659, 5906, 645, 4506, 4566, 4567, 5903 TSW, 5906 TSW, 4569 TSW, and 4566 TSW.


9mm: Model 34, magazine capacity 17

Model 17, magazine capacity 17

Model 19, magazine capacity 15

.40 caliber: Model 35, magazine capacity 15

Model 22, magazine capacity 15

Model 23, magazine capacity 13

.45 caliber: Model 21, magazine capacity 13


5) Do celebrities receive special treatment?

No, celebrities do not get special treatment. They go through the same booking and arrest process as everyone else.

6) How do you become an officer?

The selection process is started by completing an on-line Preliminary Background Application (PBA) and Job Preview Questionnaire (JPQ). The Personal Qualifications Essay is ad-ministered at the written test sites. Written test sessions are offered five times each week, at five different locations throughout the City, as well as at frequent special testing events throughout the year. You do not need to call in advance to schedule testing. Just show up! No application is required, but you must bring your PBA and JPQ results with you to the test.

If you have any questions regarding LAPD police officer recruiting, or taking the test, you can call or e-mail an LAPD recruitment at 866-444-LAPD (866-444-5273) or join-lapd@lapd.lacity.org

7) What is involved in a background check?

The Background Investigation begins with completion of a Personal History Form (which requires compilation of extensive biographical information), completion of additional questionnaires, fingerprinting, and an interview with a background investigator. If you meet the City’s standards, a thorough background investigation will be conducted. It will include checks of employment, police, financial, education, and military records and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. Plain talk about this test part: Be honest. Be thoughtful about your answers. Don’t take this test until you are really ready to present your qualifications in the best possible light.

8) What is the training academy experience?

If you are selected for the LAPD, you will be sent to the world-famous LAPD Academy for 28 weeks of training. Training is rigorous, demanding and exhausting. It is also a rewarding life-changing experience. New officers learn how much they are capable of by succeeding at seemingly impossible challenges, both physical and mental. Training is free, and Officers are paid their full starting salary during training.

Much of the training occurs in the classroom. Officers learn law, human relations, Spanish and report writing. Officers are also trained in tactics, firearms and driving. Physical fit-ness and self-defense training plays a big part in the Academy. In fact, the physical fitness part of the program is so demanding that recruits are encouraged to start a training regimen before entering the Academy.

9) What is a typical day for an officer?

An LAPD officer can never expect a routine day. Every day brings with it new challenges and opportunities to improve the communities we serve.

10) How do officers get promotions?

For many Officers, one of the best rewards of working in a department as big as LAPD is the fact that they can do many jobs during the course of their career. It is possible to move from division to division, and to learn new skills on the job. The first promotion available to Officers is to either become a Detective, or move into the investigative branch, or to be-come a Sergeant and move into field supervision. Sergeants or from Detective you can promote to Lieutenant. There are over 250 different jobs in the LAPD. Some of them, like traffic investigator are done by hundreds of Officers, but then there are also specialized jobs, like SWAT, motorcycle Officers, horseback Officers, divers, fixed-wing pilots, helicopter pilots, public information officers, K-9 units, and bike Officers. Most of these require specialized training, and if you are selected, you are paid to be trained.