How to Become a Police Officer in Sacramento
As the capital and sixth-largest city in California, Sacramento is patrolled and protected by a sizable police force. The Sacramento Police Department employs nearly 1,000 sworn officers and civilians including over 100 female officers.1 Sacramento is a historic city, rich with culture, and home to a diverse population, well represented in the SPD. The process and requirements for joining the force as a sworn officer are outlined below.
Sacramento Police Officer Requirements
Candidates hoping to become a cop with the SPD must meet certain requirements in order to be considered. New recruits to the force must be at least 21 years old and have US citizenship. A candidate must hold a valid California driver’s license and be free of any felony convictions. The SPD also requires that candidates have completed 60 college credits or completed the SPD’s police cadet program. New recruits may enter the cadet program at the age of 18 or older.
Once an application is submitted and accepted, a new recruit will then be invited to take the SPD’s written examination. This is followed by a questionnaire, oral interview, and a physical agility test. Those who pass these steps will undergo an extensive background check, a polygraph examination, and an interview with a Deputy Chief. At this point, the candidate may be offered a position, but still must pass a medical exam and a psychological screening.
For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply, find specific application information on the Sacramento Police Department – Hiring Process page.
Sacramento Police Department Information
The SPD is a law enforcement force made up of 620 sworn officers and 302 civilian employees with an operating budget of $124.6 million.1 The budget afforded to the Department has been reduced in recent years, and the size of the force has dropped, although the SPD still looks for qualified new recruits on a regular basis.
Sacramento Police Training Academy
The Sacramento Police Academy offers basic training to new recruits and is certified by California’s Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (POST) Commission. The 23-week course provides students with 933 hours of instruction and qualifies them for POST certification and college credits from Los Rios Community College District. The Academy accepts both those recruits who have secured positions with the SPD and non-affiliated students who are interested in a career in law enforcement.
Sacramento Police Salary and Jobs Outlook
The average annual salary for law enforcement officers in Sacramento is an impressive $82,630.2 The salary range for officers with the SPD is from $61,262 to $74,464.1 Salaries in the Sacramento area are high because the cost of living here is 12.5% higher than the national average.3 The SPD also offers generous benefits including health insurance a state retirement plan, family leave, and a wellness program.
The overall growth in law enforcement jobs in California is expected to be positive. Between now and 2022 the field should grow by 6.8%, which means that hopeful new candidates can expect to see an average of 2,570 new positions opening up each year throughout the state.4 For more information on current FPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.
More Information on the Sacramento Police Department and Crime
Members of the Sacramento community interested in the SPD and what they do may participate in the Patrol Ride Along Program. Adults 18 and over are eligible to join the program and see what a day on the job is like. Younger residents can participate in the Criminal Justice Academy, which gives teens the chance to experience what basic training is like.
Sacramento Police Department
5770 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822
- Sacramento Police Foundation: http://sacpolicefoundation.org/wordpress/
- Fraternal Order of Police California State Lodge: http://www.cafop.org/
- Fraternal Order of Police Sacramento County Lodge #7: http://www.sacfop.org/
1. Sacramento Police Department: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Police
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40900.htm#33-0000
3. Sperling’s Best Places, Sacramento, California: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/california/sacramento
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm