Recruitment

We are looking for men and women from all backgrounds who welcome a challenge, and who will uphold our mission statement, "To proudly protect and serve the public with respect and integrity." To those who accept this challenge, we offer great pay and benefits, ample opportunities for specialty assignments and advancement, outstanding training, and the privilege to serve the community of Palo Alto.

Currently, we are NOT accepting applications for the positions of Police Officer or Public Safety Dispatcher - but please complete a Career Interest Form to be notified when we start recruiting again.

Please watch our two short videos to learn more about our Department and our personnel. Prior to applying with us, be sure to check out our Disqualification Policy(PDF, 67KB) to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment.

 



Hiring Process: Police Officer Positions

  1. POST Reading Comprehension Exam & POST Physical Agility Test (WSTB): Prior to applying, all applicants should complete both of these California Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) examinations. They are administered at the South Bay Regional Public Safety Consortium at 560 Bailey Avenue in San Jose. You may register for the examinations online by visiting The Academy's website. We accept T-scores and physical agility test results from all California agencies, as long as they are the same as the tests given at the South Bay Regional Public Safety Consortium and they are no more than a year old. Please contact the South Bay Regional Public Safety Consortium directly for questions about these examinations. (Note: lateral applicants and recent academy graduates need not complete these tests)
  2. Oral Interview Panel
  3. Oral Interview with Personnel & Training Unit lieutenant
  4. Background Investigation (includes a polygraph examination)
  5. Interview with Police Chief
  6. Psychological Examination
  7. Medical Examination (includes drug/alcohol screening)

Hiring Process: Public Safety Dispatcher Positions

  1. CritiCall Pre-Employment Skills Test:
    • For Public Safety Dispatcher I: Candidates must take the CritiCall test. Palo Alto Police & Fire Communications will provide a link to take the CritiCall test for those applicants meeting the job requirements. This test may be completed at your home, business, or other location. A computer with speakers and Internet access is required. The test takes approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. You will be provided 2 opportunities to take the exam. If you are unsuccessful, you will be disqualified from the selection process.
    • For Public Safety Dispatcher II: Candidates who have one year of public safety or fire dispatch experience within the previous five years, you may proceed with applying. You will not need to complete the CritiCall or POST test. If you do have scores from either of these assessments, please include them with your application.
  2. Oral Interview Panel
  3. Background Investigation (includes a polygraph examination)
  4. Interview with the Division Coordinator and Police Chief
  5. Psychological Examination
  6. Medical Examination (includes drug/alcohol screening)

Salary & Benefits: Police Officer Positions

  • Make $49.74 to $59.12 hourly as a Police Officer
  • 5% additional pay for each of the following: night differential, Field Training Officer (while training), and bilingual
  • 5% additional pay for Intermediate POST certificate, and 7.5% additional pay for Advanced POST certificate (certificates are earned based on years of service and level of education)
  • 3% retention pay for five years of law enforcement service; 6% retention pay for ten years of law enforcement service (five years with PAPD)
  • Patrol work schedule: rotating 4/11 plan (11-hour shifts; four days o-duty, then four days off-duty)
  • Optional on-duty workout hour
  • All uniforms and equipment provided, including free ongoing dry cleaning of uniforms
  • Top-quality health coverage for you and your dependents (maximum monthly City contribution of $2,088 in 2018)
  • Fully-paid dental and vision coverage
  • Fully-paid life insurance equal to annual salary
  • Nine paid holidays annually
  • Two to five weeks of vacation annually, based on years of service
  • 3%@55 PERS retirement for Classic Safety (2.7%@57 PERS retirement for all other safety)
  • Generous retirement health coverage for you and your dependents, based on years of service

Salary & Benefits: Public Safety Dispatcher Positions

  • Make $34.30 to $44.34 hourly as a Public Safety dispatcher
  • Top-quality health coverage for you and your dependents (maximum monthly City contribution of $2,088 in 2018)
  • Fully-paid dental and vision coverage
  • Fully-paid life insurance equal to annual salary
  • Twelve paid holidays annually
  • Two to five weeks of vacation annually, based on years of service
  • 2%@60 PERS retirement for Classic employees (2%@62 PERS retirement for all others)
  • Generous retirement health coverage for you and your dependents, based on years of service

Complete a career interest form to receive notifications as recruitments open up.