Police Recruit

  • City of Costa Mesa, CA
  • Costa Mesa, California
  • Mar 08, 2024
Part Time Public Safety
  • Salary: $30.00 Hourly USD

Job Description


This recruitment is for entry-level candidates interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Work involves full-time attendance at a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified Basic police academy to prepare for the responsibilities of a police officer. After meeting all department, state-mandated and academy requirements, including graduation from the Police Academy, the Recruit will be sworn in as a Police Officer (salary range of $7,568 - $10,141 monthly).

For more information about the Costa Mesa Police Department, click here .


Applications and written exam scores must be received by June 17th to be considered for the Physical Agility Test scheduled tentatively for July 13 , 2024.

Applications are being accepted on a continuous basis in order to meet the needs of the City.


Applications must be completed and submitted online. Candidates are required to provide specific information on their education and experience as it relates to the position by completing all fields of the application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete (resumes are not accepted). Candidate notifications are sent via email. Please make sure your email address is correct and check your email periodically during the application process. Candidates who pass an initial application screening and submit a qualifying written exam score will be invited to continue in the selection process.

Do NOT attach any additional documents (i.e. resume) to the application, as they will not be accepted or reviewed in the application process (except for the PELLETB written exam score, if applicable).

Submit test results from one of the two test options below. Scores that are dated within one (1) year of the application date and meet the minimum passing score will be accepted.

National Testing Network (NTN) Frontline Law Enforcement Written Exam
  • Passing scores: Video - 65% or higher; Reading - 70% or higher; and Writing - 70% or higher
  • This exam is administered directly by the National Testing Network (NTN) and candidates pay a test fee for the service. There are multiple test sites in Southern California, as well as throughout the Country.
  • To schedule a test, visit the National Testing Network website by clicking here . Select the Costa Mesa Police Department and the specific position you are applying to.
  • NTN will submit the scores to Costa Mesa Human Resources for review.
  • Do NOT submit a test score if you do not meet the job qualifications.

- OR -

P.O.S.T. Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB)
  • Passing score: Total T-Score - 45 or higher
  • Costa Mesa Police Department does not have any future test dates; however, if you have taken the PELLETB test with another agency within the last year, you may submit a copy of your test results to be meet the written exam requirement. Results must be on the testing agency's letterhead.
  • PELLETB score must be attached to online application.


Qualified applicants who complete steps 1 & 2 will be invited to the PAT when a test date is established. The PAT is typically scheduled several times per year.
  • To view a video detailing the PAT components click here .


Candidates who successfully pass the PAT will be invited to the interview evaluation.


Candidates must pass all four (4) of the steps listed above to be placed on the City's Eligibility List. The application screening, written examination, and physical agility test are all qualifying steps (pass/fail). The oral interview evaluation is weighted 100% and determines a candidates' placement on the eligibility list. Eligibility lists are valid for one (1) year from the date they are established unless it is exhausted sooner or extended for an additional period of time.


Upon being placed on the eligibility list, appointment(s) will be made after successfully passing each of the following components: polygraph examination, a comprehensive background investigation, interview with the Chief of Police, and the post-offer pre-employment psychological evaluation and medical examination. All employment offers made by the City are contingent upon establishing proof of a prospective candidate's legal authorization to work in the United States.

Please call the Police Recruitment Hotline at (714) 754-4955 with any questions.

Leave a message with your question and a staff member will return your call within one business day.

*Please notify the Human Resources Division 72 hours in advance of a scheduled test date if you have a disability which requires accommodation for the testing process.

NOTE: The provisions of this job bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provisions contained within may be modified or revoked without notice.

Essential Functions

Please click the following link to review the essential functions in the job description:
Police Recruit

Qualification Guidelines

If you do not meet the minimum qualifications, or if any of the automatic disqualifiers pertain to you, it is recommended that you do not submit an application and written exam score for this position as you will be automatically disqualified from the selection process.

AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFIERS: Please be advised of the Costa Mesa Police Department automatic disqualifiers : click here for a list of background disqualifiers.

  • Must be a high school graduate, pass the General Education Development test or other high school equivalency test approved by CDE, or have attained a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree from an accredited or approved institution.
  • College course work with an emphasis in police science, social sciences, or a related field is desirable.

  • Class C California Driver's License. Revocation of license during employment may result in disciplinary action or reassignment.

  • Vision: 20/20 each eye corrected or uncorrected. Normal color vision.
  • Hearing: Normal hearing acuity.
  • Height/Weight: In proportion to age and frame.
  • Citizenship: Legal authorization to work in the United States under federal law.
  • Age: 21 years of age, or older, at the time of graduation from the academy.


Please click the following link to review detailed information on the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities in the job description:
Police Recruit

Smoking or use of any tobacco products at any time while on duty is prohibited. Tattoos shall not be visible while on duty.

Supplemental Information


In accordance with Government Code Section 3100 - all City of Costa Mesa employees are required to perform assigned disaster service worker duties in the event of an emergency or a disaster.


Please contact Human Resources for a summary of the physical tasks and environmental factors for these classifications. Employee accommodations for physical or mental disabilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To view benefit information for all groups, Click Here

Part-Time employees are appointed by and serve at the will of the Department Director. They are reviewed for merit salary advancement on a periodic basis. Generally, part-time employees are limited to no more than 1,000 hours of work per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Certain part-time employees, however, are permitted to exceed this limit.

Part-time employees participate in either the Public Agency Retirement System (PARS) or the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) depending on eligibility. Employees enrolled in PARS contribute 3.75% of salary with a matching City contribution. Employees enrolled in CalPERS contribute 7.5% - 10.469% of salary depending on eligibility.

Part-time positions are eligible to receive general leave benefits. General leave can be used for sick, vacation, or holiday time.

The City does not participate in the Social Security system; however, federal mandate requires all new employees to contribute 1.45% of wages to Medicare. As a condition of employment, all new employees are required to enroll and participate in the direct deposit program.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Special Instructions


Job Address

Costa Mesa, California United States View Map