Applicants must be compliant with the suitability factors defined by the City of San Antonio Fire and Police Civil Service Commission and meet the following minimum requirements to apply for the entry-level position of police cadet:

  • Minimum of 20 years, 6 months and a maximum of 45 years
  • High school diploma with a minimum of a “C” average OR a GED
  • Any discharge from the United States Armed Forces other than Honorable. Uncharacterized and Entry-Level discharges may be accepted and will be assessed on an individual basis.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Driving record should reflect cautiousness and maturity

Pay & Benefit Info

Lear more about salary and benefits information.


View a list of the minimum requirements.


View a complete list of the disqualifications.

The Modified Academy
The Modified Academy

The SAPD has a Modified Training Academy for current or prior law enforcement officers who have served at least two years of service as a full-time, paid police officer in a patrol function.


Those interested in applying to the SAPD can complete an online application by clicking here. All applications must be submitted for processing. Once we have received your application, Applicant Processing personnel will contact and schedule you to take the San Antonio Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam (SAELLEE), the Physical Ability Test (PAT) and the Video Structured Oral Interview (VSOI). You can expect to test within 4 weeks from the submission of your application. All required documents must be submitted on the day you are scheduled for testing.  

Complete a Physical Ability Test

Current and prospective applicants should be aware that a new Physical Ability Test (PAT) has been implemented. Those currently in the process or applying will be notified by Applicant Processing personnel or at the time of application.

SAPD’s new Physical Ability Test (PAT) takes the form of a job simulation exercise based on the obstacle course at the SAPD Training Academy. The PAT is comprised of two parts. Part I is an obstacle course run which is timed (timed component). It will begin with applicants sitting inside a patrol car and encompasses the following activities:

  • Vehicle Exit
  • Vehicle Load
  • Culvert Crawl
  • Obstacle Jump and Duck
  • Culvert Duck
  • Obstacle Weave
  • Wall Climb
  • Stair Climb
  • Dummy Drag

Applicants must complete Part I (timed component) in 4 minutes and 3 seconds (4:03)

Part II

Part II of the Physical Ability Test (PAT) is untimed (untimed component) and includes a hand gun simulation. Candidates will dry fire using a training gun while keeping their arm steady inside a ring with a 7-inch diameter.

Both parts assess a candidate’s ability to sustain pursuit of a suspect while encountering common obstacles and tasks. For a detailed explanation of the PAT, click here and download this Candidate Preparation Guide.  A video description of the course is available on youtube by clicking here.

The Physical Ability Test (PAT) continues to be a significant obstacle for many applicants. We encourage applicants to train in advance of the actual test and make sure that they can exceed the minimum requirements.  Applicants should also understand that the physical requirements of the police academy will be much more demanding.  The SAPD Academy trains police cadets on a variety of exercises, including push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, running, kettle bell exercises, air squats, lunges, wrestling and boxing.  Police cadets are also expected to run an obstacle course numerous times during the academy.  Preparing yourself physically for academy training will make your academy experience much more enjoyable.

The SAELLEE was designed to determine whether or not candidates possess the minimum competencies required for enrollment in training centers and for employment as sworn law enforcement officers. The SAELLEE will consist of 100 multiple-choice cognitive ability measure and a 150 multiple-choice behavioral-orientation measure. This examination is administered fully online. The publisher of SAELLEE has created a study guide that provides sample questions and strategies to help prepare you for the test. To download the study guide, click here. The publisher of SAELLEE has also created a practice test that contains 50 unique questions consisting entirely of the cognitive ability domain. To download the practice test, click here. Upon completion of the SAELLEE, the test proctor will provide you with your score.

Complete an Oral Interview

Applicants are evaluated with regard to decision making, judgment and reasoning, problem analysis, problem solving, interpersonal skills, public relations skill, community service orientation, oral communication, planning and organizing, composure, conflict resolution, team orientation, decisiveness and thoroughness.

A complete background investigation is conducted into the applicant’s general personal reputation, education, military history (if applicable), driving record, arrest record, drug usage, employment history, special qualifications and skills.

Applicants must be compliant with the suitability factors defined by the City of San Antonio Civil Service Commission. Be sure to view the complete listing of the minimum requirements and a list of the disqualifications for more information. These suitability factors cover the following topics:

  • Personal history and character
  • Employment history
  • Military history
  • Driving record
  • Financial responsibility
  • Criminal activity
  • Drug use

Polygraph examinations are conducted by a licensed polygraph examiner selected by the SAPD. The sole purpose of this examination is to verify the applicant’s truthfulness.

A licensed psychologist or psychiatrist selected by the SAPD must certify applicants. The evaluation will determine if the applicant’s psychological and emotional health is appropriate for the duties and functions of a police officer.

Applicants must be certified by a licensed physician selected by the City of San Antonio. Applicants must be declared physically sound and free from defect, which may adversely affect the performance of the duties of a police officer.

Chief of Police Review and Appointment

Upon successful completion of the application process, the Chief of Police reviews each candidate’s file. Once approved, candidates are then appointed to an academy class with the title of police cadet.



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