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
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Driving record should reflect cautiousness and maturity
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. Once we receive your application and you have submitted all the required documents you will be contacted to schedule the Physical Ability Test, Computer Examination and the Structured Oral Interview. NOTE: Without submitting all the required documents within 21 calendar days your application will be rejected.
SAPD’s 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
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. Click here to download a Candidate Preparation Guide.
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.
We want to see you succeed and by understanding what you need to do to prepare for the academy will help you to reach your graduation goals!
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.
Do you want to improve your chances of being better prepared for the SAPD Training Academy? Come workout with Academy Instructors for our PT Readiness Program. Our instructors will give you insight into the training so you better understand the demand of the academy. You can also expect to connect with fellow applicants and become acclimated to the facility. View our PT Readiness Events here.
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
The SOI is a job interview that is videotaped and rated by a panel of assessors who are trained to rate the job-related skills and abilities of each candidate. The questions asked in the SOI and the criteria used to assess performance are based on an analysis of the skills, abilities and other characteristics needed to be successful on the job. Questions are situational in nature and ask candidates how they have handled particular job-related problems in the past or how they would handle such problems in the future.
Areas of Measurement
The areas of measurement that will be included in this oral interview were chosen based on the results of a job analysis and review that was conducted by various law enforcement agencies.
Conflict Resolution: Working with individuals to identify problems, identify solutions and negotiate mutually acceptable outcomes. Also, working with opposing sides to make good faith efforts to pursue solutions and honor agreements.
Community Relations/Public Relations: Identifying the needs and concerns of others and making a concerted effort to deliver services that address those needs and concerns. Understanding the manner in which the organization needs to be presented to the community at large and making necessary efforts to work with the public while protecting the integrity of the organization.
Honesty and Integrity: Ability to act in an honest and fair manner. Willingness to accept responsibility for actions when things go wrong. Ability to display a high degree of integrity and professionalism in action and word.
Judgment: Processing contextual information and known objectives while weighing various options and their respective outcomes, in order to arrive at a solution that yields the greatest benefit with the least risk.
Oral Communication: Ability to speak in a clear, concise, understandable and appropriate manner. Ability to deliver a message in such a way that others clearly understand the meaning of an intended message. Using language and non-verbals effectively to engage a group and clearly communicate a message in a formal or semi-formal presentation setting.
Planning and Organization: Outlining a step-by-step method for addressing challenges of various degrees of complexity for oneself and others. Managing one’s time to accomplish items of highest priority while leaving sufficient time to address other less critical items. Maintaining order and clear systems and structures that facilitate the efficient completion of tasks for oneself and others.
Problem Analysis/Problem-Solving Skills: The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem and identifying the extent of the problem. The ability to identify a solution or corrective action and use available information and resources to solve problems. Often, information is gathered through critical analysis and investigation.
Reasoning: The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense (deductive) and the ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (inductive).
Relationship/Team Building: Interacting with others in a pleasant and comfortable manner so as to build trust and rapport. The ability to encourage collaboration and put the right people together to create the most productive teams.
Teamwork Orientation: Effectively working with others to accomplish mutual goals. Ability to rely on others to assist with a task, working interdependently to accomplish the goal.
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.
*All classes are subject to change without notice*
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