8274 - Police Cadet

Recruitment #TEX-8274-063532



CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

8274 – Police Cadet 

 San Francisco Police Department

*Amended to reflect changes in Background Selection Procedures (January 23, 2015) and Employment Type (February 29, 2016).

Please note: applications for this recruitment process will be accepted on a continuous basis and may close at anytime. Interested candidates are encouraged to immediately apply.


Appointment Type:

These positions are excluded by the City Charter Section 10.104.18 from the competitive civil service examination process. Exempt employees are considered “at-will” and serve at the discretion of the appointing officer.


The San Francisco Police Department was established in 1849 and continually strives to become a more effective, inclusive and modern police department, while earning the trust and pride of those we serve and those who serve.  Our goal is to reflect on current SFPD initiatives, assess best practices across the country, and evaluate the changing environment in policing and within the City to arrive at a strategy statement that the Department and our community can embody every day.  


The San Francisco Police Department stands for Safety and Respect for All.  We will engage in just transparent unbiased and responsive policing. We will do so in the spirit of dignity and in collaboration with the community. And we will maintain and build trust and respect as the guardians of Constitutional and human rights.  


The San Francisco Police Department is committed to excellence in law enforcement and is dedicated to the people, traditions and diversity of our City. The department provides service with understanding, response with compassion, performance with integrity and law enforcement with vision. The department has grown into a nationally known police department providing law enforcement services to one of the most recognized cities in the United States.


The San Francisco Police Department Cadet program is designed to provide a service for the City of San Francisco, the Police Department and the Community that it serves. A Police Cadet is considered a future leader in the community. The goals of the Police Cadet program are to expose men and women to the various aspects of police work in order to prepare them for a career in law enforcement. The Police Cadet program helps to provide quality candidates for all law enforcement related positions including, but not limited to: Police Officer, Community Police Services Aide or 911 Dispatcher.

A structured program has been established to promote Police Cadets duties and responsibilities. The Police Cadet expectations are high morals, excelling academically, using good judgment, and being active in the community. Police Cadets provide assistance to the San Francisco Police Department and act as a liaison between the police and youth in our community.

General Position Description:

Under direct supervision of a sworn member, performs a variety of civilian field and office law enforcement duties in direct support of safety and non-safety personnel to include but not limited to: 


  • Operating and monitoring walk through magnetometers and package scanners;
  • Assisting with security and screening at Police Headquarters;
  • Deal with the public in a respectful and courteous manner;
  • Learn, understand and apply applicable police department rules, regulations, instructions, laws,  ordinances, policies, practices and methods;
  • Assist with various investigative units as needed;
  • Monitor walk-through metal detectors and video surveillance equipment in building security assignments;
  • Search handbags, briefcases, backpacks and other containers;
  • Provide directions and other information to persons entering public buildings;
  • Provide first aid and CPR in case of life threatening emergencies;
  • Performs traffic and pedestrian control as directed;
  • Participates in crime prevention activities such as neighborhood watch meetings, school and community group presentations, and Police Department building tours;
  • Maintains records and retrieves information;
  • Attends weekend and/or evening training sessions;
  • Perform clerical duties such as ordering, receiving and distributing supplies, processing mail, preparing reports, indexing and filing criminal records and correspondences;
  • May direct and control traffic;
  • Performs other related duties and responsibilities not requiring Peace Officer powers.   

Cadet Rotations and Training Assignments:  

  • Public Safety Building
  • District Station
  • Record Destruction
  • Field Operations Bureau
  • Evidence
  • Investigations
  • Police Academy
  • Records
  • Traffic
  • Physical & Defensive Tactics
  • Physical exercise and obstacle course
  • Other Duties and Assignments as needed  

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Learn the organization and functions of a Police Department
  • Techniques for courteously dealing with the public in a tactful, but firm, manner
  • Communicate orally with people of diverse education, social and ethnic backgrounds
  • Learn, understand and apply applicable police department rules, regulations, instructions, laws, ordinances, policies, practices and methods
  • Work courteously with the general public on the telephone and in person
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions
  • Walk and/or stand for long periods of time
  • Understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work. 

Minimum Qualifications


1.     Possess a high school diploma, GED, or equivalency

2.     Currently enrolled in an accredited college or university and taking a minimum of 12 semester/18 quarter units toward earning a degree while maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.



3. Possess a valid driver's license.  



Candidates may apply at 17 years of age but will not be appointed until 18 years of age.



U.S. citizenship at the time of appointment


Criminal History:

No felony convictions;

No conviction of offenses involving domestic violence;

No conviction of any misdemeanors that carries a penalty of prohibiting ownership, possession or

control of a firearm; or

No restriction from employment with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”. Follow instructions on the screen

In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice. As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).


Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.


Applicants MUST:

  1. Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire located within the application:
    1. Please share why you are interested in becoming a Police Cadet and how you believe you will contribute to and benefit from the program. (500 word minimum)
  2. Attach PDF copy of your most recent Report Card/College Transcript (GPA);
  3. Attach PDF copies of two (2) Letters of Recommendation.  


Your reference letters may come from either someone senior to you such as a direct supervisor from a summer part-time, or internship position. Alternately, you may ask someone who managed you in an extracurricular, research, volunteer, or community activity (i.e., someone who has evaluated or supervised your work) or from a peer (i.e., someone with whom you’ve interacted as an equal). These references must come from someone at work or outside of work and should include your professional, community, or extracurricular experiences. We recognize that your background and experiences vary, so we give you the option of choosing the persons who can best represent your potential impact and involvement with our Police Cadet program.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.  

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Danielle Poole, by telephone at (415) 837-7382, or by email at SFPDHR@sfgov.org .  Resumes may be attached to the application; however, resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

Selection Procedures

Applications and resumes will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidate’s qualifications. Only those most qualified will be invited to an interview. Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee advancement in the selection process. Applicants will undergo a comprehensive selection process. Top ranking candidates will be referred to the Chief of Police for his final selections.

Background Investigation:

Prior to employment with the San Francisco Police Department, a thorough background investigation will be conducted to determine the candidate’s suitability for employment. The investigation may include, but not be limited to: criminal history records, driving records, drug/alcohol screening, and other related employment and personal history records. Reasons for rejection may include use of controlled substances and alcohol, felony conviction, repeated or serious violations of the law, inability to work with co-workers, inability to accept supervision, inability to follow rules and regulations or other relevant factors. Candidates may be required to undergo drug/alcohol screening, and must clear Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprinting. Criminal records will be carefully reviewed; candidates who do not report their complete criminal records on their applications will be disqualified. Applicants will be fingerprinted. 

*Assignments at Evidence and Investigations may require additional background screening that may include, but not limited to: psychological and polygraph examination.


The position of Police Cadet is a continuous open application process. A screening process which involves a preliminary background check is conducted on all candidates. Those qualified will go before an oral interview board. Candidates should dress in business attire for this interview. Candidates wearing t-shirts, shorts, tank-tops, etc. will be turned away. Those that are selected to advance after the oral interviews will move on to the background investigation process.

Background Investigation Process:

Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) Evaluation

The PHQ evaluation is a survey in a multiple-choice format, which solicits information regarding each applicant’s background and criminal history. The PHQ identifies those candidates who appear most likely to pass the full background investigation.

Employment, Character, and Background Investigation

The employment, character, and background investigation consists of a thorough study of the candidate's history prior to appointment to determine fitness for this employment. Reasons for rejection include use of controlled substances, felony convictions, repeated or serious violations of the law, inability to work cooperatively with co-workers, inability to accept supervision, moral character (integrity), safe driving practices, confronting and overcoming problems, omissions of information or incomplete documents, decision making and judgment, personal accountability and responsibility, work habits, truthfulness, cooperating with the investigation process or other relevant factors.

Review of Judicial and Driving Records

A review of judicial and driving records will be conducted for all candidates. Candidates must give a full and complete listing of all motor vehicle violations on their background forms. Driving records will be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Any significant discrepancy between the candidate's statement and Department of Motor Vehicles records will be cause for disqualification. The following misdemeanor violations may be cause for rejection if they occurred within the past three years immediately prior to the date of application and extending to the time of appointment: drunk driving; reckless driving; hit and run with personal injury or hit and run with property damage; other violation(s) indicating individual disregard for safe vehicle operation. Candidates who incur negligent operator probation or license suspension at any time within one year prior to the date of application will be disqualified. The same is true for candidates who incur license suspension or operator probation at any time from the date of application to the date of appointment. Two moving violation convictions in the last 24 months or three moving violation convictions in the last 36 months from the date of application may be cause for rejection.

Polygraph Examination

A polygraph examination will be used to verify the veracity and accuracy of information submitted by candidates regarding, but not necessarily limited to: use of controlled substances; driving, criminal, medical and employment history; and other job-related factors.

Testing for Use of Controlled Substances

Testing for use of controlled substances is required. Any use of controlled substances after the date of application may be cause for rejection; rejection is mandatory for illegal use. Rejection for prior use of controlled substance(s) is based on the type of substance(s) used and the frequency and recency of such usage. All information submitted by candidates regarding the use of controlled substances will be reviewed during the polygraph examination.

Psychological Examination

The psychological examination consists of written tests and a clinical interview to determine the candidate's fitness and suitability for police work.

Medical Examination

The medical examination consists of a rigorous medical screening and is currently provided by Occupational Health Services at San Francisco General Hospital. Each candidate will be individually evaluated and any current or past medical condition that is likely to compromise the candidate's ability to perform the essential functions of the position may be cause for rejection. Height and weight guidelines will be strictly enforced. The Police Department Physician will evaluate the results of the initial medical examination to determine the candidate's fitness for employment as a Police Officer. The medical examination includes the taking of blood and urine samples.

Vision Testing

Vision testing is required prior to appointment. If correction is necessary, corrective lenses must be available at the time of the test. While each situation will be evaluated on an individual basis, all candidates must have a visual acuity of 20/30 either unaided or corrected by eyeglasses or contact lenses. Vision testing will be done using binocular vision only. If eyeglasses or hard contact lenses are worn, uncorrected binocular vision must be at least 20/100. If soft contact lenses are worn, there is no limitation on the uncorrected vision, provided the wearer has successfully worn these soft lenses for at least six months. All candidates must have entirely full visual fields and must achieve a passing score on a color vision test. Color vision deficiencies may be cause for rejection. Hearing Testing Hearing testing is also required. Loss of hearing may be disqualifying. The uncorrected auditory threshold for each ear in the frequencies of 500 to 600 Hz should be 25 db or less.


1. If and after passing the background check, new members will be placed on a temporary exempt status. During the initial six (6) months the Cadet will be monitored by the Police Cadet Coordinator and Police Cadet Lieutenant/Sergeant(s). At the end of the initial six (6) month period a decision will be made to whether the new Cadet is suited for the program or not.

2. There will be a uniform inspection periodically. Cadets WILL be prepared to wear uniforms to any function, unless told otherwise by an Advisor.

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates applying for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates applying for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


1. Reasonable Accommodation Request: Applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation for this process must contact the ADA Coordinator, Penny Si by phone at 1(415) 837-7221 or if hearing impaired, (415) 575-6082 (TTY), or in writing at San Francisco Police Headquarters, Staff Services Division, Attn: Penny Si, ADA Coordinator (1446 – Secretary 2), 1245 - 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94158 as soon as possible. Information on requesting reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities can be found at: http://www.sfgov.org/site/sfdhr_page.asp?id=46205#applicants_with_disabilities.

2. Verification of education and experience needed to meet the minimum qualifications may be required at a later time. If verification is requested, a copy of a diploma or transcripts must be submitted to verify education. Verification of experience must be on the employer's letterhead and must show the name of the applicant, job title(s), duties, dates of service and must be signed by the employer. The City and County of San Francisco reserves the right to eliminate from consideration any applicant who does not meet the minimum qualifications at any point in the selection process.

3. All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

4. Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

5. Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Micki  Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Issued: November 19, 2014
ID Number: TEX-8274-063532
DP  (415) 837-7382

Minorities, women and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The City is an equal opportunity employer.


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet.
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.

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