FAQ's

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How long is the background process?
The length of the background investigation varies depending on the individual, but California residents will complete the process in fewer than 4 weeks.

Do you accept police officer/deputy sheriff lateral transfers?
Yes, if you are currently employed as a police officer or deputy sheriff with another law enforcement agency, meet the minimum qualifications required of all CMPD officers, and possess a Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate. The testing and selection processes are the same as those for police recruit/academy graduate/police reserve positions.

Are additional points given during the testing process for military experience?
No, but your experience will be included in your background file for review during the selection process.

Will I have to live at the academy?
No. Academy hours are generally 0645-1700 with weekends and holidays off.

Will I be paid while attending the academy?
Yes. Police recruits attending the academy are paid $26.56 per hour based on a 40-hour workweek. In addition, the police department pays for all required uniforms and equipment.

How long does it take to get promoted to a supervisory position?
Candidacy for promotion is determined by years of experience, education, and performance evaluations. Each area is assigned a point scale, and an officer’s combined score is used in placement on the promotion list.

Do I have to live in Orange County to become a Costa Mesa police officer?
No, but all officers need to be California residents.

Do I have to be a United States citizen to become a Costa Mesa police officer?
Yes. The law requires police officers to be U.S. citizens at the time of appointment. CMPD allows permanent resident aliens who are eligible and who have applied for citizenship to test for police officer positions.

Do you offer tuition reimbursement?
Yes. The City of Costa Mesa offers maximum tuition reimbursement of $625 per semester, $1,250 per school year.

Is police work dangerous?
Police officers go out in the community every day to assist those in need. Because of its non-routine nature, police work comes with its share of possible dangers. CMPD does its best to ensure officer safety by providing the best training available, with officer and public safety as the top priorities.

Is the physical training portion of the academy going to be too difficult?
The key to success in the physical training portion of the academy is to go in prepared and physically fit. Prior to academy training, the Training Bureau will advise you of your personal areas that need strengthening and what exercises to perform. Because women tend to have more difficulties with the academy’s upper body strength training, a strict exercise regimen is recommended in advance, including pull-ups, push-ups, and weight training in the chest and shoulder areas. Running is also crucial to academy physical training. Run frequently in preparation for the academy, starting at a comfortable pace and building up until you can run 2 to 3 miles in 20 to 27 minutes. Set goals for yourself!

Are women accepted well in law enforcement?
Women are an integral part of the CMPD team. Female officers are respected by their peers and the public alike, and serve as role models for young women in the community. The law enforcement community has evolved to realize that strength is not always the most important skill in policing. Women have advantages in some situations, such as the calming effect female officers are known to have on potentially violent offenders.