Background Investigation Process

Magnifying GlassThe Background Investigation Process begins upon successful passing of the testing process. You will be given instruction to complete your Personal History Statement (PHS), otherwise known as your background packet. Once you complete your PHS you will then be assigned a Background Investigator. The San Jose Police Department Background Investigation Unit is committed to providing our community with the highest quality of police department employees. Our goal is to employ a work force comprised of individuals who are committed to excellence and have the highest standard of ethics.

It is imperative that all information an applicant provides is truthful and accurate. Omission of facts is considered to be untruthful. Any measurement short of this falls below our standard and can be grounds for disqualification.

A background inquiry can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Driving history
  • Landlords
  • Education transcripts
  • Roommates
  • Friends and family references
  • Other acquaintances
  • Current and past employers
  • Immigration / Nationalization
  • Credit
  • Military
  • Past relationships
  • Polygraph Interview
  • Criminal history both adult and juvenile

During the course of your background inquiry it will be necessary to complete a psychological assessment of your suitability to work as a police officer. Once your background inquiry is complete, it will then be reviewed by the hiring board for employment selection. Those selected will be given a conditional offer of employment contingent upon successfully passing the city medical exam. Successful completion of the city medical exam, applicants will be given notice of their start day to begin the San Jose Police Academy.

If you have questions about background issues or PHQ results, please call the Background Investigation Unit at 408-277-4131.

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.