Lateral/ Direct Entry/San Jose Reserve Applicant

Lateral/Direct entry applicants are those with police/peace officer experience or have graduated from a California police academy in the last two years.  The San Jose Police Department does not accept out-of-state lateral police officer transfers or federal law enforcement transfers who have completed the California P.O.S.T .Basic Course Waiver. All law enforcement officers wishing to transfer from out-of-state or from a federal law enforcement agency must apply as police recruit applicant and then attend the San Jose Police Academy.

Applicants who graduated from a California police academy within the last six (6) months will be processed as direct entry applicants. Applications from candidates who graduated from a California police academy more than six (6) months before the application is submitted will be reviewed and categorized as direct entry or recruit on a case by case basis. The San Jose Police Department reserves the right to ask any direct entry applicant to attend and successfully complete the San Jose Police Academy as a police recruit. 


You must meet the following qualifications.  If you meet them, move on to step #2.

  • Currently employed as a California Law Enforcement Officer with a CA Basic P.O.S.T. certificate OR
  • Possess a California P.O.S.T. Academy graduation certificate within the last
    SIX months OR
  • Currently an active San Jose Police Department Reserve Officer
  • Must be 21 years old and not older than age 70
  • Must possess a valid California driver's license
  • Must possess a U.S. high school diploma or general education diploma (GED)
  • Must have completed at least 60 semester college credits or 90 quarter college credits from an accredited college or university. Click here for more information on accredited institutions accepted.  
  • Must possess U.S. Citizenship or permanent resident alien who has applied for citizenship
  • Must have at least 20/40 uncorrected vision.  View our vision requirements.
  • Cannot have any felony, domestic violence, misdemeanor assault convictions or currently be on parole or probation.

STEP #2  APPLICATION:  If you meet the qualifications,  click here to apply - Police Lateral/Direct Entry Application.


We will review your application.  Once accepted, we will direct you to schedule the California P.O.S.T. WSTB (physical agility exam) and 1.5 mile run. Please note that the San Jose Police Department DOES NOT administer these tests. To move forward to the next step, you must:

  • Successfully complete the California P.O.S.T. physical agility test also known as the Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) with a score of 384 or higher.
  • Successfully complete the 1.5 mile run in 14 minutes or less
  • We accept California P.O.S.T. “T-scores” and 1.5 mile completion from other agencies, if it has been taken within the last year of when you submitted your SJPD application.  It will be the applicant’s responsibility to submit proof for verification of his/her results. Verification must be on an agency letterhead where the test was administered and list the test date, type of test administer and your results.  Please note that agencies vary in their physical agility testing and we can only accept those that are referred to as “WSTB.”
  • Once you receive your test results you will submit them to us to verify you’ve met the minimum requirements to move on to the next step.

STEP #4 Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ):

The PHQ is a pre-screen questionnaire about you.   Upon receiving and acceptance of test results, we will email you the website address to take the on-line PHQ.  We receive your results of your PHQ generally seven business days after you complete it.  After passing the PHQ we will schedule you for your Oral Board Exam.  Those screened-out from the PHQ may discuss the matter with a Backgrounds Unit Investigator by calling 408-277-4131.

STEP #5 Oral Board Exam:

The Oral Board Exam is a panel interview of five to eight questions not necessarily police related.  Applicants who successfully complete the Oral Board Exam will be placed on an eligibility list for the Background Inquiry Process.  Those selected to the Background Inquiry Process will be notified approximately two to three weeks after the last Oral Board Exam of the testing cycle.

For those moving forward will then begin the Background Inquiry Process.

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