Skip to page body Home The Ontario Plan E-Government Services Departments Public Officials About Ontario

Becoming a Police Officer
for the City of Ontario, California

The following information describes in detail the selection process for becoming a police officer in Ontario.


Police Recruit - Examination and Selection Process:

To qualify for the position of Police Recruit, you must meet the minimum requirements of the position and successfully complete all the phases of the selection process. The phases of the selection process include the following.

1. Online Application

2. Written Examination

3. Physical Agility Test

4. Oral Interview

5. Background investigation and Administrative Interviews

6. Conditional Job Offer

7. Medical and psychological examination

Step One: Online Application:

In order to be considered for a law enforcement position with the Ontario Police Department, applicants must submit an online application in response to current job opportunity listed on the City's website at If a position is not listed on the current job opportunity page, the City is not accepting employment applications for the position at this time. Please refer to the Hiring Process page for additional information regarding the City's application process.

You may receive automated notifications via email regarding future law enforcement opportunities with the Ontario Police by submitting a Job Interest Card. To complete the card, select "law enforcement" from the list of available categories and provide your personal information at the bottom of the page. If a law enforcement position opens with the City of Ontario during the next 12 months, you will receive an email announcing that a related position has opened for recruitment. The email will be your notification that the City is accepting applications for a law enforcement related position. To be considered for the position you must submit an online application by the closing date and time listed on the job opportunity announcement. Please note the City reserves the right to limit the number of applications received.

Applications received in response to a current job opportunity are screened to determine if the applicant meets the minimum requirements of the position, if the minimum requirements are met the applicant is invited to participate in the written examination.

Step Two: Written Examination

The written test is designed for an entry-level peace officer position, requiring no prior law enforcement experience. This test is designed to meet California P.O.S.T. requirements and measures reading and writing skills. To take a sample test go to

The report writing section of the written examination consists of English grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing skills, while the remaining test sections relate to reading comprehension, reasoning ability and observation and memory.

An overall T-Score of 45 is required to pass the written examination.

Step Three: Physical Agility Test (P.A.T.)

This test, which is scored on a pass/fail basis, evaluates candidates on various physical maneuvers. You should be in good physical condition to attempt the physical agility test. It is recommended that you begin a physical training program in order to prepare for the P.A.T. and the demands of police work; however, it is a good idea to check with your physician before starting such a program. The following events comprise the test:
Body Drag

Lift a 165 pound dummy and drag it as quickly as possible for 32 feet (two trials).
Obstacle Course

Run 99 yards going around or over obstacles, such as six-inch by six-inch pylons and a 34-inch saw-horse, which may be cleared by climbing, jumping or vaulting (two trials).
Chain Link Fence Climb

Run five yards, then scale a six-foot chain link fence as quickly as possible, then run an additional 25 yards (two trials).
Solid Fence Climb

Run five yards, scale a solid six-foot wood fence as quickly as possible then run an additional 25 yards. This fence may be scaled in any fashion except by use of the fence supports (two trials).
500 Yard Run

Run 500 yards as quickly as possible on a paved road (one trial).
You should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and athletic shoes for this test. Candidates who pass the P.A.T. are eligible to continue the selection process.

Step Four: Oral Interview

This interview is conducted by a panel from the Police Department, which evaluates your experience and training, problem solving ability, inter-personal skills, communication skills, and interest in the position. Additionally, your employment, educational, criminal and driving history will be evaluated.

Applicants must score at least 70 out of 100 points to pass this examination and be placed on an eligibility list.

Step Five: Background Investigation and Administrative Interviews

You begin the background investigation by completing the Personal History Questionnaire. On this form, you must provide the Department with a detailed summary of your educational, employment, financial, legal, and related histories. The following list describes some areas that are covered in the investigation:
Your relatives, references, and acquaintances are asked to comment on your suitability for a career in law enforcement.
The information supplied regarding your educational history is examined and verified.
You must list a history of your residences.
Your work history and experience are examined with regard to your dependability, relationships with fellow workers, trustworthiness, and general job performance.
Military service records are subject to verification.
The background investigation considers your management of personal finances (however, being in debt does not automatically disqualify you).
Your criminal, driving, and insurance records are evaluated. Felony convictions will be grounds for disqualification from the selection process.
If you have a history of recent or prolonged use of illegal controlled substances (i.e., Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Marijuana, etc.) You may be dismissed from the process.
IMPORTANT! The background investigation is very thorough and time-consuming for both the applicant and the Department. If you have any concerns or questions about events in your past, the Ontario Police Department suggests that you consult with a Department background investigator at (909) 395-2001.

The information provided in your Personal History Questionnaire is verified in a polygraph (lie detector) test. Your fingerprints are also taken by the Department at this time.

During the background investigation process you will participate in Administrative Interviews with Department personnel including the Chief of Police.

Step Six: Conditional Job Offer

Following the successful completion of all prior steps candidates may be made a conditional job offer. Job offers are conditional upon the successful completion of a medical evaluation and psychological examination.

Step Seven: Medical Evaluation and Psychological Examination

Prior to your actual appointment with the Department, you must pass a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation.

The medical exam verifies that you do not have conditions that would physically prevent you from performing all your duties as an officer or that would be susceptible to the stress of the job. Such problems may be a cardiac problem or any ailment that restricts your physical movement.

Because police work requires mental stability and strong moral character, you must pass a series of written psychological tests and an interview before you can be hired. A psychological exam is conducted by a City-contracted psychologist and involves series of tests, which profiles your personality type and evaluates your suitability for a career in law enforcement.
Last updated: 5/3/2012 10:18:37 PM