Police Officer Selection Process

Applicants that meet the minimum qualifications will be evaluated in the following phases:

Physical Fitness (PT) Test

The PT tests are designed to measure cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Fitness Instructors from the Sierra Vista Police Department administer these tests. The PT test is normally administered in the morning on the same day as the written exam. Physical Fitness Standards are listed below. The Cooper’s Fitness test is given to applicants who do not possess valid AZ POST Peace Officer certification. Those physical fitness standards are listed below.  Applicants who possess valid AZ POST Peace Officer certification will be administered the Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT). Information on that test is also listed below.

If an applicant passes the PT test, they will proceed to the written examination that same day.  Passing test results are valid for six (6) months from the date of the test.  If the applicant is chosen for employment more than six (6) months from the date of the test, the applicant will then be required to retake, and pass, the PT test prior to being hired.

If an applicant fails the PT test , they will not proceed to the written examinations that same day.  The applicant can then re-apply, and retake, the PT test at the next testing date.  Any applicant failing two (2) consecutive PT tests must wait six (6) months from the date of the last failure to re-apply for the position.

Written Examination

The Police Recruiter will administer the written examinations.  Passing test results are valid for six (6) months.  Any applicant failing two (2) consecutive written examinations must wait six (6) months from the date of the last failure to re-apply for the position.  There is a study guide available that can be ordered by the applicant if desired.  Please go to this link to purchase the “Entry Level Police” study guide: http://www.publicsafetycompass.com/study. There may also be study guides available to check out at the Sierra Vista Library.

Oral Board

The applicant’s file is reviewed by our Patrol Commander.  If approved to move forward, the applicant will be scheduled for an oral board interview.  The oral board consists of standardized and job related questions to determine an applicant’s verbal communication skills, customer service skills, and overall adaptability and motivation for the position of police officer.

Background Investigation

The investigation will be a thorough check of the applicant’s background to include: criminal history, financial history, employment history, education, and personal data. Applicants will be required to submit a complete background questionnaire and certified documents to assist in the investigation.

Polygraph Examination

Applicants will be given a polygraph examination to confirm information obtained during background. The areas covered will be provided to the applicant.

Interim Review

Once the applicant’s background investigation is complete and the polygraph examination results are received, the applicant’s file is then reviewed by the Command Staff.   If the applicant is chosen to proceed, they will be given a conditional offer of employment at that time and the hiring process continues.  At the Department’s discretion, the file may be reviewed prior to completion of the background investigation and/or before a polygraph examination is scheduled.

Psychological Examination

The psychological examination will involve written tests and interview with a certified police psychologist. The psychological examination is conducted along with the medical exams after a conditional offer of employment.

Drug Screening

All applicants that have received conditional offers of employment will be required to submit to a controlled substance screening.

Medical Examination

Applicants will undergo a complete medical examination given by an AZ POST certified physician.

Final Review

The Command Staff will review the entire applicant packet in order to make a recommendation to the Chief of Police. They may recommend a contingent offer be withdrawn, eligibility list, or final appointment. They will appoint the best applicant to the position as several applicants may be competing for the same position. The remaining successful applicants will be placed on the eligibility list for a period of one year, for the next anticipated openings.

Cooper’s Fitness Test – Physical Fitness Standards

SIT-UPS* – minimum standards listed. Click here for a video of a proper sit-up. Improperly performed sit-ups will not be counted.

20-29 38 32
30-39 35 25
40-49 29 20
50-59 24 14

PUSH-UPS* – minimum standards listed. Click here for a video of a proper push-up. Improperly performed push-ups will not be counted.

20-29 29 15
30-39 24 11
40-49 18 9
50-59 13 4

1.5 MILE RUN*- maximum time allotment listed

20-29 12:51 15:26
30-39 13:36 15:57
40-49 14:29 16:58
50-59 15:26 17:54

FLEXIBILITY – with your legs flat out in front of you and your feet placed against a box, the extent of your reach over the box is measured. The measurement starts at 15″.

20-29 16.5″ 19.25″
30-39 15.5″ 18.25″
40-49 14.25″ 17.25″
50-59 13.25″ 16.75″

All events are pass or fail. Performance levels are at the 40th percentile for each age and sex group.

*Sit-ups are a one minute timed event. Push-ups are not a timed event.  Sierra Vista is at a 4,600-foot elevation, which can affect performance for those accustomed to lower elevations. This can be compensated for by training on hills and for longer distances. Applicants are encouraged to perform to their maximum effort in all events.

Peace Officer Physical Agility Test (POPAT)

1. 99-Yard Obstacle Course – Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb height obstacles, and a 34-inch high obstacle that must be vaulted.
2. Body Drag – Lift and drag 165-pound, life-like dummy 32 feet.
3. Chain Link Fence – Run 5 yards to a 6-foot, chain-link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards.
4. Solid Fence Climb – Run 5 yards to a 6-foot solid fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards.
5. 500-Yard Run – Run 500 yards (equivalent to one lap plus 60 yards of a standard running track).

Each segment of the POPAT is administered at a separate test station. All tests are timed. With the exception of the 500-Yard Run, each test is administered twice and the time for the fastest trial is used as the applicant’s score.

POPAT Scoring Procedures

Because an applicant’s total test performance is the best indication of his/her overall ability to perform the physical demands of the job, scores on the individual tests of the POPAT are combined to arrive at a total test score for each applicant. Scoring the tests in this manner, as opposed to scoring each individual test on a pass/fail basis, allows applicants to compensate for performing less than optimally on one test by performing extremely well on other tests.

Minimum Standard

A minimum score of 384 points must be obtained to demonstrate sufficient physical ability to perform as a patrol officer. For more detailed  information on the POPAT, go to this link: https://post.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/POPAT%20Section%20of%20Rules%2007%20web.pdf.