Hiring Process

Written Examination

Before applying for the Police Officer Recruit and Police Officer Trainee classifications you must first take the written examination, also called the POST Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (Pellet B) Examination. The Modesto Police Department hosts the Pellet B exam three times per month for free at the Modesto Police Department. We require a score of 45 or greater in order to apply. In order to take the Pellet B you must pre-register.  (You do not need to take the Pellet B exam to apply for the Police Officer Lateral position)


To apply for any of our open positions you can visit the City of Modesto Job Listings page. We are continuously hiring for sworn positions which include Police Officer, Police Officer Trainee, and Police Officer Recruit. Be sure to follow all of the instructions and attach any documents required.

Physical Agility Test

The Police Officer Recruit classification requires applicants to pass a Physical Agility Test. After you submit your application on the City of Modesto Job Listings page and you meet all the minimum requirements, you will be invited to a Physical Agility testing date. The test will consist of the POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB), as well as push-ups and sit-ups. For a detailed list of all the requirements read over the entire test description.

Selection Interview

Every sworn and non-sworn classification will require a selection interview. This is a panel style interview in which you will answer several questions to two or three panel members. In order to be successful in the selection interview preparation is important. You can expect in any selection interview to talk about yourself, your qualifications, and what you have done to prepare for the position. Take time to learn about the job you are applying for, as well as information about the Modesto Police Department. While a resume is not required during the application process, this is a good opportunity to present a resume as well. For any more questions or tips for the interview email the Recruitment Team.

Polygraph Examination

All sworn positions and some non-sworn classifications require applicants to participate in a polygraph examination. The Modesto Police Department contracts with two different polygraph companies. We will cover the cost of the polygraph examination. You will be invited to the polygraph after successful completion of the selection interview.

Background Investigation

Every position at the Modesto Police Department requires the successful completion of a comprehensive background investigation. As a law enforcement agency we owe it to our community and department to select candidates of the highest moral and ethical standards. This background investigation will require applicants to fill out a detailed Personal History Statement (PHS) and provide several documents to their investigator. The process is extremely thorough. The Modesto Police Department prides itself on typically completing backgrounds within 30 days, which is much faster than most agencies. Take a look at our “Steps for Success” to answer some of the common background questions. For more information or specific questions email the Recruitment Team.

Chief’s Interview

All sworn position candidates will participate in a Chief’s Interview after successful completion of the background investigation. This will typically consist of interviewing with the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief of Police, and a Police Captain. After a successful interview with the Chief candidates are given a conditional job offer.

Medical Examination

The medical examination consists of a comprehensive physical examination by the City of Modesto Occupational Medicine doctor. Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) offers a detailed list of Medical Requirements. It is our recommendation you review this list of requirements with your personal doctor if you have any concerns.

Psychological Examination

The psychological examination is a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirement for all sworn positions. Candidates will meet with a licensed clinical psychologist contracted with the City of Modesto. For more details regarding the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements feel free to read the Psychological Screening Manual provided on the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) website.

Final Offer

After successful completion of each step in the process candidates will receive a “Final Offer” from the City of Modesto. While the process may seem difficult, we often will have the entire process completed in three months. We take pride in those we hire, and take pride in the hiring process. If you have any questions regarding the process for any job classification contact the Recruitment Team.