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Want to serve your community?

The quality of life influences the quality of your work. The facts are clear: bound by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Redwoods on the other, the City of Santa Cruz is a land of contrasts. Friendly people, sports, art, style, and environmental beauty are assets that pay dividends for a successful career in law enforcement.

If you are people-oriented and have a talent for problem solving, the City of Santa Cruz encourages you to consider a position in law enforcement.  Vision...means intelligent foresight. Do the research, then invest in your future with the City of Santa Cruz Police Department.

Today's public service is in constant evolution, adapting to changing technologies and social trends. We value the ability to accept change and focus on the importance of providing service throughout our community-oriented policing philosophy.

Are you ready for the challenge?

You can serve in a specialty unit!

  • Emergency Services - Tactical Unit, Hostage Negotiations or Dive Team
  • Street Crimes Unit
  • Gang Unit
  • Parks Unit
  • Downtown Unit
  • Traffic/Motors
  • K9 Unit
  • Investigations
  • School Resource Officer

What is the pay?

Police Officer Trainee: $5,560 per month. This is a non-sworn training level classification requiring no prior law enforcement experience. Trainees will be sent to a basic police academy and upon successful completion of the academy will be promoted to the sworn police officer classification.   *Recruitment closed.

Police Officer Academy Graduate: (Academy Graduate $5,948 - $8,369 monthly; Lateral $6,245-$8,369 monthly.) Requires possession of a current academy completion certificate awarded by the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training. A photocopy of your certificate must be attached to your application.  (Note: If you are currently enrolled in an academy, you may apply at this level if you submit a letter from your academy verifying that you have attended the academy for at least 30 days and are in good standing.)  *Continously recruiting (#16-005)

 Police Officer Lateral: $6,245-8,369 per month. Requires possession of a current POST basic law enforcement certificate, issued by the State of California. A photocopy of your certificate must be attached to your application*Continously recruiting (#16-005)

Community Service Officers [Non-Sworn]: $4,063-5,716  *Recruitment closed. 

Police Records Technician [Non-Sworn]: $3,052-$4510  *Recruitment closed.  Click here to learn more about the position.


Getting Started
Recruitment Photo

For Information:

  • Applications are continually accepted for Academy Graduate and Lateral.  See application instructions
  • If a recruitment is not currently being conducted and you wish to be notified of the next test date, submit a Job Interest Form or contact the Human Resources Department at 831-420-5040.

The Police Department encourages you to contact the recruiting section at 831-420-5801 to:

  • Ask questions about the Police Officer position
  • Schedule a ride-along with an officer.   Click here to email your request.
  • Schedule a tour of the Police Department or email your request to the recruiting section.
  • For further information, please contact the City of Santa Cruz Human Resources Department at:
    Human Resources Department
    809 Center Street, Room 6
    Santa Cruz, CA  95060

Office Hours:
Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.