For anyone that has ever worked for a law enforcement agency, they know that one of the necessary “evils” of applying for any job with a police department is the dreaded background investigation. Applicants are often intimidated and scared of the whole background process and often times these unnecessary fears lead to the omission of certain items that may not have been that big of a deal if they had just been listed in the background documents. The background process with the Oxnard Police Department is a straightforward process that is aimed at identifying the best candidates for each position.
Candidates for the position of Entry Level Police Officer (Public Safety Trainee) are first asked to complete a “Pre-Employment Questionnaire.” This is a 7-page document that gives us a snapshot of the candidate’s work history, education, drug and alcohol use, past criminal activity, and other items of interest. This document is used as a screening tool for the Department and allows us to identify those candidates that we wish to have continue in the background process. Those candidates that successfully pass that portion of the process are then asked to complete a P.O.S.T. Personal History Statement (PHS). This is a 30+ page document that asks candidates to provide detailed information on a wide range of areas in their life. This completed PHS is then given to a background investigator who conducts a 6-8 week investigation into all of the areas identified in the PHS. Candidates should expect to have their friends, family members, and neighbors contacted during this process (To view a copy of the PHS, please go to http://www.post.ca.gov/forms/2-251-phsPeaceOfficers.doc).
Upon the successful completion of the background investigation, the final phase of the background process is a polygraph examination. A licensed polygrapher will conduct an examination of each applicant which will include the review of various items in the background investigation. These polygraph examiners are highly-skilled and very knowledgable in the use of counter-measures by candidates to defeat polygraph examinations so candidates should not be deceptive in any manner during the examination. Upon successful completion of the polygraph examination, candidates will have successfully passed the background process and move one step closer to becoming an Oxnard Police Officer.
The areas in which candidates are most often disqualified from the application process are: Deception, Excessive Drug use, Poor Driving Record, and Past Criminal Behavior. While none of the latter three are automatic disqualifiers, Deception will always get you disqualified from the process. We encourage all candidates to be honest throughout the process. We would much rather be able to investigate and discuss a sensitive matter with a candidate than discover that they attempted to hide it or lie about it. There is zero tolerance for lying!!!
We encourage anyone interested in a career in law enforcement to apply for any of the various positions within the Oxnard Police Department. Please don’t ever let the fear of a background process hold you back. We work with all of the candidates to make it as painless and easy as possible.