top of page



Apply below to get the invitation and location information.




Submit your application online through the City of Santa Barbara website.


Written Exam (Requires a passing score of "45" on the CA Post PELLETB Exam within the last 6 months):


If your application meets the minimum requirements, you will be invited to take a written exam.  The Santa Barbara Police Department currently uses what is known as the PELLETB- POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery.


More information on the PELLETB exam and a link to a study guide can be found on POST's website.



Personal History Statement:


You will be asked to submit a Personnel History Statement (PHS) by the City Human Resources Department.                                              The button below will take you to the POST Personal History Statement, which will need to be completed and submitted prior to day of the written test. If your PHS meets the minimum standards and POST Dimension criteria, you would be contacted to set up an oral board interview. 



Oral Board:


If you pass the written exam and your PHS meets minimum State requirements, you will be invited to take part in an oral board interview.  The oral board is typically one of the more challenging parts of our application process.  Preparation for the interview is key to passing.  The oral board interview is a panel style interview consisting of approximately 10-15 questions.  The oral board panel is typically made up of 3-4 SBPD Sergeants and/or Lieutenants and a Community member.  Average interviews last 35-40 minutes.  Generally, questions are related to the follow areas:

  1. Your interest in the law enforcement profession.

  2. Scenario based (What would you do if…..?)


The following are sample oral board questions:


  1. Please tell the panel about yourself and why you are interested in a career in law enforcement?

  2. You are shopping at a convenience store, when you observe someone stealing merchandise.  In detail, please explain what you would do?


Physical Agility Testing:

Applicants who successfully pass the oral board are invited to our Physical Agility testing, which is done a week or two after the oral boards. The Physical Agility testing/times are the minimum standard of physical fitness for applicants.  The following is the requirements for passing and done in the listed order. 

  1. 500 yard run: 1 minute 55 seconds to complete- Pass/Fail

  2. Sprint and 165 LB dummy drag: Under 35 seconds to complete -Pass/Fail

  3. 6 foot solid wall and sprint: Under 35 seconds to complete-Attempted/Achieved (Not Graded) 

  4. Max push-ups in 1 Min.-(Not Graded)

* Applicants who successfully pass the physical agility testing, are asked to complete a live scan fingerprint verification at the Santa Barbara Police Station Lobby following the completion at the testing location.  Immediately following the fingerprint verification, applicants will meet privately with a Department Hiring Team Sergeant to review the previously submitted personal history statement.  Upon completing the PHS review, applicants are selected to be placed into the background selection process. 

Background Investigation:


The background process typically takes about two months.  During the background process, an investigator will be assigned to follow up on your PHS.  You will also be scheduled for a polygraph examination after having met with the background investigator. 


Chief’s Interview:


Once your background investigation is completed, a determination will be made as to whether or not you will continue in the process.  If you do continue, you will be scheduled for an interview with the Chief of Police.  Often times, the Chief will have staff members also sit in on the interview.  During the Chief’s interview, you can expect to be asked another series of questions related to your desire to enter the law enforcement profession. 


Conditional Job Offer:


If you successfully pass your Chief’s interview, you will be given a conditional job offer.  This job offer will be contingent on you passing both a medical and psychological evaluation.


You're Conditionally Hired:


Once you pass the medical and psychological evaluations, you will be given a "Final" job offer.  


bottom of page