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The LAPDonline.org® website has made reasonable efforts to provide an accurate translation. However, no automated or computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace human or traditional translation methods. The official text is the English version of the LAPDonline.org® website. If any questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information presented by the translated version of the website, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

I Want to Know
1) What is the Chief like?

Chief Beck is the people’s Chief.  His focus is to have an open line of communication with the rank and file members of the Department as well as the diverse communities of the City.  Chief Beck believes that this approach will help him gain a better understanding of the views and opinions of how the LAPD can better protect and serve all people.  His message is simple: “Cops count, community counts, character counts, do the right thing and you can be the difference.”  The Chief’s goals and objectives by which he holds himself and the Department accountable are; Constitutional Policing; Crime Reduction; Prevention of Terrorist Incidents; Maintaining the Personnel Strength of the Department; and Employee Wellness.  A 32 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Beck has worked in numerous assignments and areas of the City.  He is very approachable and easy to talk to.  Walking into his office you will notice his display of motocross pictures, helmets and medals which he has won while competing in various state, national and international competitions.  Chief Beck will be the first to tell you his blood runs LAPD Blue.  His father retired as an LAPD Deputy Chief, his sister was a LAPD detective and his wife was a narcotics canine handler for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.  Chief Beck is the proud father of three adult children, two of whom are LAPD Officers.

2) Who is the Chief’s boss?

The Chief of Police (COP) is the highest-ranking officer in the Police Department. As a General Manager of the Police Department, the COP is responsible for the planning, efficient administration and operation of the Police Department under the authority of the Board of Police Commissioners.

3 How do you become Chief?

The Chief of Police (COP) is generally selected from within the ranks of Deputy Police Chief and should have a college degree and at least 12 years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience. The COP is appointed by the Mayor and is subject to the approval of the Police Commission and the City Council. The COP can serve a maximum of two five-year terms.

4) What kind of guns do officers use?

LAPD Officers are authorized to use, as their on duty primary weapon,


92F, 92FS, 92FS-Stainless Steel, 8045 (4” barrel)

Smith & Wesson:

459, 5904, 5903, 659, 5906, 645, 4506, 4566, 4567, 5903 TSW, 5906 TSW, 4569 TSW, and 4566 TSW.


9mm: Model 34, magazine capacity 17
Model 17, magazine capacity 17
Model 19, magazine capacity 15

.40 caliber: Model 35, magazine capacity 15
Model 22, magazine capacity 15
Model 23, magazine capacity 13

.45 caliber: Model 21, magazine capacity 13

5) Do celebrities receive special treatment?

No, celebrities do not get special treatment. They go through the same booking and arrest process as everyone else.

6) How do you become an officer?

The selection process is started by completing an on-line Preliminary Background Application (PBA) and Job Preview Questionnaire (JPQ). The Personal Qualifications Essay is administered at the written test sites. Written test sessions are offered five times each week, at five different locations throughout the City, as well as at frequent special testing events throughout the year. You do not need to call in advance to schedule testing. Just show up! No application is required, but you must bring your PBA and JPQ results with you to the test.

If you have any questions regarding LAPD police officer recruiting, or taking the test, you can call or e-mail an LAPD recruitment at 866-444-LAPD (866-444-5273) or joinlapd@lapd.lacity.org

7) What is involved in a background check?

The Background Investigation begins with completion of a Personal History Form (which requires compilation of extensive biographical information), completion of additional questionnaires, fingerprinting, and an interview with a background investigator. If you meet the City’s standards, a thorough background investigation will be conducted. It will include checks of employment, police, financial, education, and military records and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. Plain talk about this test part: Be honest. Be thoughtful about your answers. Don’t take this test until you are really ready to present your qualifications in the best possible light.

8) What is the training academy experience?

If you are selected for the LAPD, you will be sent to the world famous LAPD Academy for 28 weeks of training. Training is rigorous, demanding and exhausting. It is also a rewarding life-changing experience. New officers learn how much they are capable of by succeeding at seemingly impossible challenges, both physical and mental. Training is free and Officers are paid their full starting salary during training.

Much of the training occurs in the classroom. Officers learn law, human relations, Spanish and report writing. Officers are also trained in tactics, firearms and driving. Physical fitness and self-defense training plays a big part in the Academy. In fact, the physical fitness part of the program is so demanding that recruits are encouraged to start a training regimen before entering the Academy.

9) What is a typical day for an officer?

An LAPD officer can never expect a routine day. Every day brings with it new challenges and opportunities to improve the communities we serve.

10) How do officers get promotions?

For many Officers, one of the best rewards of working in a department as big as LAPD is the fact that they can do many jobs during the course of their career. It is possible to move from division to division, and to learn new skills on the job. The first promotion available to Officers is to either become a Detective, or move into the investigative branch, or to become a Sergeant and move into field supervision. Sergeants or from Detective you can promote to Lieutenant. There are over 250 different jobs in the LAPD. Some of them, like traffic investigator are done by hundreds of Officers, but then there are also specialized jobs, like SWAT, motorcycle Officers, horseback Officers, divers, fixed-wing pilots, helicopter pilots, public information officers, K-9 units, and bike Officers. Most of these require specialized training, and if you are selected, you are paid to be trained.
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