activity-dine activity-more activity-play activity-shop activity-stay arrow-leftarrow-rightArtchevron-downchevron-rightchevron-up close download email gridlistlocationmime-default mime-link mime-pdf mime-video Parkspin search social-facebook social-flickr social-instagram social-linkedin social-pinterest social-rss social-twitter social-youtube berth-request-form blue-economy boat-launches breakbulk contact-the-port cruise-information current-rfps dine docks-and-anchorages drybulk economic-impact events faqs green-business-network harbor-police job-opportunities live-vessel-tracking news play port-events public-meetings refrigerated-avocados refrigerated-bananas refrigerated-pineapple shop stay tenant-resources tidelands-activation-program view-bidding-opportunities commercial-vessels current-conditions directions fact security agendas calendar cruise documents information jobs map meeting minutes notification parking permits reporting reports reservation rfps rules tap vendors video-play weather-cloudy weather-partly-cloudy weather-rainy weather-sunny weather zoom Skip to main content

Port of San Diego Harbor Police Trainee Hiring Process

From training to anything.
At the ready.

At the ready - building the future

Are you interested in a career in Public Safety?

Port of San Diego Harbor Police
Trainee Hiring Process 
Starting Salary $73,465.60

Look no further than the Port of San Diego Harbor Police, a specialized cross-trained force in land, maritime and aviation security. Harbor Police protect the security of the beautiful San Diego Bay, San Diego International Airport, and Port of San Diego waterfront. All officers are cross-trained as marine firefighters with multiple specialty fields in the department including the Maritime Tactical Team, Investigation & Intelligence, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Vessel Collision Investigation Team, Homeland Security, Explosive Detection Canine Team, Dive & Rescue Team, and Narcotics Task Force. These teams come together to form a respected and multi-talented department of officers who ensure the safety and protection of residents and visitors to our waterfront. If you’re interested in applying to become an HPD officer, please visit 

Step 1: Online Application

Interested candidates submit an application online at Candidates must meet minimum qualifications including: 

  • possess a GED or High School Diploma
  • be at least age 20.5 years
  • be eligible to work in the US
Step 2: Personal History Statement (PHS) 

Qualified candidates will be invited to submit a PHS on the California State Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) website. Selected candidates will receive an email with a link to submit their PHS sent from the Port of San Diego Human Resources department. Candidates will have approximately 4 weeks to complete the PHS, which is approximately 26 pages. It includes an in depth history including:

  • Personal identifying info, relatives and other references, educational history, residential, employment, military, financial, legal, driving and other topics related to moral character
  • Minimum 10 years of employment history or from the age of 15
  • Minimum 10 years of residential history or from the age of 15
  • Immediate family: parents, spouse, registered domestic partner, siblings, children and or other family members 

All PHS’s must be mailed or hand delivered to the Port of San Diego Human Resources, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101. We do not accept faxed or emailed versions. Visit, select the forms tab and click Personal History Statement Peace Officer for a sample. Harbor Police background investigators then reviews all submitted statements.

Step 3: State PELLET B Exam 

The California State POST Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery is scheduled only for candidates who turn in the PHS. The State PELLETB takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, plus 45 minutes for instructions. You MUST bring a photo ID. The test includes:

  • vocabulary section
  • reading comprehension section
  • spelling section

All Scantrons test sheets are sent to POST in Sacramento for scoring. Scores are usually received approximately 10 business days after the exam. POST allows individuals to take the PELLETB Exam once every 30 days. The minimum required T-Score is a 42. A study guide for the PELLETB is available online at:

Step 4: Physical Agility Test

Candidates who pass the State PELLETB Exam are scheduled for the Physical Agility Test in a local park. You MUST bring a photo ID and a signed release of liability waiver in order to participate. The test is made up of an obstacle course which must be completed in 3 minutes and 40 seconds. There are 50 yards between each obstacle for a total 200 yard course.
Obstacle Course Elements:

  • 25 push-ups
  • 25 sit-ups
  • Carry a fire hose that weighs approximately 20 lbs up 40 box steps
  • Drag a 165 lb dummy 32 feet
  • Jump over 2 foot and 3 foot sawhorse stands

Additionally, candidates must run 1.5 miles within 15 minutes.

Step 5: Panel Interview

Candidates who pass the Physical Agility Test are then scheduled for a 30 minute panel interview with two Harbor Police Officers and one Human Resources staff member.

Step 6: Background Orientation w/Polygraph interview

Selected candidates will move on to the background orientation process which can take up to 6 months. Once notified, candidates should begin gathering the required documents, but should not submit documents until instructed to do so.

  • High School and/or College Diploma and sealed Transcripts
  • G.E.D. Certificate and G.E.D. Scores
  • Marriage Certificate(s)
  • Evidence of Divorce(s)
  • Selective Services Registration
  • Military Service Discharge (DD-214)
  • Social Security Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • California Driver License
  • Proof of Auto Insurance Policy

Step 7: Chief of Harbor Police Interview

Chief of Harbor Police will review the candidates who pass the background orientation and polygraph interview. The Chief will make a determination of which candidates to interview and selected candidates will interview directly with the Chief. After interviews are complete, the Chief and recruitment team will confer and the Human Resources Department will make conditional job offers to selected candidates. 

Step 8: Medical Screening 

Candidates will be evaluated by a licensed physician and surgeon to ensure they are free from any physical or medical condition that might adversely affect the exercise of power required of Harbor Police officers, in alignment with state standards.

Step 9: Psychological Exam & Interview

Candidates will be evaluated to ensure they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of power required of Harbor Police officer, and to otherwise ensure the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position, in alignment with state standards.

Step 10: Water Survival Assessment 

Candidates will be assessed on their in-water comfort level. Assessments take place at a local community pool and candidates will be asked to:

  • Wear a 20 pound weight belt and a life preserver
  • Swim the length of the pool twice
  • Get in and out of the water using only upper body

Step 11: Academy Training

Candidates who pass the the water survival assessment will be sent to the San Diego Miramar College Regional Police Academy. The 25 week academy offers four cohorts per year. Physical training will consist of:

  • Speed and distance running
  • Weight training
  • Circuit training
  • Trainees will be required to pass a Work Sample Test Battery consisting of 
  • an obstacle course
  • dummy drag
  • 6 foot wall climbs
  • timed run

At a minimum you should be able to continuously run for

  • 3 miles in 27 minutes or less (9 minute per mile pace or faster)
  • Perform multiple sets of 20–25 pushups and sit ups.

Recommended Preparation Program:

If you have not been training you should start immediately. Begin running 2–3 times per week gradually increasing the distance until you can run 3 miles continuously. Once you have achieved a 3 mile run gradually increase your intensity until you can complete the run in 24 minutes or less. One of your weekly runs should consist of hill, stair or interval training. Additionally you should do sets of pushups and sit ups 2–3 times per day focusing on full range of motion for each. Visit for more information.

Once Trainees have graduated from the Police Academy, they will receive a 10% pay increase and additional uniform allowance.

Step 12: Harbor Police Training

After completing the police academy, trainees are then sent to the rigorous in-house Harbor Police training course.

  • This 8 week training course takes place on San Diego Bay.
  • It will include the final cross-training only Harbor Police officers receive.
  • This includes vessel patrol, vessel firefighting, dive, and other maritime and aviation specific tactics unique to the Port of San Diego Harbor Police.