University of California Santa Cruz Police Department
UC Santa Cruz PD Policy Manual


Recruitment and Selection


This policy provides a framework for employee recruiting efforts and identifying job-related standards for the selection process. This policy supplements the rules that govern employment practices for the University of California Santa Cruz Police Department and that are promulgated and maintained by the Department of Human Resources.


1000.2 POLICY

In accordance with applicable federal, state, and local law, the University of California Santa Cruz Police Department provides equal opportunities for applicants and employees regardless of actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and any other classification or status protected by law. The Department does not show partiality or grant any special status to any applicant, employee, or group of employees unless otherwise required by law.

The Department will recruit and hire only those individuals who demonstrate a commitment to service and who possess the traits and characteristics that reflect personal integrity and high ethical standards.



The Administration Division Commander should employ a comprehensive recruitment and selection strategy to recruit and select employees from a qualified and diverse pool of candidates.

The strategy should include:

 (a) Identification of racially and culturally diverse target markets.

 (b) Use of marketing strategies to target diverse applicant pools.

 (c) Expanded use of technology and maintenance of a strong internet This may include an interactive department website and the use of department-managed social networking sites, if resources permit.

 (d) Expanded outreach through partnerships with media, community groups, citizen academies, local colleges, universities, and the military.

 (e) Employee referral and recruitment incentive programs.

 (f) Consideration of shared or collaborative regional testing processes.

The Administration Division Commander shall avoid advertising, recruiting and screening practices that tend to stereotype, focus on homogeneous applicant pools or screen applicants in a discriminatory manner.

The Department should strive to facilitate and expedite the screening and testing process, and should periodically inform each candidate of his/her status in the recruiting process.



The Department shall actively strive to identify a diverse group of candidates who have in some manner distinguished themselves as being outstanding prospects. Minimally, the Department should employ a comprehensive screening, background investigation, and selection process that assesses cognitive and physical abilities and includes review and verification of the following:

 (a) A comprehensive application for employment (including previous employment, references, current and prior addresses, education, military record)

 (b) Driving record

 (c) Reference checks

 (d) Employment eligibility, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and acceptable identity and employment authorization documents consistent with Labor Code § 1019.1. This required documentation should not be requested until a candidate is hired. This does not prohibit obtaining documents required for other purposes.

 (e) Information obtained from public internet sites

 (f) Financial history consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC 1681 et seq.)

 (g) Local, state, and federal criminal history record checks

 (h) Lie detector test (when legally permissible) (Labor Code § 432.2)

 (i) Medical and psychological examination (may only be given after a conditional offer of employment)

 (j) Review board or selection committee assessment

Candidates must be of good moral character, and be found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition, including bias against actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and any other classification or status protected by law that may adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer prior to being hired.

 (a) Physical condition shall be evaluated by a licensed physician.

 (b) Emotional and mental condition shall be evaluated by individuals authorized pursuant to CA Government Code section 1031.



Qualifying veterans of the United States Armed Forces who receive a passing score on an entrance examination shall be ranked in the top rank of any resulting eligibility list. The veteran’s preference shall also apply to a widow or widower of a veteran or a spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran (Government Code § 18973.1).



Every candidate shall undergo a thorough background investigation to verify his/her personal integrity and high ethical standards, and to identify any past behavior that may be indicative of the candidate’s unsuitability to perform duties relevant to the operation of the University of California Santa Cruz Police Department (11 CCR 1953).

The narrative report and any other relevant background information shall be shared with the psychological evaluator. Information shall also be shared with others involved in the hiring process if it is relevant to their respective evaluations (11 CCR 1953).


1000.5.1 NOTICES

Background investigators shall ensure that investigations are conducted and notices provided  in accordance with the requirements of the FCRA and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (15 USC § 1681d; Civil Code § 1786.16).



If information disclosed in a candidate’s criminal offender record information (CORI) is the basis for an adverse employment decision, a copy of the CORI shall be provided to the applicant (Penal Code § 11105).



Due to the potential for accessing unsubstantiated, private, or protected information, the Administration Division Commander shall not require candidates to provide passwords, account information, or access to password-protected social media accounts (Labor Code § 980).

The Administration Division Commander should consider utilizing the services of an appropriately trained and experienced third party to conduct open source, internet-based searches, and/or review information from social media sites to ensure that:

 (a) The legal rights of candidates are protected.

 (b) Material and information to be considered are verified, accurate, and validated.

 (c) The Department fully complies with applicable privacy protections and local, state, and federal law.

Regardless of whether a third party is used, the Administration Division Commander should ensure that potentially impermissible information is not available to any person involved in the candidate selection process.



The background investigator shall summarize the results of the background investigation in a narrative report that includes sufficient information to allow the reviewing authority to decide whether to extend a conditional offer of employment. The report shall not include any information that is prohibited from use, including that from social media sites, in making employment decisions. The report and all supporting documentation shall be included in the candidate’s background investigation file (11 CCR 1953).



The background report and all supporting documentation shall be maintained for a minimum of two years and in accordance with the established records retention schedule (Government Code § 12946; 11 CCR 1953).



A background investigation update may, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, be conducted in lieu of a complete new background investigation on a peace officer candidate who is reappointed within 180 days of voluntary separation from the University of California Santa Cruz Police Department, or who is an interim police chief meeting the requirements contained in 11 CCR 1953(f).



As a general rule, performance indicators and candidate information and records shall be evaluated by considering the candidate as a whole, and taking into consideration the following:

  • Age at the time the behavior occurred
  • Passage of time
  • Patterns of past behavior
  • Severity of behavior
  • Probable consequences if past behavior is repeated or made public
  • Likelihood of recurrence
  • Relevance of past behavior to public safety employment
  • Aggravating and mitigating factors
  • Other relevant considerations

A candidate’s qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, using a totality-of-the- circumstances framework.



All candidates shall meet the minimum standards required by state law (Government Code § 1029; Government Code § 1031; 11 CCR 1950 et seq.). Candidates will be evaluated based on merit, ability, competence, and experience, in accordance with the high standards of integrity and ethics valued by the Department and the community. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) developed a Job Dimensions list, which is used as a professional standard in background investigations.

Validated, job-related, and nondiscriminatory employment standards shall be established for each job classification and shall minimally identify the training, abilities, knowledge, and skills required to perform the position’s essential duties in a satisfactory manner. Each standard should include performance indicators for candidate evaluation. The Department of Human Resources should maintain validated standards for all positions.



Candidates shall meet the minimum standards established by POST (Government Code § 1029; Government Code § 1031; 11 CCR 1950 et seq.):

 (a) Free of any felony convictions

 (b) Citizen of the United States, or permanent resident alien eligible for and has applied for citizenship

 (c) At least 18 years of age

 (d) Fingerprinted for local, state and national fingerprint check

 (e) Good moral character as determined by a thorough background investigation (11 CCR 1953)

 (f) High school graduate, passed the GED or other high school equivalency test or obtained a two-year, four-year or advanced degree from an accredited or approved institution

 (g) Free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition which might adversely affect the exercise of police powers (11 CCR 1954; 11 CCR 1955)

 (h) Candidates must also satisfy the POST selection requirements, including (11 CCR 1950 et seq.):

  1. Reading and writing ability assessment (11 CCR 1951)
  2. Oral interview to determine suitability for law enforcement service (11 CCR 1952)

In addition to the above minimum POST required standards, candidates may be subjected to additional standards established by the Department (Penal Code § 13510(d)).



Per Commission Regulation 1959, a thorough background investigation is required of all public safety dispatchers before being hired to verify that the applicant has no past behaviors indicative of unsuitability to perform public safety dispatching duties. Regulation 1959 outlines the procedures for the background investigation, which must include a check of motor vehicle records, a search of local, state, and federal fingerprint files to determine any criminal record, contacts with references, as well as other areas of investigation.

Candidates shall satisfy the POST selection requirements, including (11 CCR 1956):

 (a) A verbal, reasoning, memory and perceptual abilities assessment (11 CCR 1957)

 (b) An oral communication assessment (11 CCR 1958)

 (c) A medical evaluation (11 CCR 1960)

 (d) Per Penal Code Section 13510(d), local agencies/departments may set standards that exceed these minimum selection As such, the following additional selction requirements will be met:

  1. A thorough psychological screening,
  2. A drug screening,
  3. A polygraph examination, or voice stress analysis.



The standards in 1000.7.2 will be used for hiring all professional staff members. Student employees will be screened as indicated in policy section 385.2.3.



Applicants must be able to conform to the personal appearance standards set forth in policy 1044.



The Administration Division Commander should coordinate with the UC Santa Cruz Department of Human Resources to identify positions subject to probationary periods and procedures for:

 (a) Appraising performance during probation.

 (b) Assessing the level of performance required to complete probation.

 (c) Extending probation.

 (d) Documenting successful or unsuccessful completion of probation.




Policy 1000 PDF