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A Career as a Hospital Police Officer

The Department of State Hospitals includes a 24-hour law enforcement agency called the Office of Protective Services which oversees law enforcement at each of our five free-standing hospitals. Each of our hospitals are staffed with Police Officers, Investigators, and Communications Operators.

Hospital Police Officers
The Office of Protective Services is seeking individuals who will not only protect our staff but will also serve our patients with compassion for their mental illnesses. Our Hospital Police Officers (HPOs) are also called upon to assist the public in the communities that neighbor our hospital grounds.

Minimum Qualifications

Must be 21 years of age by date of appointment.

Graduation from a U.S. high school, G.E.D. or equivalent from a U.S. institution, or a California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) certificate is required, or possession of a college degree (Associate of Arts or higher) from an accredited college or university.

United States citizenship or a permanent resident who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship (and been approved) at the time of application.

Must possess a valid California driver’s license by date of appointment.

As a minimum requirement, a thorough background investigation must be conducted prior to a candidate’s appointment or training as a Hospital Police Officer. Additionally, must have no felony convictions and eligible to own/possess a firearm.

Hiring Process

There are 8 steps to our hiring process: Examination, Application, Background Investigation, Physical Abilities Test, Medical Examination, Psychological Examination, Eligible for Hire and the DSH/OPS Police Academy. Some of these steps may have smaller elements within them.

Pre-Examination Application Process
In order to move to STEP 1 all candidates must create a CalCareer account.
A detailed video of instructions on creating a CalCareer Account is available.



Start the hiring process by self-scheduling the examination online. Applicants for the position of a Hospital Police Officer are given a general law enforcement examination, which is offered online and on a continuous basis.

Please see HPO Exam Bulletin for instructions on how to schedule for the exam.



After successfully passing the Hospital Police Officer Examination, all applicants must submit a State Application (STD. 678) through your CalCareer account for available Hospital Police Officer Openings. After applying, you will receive an email from Guardian Alliance Technologies to start the background investigation process.

A detailed video of instructions on Searching and Applying for Job Vacancies is available.

*PC 832 (Arrest and Control) is not needed to apply for the position but will be required within 30 days of passing the background investigation.


Background investigation

The background investigation process consists of a thorough background investigation into each applicant’s past and current employment, residence history, relationships, credit responsibility, criminality and fingerprint search. The investigative dimensions and OPS Standard set forth in the OPS Background Investigation Manual ensure that only qualified individuals will be considered for a position of public trust.


Medical Examination

This is a comprehensive physical examination conducted by licensed physicians under contract with DSH to evaluate a candidate’s overall physical health.

Please Note: Effective August 5, 2021, the California State Public Health Officer issued an order requiring all workers who provide services in health care facilities to show evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19 or complete form DSH 3363 indicating a medical or religious reason why such worker will not be vaccinated for Covid-19.

*Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031(f), persons successful in peace officer examinations are required to successfully pass a thorough medical screening prior to appointment date. Persons unsuccessful in the medical screening cannot be appointed as peace officers.


Physical Abilities Test

The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) evaluates each candidate’s strength, endurance, and agility as required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and functions expected of a Hospital Police Officer.


Psychological Examination

To evaluate a candidate’s psychological suitability, the candidate will participate in a written Psychological Examination. This evaluation consists of a series of questions candidates respond to based upon their personal preferences. The examination is then followed by a face-to-face meeting with a Psychologist.

*Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031(f), persons successful in peace officer examinations are required to successfully pass a thorough psychological screening prior to appointment date. Persons unsuccessful in the psychological screening cannot be appointed as peace officers.


Eligible for Hire

After successfully completing Steps 1 - 6, candidates will be eligible for hire as a Hospital Police Officer.


Police Academy

All newly hired Hospital Police Officers will train at the OPS Police Academy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us:

Please note, when sending an e-mail message to check on the status of your selection process, you MUST provide your complete name, mailing address, and telephone number.  For personal identification security purposes, please DO NOT send your Social Security Number via email.

Hiring Coordinator Contact Information:

 Alexandria (Alex) Walsh
 Office Line: (916) 651-1370
 Fax: (916) 651-1487

Office of Protective Services
Office Line: (916) 651-7185
Fax: (916) 651-1487

More information about the Office of Protective Services
Contact the Office of Protective Services Hiring Coordinator at (916) 651-1370.