A Career as a Hospital Police Officer

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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.


Before you can apply for a law enforcement job you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Be 21 years of age by date of appointment.
  • Have no felonies or other disqualifying misdemeanor convictions and meet the Office of Protective Services Background Investigations Standards.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible for application for U.S. citizenship.
  • Possess a valid California driver’s license by appointment to position.
  • Completion of high school or equivalent to the completion of the 12th grade.

Pre-Examination Application Process

  1. Create a CalCareer Account.
    • To create a CalCareer Account Click Here.
    • For detailed instructions on creating a CalCareer Account please view our video Here.
  2. Apply for the Hospital Police Officer examination by scheduling yourself online for the written test date.
    • To view the official Examination Bulletin with instructions on how to apply Click Here.

Examination Process
Applicants for the position of Hospital Police Officer (HPO) are given a general law enforcement written examination, which is offered four times a year. The remaining exams for 2019 are listed below:

Self-Scheduling Opening Date

Written Test Date

 January 24, 2019 - February 2, 2019

 March 2, 2019

 April 22, 2019 – May 6, 2019

 June 8, 2019

 July 22, 2019 – August 5, 2019

 September 7, 2019

 October 21, 2019 – November 4, 2019

 December 7, 2019

Applicants whom pass the written examination (70% or better) are ranked by score. Veterans who pass the examination and have filed a Veterans' Preference Form (will also be distributed at the time of the exam) with CalHR are placed at the top of list. 

Job Application Process

Once you receive your test score, submit a State Application (Std. 678) through your CalCareer account. You can access your account or create an account Here.

To find available Hospital Police Officer job openings please Click Here.

For detailed instructions on Searching & Applying for Job Vacancies please view our video Here.

*PC 832 (Arrest and Control) is not needed to apply for the position but will be required before you are appointed to the position*

Background Investigation

The Department of State Hospitals, Office of Protective Services (OPS) has the responsibility to hire only qualified individuals for positions within the OPS. In order to accomplish this, a thorough investigation into the background of all applicants is necessary. The main objective is to conduct a thorough, comprehensive, and legal applicant investigation, conducted with due consideration for the rights of the candidate and in compliance with the governing law and rules. 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.

A Career with DSH OPS

After passing the complete background investigation, including the psychological and medical portion which a Physical Abilities Test is conducted, you will enjoy many rewarding benefits to working for the State of California in public safety. We offer specialized mental health training for our officers in order for personnel to be well equipped for the duties of working in our forensic treatment facilities.  As a full time, paid State employee our Officers train at the DSH Police Academy, located in Atascadero, CA. As a Public Safety employee you will enjoy State Safety Health and Retirement benefits for you and your family. Our Department is a member of the California Peace Officers Association because we are dedicated to the professionalism of law enforcement.


Please see Police Officer Brochure:
Join Us as a Police Officer

More information about the Office of Protective Services
Contact the Office of Protective Services Hiring Coordinator at (916) 562-2521.