APPLYING. The hiring process starts with a job application. We require an application for the position, which includes a cover letter and resume. We will grade your application packet and assign a score based on the completeness of the application packet and the experiences demonstrated. Generally, you will receive a higher score if you have college degrees, military experience, or public safety experience.
WRITTEN TESTING. Astoria Police Department uses the test provided by the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP). The test is called the Police Officer Selection Test (POST) and takes several hours to complete. The POST is certified by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). Applicants who are invited to testing will participate in a testing group. Each section of the POST is timed separately and the group completes each section within the given timeframe.
PHYSICAL ABILITIES TESTING. Typically, physical fitness testing occurs on the same day as written testing. The physical abilities test used called the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT). The ORPAT is a hybrid physical ability-job sample physical abilities assessment process designed to evaluate police officer candidates on essential physical capacities required to satisfactorily perform job duties. The ORPAT must be completed with a time of less than 5:30 prior to graduation from the academy; the threshold time we are able to accept will be announced the day of the test. The ORPAT is a pass or fail test. You can view a video of the ORPAT.
SCORING. Applicants who pass the ORPAT are ranked based on their application scoring and written test. Generally, we will select the top 10-14 applicants to participate in interviews.
ORAL BOARD. The oral board or boards consist of a panel of 4 - 7 people who are responsible for evaluating your answers to behavioral and experiential questions. Boards may be made up of department personnel, community members, city staff, public safety partners or any combination of those groups. While we don’t expect successful applicants to have mastery of the job of a police officer, we do expect applicants to have paid attention to information we have provided on the role of a police officer, have good common sense, demonstrate superior communication skills and represent themselves well.
ORAL BOARD EVALUATIONS. At the end of the oral board process, the panel will first identify any applicants found unacceptable; this may be because of a disclosure during the interview, an answer that demonstrates complete lack of understanding of the position or lack of common sense, or someone who does not present them selves appropriately. Remaining applicants are ranked and the top performers may receive an invitation to interview with the Chief of Police.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION. The successful applicant will be asked to complete a Pre-employment Investigative Questionnaire (PIQ). A competent background investigation is required for certification as a police officer. The Astoria Police Department takes this portion of hiring very seriously; it is where we find out about you, your history and decisions you have made.
The PIQ form is the starting place for the required background investigation. The background investigation involves your credit report, a criminal history inquiry, driving records check, verification of any certifications, transcripts or documentation you provided. The background investigation will also look into your ability to represent yourself well; this includes social media, interviews with friends, roommates, coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors, and others who know you or know of you. Our background investigator is looking for any reason to say no to you.
If the Chief of Police is satisfied with your background investigation, the Chief will make a contingent offer of employment. This offer is contingent upon no adverse findings in your background investigation, a successful psychological examination, physical examination, and drug test. Once all of those are passed, you will receive the job offer on a non-contingent basis.