City of Petaluma – Police Officer – Lateral – Petaluma, CA

September 17, 2023

Job Description

Job title: Police Officer – Lateral

Company: City of Petaluma

Job description: Summary/Class Characteristics

Working With Our Community To Provide Professional Police Services Since 1858

Police Officer – Lateral

In addition to a competitive salary, CalPERS Retirement and a generous benefits package this position offers opportunities for special assignments including K9, Hostage Negotiation, FTO, Traffic Motorcycle Officers, SRO, Gang Enforcement Team, Investigations and SWAT. There are also opportunities for career advancement and department funded training opportunities.

Hiring Bonus and Incentives:

  • $10,000 signing bonus upon successful hiring process
  • $5,000 upon completion of probationary period
  • $10,000 upon completion of three years of service
  • Vacation accrual rate that matches the total years of service as a Police Officer
  • A bank of 40 hours of sick leave at the time of hire
  • A bank of 80 hours of vacation leave upon successful completion of the Field Training Program

Lateral Applicant Requirements

To be considered as a lateral applicant you must:

  • Be currently employed as a peace officer in good standing by a California-authorized jurisdiction.
  • Have successfully completed your Field Training program in your current agency.
  • Must possess Basic P.O.S.T. certification.

Please Note (updated April 11, 2022)

In order to ensure the City fulfills its primary function of protecting the health and safety of our community and employees, the City of Petaluma has adopted a COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy to help mitigate transmission of COVID-19. All City of Petaluma employees are required to comply with the provisions of the COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy. Therefore, any candidate selected to move forward in the selection process, as a condition of employment, will be required to either: (1) provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 (proof of vaccination means being fully vaccinated according to the latest criteria established by federal and local public health agencies); or (2) submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Police Department

Petaluma Police Department is dedicated to providing the best law enforcement services to the community and it prides itself on community involved programs. Petaluma has a population of approximately 59,000 and encompasses nearly 13 square miles situated 40 miles north of San Francisco Bay Area on U.S. 101, and 30 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The Police Department staffing includes 84.5 full time employees, including one Chief, one Deputy Chief, four Lieutenants, nine Sergeants, forty-seven Officers, and other support staff. In addition, the department has three K-9 Officers, Traffic Unit, Motorcycle Patrol, SWAT Team, Investigations Unit, FTO Program, and Reserve Community Service Officer Program (Volunteer). The Petaluma Police Department is proactive in Community Oriented Policing Philosophy.

Special Pay

The City of Petaluma provides newly hired officers a uniform and equipment in addition to compensation at the rate of 1.5% of Step 5 of Police Officers annual salary, paid per pay period. The City offers 5% of base salary for possession of a POST Intermediate certificate, 7% of base salary for a POST Advanced or Supervisory certificate. Sworn officers with certified Spanish bilingual skills receive an additional $100-$200 per month depending on proficiency. Field Training Officers receive an additional 5%. Detectives receive on-call pay and take home a vehicle.


Perform a wide variety of peace officer duties involving the protection of life and property, enforcement of laws and ordinances, criminal investigation, crime prevention and suppression, case preparation and testimony, and provision of information and assistance to the public; perform special assignments in areas such as traffic patrol, K-9 program, and gang detail.

Class Characteristics

General supervision is provided by the Police Sergeant; responsibilities may include the indirect supervision of officers and/or support staff.

This is the working level class in law enforcement, performing all duties required to effectively respond to and resolve the normal scope of peace officer situations. Incumbents may be assigned to patrol, traffic, juvenile, crime prevention or other police-related functions. This class is distinguished from uniformed civilian police-related classes by the responsibility and authority associated with designation as a sworn peace officer under the laws of the state. It is further distinguished from the Police Sergeant class in that the latter is a first-line supervisor responsible for assigned officers and other support staff.


Patrol assigned areas to ensure the security of life and property, observe situations, and deter crime by providing high visibility; respond to suspicious activities and answer emergency calls for service; enforce state, local, and federal laws and ordinances; issue verbal warnings and citations; pursue and apprehend suspects and request assistance as required.

Investigate criminal activity and incidents as the responding officer; coordinate crime scene control and investigation, including interviews and interrogations and identification of witnesses; oversee collection and preservation of physical evidence; restore order, protect life and property, and maintain the peace at public gatherings and in conflict situations.

Prepare and document cases, complete reports and records, and prepare and maintain other logs and records.

Investigate traffic accidents and provide traffic and crowd control as necessary.

Participate in special details and assignments, including K-9, traffic patrol, narcotics, investigation, and related activities; retrieve, identify, and return found property and/or evidence to owners; provide emergency aid and assistance to incapacitated persons and request additional response; provide information, directions, and other services and assistance to the public; testify in court, as subpoenaed; respond to SWAT team call-outs; may act as hostage negotiator.

Direct, instruct, train, and supervise recruit officers in areas of traffic enforcement, radar operation, DUI enforcement, and basic traffic accident investigation.

Perform related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

Basic law enforcement terminology and concepts.

Techniques for dealing with people of all socio-economic levels under hostile and emergency situations.

Safety practices and precautions pertaining to the work.

Learn the principles, practices, procedures, laws and ordinances, terminology, and operation of equipment used in law enforcement and crime prevention and investigation.

Education and Experience

Any combination equivalent to the education and experience likely to provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to gain such knowledge and abilities would be:


Equivalent to graduation from high school and completion of a recognized police academy.


Possession of a valid California Class C driver’s license.

Must possess a basic P.O.S.T. certification and maintain firearms qualification.

Hiring Requirements

Candidates being considered for selection will undergo a thorough background investigation, including by not limited to personal history, employment, education, military, State of California Department of Justice fingerprint search of records, DMV driving record, etc. A polygraph examination will be part of the background examination. Prior to appointment, candidates must also successfully complete a Police Chief interview, pre-employment medical examination, a drug screen, and a psychological evaluation. All statements made on application materials must be correct and will be subject to investigation and verification.

Physical Demands and Working Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, walk, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and taste or smell. The employee must frequently lift and/or move weight up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles. The employee occasionally works with use of vehicle. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Expected salary: $87235.2 – 106100.8 per year

Location: Petaluma, CA


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