Los Altos

Police Officer - Lateral (19835824)

Law Enforcement
South Bay
Until filled
$98,196.00-$119,358.00 Annually



Under general supervision, the Police Officer performs a variety of law enforcement, crime prevention, and public service duties; controls traffic flow, enforces State and local traffic regulations, and performs additional related tasks as assigned. This position will serve the public in traffic enforcement, patrol operations, and community-oriented policing assignments. Specialty assignments include Investigative Services, Auto Theft, School Resource Officer, Motorcycle Officer, SWAT, Hostage Negotiations, Tactical Response, and K-9 Officer positions.

The Police Officer position may be filled by a lateral transfer from a Police agency with patrol or investigative experience.


  • KNOWLEDGE OF: The City of Los Altos geographical area, demographic make-up, government structure, and current challenges faced by the community. The candidate should have an understanding of the local community’s expectations with regard to public safety services and current challenges facing the city. The candidate should understand modern police methods and procedures, as well as community oriented policing and problem solving, and have an overall understanding of current events and issues surrounding the law enforcement profession as a whole.

  • SKILL & ABILITY TO: Observe and accurately remember names, faces, numbers, incidents, and places; learn and interpret laws, regulations, policies and procedures; carry out oral and written directions; analyze situations and make quick decisions requiring sound judgment; communicate situations; operate a variety of specialized police department equipment including computerized telecommunications and dispatch equipment; become proficient in self-defense techniques and in the care and use of firearms; maintain level of knowledge and physical condition required for satisfactory job performance; establish and maintain accurate records; prepare concise, comprehensive reports; communicate effectively; act with resourcefulness, courtesy and initiative; exercise independent judgment and establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees and the general public.


  • Must be at least 21 years of age

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who is eligible and has applied for citizenship

  • Possession of a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent is required

  • An Associate Degree or completion of sixty (60) semester units of college level courses is highly desirable

  • Patrol and/or investigative experience with a law enforcement agency is required; patrol and/or investigative experience with a California law enforcement agency is highly desirable

  • Knowledge of law enforcement terminology and Police Officer procedures is desirable

  • Must possess a POST Basic Certificate (The certificate is awarded to currently full-time peace officers of a POST-participating agency who have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite Basic Course requirement and the employing agency’s probationary period)

  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record


THE IDEAL CANDIDATE POSSESSES THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS: Is highly professional, patient, respectful, and ethical; possesses excellent problem-solving skills, ability to multi-task, and a can-do attitude; communicates effectively and proactively, both verbally and in writing; enjoys working in a small town atmosphere with an engaged public, including merchants, property owners and residents.


Requires work, which may be strenuous and hazardous; includes working rotating shifts, as well as weekends and holidays.


$98,196 - $119,358 annually DOE.

  • For new employees who are existing members of the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) the retirement formula is 3% @ 55. Employee pays 9% of salary for employee CalPERS retirement benefit.

  • For new CalPERS members, retirement benefits are pursuant to the California Public Employee’s Retirement Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) Section 7522.10, employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 will have a retirement formula of 2.7% @ 57 and will pay up to 50% of the normal CalPERS retirement cost. Normal cost is determined yearly by CalPERS actuarial.

  • Choice of HMO or PPO plans through CalPERS Health Benefits

  • Dental & Vision Reimbursement Plan

  • City-paid life insurance; additional life insurance purchase option

  • Vacation starting at 10 days annually

  • Sick leave allowance of 12 days annually

  • 10 Annual Holidays (plus 2 float days) OR Holiday compensation

  • Ability to contribute towards a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

  • Ability to participate in a Flexible Spending Plan: dependent care, health care reimbursement, and/or transit benefit

  • Employee Assistance Program


This recruitment will remain open until filled. Applications must be submitted online, as there are job-specific questions that must be answered.

The City of Los Altos is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of a person’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation. Candidates with a disability, which may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process, should advise the City of Los Altos upon submittal of application. Documentation of the need for accommodation must accompany the request.