Police Officer Recruit

  • City of Sparks
  • Sparks, NV
  • Aug 16, 2021
Full time Safety Government Law

Job Description

Are you looking for a meaningful career that has a positive impact on the community? If you answered yes, come join the Sparks Police Department! We proudly display “Where Community Comes First” on the police vehicles, a motto developed by our front lines. While carrying out the vision to implement innovative strategies to prevent crime, promote excellence in leadership and serve the community, you will also receive a generous and competitive salary, benefit package, tuition reimbursement, bilingual pay (when applicable) and retirement plan. People who come to Sparks stay in Sparks.  It’s more than a job – it’s a career that offers special assignments, continuing education and promotional opportunities.  Apply here to start the process.

Not sure if you have what it takes? There are resources for you! 
Police applicants are required to complete a Civil Service Exam. The Exam is composed of three different sections: a physical abilities exam, a written exam and an oral board exam. To practice, see the guide below:

  1. Prepare for the Physical Abilities Exam by understanding exactly what is on the test. NV POST offers physical fitness programs developed for candidates to assess and improve fitness levels in preparation for the test and academy: http://post.nv.gov/Training/POST_Academy/Physical_Fitness/
    1. Practice Runs are held by the Police Department for candidates who complete an application. Once you apply, keep an eye on your email for updates on the next one. 
  2. Prepare for the Written Exam: Purchase a low cost study guide or sample test here: hpps://www.ApplyToServe.com/Study/ OR contact your local community college or library for test preparation assistance and aides.
  3. Oral Board Exam: We want to get to know you and why you are looking for this opportunity.  Practice and prepare to answer interview style questions about yourself.

Are you ready to take the next step? If so, take a look at these Application Tips: 

  • Look at the testing dates available, can you make the testing for the dates offered? 
    • If so - Start the application! Fill out the online application completely don't leave any blanks.  
    • If you aren't sure you can make testing - send us an email or call with your concerns. Once you apply and your applications is screened, if you meet the qualification but fail to schedule a test, your application is disqualified. It's in your best interest to wait to apply until you know you can make the testing dates work. Otherwise, you have to wait 365 days to reapply. 
  • The Qualifications section below is your cheat sheet to understand what the recruiter is looking for on your application. Use this to your advantage.
  • One step is eliminated for you!  Do not attach resumes or cover letters. The City of Sparks is not collecting or reviewing these items with the application.
  • **NEW** Don't forget to enable TEXT messaging in your application before you hit submit!  This feature will allow the recruiter to send you reminders as your test date approaches.  

This is a CONTINUOUS RECRUITMENT, meaning that applications are accepted year round. You may submit one application in a 365 day period.

Civil Service Examination Candidates who meet minimum qualifications will receive an e-mail invitation to schedule their Civil Service Exam. The first test day includes the physical abilities test and written test. Candidates who successfully pass the physical and written will be invited to the third section, the Oral Board, at a later date via email.

WINTER 2022: Saturday, January 8, 2022
SPRING 2022: Saturday, April 9, 2022
SUMMER 2022: Saturday, July 9, 2022
FALL 2022: Saturday, September 17, 2022

For all test dates, applications must be received by Noon (PST) on the Monday before the test date to be considered for that test. Please note that there is a capacity limit per test date, apply as soon as possible in order to have the best chance to schedule your preferred test date as scheduling is on a first come basis. Applying by the deadline for the next test date does not guarantee you a spot to test if capacity has been reached. 

Candidates who pass the exam will be placed on an eligibility that will be good for up to one year. The department will call candidates from that list as vacancies arise. Those candidates that successfully complete the interview step will move onto the background step.  

The background process constitutes a comprehensive investigation in which the department runs a State of Nevada and national fingerprint check as well as a Wants/Warrants check to confirm the candidate has no felony or gross misdemeanor arrests without disposition, no felony or gross misdemeanor convictions or to confirm that the applicant is not a fugitive from justice.  

Candidates hired as Police Officer Recruit are sent as a paid employee to a regional Nevada Police Academy. Upon successful completion, Police Office Recruits are sworn in as Police Officers. 

If you have any questions, please email hrstaff@cityofsparks.us or call Human Resources at (775) 353-2345. The City of Sparks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Applicants must possess the following minimum qualifications to continue in the recruitment process:
Marijuana is illegal at the federal level.  The City of Sparks receives federal grants.  Must not have used marijuana in the last 18 months.

Nevada Law requires the following for a candidate to be a Police Officer:

  • Must be 21 years old at the time of appointment
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony in Nevada or convicted of any offense which would be a felony if committed in Nevada
  • Other requirements as outlined in regulation and law.  See NAC 289.110 and NRS 289.510 for more information about state requirements. 

Candidates must meet all federal, state and local requirements for the position of Police Officer.

Education and Experience:
High School Diploma or equivalent
and at least one of the following four options:
Option One:  Equivalent to twenty-four semester units of college level coursework

Option Two:  Equivalent to 36 months of full time employment in the last 7 years in one of the following types of employment:  

  • Criminal justice, law enforcement, law or related work
  • Public safety
  • Direct and regular public/community contact involving dispute resolution
  • Security
  • Work with community initiatives
  • Work with children/adults with special needs, or closely related work
  • Helpful Tip - Make sure your application describes your job duties in detail so that the recruiter can determine if your work history meets these minimum qualifications 

Option Three: U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard/Air Guard and U.S. Coast Guard service may be accepted in lieu of the 24-semester units; please attach a copy of your DD-214, Member 4 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) to the application.  
If you have not yet received the DD-214 provide written verification from your commanding officer citing current active duty status, years of service, pay grade/rank, military occupational specialty/rating, expected date of discharge/retirement including dates of terminal leave and anticipated condition of discharge.
Prior to an offer of employment, Human Resources will require a certified copy of the DD-214.  
Reserve and National Guard personnel should provide written verification from candidate's commanding officer citing current Reserve/Guard status, years of service, pay grade/rank, military occupational specialty/rating and expected continuation of Reserve/Guard duty (list beginning/ending dates of current enlistment/obligated service).

Character of military service is considered on a case-by-case basis.


Option Four:  Possession of the equivalent to a P.O.S.T. Category 1 Certificate;

  • Helpful tip - if you are a lateral candidate, please apply for the Police Officer posting.  How do you know which to apply for?
    • Apply for Police Officer Recruit if you need to attend a NV Police Academy to be eligible to work as a Police Officer in Nevada
    • Apply for the Police Officer (lateral) posting if you have a NV POST Category I Certificate, and you are still eliglble to work as a Police Officer in Nevada OR if you have an out-of-state POST Category I Certificate or equivalent and meet the standards for reciprocity in Nevada to work as a Police Officer without requiring NV Police Academy.  Here is a link to the NV POST website outlining Reciprocity requirements:  http://post.nv.gov/Training/Reciprocity/

Licenses and Certificates:
Must possess and maintain the equivalent to a valid Nevada Class C driver's license at the time of civil service testing and at time of hire.
Must obtain basic Nevada P.O.S.T. Category I certification and firearms qualification within six months of hire.


Learn to perform a 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; provide information and assistance to the public; this is the first working level class in law enforcement expected to perform all duties required to effectively respond to and resolve the normal scope of peace officer situations
This class is entry level.  Candidates are expected to attend the Nevada Police Academy and participate in on-the-job training.

Patrol assigned areas to ensure the security of life and property. Observe situations and deter crime by providing high visibility. Provide information to the public concerning methods for improved security.  Provide multi-jurisdictional aid and support, and participate in searches.
Respond to suspicious activities and answer emergency calls for service. Enforce local, state and federal laws and ordinances. Issue verbal warnings and citations. Pursue and apprehend suspects and request assistance as required. Transport prisoners.
Investigate juvenile and designated adult criminal activity and incidents as the assigned detective. Interview victims, complainants, witnesses and suspects.
Coordinate crime scene control and investigation. Conduct interviews, interrogations and identify witnesses. Process crime scene and evidence collection. Store and maintain evidence and property including narcotics. Maintain photo lab. Send evidence to other law enforcement agencies as required. Provide evidence and testimony in court.
Conduct auctions for unclaimed property. Provide for the destruction of evidence including narcotics as required.
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 logs and records.
Investigate traffic accidents and provide traffic and crowd control as necessary. Participate in special details and assignments. Organize and coordinate special assignments such as crime prevention programs in the schools and the community.
Provide emergency aid and assistance to incapacitated persons and request additional response.
Provide information, direction and other services and assistance to the public.  Participate in community events and present to small or large groups.  Engage in community policing efforts, use crime analysis data and other interventions to reduce and prevent crime.
Direct the activities of police support personnel in field situations.
Perform other duties which may be assigned.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Criminal and civil law and rules of evidence
  • Applicable laws, rules and regulations, general orders, policies and procedures
  • Investigation and identification techniques and equipment
  • Law enforcement terminology, procedures, concepts and report formats
  • Policing trends national, state and local
  • Safety practices and precautions
  • Safe use and proper care of firearms 
  • First aid methods and procedures
  • Observe and accurately recall places, names, descriptive characteristics and facts of incidents
  • Remain calm and take appropriate action in difficult situations 
  • Deal effectively with people under hostile and emergency situations
  • Read, interpret and apply complex laws, procedures and policies
  • Make rapid, sound independent judgments within legal and procedural guidelines
  • Prepare clear and concise reports, records and other written materials
  • Understand and follow oral and written directions
  • Operate photographic, crime lab and police equipment
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Mental health and disability awareness
  • Negotiation and de-escalation
  • Mediation
  • Problem solving
  • Control dangerous animals
  • Communicate effectively with juveniles
  • Train others in work procedures
  • Computer applications and software related to the work including Microsoft Office
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with those contacted during work

Physical Demands:
Requires ability to work in a typical office setting and use standard office equipment.  Duties require the ability to meet and maintain P.O.S.T. standards and psychological guidelines.

  • This is a Civil Service position and is Non-Exempt under FLSA guidelines
  • Required to be called back, held over, work off-hours, nights, weekends and holiday shifts
  • Required to work during emergency circumstances or inclement weather conditions
  • This position reports to a Police Sergeant
  • Supervision exercised: Direct the activities of police support personnel in field situations
  • May be required to pass a pre-placement drug screen and background investigation

Human Resources will require prior to the first examination for the position, necessary documentary evidence be submitted for fitness of any qualification. Any requirement not met for the advertised position prior to the first examination for that position, will be cause for Human Resources to decline to examine, certify or hire the applicant.

Recruitment Communication:
Human Resources will be contacting you at various stages of the recruitment process via email only, even if you have chosen U.S. mail for prior application processes or for applications with other agencies. Please make sure your email address is accurate.  To receive TEXT message reminders of upcoming testing, enable TEXT messaging in your application before you hit submit.

Reasonable Accommodation:
Human Resources will make efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled candidates in the selection and hiring process. If you have special needs, please notify the Human Resources office when you turn in your application or at least three (3) business days prior to the examination/interview by calling (775) 353-2345 or e-mailing hrstaff@cityofsparks.us.

The City of Sparks hires and promotes candidates based on a competitive merit selection process, which may include any or all of the following: screening for minimum qualifications, written examinations, supplemental training and experience questionnaires, assessment centers, interviews (oral or written), physical tests or any combination which the Sparks Civil Service Commission may order.

Scoring in the top ten (10) in any part of the selection process merely advances the applicant to a higher round of examination, which may consist of additional interviews and other evaluations. Scoring in the top ten (10) gives no right to be selected for the position. The City of Sparks reserves the right to select applicants who demonstrate the best combination of qualifications for the position.


Police-Law Enforcement