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Rank and Salary

Rank and Salary

The LAPD Career Ladder

Advancement within the Los Angeles Police Department is of two types: (1) promotion and (2) assignment to a higher pay grade. The word “promotion” refers to an advance from one Civil Service class to another, such as from Police Officer to Detective or Sergeant. Promotion is always from an eligible list established by the Personnel Department as the result of a Civil Service examination. “Assignment to a higher pay grade” is assignment to a position carrying greater responsibility or expertise, without a change in Civil Service class. Examples would be reassignments from a Police Officer II to a Police Officer III position, or Detective I to a Detective II. Reassignment from Police Officer I to Police Officer II is automatic upon successful completion of 18 months of service (the Academy training and field probation period). Most assignments to higher pay grades are the result of Police Department internal selection procedures.

After completion of the six-month Police Academy training, Police Officers are assigned to one of the geographic areas to serve as patrol officers. Probationary officers are assigned to a Training Officer during their one-year field training. The next two to three years are spent in patrol assignments. Specialized assignments such as METRO Division, Motorcycle Units, Air Support Division, etc., require extensive experience prior to application. Police Officers are eligible to compete in the Police Sergeant or Police Detective examinations after four years of service.

Promotion from Police Officer may be either to Police Detective or to Police Sergeant. A promotion may also be accomplished between Detective and Sergeant. Promotion from Sergeant or Detective is to Police Lieutenant; from there on, there is only one promotional ladder. Successive rungs of the promotional ladder are Police Captain, Police Commander, Police Deputy Chief, and Chief of Police. The position of Assistant Chief is a pay grade advancement within the civil service class of Deputy Chief.

The basic Sergeant position is a field supervisor position; this is the position for which Sergeant promotional candidates must demonstrate their qualifications. There are also administrative and specialist assignments for Sergeants. Detectives do specialized or generalized follow-up investigative work. Examples of the assignments in this civil service class are personnel background investigators, undercover narcotics investigators, internal affairs investigators, and traffic accident follow-up investigators.

Requirements and duties descriptions for higher ranks can be found in job bulletins published by the Personnel Department.

Show: Police Officer I »

Police Officer I

The first step in the career ladder with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is Police Officer I. It is the entry-level classification given to all LAPD officers upon entering the Police Academy. For six months in the Police Academy, officers are taught criminal law, human relations, Spanish, and report writing. In addition, they are trained in tactics, firearms, and driving. Physical fitness and self-defense play a big part in Academy training. A Police Officer I will automatically advance to Police Officer II upon successful completion of his/her 18-month probationary period.

Rank Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
PO I $56,522 $56,798 $61,095 $64,519 $68,048 $71,869 $75,878

Show: Police Officer II »

Police Officer II

After graduating from the Police Academy, a Police Officer I is assigned to a geographic patrol division within the City of Los Angeles where they must utilize all the knowledge and tactics learned in the Academy. At the next step in the promotional ladder, a Police Officer II is still considered a probationary officer and is placed under the supervision of a higher-ranking officer, normally a Police Officer III — Field Training Officer.

A probationary Police Officer II assigned to a patrol unit performs basic duties such as: responding to the scene of a crime or an accident; interviewing suspects and witnesses; writing crime reports; responding to radio calls; monitoring any suspicious activity of ongoing crimes; coordinating vehicular traffic; visiting open businesses such as banks, markets, department stores, and service stations to establish a rapport with owners; booking suspects and evidence and transporting them to the appropriate Police Department facility; responding to citizens’ and visitors’ questions; preparing Daily Field Activity Reports; attending and coordinating Neighborhood Watch meetings; and performing numerous other activities in support of the community policing philosophy.

Show different working titles.

Examples of different working titles:  
Accident Investigator Public Affairs Officer
Assistant Training Coordinator Training Coordinator
Beach Patrol Officer Two-Wheel Traffic Enforcement
Bike Officer Undercover Narcotics
Accident Investigator Public Affairs Officer
Community Relations Officer Warrant Service
Court Liaison Officer Youth Services Officer
Crime Analysis Detail Unit Officer Vice Investigator
Desk Officer Academy Instructor
Footbeat Officer Detective Trainee
Helicopter Observer Legislative Officer
Helicopter Pilot (Fixed Wing Aircraft) News Media Coordinator
Honor Guard Range Officer
Jeopardy Officer Recruitment Officer
Kit-room Officer Driver-Security Aide to Chief of Police and Mayor
Medical Liaison Evidence Officer Senior Lead Officer
Patrol Officer Unusual Occurrence Planning Officer
Preliminary Investigator Vice Investigator
Prostitution Enforcement Detail  
Rank Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
PO II $61,095 $64,519 $68,048 $71,869 $75,878 $80,075

Show: Police Office III »

Police Officer III

With three years of experience as a Police Officer II, officers advance to the next step in the promotional ladder, Police Officer III. A Police Officer III is responsible for enforcing laws and ordinances; protecting life and property; issuing citations, making arrests, preparing reports; meeting with community members; working as a team member; and providing information to the public and departmental units. This position may also supervise as a Field Training Officer. From this classification, you can promote to one of two paths — Sergeant or Detective.

Examples of different working titles:  
Abatement Officer Gang Officer
Academy Instructor Geographic Intelligence Officer
Arrest and Control Instructor Geographic Vice Officer
Basic Car Senior Officer Gun Unit Investigator
Beach Patrol Officer Hate Crime Unit Investigator
Chief Task Force Hazmat Officer
Crime Task Force Assistant Squad Juvenile Car Officer
Desk Officer K-9 Handler
Detective Trainee K-9 Trainer
Dive Unit Labor Relations
Explosives Unit Lawsuit and Claims Investigator
Field Training Officer Lead Recruitment Officer
Firearms and Explosives Officer Mental Evaluation Unit Investigator
Foot-beat Officer Mentor Coordinator
Missing Person Unit Investigator Senior Lead Officer
Mounted Unit Smart Unit Investigator
Narcotics Officer Special Events Coordinator
News Media Officer Subpoena Control Officer
Public Information Officer SWAT Officer
Range and Armor Threat Management Unit React Officer
Researcher (Staff Writing) Timekeeper
Researcher Staff Traffic Follow-Up Investigator
Risk Management Investigator Use of Force Coordinator
Security Aide to the Mayor Vice Officer
Senior Community Relations Officer  
Rank Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
PO III $64,519 $68,048 $71,869 $75,878 $80,075 $84,668

Show: Sergeant I »

Sergeant I

Much like a department manager, a Sergeant I supervises a squad or detail of Police Officers and/or civilian employees. A Sergeant I is required to provide instruction to assigned staff in the operation of their required duties. The basic capacity of a Sergeant I is field supervision, but administrative and specialized assignments are also available. Some Sergeants perform initial and follow-up investigation of crimes and perform surveillance work to detect or prevent crime.

Examples of different working titles:  
Community Relations Officer Jail Supervisor
Court Liaison Supervisor Mayors Security Aide
Discrimination Complaint Investigator Mounted Unit Officer
Division Complaint Sergeant Officer-in-Charge of Specialized Unit
Drug Testing Supervisor Patrol Field Supervisor
Field Supervisor Staff Researcher
Fleet Coordinator Two-Wheel Motor Supervisor
Helicopter Supervisor  
Rank Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
Sergeant I $89,325 $94,273 $99,556