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How to Join SDPD

Physical Abilities Test and Pre-Investigative Questionnaire

For this test, candidates will be required to run a 475-yard obstacle course that measures a broad range of physical abilities that are necessary for police work.

This course, which simulates a suspect chase, will require you to:
  • dodge low hanging objects;
  • climb ladders and stairs;
  • run through a series of pylons;
  • jump, step and/or climb over a 3-foot, 4-foot and 6-foot fence; and
  • partially lift and drag a 155-pound "simulated victim."

You will be provided a vest that weighs approximately 3 pounds and must be worn while performing this test. Shorts or loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict arm and leg movements are suggested as appropriate clothing. Footwear should be comfortable athletic shoes with a gripping rubber sole.

At the time of the test, a test monitor will describe the test more fully and answer any questions you might have. This is a physically strenuous test designed to simulate the actual physical demands placed on Police Officers. If you are not in top physical condition, it is advised that you begin NOW to improve areas where you may need work.

NOTE: If you fail the Physical Abilities Test, you may request to be retested at a later date. No further processing will occur until the Physical Abilities Test has been passed.

The Physical Abilities Test is conducted at the San Diego Police Department training facility located at 4230 Spruance Road, San Diego, CA 92101 (Spruance and Kinkaid Road).

Practice Physical Abilities Tests

Candidates wishing to practice the Physical Abilities Test before starting the process may do so every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m. at the San Diego Police Department training facility. The facility is located at 4230 Spruance Road, San Diego, CA 92101 (Spruance and Kinkaid Road).

Practices will be canceled without notice in the event of inclement weather.

Back to Hiring Process

If you have additional questions about San Diego Police Department Recruiting, see the Frequently Asked Questions, call 619-531-COPS (2677) or email

If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

To access 9-1-1 from a cell phone or outside San Diego, dial 619-531-2065.

For 24-hour non-emergencies, dial 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154.