The City of San Diego uses the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission's guidelines on hearing requirements for Police Recruit applicants. These guidelines require pure tone threshold testing for each ear separately at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz. For acoustical reasons, audiograms must be done without hearing aids in place.
An additional examination by a medical specialist will be required if the screening audiogram is considered "abnormal" or there is a history of ear-related symptoms. In general, an audiogram is considered to be abnormal if thresholds exceed 25 dB. In these cases, the examining physician must determine 1) whether the hearing loss is functionally relevant to the safe performance of patrol duties, and 2)whether the candidate needs to be evaluated by a hearing specialist to assess treatment options and/or prognosis.
Candidates with Hearing Aids
Candidates who wish to be tested with their hearing aids will be administered a test to assess speech comprehension ability in noise and quiet. Both tests will be administered by sound field methods rather than headphones. An aided audiogram will be reviewed to evaluate sound detection ability.
Prior to testing, the candidate must attest that he/she has worn the aids regularly for at least one month. In addition, all records from the audiologist who dispensed the hearing aids must be provided, including documentation of the fitting program and other hearing aid settings, which are used on a regular basis by the individual.
As a condition of employment, candidates who wear hearing aids will be required to sign a pre-employment agreement obligating them to wear their hearing aids when assigned to filed duty or other hearing critical tasks.
NOTE: Any evaluation by a hearing specialist, including additional audiogram testing, will be at the applicant's expense.