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The San Diego State University Police Department has an allocated force of 22 sworn police officers and 23 support staff. Our police officers have graduated from a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) academy and are empowered by section 830.2 (c) of the California Penal Code. Officers possess the same authority and adhere to the same state-mandated standards, as municipal police officers.

Whether on foot, behind the wheel of a patrol car, or on bike, officers are here to protect and serve the campus community and adjacent neighborhoods 24-hours a day, every day of the year. Officers work in a diverse environment and take pride in delivering superior law enforcement services to the College Area Community.

San Diego State University currently has nearly 33,000 registered students, and 6,400 faculty and staff members. It is the oldest and largest university in San Diego and the third largest university in California. Our officers and dispatchers handled over 56,000 calls for service in 2006 and addressed crime and quality of life issues at the main campus as well as our numerous satellite facilities throughout San Diego County. We pride ourselves on the strength of our working relationships with departments and community members throughout the SDSU family.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the SDSU Police Department is to:

  • Protect the public through proactive law enforcement and to promote a safe and secure environment.
  • Address issues that impede or disrupt the orderly operation of the academic process.
  • Protect university property by initiating police action — enforcing laws and regulations, and arresting offenders — and educating the public in crime-prevention techniques.
  • Mitigate liability and hazards to the university.

Overview of Positions

sdsu police vehicle

Police Officers

SDSU Police Officers are authorized per section 830.2 (c) of the California Penal Code and therefore may enforce laws and make arrests anywhere in the state. Our primary responsibility is to the SDSU campus and immediate surroundings, and officers generally work within a one-mile radius of campus. Police officers work one of two 3/12 shifts and are expected to patrol the campus by vehicle and on foot to protect university personnel and property against accidents, thefts, assault, and other crime-related problems.

Officers are first responders to all calls for service on campus including crimes in progress, medical emergencies, traffic accidents, and quality of life issues. They are expected to utilize a wide range of community policing skills to address the unique needs of our community.

Officers typically work a variety of overtime assignments including NCAA Division I sporting events, concerts at Viejas Arena and the Open Air Theatre, college and high school graduations, and dignitary security. In addition, officers regularly work with federal, state and local allied agencies in combined enforcement and special detail activities. We also enjoy a positive working relationship with the San Diego Police Department, with whom we share concurrent jurisdiction.

Eligible police officer candidates must be United States citizens or permanent resident aliens who have applied for U.S. citizenship. You must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. and a valid California driver’s license.

All applicants must pass a panel interview, a physical agility exam, comprehensive physical exam including drug testing, a psychological evaluation, polygraph exam, and a thorough background investigation.

Entry level applicants must also be 21 years of age by date of graduation from a California POST certified academy and must pass a written test measuring reading and writing abilities.

patrol car interior

Officer pay scales [PDF] vary by step, promotion, and additional compensation for special assignments.


The Communications Center is the hub and heart of the SDSU Police Department, where POST certified dispatchers receive emergency and non-emergency calls. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and dispatchers work a variety of shifts. The center is staffed by two, full-time, lead dispatchers and five regular dispatchers who are responsible for performing a wide range of communication and law enforcement functions.

dispatch comm center

These include:

  • Answering 9-1-1 emergency calls
  • Handling campus “blue light” duress phone calls
  • Answering non-emergency calls
  • Radio dispatching of police officers, parking officers, and community service officers
  • Walk-up service window
  • Monitoring the campus card access system
  • Monitoring fire and intrusion alarm systems
  • Accessing, inquiring, and updating criminal database systems

Dispatchers at SDSU are faced with a unique and challenging work environment. Unlike some larger agencies which have dedicated dispatchers to answer phones and dispatch officers, SDSU dispatchers are required to handle all of these duties at once. They also provide non-emergency services such as vehicle impound releases, authorizing room unlocks, and handling after-hours escort and maintenance requests for the entire campus.

Eligible applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and valid California driver’s license and must pass an extensive background check and physical exam. There are also special qualifications outlined in the job announcement.

Parking Officers

Parking Offices with the SDSU Police Department work varied shifts and patrol the campus on foot, by bike, or by vehicle. They issue parking citations for vehicles in violation of university parking rules and regulations and the California Vehicle Code. Parking officers also provide pedestrian and vehicle traffic control, serve as extra eyes and ears for the police department, provide general information to the public, maintain permit machines, provide jump starts to disabled vehicles, and escort emergency vehicles onto campus.

One of the other main jobs of our parking officers is to plan and implement traffic control plans for all major special events on campus. These events can occur during and after normal work hours and include events such as large concerts, sporting events and graduation. Parking officers are an integral part of the police department.

To be eligible for this position applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and valid California driver’s license and successfully pass a background check and physical exam.

Community Service Officers

The Community Service Officers (CSO) program is based on the philosophy that we are:

  • Enhancing our service delivery to the campus community
  • Enhancing the safety and security of all campus members
  • Providing students with a learning experience in law enforcement
  • Providing employment and practical experience to our students

CSOs are SDSU students who work for the police department. They patrol campus property, perform security checks, parking enforcement, special event traffic control, and various administrative support functions.

To be eligible for a CSO position, students must be enrolled at SDSU, in good academic standing, and have six or more units.

Unique Experience

As a member of the San Diego State University Police Department, you will find the work interesting, challenging, and rewarding. The department provides numerous opportunities for career development including a wide variety of specialty/stipend positions. Police officers receive extensive training opportunities, and new and creative approaches to law enforcement are always encouraged.

The work environment is pleasant and professional, and the personal benefits are hard to match. The Department’s motto, “Commitment to Safety and Service” describes what is expected from our employees.

Specialty Positions

Because of the unique nature of academic policing and the environment in which SDSU police officers work, the following is a list of currently assigned specialty positions for which additional compensation is available:

K9 patrol car

  • Field Training Officer (FTO)
  • K-9
  • Bike Patrol
  • Firearms Instructor
  • Critical Response Unit (CRU)
  • Intox/PAS Coordinator
  • Traffic Accident Investigator
  • Trolley Liaison Officer
  • Field Evidence Technician
  • JTTF Liaison
  • SART Investigator
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor
  • Special Weapons Instructor
  • Housing Liaison Officer
  • Greek Life Liaison Officer
  • Remote Facilities Officer
  • Alcohol Prevention
  • Bi-lingual Officer
  • Traffic/Motors
  • Special Operations Unit

Vacant or upcoming positions may include:

  • Driver Awareness Trainer

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Sample Activity Log

The SDSU Police Department handles an average of 3,200 service calls per month. To get an idea of the type of calls we respond to, see a sample activity log [PDF].

Current Opportunities

You can view the current job opportunity flyers below:

Ride Along

The SDSU Police Department offers interested individuals the opportunity to ride along with a police officer in the field to observe the patrol activities of the campus and immediate surrounding areas; this is known as a “ride-along.” This program is offered to allow those interested in a law enforcement career, as well as community members, a better understanding of the functions of an SDSU Police Officer and the overall operation of the police department.

If you are interested in participating in the University Police Ride Along Program, please contact Communications at 619-594-1991 and ask to speak with the Sergeant in charge of the shift you would like to ride along with. The police department operates two 12-hour shifts, day shift and graveyards. Please have in mind a few possible ride-along dates and times before calling for an appointment. For example, “Hi, I would like to speak with the weekend graveyard Sergeant to schedule a ride along.” The Sergeant will schedule your ride along based on staffing levels and anticipated activity.

Please be aware that all ride-along applicants are subject to a background check prior to riding with an officer.



Navigational links to on-line application system

SDSU Human Resources

Staff On-line Application System

Thank you for considering San Diego State University as your career choice.


Application Process


New Applicant:

If you are a new applicant, welcome! Please read the information below before proceeding:

  • Do not click on the <Back> button —
    The <Back> or <Forward> buttons will not work in the application and you may lose data that you have entered. Please use the provided links to move between pages.

  • To submit attachments to your application —
    You may attach a resume, cover letter, transcripts, letters of recommendation, or other documents to your application. We recommend that each attachment contain your name and the recruitment number of the job for which you are applying. Human Resources cannot accept hard-copy files. You may copy and paste your resume into your application, but for best results we suggest that you attach it.

If you need assistance, please contact the SDSU Center for Human Resources at (619) 594-1143 or E-mail.

I Would Like To Apply

We suggest that you register (create a user name and password) and create your profile now. However, you may search our job postings without registering. You will be required to register before you can apply for a position. User names and passwords are case sensitive. Please keep a record of this information for future use.




Current SDSU Employees Only:

I’m an SDSU Employee Applying for a Job

If you are an SDSU employee applying for a job, please call Business Information Systems (BIS) at ext. 4-0899 to obtain your password or to have it reset.



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For more information, contact the Business Information Systems’ BIS Help Desk at ext. 4-0899 or ext. 4-3737.



SDSU is a Title IX employer and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, disability or veteran status, including veterans of the Vietnam era.


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This page last updated July 2, 2014
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