SAN ANTONIO -- Only about five percent of everyone who applies actually makes it on the force. The San Antonio Police Department has a tough application process but are working to make sure more people pass the test to join the ranks.
Recruiting officers gave News 4 WOAI an inside look at what applicants must go through before they can join the police academy. Recently, about 1,000 people applied but only 50 made it to the academy, so the department is always recruiting.
Qualified people who meet civil service standards begin by taking an entrance exam. Those that pass move on to a physical fitness exam, where about half of the applicants fail. The people who pass undergo an extensive background check, an interview with an assessment board made up of three officers, a polygraph and finally a medical and psychological exam. Applicants must pass every single step to make it to the academy, but those who fail portions like the entrance exam or the fitness test can get a second, or even a third chance.
"They might not pass it the first time, but they do it and come back and re-apply and have a very successful career," Sgt. Stacey Sullivan said.
Officers are working to make sure more people will pass by offering physical readiness training and a study guide for the entrance exam.
"We're not trying to hide anything. We want everyone to know up front what it takes to pass these tests. There are some steps you can't study for, like a polygraph exam," Sgt. Sullivan said.
He said they are not looking for "perfect people" and are just looking for "honest people."
If you'd like to find out more information about the physical requirements or what the civil service standards are, check out the SAPD Careers website