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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $5 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Public Safety Officer Trainee

Department of Public Safety Los Angeles, California


The USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) is one of the largest campus public safety departments in the United States employing 306 full-time personnel and 30 part-time student workers. Under the leadership of Chief John Thomas, the department’s primary mission is to provide a safe and secure environment on campus and in the local USC community that allows students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to realize their academic and social pursuits. The department offers a variety of quality public safety services and educational programs administered through the utilization of highly trained personnel, state-of-the-art technology, and a community-based policing philosophy. For more information about the department, visit the DPS website at

PLEASE READ:  The department has 2 separate recruitments for Public Safety Officer which include Public Safety Officer I (lateral officers, and academy graduates), and Public Safety Officer Trainee (pre-service candidates). Please see below for definition of each.  It is the candidate’s responsibility for apply for the correct position.

  • Public Safety Officer I (lateral officers, and academy graduates): Candidates who have graduated from a California Basic P.O.S.T. recognized police academy and are currently or have previously been employed as a police officer, and candidates who have graduated from a California Basic P.O.S.T. recognized police academy without prior police employment can apply to the job posting titled Public Safety Officer I. For P.O.S.T. information and requirements please visit
  • Public Safety Officer Trainee (pre-service candidates): Candidates who have not completed a California Basic P.O.S.T. recognized police academy can apply to the job posting titled Public Safety Officer Trainee. If selected, you will be sent to the LAPD Academy for six months of training. Training is free and you are paid your full starting salary during training. Pre-service candidates who are currently attending an academy may be promoted from Public Safety Officer Trainee to Public Safety Officer I upon the successful completion of the academy. 


The USC Department of Public Safety is recruiting for the position of Public Safety Officer Trainee (Pre-service) to fill current vacancies, as well as establish an eligibility list for future vacancies. We seek energetic, enthusiastic, and hardworking individuals for our department. The Public Safety Officer Trainee (Pre-service) is a non-sworn, probationary (fixed term) position and attends the LAPD police academy training for 6 months to learn practices, procedures and techniques of law enforcement, crime prevention, community relations, first aid, physical conditioning and weapons handling. Public Safety Officer Trainees must successfully pass all phases of the police academy training to advance to a Public Safety Officer I (PSO I) position where you will provide service to support the general safety of the university community by responding to calls for routine and/or emergency assistance in both criminal and non-criminal matters. The PSO I is an armed position and has peace officer “powers of arrest” authority pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the LAPD while on-duty. 


  • Participates in and successfully completes prescribed law enforcement officer training program for entry level Police Officer.
  • Learns to understand and follow oral and written instructions. Demonstrates effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Develops an understanding of officer survival and the need for sustaining physical fitness. Maintains acceptable standards of mental and physical fitness throughout the training program.
  • Works with an assigned field training officer to learn field activities, tactics and strategic planning.
  • Learns to make arrests and serve warrants and subpoenas.
  • Learns to transport individuals for medical clearances and booking as required.
  • Learns the methods of and assists in securing crime scenes and evidence, interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses. Demonstrates knowledge of collecting and preserving evidence.
  • Displays a satisfactory level of competence in report writing and the laws of arrest and seizure. Learns to prepare and maintain accurate official logs, reports, records and files.
  • Successfully obtains training in defensive driving and California Vehicle and Penal Codes.
  • Learns to observe, monitor and control routine and unusual traffic situations.


  • Strong dedication to public service and interest in law enforcement
  • Understanding of local, state and federal laws
  • Ability to work in difficult and high-pressure situations
  • Ability to communicate with people from all walks of life
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to remain calm and poised in challenging situations
  • Good interpersonal skills


Application materials will be carefully evaluated; applicants who document possession of experience and education which most closely meet the requirements of the position will be invited to participate in the next phase of the selection process. Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an invitation to future steps in the process. Testing for qualified candidates will be scheduled once a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. The selection process consists of: written examination, physical fitness qualifier, oral interviews, in-depth background investigation (conducted under CA P.O.S.T. guidelines), psychological evaluation, medical examination, and University’s background screening by HireRight.


The hourly rate for this full time position is $28.00 and you are eligible for over-time. You are paid your full starting salary during training. Upon the successful completion of the academy, you will be promoted from Public Safety Officer Trainee to Public Safety Officer I and your salary will increase to $31.97 per hour. Hourly employees are paid on a bi-weekly pay cycle.


We pride ourselves in creating the BEST USC EXPERIENCE, and that begins with our employees! We offer a wide variety of benefits and programs that support our staff and their families. For more details visit the USC Employee Gateway Benefits and Perks website at


Individuals interested in being considered for this position must submit an application and resume and respond to the required supplemental questions. Applicants are expected to accurately document their related experience and any training, education, and/or skills relevant to this position. Applicants should respond to all supplemental questions, even if the information is also contained in the application. If you are a current USC employee, you must apply through our internal career site in Workday.

REQ20066633 Posted Date: 12/10/2018 - Thru date - 2018-12-14

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