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Job Descriptions

Part-time Background Investigator


Under the supervision of the Chief of Police or designee, conducts background investigations of potential employees of the Turlock Police Department, as assigned.

The background investigator will conduct investigations of potential employees of the Turlock Police Department by interviewing employers, co-workers, neighbors, law enforcement officials, military personnel, members of the candidateís family and personal references; prepare reports on findings; travel to and from various locations for the investigation; and perform other related duties as assigned by the Chief of Police.

This position requires knowledge of English usage, spelling, grammar, punctuation and written communication skills. This position also requires excellent customer services skills as well as the ability to operate various types of office equipment.


This is an hourly position, limited to 960 hours annually. This position is non-benefited and is designated as a non-classified, at-will position.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Interviews candidates for employment regarding information provided to the Turlock Police Department in the Personal History Statement.
  • Interviews references provided by the candidate including relatives, neighbors, current and former employers, and any other people as deemed necessary based on the investigation.
  • Obtains other documents from the candidate to verify the suitability for employment, including but not limited to a credit history report and criminal history report; provides a narrative interpretation of the report.
  • Obtains copies of all pertinent accident and police reports from law enforcement agencies, and any other documents as required for the background investigation.
  • Prepares reports of backgrounds on candidates for employment consistent with Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) guidelines as well as Turlock Police Department policy.
  • Interviews both cooperative and reluctant references.
  • Keeps detailed and comprehensive notes on assigned investigations.
  • Prepares reports that articulate the correlation between qualifying/disqualifying information and the job dimensions as recognized by POST.
  • Travel by automobile or other means in areas outside of Turlock in order to gather background investigation information.

  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Confidentiality law related to personnel records, handling requests for information on candidates from other departments, agencies, public or media
  • Rationales for confidentiality sufficient to ensure the integrity and personal privacy of candidate background investigation files and all information contained therein
  • Principles and practices of confidentiality sufficient to recognize actions that may compromise the integrity of investigation or investigation file documents
  • Various technical specialists available to assist in an investigation and when to request such assistance

  • Objective symptoms of use of alcohol and commonly used controlled substances, sufficient to recognize when a person may be under the influence

Ability to:

  • Selection standards
  • Learn to operate computers and various law enforcement software programs typically used in the position
  • Read, comprehend and interpret detailed, complex written material
  • Prepare clear, concise written reports
  • Analyze complex ideas or activities into smaller parts; simultaneously consider numerous acts, perceive patterns and relationships; develop theories about past occurrences based on numerous small bits of information or evidence; compare and interpret information; recognize and examine discrepancies; and draw logical conclusion
  • Manage time sufficient to prioritize and combine investigations when practicable to ensure timely completion
  • Handle several cases at one time
  • Utilize appropriate investigative techniques for administrative investigation to frame a reflective image of the candidateís background
  • Communicate and deal tactfully, persuasively and effectively with co-workers, supervisors, management and public
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity through tact and courtesy when dealing with individuals from various social, cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds.
  • Work cooperatively as a part of a team
  • Remain calm and focused when interviewing distraught or angry persons
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills required to discuss matters that are of a sensitive and sometimes inflammatory nature with candidates, supervisors, and managers
  • Listen, in-person and on the telephone, as required to pay close attention to what is being said and ask follow-up questions
  • Develop pertinent questions for interviews, perceive when the person being interviewed has not understood, rephrase or clarify questions, follow-up on unanswered questions or conflicting statements and keep the interview focused on the material to be covered



Three years of law enforcement experience where duties consist of investigation, report taking, or other relevant law enforcement research experience.


High School diploma or equivalent


Possession of a valid California Driverís License, minimum Class C, at time of application; to be maintained as a condition of continued employment.

Successfully complete a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Background Investigators course or training program within the first eighteen (18) months of employment.


Prior experience as a Law Enforcement Background Investigator


Maintain the following physical abilities: see well enough to read instructions, read fine print, view computer screen, operate vehicles and equipment; hear well enough to converse on the telephone, on the radio and in person assisting individuals; bodily mobility to lift and maneuver supplies and equipment; use of hands and fingers for use of computer keyboard, copy machine, filing, writing, drive equipment and answering telephones; tolerate extreme fluctuations in temperature while performing essential functions and be able to lift equipment as necessary.

    For questions about City employment, please contact:

    Human Relations
    156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
    Turlock, CA 95380-5454
    (209) 668-5150
    Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

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