Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) Application
Prior to beginning the background investigation, candidates who pass the physical testing, written test, and oral board interview and who have not been previously disqualified must complete an in-depth background questionnaire called the “PHQ.” Every aspect of the candidate’s previous history is to be recorded on this document. The form is available online and access is provided to candidates who pass both the physical agility and written test and who have not been previously disqualified from our hiring process. It is critical that this form is completed truthfully and in its entirety. Any falsehoods are grounds for immediate rejection.
We seek candidates with the highest moral and ethical standards. The background investigation must indicate that you have the necessary honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity required for being a public servant. You must pass this phase to proceed to the next step in the selection process.
During the investigation stage, background investigators may contact individuals listed in the PHQ such as employers, family, friends, associates, neighbors, and non-listed references. In addition, investigators may review your work history and speak to coworkers, teachers, previous dating partners, and anyone else who can offer insights into your suitability for police work.
The purpose of this investigation is to gain a full understanding of your personal history. The investigation may be discontinued at any time should it be determined that candidates have demonstrated character traits that are inconsistent with the bureau’s mission statement, law enforcement profession, and established civil service regulations. Candidates will be eliminated if it is determined that they have not met the standards to be an officer with the Lancaster City Bureau of Police.
Candidates who have been eliminated from the hiring process have the right to appeal the disqualification according to the Rules and Regulations of the Civil Service Board.
The required polygraph examination is administered by certified polygraphists and interrogation experts. The test consists of questions designed to verify the truthfulness of the police applicant and the information in the PHQ. No candidate who fails a polygraph will be appointed to the police department
Candidates are administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 or MMPI2-RF) by the licensed psychologist and are required to have a psychological evaluation with a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania.
The medical evaluation consists of a complete physical examination. Candidates will provide a medical history and complete an eye examination (corrected vision must be 20/20), color blindness test, and other examinations consistent with a thorough physical examination. The physical examination is given to all candidates as part of their pre-employment background screening. Candidates must pass this phase before proceeding to the next step in the selection process.
Police officer candidates will be required to take a drug-screening test. Random drug-screening is also performed on all active police officers throughout their careers.