Jobs, Training and Facilities

OPOS background investigations go paperless

By Steve Stone, Assistant Chief
Office of Peace Officer Selection

The Office of Peace Officer Selection (OPOS) has begun transitioning background investigators to new, state-of-the-art software called eSOPH. or Electronic Statement of Personal History. The software will replace investigation functions in the Access database OPOS developed and began using in 1998.

Drastically reduces OPOS investigation time

The software offers a number of automated functions other agencies have demonstrated reduce investigation time by over 50 percent. 

Additionally, the software includes an integrated social media screening service, credit reporting service, and an electronic fax service. With an online personal history statement, eSOPH is a paperless, cloud-based service.

The software allows investigators to access the system from any location with internet access. 

Beginning in January, OPOS provided candidates an eSOPH access code after passing the physical fitness test and completing an initial background survey online. 

Candidates create profiles online

Candidates can create their profile in eSOPH, complete their Personal History Statement (PHS), and upload required documents. The software highlights required fields and does not allow candidates to submit their PHS until it is complete.

Requiring a complete PHS before submitting saves up to two weeks, or more, per investigation.    

OPOS Chief Rob Calderon said, “eSOPH is the right solution for the times we’re in. We need to maintain our process flow to meet the department’s hiring needs but COVID-19 required us to slow down. (This software) allows us to increase our candidate flow back to pre-pandemic numbers and to do it faster.” 

Used by more than 40 law enforcement agencies

More than 40 agencies in the western United States use eSOPH. Users include the California Highway Patrol, Nevada Highway Patrol, Riverside Sheriff’s Department, San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, Ventura Sheriff’s Office, and the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office. The Sacramento, Santa Ana and Santa Monica Police Departments are also eSOPH agencies. 

Background Investigation Unit Captain Dennis Mc Taggart noted, “eSOPH identifies other agencies candidates have applied with and my investigators can request to electronically review those files.”

McTaggart added, “It saves staff time and the expense of driving to the other agencies, improves time management for investigators, and improves the safety of staff for both agencies.” 

OPOS says CDCR has jobs for qualified candidates

Hiring projections for correctional officers in fiscal year 2021/22 are increasing over the current year. Combined with a decline in applications during COVID-19, additional well-qualified applicants are needed statewide.

Chief Calderon added, “We need your friends and family to apply, particularly in our northern region where the decline in applications has hit hardest. Our employees continue to be our best recruiters and I’m reaching out to them.” 

According to OPOS, the eSOPH software promises to make the selection process faster, safer, and more convenient for incoming candidates. 

To find out more about a career as a Correctional Officer at the website.