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Bill Spears


Growing up on the Central Coast of California, Bill Spears began his law enforcement career in 1988 as a Police Explorer and Cadet for the Santa Maria Police Department during high school. During college in 1992, he completed Reserve Officer Training and was hired as a Reserve Police Officer for the Guadalupe Police Department and concurrently served as an Intern Investigator with the Santa Barbara Co District Attorney’s Criminal Investigations Division. In 1994, he attended Class 57 at the Allan Hancock College Police Academy.

In 1994, Bill was hired by the Madera Police Department as a Police Officer. During his time there, he had the ability to work in several capacities and assignments. After starting in patrol, he was selected for the Operations Task Force where he worked gangs, crime scene investigation, electronic surveillance, auto theft, search warrant entry team, and narcotics operations. He participated in two federal task forces with the DEA and US Secret Service where he worked in undercover operations.

Bill was then selected as the first motorcycle officer in the agency’s history and was assigned for to that position for 12 years. His contributions to traffic safety led to him giving numerous presentations to the local schools and community organizations. He wrote a traffic column in the local newspaper and worked with several joint operations with the “AVOID” DUI enforcement campaigns.

His additional assignments were Field Training Officer, Honor Guard member, Civil Unrest Team, Radar Instructor, Hit & Run investigator, Recruiter, and watch commander. He was also selected to join the newly created Regional SWAT Team where he soon became the sniper team leader. Bill also had the pleasure of creating the department’s Explorer Post and the creation of the local Explorer Academy.

During his tenure with the Madera PD, he received the Achievement Award, Lifesaving award, Lifesaving with Valor, DUI Awards, 10851 Awards (stolen vehicle recovery), and he was the Officer of the year in 2011.

In 2013, he joined the BART Police Department as a Police Sergeant. He was assigned to patrol and supervised the Honor Guard and Explorer Post. Bill used crime reporting statistics and recruited officers to perform special operations throughout the district for surveillance and directed enforcement projects. In 2015, he became the CAP Team Sergeant and supervised a mutual aid team in Washington DC to assist with the 45th Presidential Inauguration.

In 2017, Bill left BART PD to become the Criminal Investigations Lieutenant for the Madera County District Attorney’s Office. While there, he assisted with several homicide investigations, jail call reviews, critical incident command posts, court case preparation, and crime scene investigations. Bill managed the prisoner extradition program, witness protection program, and VIP security as well as supervising teams of public safety personnel during valley area wildfires.

In 2018, Bill returned to the BART PD and served as a FTO Sergeant on patrol until he was assigned to the Internal Affairs unit. On September 5, 2022, Bill was promoted to Lieutenant. He was assigned as the Zone 1 area Commander (Oakland) in October 2022.

Bill received his associate degree in administration of justice from Allan Hancock College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology and his master’s degree in public administration from Kaplan University. He is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute Class 460.

In addition to his career in law enforcement, Bill joined the US Army National Guard in 2000 where he started as a tank crewman on the M1A1 Abrams tank and ended his career as a Platoon Sergeant with the Infantry. He served in many capacities which included a humanitarian mission to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and two combat deployments to Iraq. He earned several awards and commendations and is a Purple Heart recipient. Bill was selected as the NCO of the year for the 40th Infantry Division in 2012. Bill retired in 2021 after 21 years of service to the nation.

In his leisure time, Bill likes to travel, attend concerts, ride his motorcycle, and volunteer with the local VFW.

Frequently asked Questions

California State Minimum Selection Standards (Per P.O.S.T)

  • The minimum peace officer selection standards are set forth in Government Code Sections 1029, 1031, and 1031.4. Every California peace officer must be:
  • Free from any disqualifications for employment, including felony convictions (GC 1029) 
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States under Federal Law.
  • At least 21 years of age for specified peace officers (GC 1031.4)
  • Fingerprinted for purposes of search of local, state, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record
  • Of good moral character, as determined by a thorough background investigation
  • high school graduate, pass the General Education Development test or other high school equivalency test approved by CDE, or have attained a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree from an accredited or approved institution
  • Found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition, including bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, which might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer
Candidates need to be 20 to apply and attend the academy 21 at the time of swearing in
  • Three (3) or more moving violations within three (3) years prior to the date application
  • Involvement as a driver in two or more chargeable (at fault) collisions within three (3) years to date of application 
  • Integrity: Any material misstatement of fact during any stage of the hiring process
  • Any prior felony conviction
  • Any misdemeanor conviction within three (3) years prior to the date of application 
  • Two (2) or more misdemeanor convictions as an adult 
  • Use of a hallucinogenic drug within 7 years of application
  • Use of any other illegal drug use as an adult not mentioned above within 3 years of application 
  • Having any outstanding warrant of arrest at time of application 
  • Admission(s) of any act of domestic violence
  • Admission(s) of any criminal act against children

Note: The hiring and background requirements are quite stringent. This is not an all-inclusive list of disqualifying factors, (see BPD Policy 1000 v.2/2/17).

  • Application
  • Written test
  • Physical Agility test
  • Oral board interview
  • Background Investigation (including polygraph) 
  • Chief’s Interview
  • Conditional Job Offer (From Human Resources)
  • Medical exam
  • Psychological exam (Police Officers and Police Dispatchers only)
  • Final Job Offer (From Human Resources)
  • Do an online search for “POST Pellet B practice test”
  • Research the department online
  • Do a ride-a-long (call 510-464-7681 to set up after application has been submitted)
  • Research oral board sample questions online
  • The process takes approximately 3-6 months


The mission of the BART Police Department is to ensure a safe environment within our transit system, reduce crime through a highly visible police presence, and proactive enforcement of the law, and to promote public confidence by working in partnership with our stakeholders and the communities we serve.
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