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How To Become A Police Officer In Washington State

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Basic Qualifications: Do You Qualify

Washington’s law enforcement prepare for new reform laws taking effect Sunday
  • Must possess a High School Diploma, G.E.D. or equivalent.
  • Must possess a valid Nevada drivers license.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen by the time of application
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have no felony convictions
  • Must have no convictions for offenses of domestic violence
  • Must not have a poor credit history where multiple accounts are in collections
  • Must be someone of good moral character & reputation
  • Must not have any discriminatory & offensive tattoos

Your California Privacy Rights

If you are a California resident, you have the additional data rights listed below. You can exercise some of these rights by utilizing the prompts within messages we send you within your account settings, or within the privacy settings on our web pages. Otherwise, you are also able to exercise these rights by contacting our support team using the privacy support emails listed at the end of this Policy. Please note, if we cannot verify your identity we may deny certain data right requests. You can designate an authorized agent to submit requests on your behalf, but we require written proof of the agents permission and verify your identity directly.

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our visitors who are California customers to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal data to third parties for the third parties direct marketing purposes. To make such a request please send a letter to:, Inc., 300 Continental Blvd. Suite 565, El Segundo, CA 90245 Attn: Privacy Department. Requests must include California Privacy Rights Request in the first line of the description and include your name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. Please note Governmentjobs is not required to respond to requests made by means other than through the provided mail address.

State Trooper Jobs With The Highway Patrol In Washington

WSP was only the third state law enforcement agency in the country to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies . That level of expertise and professionalism has continued to carry through to today, with the agency receiving an Accreditation with Excellence award from CALEA in 2016, signifying its position as one of the finest agencies in the country.

There are more than 1,000 state troopers currently working for the Washington State Highway Patrol, with a jurisdiction that includes the entire state not only its highways. State trooper in Washington are based out of the following districts:

  • District 1: Tacoma
  • Have no felony convictions on record
  • Be willing to relocate to anywhere in the state as needed
  • Be willing to work long hours, rotating shifts, and weekends

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Preparing For The Fitness Ability Test

The physical ability test is about the only open book part of the testing process there is really no excuse for not being prepared! Proper preparation is critical. The Criminal Justice Training Commission offers advice/suggestion on preparing for the physical ability test.

Before beginning a physical exercise program it is strongly recommended that you be cleared by a doctor to undertake such a program. Individuals 40 years of age or older should not begin a program until they have been cleared by a doctor.

Whereas many training routines can be used to improve performance in the Fitness Ability Test, participants should keep in mind that physical training is specific. That is, one improves in those activities that are practiced. If one wishes to optimize push-up performance, push-ups should be included in the training program. Many other exercises can also be included to strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms, but push-ups should be included in the routine.

The following program is progressive to allow the body time to adapt and build up. It is assumed that the applicant will begin this program at least 12 weeks in advance of the test date.

Delayed muscle soreness, 24-48 hours post exercise, may occur as a result of any new exercise program. This soreness should only be mild in nature and should dissipate prior to the next scheduled exercise session.

Data Security And Integrity

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We implement physical, technical, and administrative safeguards designed to maintain data accuracy, integrity, and security, prevent unauthorized access, and facilitate correct use of personal data. Our security measures take into account the risk of harm to you and Customers, as well as the availability of technology, industry common practices, effectiveness of mitigation controls, and the sustainability of those controls by us.

Although we maintain the controls listed herein, transmission of data is not without risk and we complete security of your personal data cannot be guaranteed. Please note, you are responsible for keeping your login credentials secret at all times, including your username and password.

In the event we believe the security of your personal data in our possession or control may be compromised, we may seek to notify you by e-mail and you consent to our use of e-mail as a means of such notification.

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General Training And Hiring Requirements For Law Enforcement Jobs In Washington

Under the rules of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, all new hires for Washington state trooper, municipal police officer and county sheriffs deputy positions must complete at least 720 hours of basic training.

All agencies have their own standards, but the general qualifications that apply to most include:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid state drivers license
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Have no record of felony convictions
  • Willing to relocate within county/municipality as required
  • Pass physical, written, psychological and polygraph tests
  • Pass background investigation

Washington State Law Enforcement Certification Standards

To maintain the excellent reputation of the police departments in Washington State aspiring applicants must meet certain requirements before they can be accepted in the police academy. However, keep in mind that apart from the police academy requirements in Washington State which we have mentioned below, the different police departments have additional requirements as well.

The most basic requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be 19 ½ years old to apply
  • Must have a valid, non-probationary, non-restricted Washington State drivers license
  • Must have a high school diploma or the equivalent from an accredited school
  • Must pass a thorough background check
  • Must pass a departmental medical examination
  • Must be free from the use of narcotics and other controlled substances
  • Must pass a psychological examination

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Apply For Police Officer Jobs

To begin your career in law enforcement, apply for police officer jobs in Washington. Most police departments coordinate a recruit’s training after they secure a police officer position. To find open positions, use online resources to view local police department’s social media pages or review government websites. Consider contacting police departments to ask about open positions, or visit police departments in your area to find any job openings.

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Becoming A Police Officer In Washington State

Police officers feel limited by new law enforcement reforms in Washington

In 2013, there were approximately 8,160 police officers in the state of Washington, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . There are a number of police departments in all major cities of the state. If you wish to become a police officer in WA, you must meet the minimum educational and training requirements set by your local police recruitment agency/department. Before you apply for the position, it is essential you understand the career and find out how to become a police officer in WA. You should also know whether you have the desire or passion to serve your community. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to become a police officer?
  • Are you ready to protect others?
  • Are you ready to use force to protect others and yourself?
  • Can you handle the emotional and physical stress that comes with job?
  • Are you ready to tackle dangerous situations that may possibly be life threatening?

According to another set of data published by O*NET OnLine in 2015, police officers in Washington earned a median annual income of $74,950. The job growth in this field in Washington is expected to take place at the rate of 11% from 2014 to 2024.

Job Title

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Is It Hard To Get Into Police Academy

Is the Police Academy harder than basic training? The short answer to this question is that it depends. Most police academies are known to be more difficult than basic training, but it can depend on where you study. Basic training teaches the core skills and knowledge to succeed in a military environment.

Earn A High School Diploma Or Ged

Washington requires that you earn a high school diploma or GED before applying for police officer positions. While completing your degree, try taking courses that may grow your legal knowledge, like government or public policy. Be sure to keep a copy of your graduation certificate so that you may provide it when applying for police officer jobs.

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Police Officer Job Growth

Police officers are a vital component to maintaining a peaceful society. While still subject to cost cutting like any other private sector industry, the demand for police officers remains relatively steady for the foreseeable future. For more detailed job growth information, please see the below chart.

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Metropolitan Police Department Information

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The DC Metropolitan Police Department is one of the 10 largest police forces in the country.3 Founded in 1861, the MPD prides itself on the use of state-of-the-art technology to solve crimes and community policing to keep neighborhoods and residents safe. In 2017, the department answered 636,653 calls for service with an average response time of six minutes and 41 seconds.3

The MPD has six bureaus: patrol services, homeland security, corporate support, strategic services, investigative services, and internal affairs bureau. Officers begin their service working in patrol and are assigned to one of the citys 56 Patrol Service Areas . New officers to the MPD must work for a minimum of three years in basic patrol duties before being advanced to other departments or teams. Opportunities for advancement include positions on the canine unit, the bomb squad, the crime scene investigation unit, the harbor patrol unit, the helicopter branch, and many others.

Between 2001 and 2015, the MPD worked with the Department of Justice under a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding to reduce the number and severity of use of force incidents involving MPD police.3 In 2015, the department was found compliant in reducing the most serious types of force. However, in 2016 and 2017 use of force incidents increased the MPD has said it is reviewing these reports and is still committed to managing the use of force and upholding constitutional policing practices.4

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Police Officer Training In Washington

In Washington, Basic Law Enforcement Academy is a mandatory training academy for all entry-level peace officers in the state. Ensuring a centralized training model, candidates are required to complete 720 academy hours in approximately six months. Candidates are provided exceptional training during which they are taught courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, patrol tactics, traffic, crisis, control and defensive tactics, firearms, and cognitive command. The academy is committed to honing the skills and knowledge of the rookies, ensuring that they learn to effectively protect and save lives and properties.

Other Disqualifying Factors To Become A Peace Officer In Washington State

In addition to the drug consumption history, the character of the potential police officer is tested based on any conviction history, which is only normal considering the officer should represent a beacon of law and morality.

Convictions that are not acceptable for cadets in Washington include:

  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanor criminal actions including DUI, domestic violence, larcenies, hit and runs, etc
  • Possession of alcohol under the legal age within a 3-year time frame
  • Reckless or negligent driving convictions within a 7-year timeframe prior to the application

However, the conviction implies court dispositions adverse to the applicant. In other words, in the eventuality that the candidate was acquitted, if the case was dismissed and the prosecution decision was canceled, then the candidate is eligible for entry into the police academy.

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Requirements To Be A Police Officer In Washington State

The minimum requirements to become a police officer may vary a little from place to place. All applicants must meet these requirements before they can receive formal training at an academy. Some of the general requirements have been listed here:

  • Age Applicants must be at least 20.5 years old at the time of application.
  • Education Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED certification.
  • Military Record Applicants who have served in the military must provide proof of an honorable discharge.
  • Drivers License Applicants must have a valid drivers license issued by the Washington state.

Police Officer Application Process

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General Minimum Qualifications

U.S. Citizenship Only United States citizens will receive consideration. Qualified applicants will be required to provide proof of citizenship early in the selection process.

Age Requirements Must be 21 years old but not older than 39 years old at the time of appointment .

Education Must possess a high school diploma or General Education Diploma .

Motor Vehicle License Must possess, provide, and have maintained a valid United States, state issued drivers license , and show evidence of responsible driving experience in the past one year.

Selective Service Must be registered with the Selective Service System or exempt from the Selective Service System registration as a female or due to age or military status. Those with military service must provide documentation of an honorable discharge.

Background Investigation Must complete a full background investigation.

Additional requirements may apply. Applicants may review and apply for United States Capitol Police career opportunities here.

How to Apply

The minimum qualifications listed above determine an individuals basic eligibility for employment with the United States Capitol Police . Please note, the application process can be lengthy. Depending on a persons specific circumstances, the process can take as little as a few months to more than a year.

The diagram below illustrates the hiring process for entry-level officers.

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Salary Benefits And Jobs Outlook

The starting salary for Washington, DC police officers is $58,163 per year.3 Housing assistance to offset the high cost of living in DC may be available. Following completion of the 18-month probationary period, the base salary rises to $63,636 per year.3 After 25 years with the department, a patrol officer can earn as much as $106,742 per year.3

Pay incentives, including a $1,300 per year foreign language fluency incentive, can add to an officers base pay.3 MPDC officers are eligible to retire after 25 years of service.3 Other benefits include tuition reimbursement, health and life insurance, and a take-home vehicle.

On average, Washington DC cops earn an annual salary of $75,360.5 The number of positions available for police officers in the District of Columbia is expected to increase by 2.2% through 2026, reflecting an estimate of 130 new police positions created during that timeframe.6 For more information about current law enforcement openings, take a look at our police jobs page.

Additional Tests Once You Are Selected

Once applicants clear all the above mentioned tests, they will receive a conditional offer for employment. Another series of exams are scheduled before the academy training begins. These tests typically include:

  • Polygraph Test
  • This is also known as a lie-detector test and is used in many other law enforcement agencies as well. The test will detect abnormal variations in blood pressure, body motion, heart rate, etc. These variations can depict the level of truth and honesty.

  • Psychological Exam
  • A psychological exam is conducted to asses a candidates mental and emotional stability, neurological functioning, reasoning skills, and personality traits.

  • Pass a Medical Exam
  • Medical exams are a necessary part of the hiring process. Applicants will be tested for various medical conditions and disorders. Any applicant that suffers from a medical disorder that can affect his or her performance on the job will be disqualified.

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    About The Vancouver Police Department

    The Vancouver Police Department is a professional, progressive and innovative law enforcement agency. The department practices Community Oriented Policing. We partner with the community to preserve life, protect property and enhance livability through equitable law enforcement and effective use of resources. The department is currently authorized for 234 sworn staff and 63.5 civilian staff.

    Specialty units include

    The Patrol schedule allows generous days off.

    • Officers work 10 ½ hour shifts on a 5/4, 5/4, 5/5 schedule .
    • Most specialty assignments enjoy a 4-10 schedule with weekends off.
    • Overtime is available but rarely required.
    • The position of Police Officer is covered by an agreement between the City and the Vancouver Police Officers Guild. Regular employees in this position are required to pay union dues.

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    Washington Dc Police Officer Requirements

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    The DC Metropolitan Police Department has rigorous requirements for potential recruits. To be considered for a position with the MPD, candidates must:

    • Be a US citizen
    • Be at least 21 years old
    • Have at least 20/100 vision that is correctable to 20/30
    • Have proportionate height and weight, as determined by body fat percentage
    • Have either completed 60 college credits, OR three years of active duty in the military , OR five years working for a full-service law enforcement agency*
    • Exhibit good moral character
    • Have a valid drivers license
    • Agree to commit to at least two years on the force recruits who voluntarily separate before two years of service may be responsible for their cost of training

    While residency in DC is not required, residents do receive preference points in the hiring process. Preference is also given to military veterans.

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