Seattle Police Department is seeking individuals committed to understanding and protecting the ethical, cultural and ethnic values of the City of Seattle and its residents as Police Officers. As first responders, Police Officers are vital to public safety and under regular supervision, perform basic police services in accordance with the mission, goals and objectives of the City of Seattle Police Department and in compliance with governing federal, state, and local laws.
Entry Level Police Officer describes a candidate with no prior law enforcement experience and those who have completed a self-sponsored academy and have not worked as a commissioned officer/deputy for a law enforcement agency.
Exceptional Entry Police Officer describes a candidate who has successfully completed a basic law enforcement academy and FTO, but who does not have the required 24 months of full-time service as a law enforcement officer in the last 36 months in order to qualify as a lateral applicant.
Exceptional Entry Police Officer candidates must test with the entry-level candidates, and are not eligible to take the Lateral entry exam.
- Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. Explains laws and police procedures to residents.
- Operates a patrol car. Patrols city streets, areas and businesses to deter criminal activity and promote public safety.
- Investigates conditions hazardous to life or property; conducts initial investigations of crime and crime scenes; may assist detectives in criminal investigation work. Conducts search and seizure activities as appropriate. Collects and preserves crime scene and evidence.
- Arrests and/or detains suspected violators of the law. Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
- Records facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
- Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
- Transports individuals in custody.
- Presents evidence and testimony in judicial settings.
The City of Seattle provides police service 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Shift work, including nights, weekends, and holidays, is required
Qualifications: Eligibility Standards:
- Be at least twenty and half (20.5) years of age.
- Hold United States citizenship.
- Attained a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency (GED).
- Individuals may not have been discharged from military service under dishonorable conditions.
Applicants must meet all eligibility standards by the exam date.
The written/video Police Entry exam will be administered on April 14, 2018.
Seattle Public Safety Civil Service Commission rules limit applicants to testing once every six months. Individuals who took the entry level Police exam on January 20, 2018 are not eligible to take the April 14, 2018 exam. Individuals who took the October 14, 2017 exam are welcome to test again on April 14, 2018.
Minimum Employment Standards:
The following standards apply to all candidates for Police Officer.
Drug Use. Prior to the exam date:
- Have not used Marijuana within twelve (12) months, and
- Have not used cocaine or crack within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not used club drugs, such as, but not limited to: Ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, or MDMA (ecstasy) within the previous five (5) years, and
- Have not used any Hallucinogens, LSD, Mushrooms, or Psylocybin within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not used PCP, Angel Dust, Wet or Phencyclidine within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not used Opium, Morphine, or Heroin within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not used Methamphetamine, Crank, Crystal, Ice, Speed, Glass, or Amphetamine within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not inhaled aerosols, sometimes referred to as Huffing (paint) or Whippits (Nitrous Oxide) or used Khat within the previous five (5) years, and
- Have not used four (4) or more controlled substances within the previous ten (10) years, and
- Have not used any illegal drug(s) while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity, and
- Have not manufactured or cultivated illegal drug(s) for the purpose of the sales/marketing of the drug(s).
Please note that use of illegal drugs and the illegal use of prescription drugs, referred to in this standard, means the use of one or more drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Offers of employment are conditioned upon a pre-employment drug screening to confirm abstinence from illegal drug use.
A candidate’s driving record will be thoroughly assessed and may be a factor for disqualification. Examples of infractions/traffic crimes that may be disqualifying:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Reckless Driving, or Hit & Run Driving.
- Suspension of your driver’s license within five (5) years of the exam date
- Three (3) or more moving violations (speeding, negligent driving, etc.) within five (5) years of the exam date will be carefully reviewed.
- Two (2) or more accidents within five (5) years of the exam date, wherein candidate was judged to be at fault and/or charged with a moving violation.
A candidate’s criminal history, including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, “Alford” pleas, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following will be disqualifying:
- Any adult felony conviction.
- Any misdemeanor or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity.
- Any domestic violence conviction.
A candidate’s employment history, including any terminations, or leaving an employer in lieu of termination, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.
A candidate’s credit history, including excessive credit card debt or unresolved accounts in collection will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following will be disqualifying:
- Failure to pay income tax or child support.
All applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times. SPD has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional, as it relates to the position of Police Officer. Any and all tattoos, branding (intentional burning of the skin to create a design), voluntary disfigurement (marring or spoiling of the appearance or shape of a body part), or scarification (intentional cutting of the skin to create a design) shall be carefully reviewed by SPD on a case-by-case basis.
A valid Washington State Driver’s License is required prior to being hired.
Ability to accurately type at least 35 wpm is highly desirable.
Seattle residence is not required for application or appointment.
Job offers are contingent on review of credit, criminal and driving history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process.
Additional Information: IMPORTANT NOTE:
Applications will be screened for employment eligibility by the Seattle Personnel Department. Applicants will be informed as to whether or not they are eligible to participate in the testing process.
PLEASE NOTE : Applicants are highly encouraged to review the Seattle Police Department’s “Careers and Opportunities” web pages for further information about the hiring process.
The written/video exams are scheduled to be administered on April 14, 2018. Eligible applicants will receive a scheduling notice from the Seattle Personnel Department regarding location, time and exam administration details.
Individuals traveling from outside Washington to take the written exam will be scheduled to take the Physical Agility Test on April 14, 2018 (in the afternoon) if they pass the written and video exams that morning. Out of state candidates who pass the physical agility test will have their Personal History Information Packet collected by a Background Detective. Out of state applicants who are successfully screened will then be scheduled to participate in their oral board interview on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Out-of-state candidates who pass their oral board interview will be scheduled to participate in a one-on-one interview with a Background Detective on Monday or Tuesday, April 16 or 17, 2018. After a conditional offer of employment, an out-of-state applicant will need to travel to Seattle a second time to complete the polygraph, psychological and medical exams. In-state candidates who pass the written and video exams will be scheduled to participate in the Physical Agility Test on April 21, 2018, and their oral board interview on April 22 or 28, 2018.
Immediately upon successfully completing the Physical Agility Test all candidates will be required to submit a Personal History Information Packet which is available as a download on the Seattle Police Department “Careers and Opportunities” webpage. You are required to submit the Personal History Information Packet on the day you take the Physical Ability Test. The information and documentation required to complete the Personal History Information Packet is extensive and applicants are encouraged to review the form and begin collecting the required data in advance of the written exam.
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Department Fact Sheet
The Seattle Police Department is the largest Municipal law enforcement agency in Washington State.
About the City
Seattle Population: 686,800 (2016)
Seattle Physical Size: 143 square miles
Population of King County: 2.1 million (2015)
Washington State Population: 7.288 million (2016)
About the Department
Sworn Officers – 1,376 (2016)
Civilian Employees – 513
911 Calls – 866,311 calls per year (2015)
Public Disclosure Requests – 5,884 (2016)
Responds to an average of 575 calls for service a day.
Proactively engages in 295 incidents a day.
Completes 213 police reports a day.
Primary Duties of the Department
- Foot, car and bike patrols in all five precincts.
- Harbor Unit patrol of 59 square miles of waterways.
- 9-1-1 Communication Center answers all calls for police, fire and medical emergencies in the city.
- Traffic Enforcement.
- Parking Enforcement.
- K9 Unit.
Sworn Officer Rank Structure
Policing involves a chain-of-command, with sworn officers of higher rank giving direction to those working under them as follows
- Chief of Police
- Deputy Chief
- Assistant Chief
- Officers and Detectives