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Our standards are high and we strive to recruit the best. Because of this, candidates go through a comprehensive selection and hiring process. Unfortunately, processing and backgrounding candidates can sometimes take up to 10 months to complete after you take and pass the Civil Service examination. Please be patient!

If you are hired, SPD is with you every step of the way. We visit recruits while at the Washington State Police Academy, to pinpoint any issues early enough to work on them, provide additional post-academy training specific to the Seattle Police Department and provide Field Training with SPD officers. We want to be sure that you are completely prepared, professional and safe by the time you patrol on your own.


The first step is making sure you meet the minimum qualifications.

If you do meet the qualifications, you can apply for the next the Civil Service exam process. You will need to pass a physical ability test and make it through our backgrounding process before you can be offered a job.

You then enter the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy. This is followed by additional SPD training.

Student officers are then assigned to three different SPD Field Training Officers with whom they work for a total of four months. 

After successful completion of the FTO Program, new officers enter a probationary period, where they work on their own with periodic check ins by a Field Training Officer. 

Find out many more details on hiring process on our Entry-Level Officer and Lateral Entry Officer pages.


Entry-Level Candidates: Most candidates are entry-level officers, who do not have any prior law enforcement training.

Exceptional Entry Candidates: If you are currently a sworn police officer who works full time for another police agency, but have worked there less than 24 months of the last 36 months, you may be considered an Exeptional Entry Candidate.

Lateral Entry Candidates: Must have 24 months (in the last 36 months) of consecutive full time service as a law enforcement officer with full arrest powers. If you do not have the required 24 months of consecutive full time service you may qualify as an exceptional entry candidate and must participate in the entry-level exam process.



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Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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