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SPD Home / Jobs / Hiring / Qualifications

Qualifications

Minimum HIRING Standards:

The following are requirements of the State of Washington for law enforcement officers:

AGE
Applicant must be at least 20.5 years of age at the time of taking the written exam. This requirement is necessary to ensure all police applicants will be able to legally enter all premises that SPD responds to. There is no maximum age limit. 
See RCW 41.12.070.

EDUCATION
Proof of high school graduation or a certified GED.  See WAC 139-07-020(1)(b)(ii)

PHYSICAL FITNESS
Applicant must pass the Criminal Justice Training Commission Fitness Ability Test. 
See WAC 139-05-230

CITIZENSHIP
An applicant must be a United States Citizen, in order to be hired. 
See RCW 41.12.070 and WAC 139-07-020(1)(b)(i)

MILITARY RECORD (when applicable)
The applicant must have been discharged under honorable conditions (fair employment laws apply). 
See WAC 139-07-020 (1)(b)(iii)

DRIVER'S LICENSE
The applicant must have a valid Washington State Driver’s License prior to being hired. It is understood that out of state candidates won't have this at time of application, but they must get one prior to accepting a job. Driving is an essential function of this position with SPD. 
See RCW 46.20.001 for license rights and restrictions.

ADDITIONAL HIRING STANDARDS

The following Seattle Police Department hiring standards and information are some of the areas that are considered during a SPD background investigation.  The Department is most interested in an applicant’s life history as a complete picture. 

SPD understands that, at times, people encounter challenges in their lives.  During the background investigation process SPD is interested in learning greater detail about those challenges, as well as the lessons the applicant has learned and the changes the applicant has made as a result. 

Please be forthcoming in your responses, as SPD expects honesty in this process. All disqualifications are reviewed by the HR Director or his designee for final approval. 

CRIMINAL RECORD
An applicant’s criminal record, including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, ‘Alford’ pleas, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.

The following examples will be disqualifying:
A.  Any adult felony conviction.
B.  Any misdemeanor or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity.
C.  Any domestic violence conviction.

TRAFFIC RECORD
An applicant’s driving record will be thoroughly assessed and may be a factor for disqualification.  Examples of infractions/traffic crimes that may be disqualifying, include:
A.  Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Reckless Driving or Hit & Run Driving.
B.  Suspension of your driver’s license within five years of the date of application.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
An applicant’s employment history, including any terminations or leaving an employer in lieu of termination, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.

FINANCIAL
An applicant’s credit history will be thoroughly assessed and related decision-making issues
may be grounds for disqualification.  The following are areas of concern: 
A. Failure to pay income tax.
B. Failure to pay child support.

PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE
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 the applicant is applying for.  Any and all tattoos, branding (intentional burning of 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.    

RESIDENCE
Applicants are not required to live in the City of Seattle.

DRUG USE
Seattle Police guidelines relating to drug use:

  • MARIJUANA: An applicant has not used Marijuana within twelve (12) months prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • COCAINE/CRACK: An applicant has not used cocaine or crack within the ten (10) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • CLUB DRUGS: An applicant has not used club drugs, such as, but not limited to: Ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, or MDMA (ecstasy) within the five (5) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • HALLUCINOGENS: An applicant has not used any Hallucinogens; PCP, Angel Dust, Wet, Phencyclidine, LSD, Mushrooms, or Psylocybin, within the ten (10) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • OPIATES: An applicant has not used Opium, Morphine, or Heroin within the ten (10) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • STIMULANTS: An applicant has not used Methamphetamine, Crank, Crystal, Ice, Speed, Glass, or Amphetamine within the ten (10) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • AEROSOLS: An applicant has not inhaled aerosols, sometimes referred to as Huffing (paint) or Whippits (Nitrous Oxide) or used Khat within the five (5) years prior to the date they took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and 
  • An applicant has not used four (4) or more controlled substances within the ten (10) years prior to the date you took/take the related Police Officer Civil Service Exam, and
  • An applicant has not used any illegal drug(s) while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity, and
  • An applicant has not manufactured or cultivated illegal drug(s) for the purpose of the sales/marketing of the drug(s), and 
  • An applicant has not sold or facilitated the sale of illegal drugs.

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