Police Jobs

Entry-Level Testing

There are five expected Entry-Level Police Officer exam cycles for 2021. The next application filing period will open shortly after the current application filing period closes.

Testing will be conducted online or at a National Testing Network Testing Center.

The next application cycle is open between October 6 - December 15, 2021.
How to Apply

Lateral Entry Testing

There are five Lateral Police Officer exam cycles for 2021. The next application filing period will open shortly after the current application filing period closes.

Testing will be conducted online or at a National Testing Network Test Center.

The next test date is September 15, 2021 - December 15, 2021.
How to Apply

About our department

The Seattle Police Department is the largest public safety agency in Washington state, with more than 1,200 sworn officers and 600 civilian staff. We receive over 800,000 911 calls per year in a city of 84 square miles.  

Our patrol division is divided into five neighborhood precincts- North, South, East, West and Southwest. 

Our Harbor Unit patrols 59 square miles of waterways. 

We have more specialty units than any other department in the state, including traffic, harbor, mounted patrol, major crimes, property crimes, crisis response, SWAT, arson and bombs, K9, collaborative (community) policing, forensics, training and community response. 

A passion to serve Seattle

On a daily basis, our officers are asked to do a little bit of everything - from investigating and solving crimes; to patrolling our waterways, parks and city streets; to keeping everyone safe during sporting events and parades; to connecting our city's most vulnerable residents with much-needed services.  

"I just feel the need to help people that are vulnerable, and vulnerable doesn't necessarily mean that they can't take care of themselves or anything like that. It just means that they're unable to help themselves in that moment with what tools they have. We are given so many tools as police officers and as people to help others,"
- Officer Gabriele Arana 

Seattle: one of America’s greatest cities

Seattle is a progressive city with over 750,000 residents. It's a place where more than 75 languages are spoken. Our city is home to well-known international companies, successful startups and incredible small businesses. For years, Seattle has been one of the fastest-growing cities in America, a draw for families, students, and people in the tech sector. For anyone who wants to be surrounded by mountains, water, a thriving metropolis and great schools this is the place for you.  

"I like to think that Seattle is a small city that punches way above its weight in terms of natural beauty, culture and opportunity,"
- Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette 

Uniquely Pacific Northwest patrol beats

At the SPD your patrol beat could be a major downtown street, a beautiful residential neighborhood with majestic mountain views or inside a city park filled with towering trees. Looking for something even more unique? How about patrolling one of our major waterways as part of our Harbor Unit, riding a mountain bike throughout the city in our Bike Unit, or, even, connecting with the community as a member of our Mounted Patrol Unit with your equine partner?  

"You have great opportunities for lateral movement... to apply for different jobs and have great training opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise have if you were with a smaller department,"
- Assistant Chief Eric Greening

Every officer a leader

The people that wear our uniform take an oath to serve and protect Seattle. It's a job we take to heart and one that requires top-notch training and education. We want our officers to be successful community partners. They should be natural leaders who feel equipped to do one of the toughest jobs out there, which is why training is so important. The Seattle Police Department is a national leader in how we train and evaluate uses of force and de-escalation.  We have robust policies surrounding bias-free policing and crisis intervention. SPD is a police department committed to always getting better, always trying new things, and, most of all, always establishing stronger ties with the community we serve.

"When I started looking into what kind of policing the Seattle Police Department really did and the community-based policing that they offer to the community, it really made me feel like this is where I wanted to become a police officer. And it was the only department I applied for because it was the only place, I wanted to be a police officer,"
- Officer Mia Nguyen

Want to advance your career?

We value our lateral hires and welcome new applicants. Lateral hires who transfer to the SPD bring a wealth of experience with them. They have learned by doing, understand the vital importance of connecting with community and have knowledge of the legal system. 

Benefits for lateral hires who come to Seattle:

  • A quick turnaround between your hire and start date. 
    • Lateral hires take abbreviated course through the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), which is Washington state's police academy. 
  • Out-of-state hires will take a two-week equivalency training at CJTC. This training helps officers learn Washington laws and transfer over their certification to Washington State. 
  • All lateral hires go through an abbreviated two-month field training phase before working alone.

There are four expected Lateral Entry Police Officer exam cycles for 2021. For more information please reach out to a recruiter.