About Police Jobs

Patrol work is the backbone of policing.  It is an incredibly diverse, active and exciting job.  Every day is a chance to respond to a variety of calls, interact with a wide spectrum of people, and solve new and ongoing problems.  Working patrol has both the camaraderie of being part of a team, while also giving you a lot of freedom, autonomy and independence.

What many patrol officers say they love about the job is the immediacy of the work - directly helping people with tangible results - yet at the end of the shift you are done with your job and don't have to "take your work home with you".Because they come across a wide variety of incidents in their day-to-day work, patrol officers are given extensive training in many different skill sets and attend mandatory training throughout their careers. Having a background and understanding of patrol work is absolutely vital before a transition to any other type of police work. Because of this, all sworn officers must work as a patrol officer for at least three years before they can be assigned to a specialty unit or be promoted.


In order to patrol the city 24/7, Patrol Officers work on a rotating schedule. Patrol officers work four (9 hour) days in a row on a rotating schedule which includes working weekends and holidays. Officers are assigned to one of three watches:

  • First Watch: 0300-1200 or 0330 - 1230
  • Second Watch: 1100-2000 or 1130 - 2030
  • Third Watch: 1900-0400 or 1930 - 0430
The Seattle Police Department is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity in its workforce. At SPD we acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals and pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences.