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Seattle Police Department Kathleen O'Toole, Chief of Police

APply to become a VST Volunteer

Step #1 - Submit the Application

Download the volunteer application:

VST Application ( PDF PDF Document )

VST Application ( Word PDF Document )

Email completed application to:

Step #2 - Interview

After the application deadline, applicants will receive a link via email, to sign up for their preferred interview date and time. Interviews may include up to 3 people in a group, and will be located at the Seattle Police Department Headquarters building in downtown Seattle at 610 5th Avenue. This is a competitive program with limited spots each recruitment cycle. Not all applicants will be asked to come in for an interview, and not all interviewees will be invited to the academy. Everyone who interviews will receive notice about their acceptance status within two weeks.

Step #3 - Backgrounding

All prospective volunteers invited to join the Academy training will be asked to submit a Seattle Police Department Personal History Information packet. Full acceptance in the program is contingent on passing a civilian employee level background check, including fingerprinting and records checks.
See selection standards for civilian employees

Step #4 - VST Training Academy

There are two training academies for new volunteers each year. Each session is run as a cohort, where volunteers are trained on an extensive range of topics presented by VST staff, SPD detectives, officers, community leaders, and DV Advocates. The 50-hours of classroom learning provide the foundational knowledge necessary to support families in crisis, and achieve a clear understanding of VST procedures and protocol.

Academy training topics may include:

  • Domestic Violence 101
  • Domestic Violence through a Social Justice Lens
  • Crisis Intervention and Empowerment Based Advocacy
  • Effects of DV on Children
  • Personal Safety and Situational Awareness
  • Creating a Safety Plan
  • Police Culture
  • Criminal Justice System
  • SPD Radio
  • Seattle Geography
  • Biohazard
  • VST Protocols and Procedures

All volunteers must complete the classroom training academy in order to move forward into field training. As part of the training process, you will participate on a ride-along with a patrol officer, and a shadow shift with a VST team.

The next open Academy will be in the fall of 2016, held on Saturdays from 8:30am - 5:00pm in SoDo. The dates are 6 consecutive Saturdays from October 1st - November 5th. Applications are currently being accepted, the deadline to apply is August 12, 2016. Applicants will be contacted within 2 weeks of submitting their application.

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