Out of State Process

Entry-Level Out of State Testing

The testing and hiring process averages 6 months to get through if all goes well and a candidate is selected to start the Academy. The Academy runs a class of 30 Recruits approximately once a month so therefore we hire on a monthly basis to fill up to 5 spots per class.

The testing and hiring process for out-of-state entry-level candidates will require two (2) trips to Seattle if all goes well.


Saturday - Civil Service written and video tests. Out of state candidates must pass the written exam (70%) and video test (65%) to move on to the physical agility test (PAT) which will be administered later that afternoon. You will submit your completed and notarized Personal History Information (PHI) packet directly upon successful completion of the PAT. PHI packets can be downloaded from the website.

Sunday - Oral board interview.   The background interview with a Background Detective will be scheduled for that same Monday or Tuesday. The background interview is a formal job interview and can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending upon your background. Please plan on being here the entire four days!! Each step of the process must be passed to move on to the next.


The second trip will be scheduled at a later date with the Background Unit after trip #1 is successfully completed. Keep in mind that the process averages 6 months so you may not be scheduled to return for several months after your initial visit. Trip #2 consists of the polygraph exam, psychological exam, interview with a psychologist and medical exam.

Lateral-Entry Out of State Testing

The process for out-of-state lateral candidates has been condensed into  two (2) trips to alleviate travel costs. The first trip will correspond to a testing date listed on the website and will require you to be here for a total of four (4) days.


Day 1

Written Civil Service exam. Candidates must pass the written exam with a score of 75% or higher to move on.

Day 2

Oral board panel interview. Applicants who pass their oral board will need to turn in their Personal History Information (PHI) packet. PHI packets can be downloaded from the website and must be completely filled out and notarized before turning it in.

Day 2, 3 or 4 (Depending on the number of candidates)

Interview with a Background Detective. This is a formal job interview and can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending upon your background. We have no way to predict how many out of state laterals will apply, show-up and pass the above listed events, so plan on being here for all four (4) days.


If you are successful in passing all the sections during trip one, trip two typically occurs a few months later and will be scheduled by your assigned Background Detective. You will need to be here for a week (M-F) in order to complete the polygraph exam, psychological exam and evaluation and medical exam. 

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.