Police Officer Requirements in WA


The crime statistics in Washington State shows a downward trend based on the report obtained covering the 11 years when violent crime was increasing and property crime was decreasing. According to this report, the crime rate in Washington for 2014 is expected to be lower compared to that of 2010. But for this to be possible, the police force must still perform their vital role in the keeping of the peace in every part of the state.

Washington State Law Enforcement Certification Standards

To maintain the excellent reputation of the police departments in Washington State aspiring applicants must meet certain requirements before they can be accepted in the police academy. However, keep in mind that apart from the police academy requirements in Washington State which we have mentioned below, the different police departments have additional requirements as well.

The most basic requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be 19 ½ years old to apply
  • Must have a valid, non-probationary, non-restricted Washington State driver’s license
  • Must have a high school diploma or the equivalent from an accredited school
  • Must pass a written exam
  • Must pass a polygraph test
  • Must pass a thorough background check
  • Must pass a departmental medical examination
  • Must be free from the use of narcotics and other controlled substances
  • Must pass a psychological examination

Physical Fitness Standards

You will also undergo physical fitness test standards to see if you are able to handle the rigors of a police officer. The nature of this work requires you to demonstrate the aptitude to meet the minimum requirements as they pertain to your physical capabilities.

Washington State is using the Cooper Institute Physical Fitness Test and Norms for Law Enforcement Standards. In this test, you will be required to:

  1. Perform the one minute push up test, followed by a rest period.
  2. Perform the one minute sit up test, followed by a rest period.
  3. Do a cardio warm up for 2 to 3 minutes, and them perform a 1.5 mile run.

Seattle Police Department

The starting salary of a police officer in this department is $47,334. But aside from the basic requirements of the state, the Seattle Police Department also expects you to fulfill certain qualifications before you are allowed to enter the service.

  • Must pass the Criminal Justice Training Commission Fitness Ability Test
  • Must have no adult felony conviction
  • Must not have any misdemeanor while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity.
  • Must have no domestic violence conviction
  • If coming from the military, must have been discharged under honorable conditions
  • Must have a good driving record, no DWI (driving while intoxicated), reckless and hit and run driving, and no suspension of driver’s license within 5 years of the date of application

You can get more information on these requirements at www.seattle.gov/police/jobs/hiring.

Spokane Police Department

If you are accepted as a police officer in this department, you will have an average salary of $45,000. However, aside from the state requirements, you will have to satisfy the following requirements:

If you want more details, you need to visit https://beta.spokanecity.org/police/.

Tacoma Police Department

A police officer in this department gets an average annual salary of $54,355. That is more than what other PDs are giving their officers. But first, you must undergo their recruitment process which consists of the following:

  • Application process – where you are required to apply with the Tacoma Police Department online. Their HR department will screen your applications if you meet the qualifications.
  • Examination process – you will undergo a series of exams which include an initial Personal History Questionnaire, and a Physical Ability Test (PAT). If you pass the PAT test, you will be invited to take a written exam the following day.

For more details about their recruitment process, you can visit www.cityoftacoma.org.

Vancouver Police Department

Another PD that you may want to consider is the Vancouver Police Department where the starting salary of a police officer is $4,928 per month. But aside from the state qualifications, you also need to satisfy the following requirements:

You can get more details at http://www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/police-careers-entry-level-police-officer.

Bellevue Police Department

If you will choose to apply with this PD, you will receive an average salary of $39,000 if accepted. However, there are other requirements that you must fulfill, aside from that required by the state of Washington.

  • Provide proof of 90 quarter hours of 60 semester hours from an accredited college or minimum of 3 years experience as a full time commissioned Police Officer or a minimum of 3 years active duty military experience with honorable discharge or military reserve with over 180 days of continuous activation by presidential order.
  • Must pass a background examination that includes a complete criminal records check, a psychological exam and a polygraph exam
  • Must have vision correctable to 20/20 in the better eye and 20/30 in the lesser eye

You can get more details about these requirements at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/police-entry-level-positions.htm.


You can ensure your acceptance in the academy if you really know how to prepare for the police academy. And to do this, you can get the help you need from www.PrepareForThePoliceAcademy.com.

With the study guide and physical fitness tips that you can get from this website, you will be on your way to successfully passing all the exams that will be given during the application process. It is very important for you to really prepare yourself, mentally, as well as physically, so that you can increase your chances of getting accepted into the academy.

Share This :