As a condition of continuing employment as peace officers, all Washington officers regardless of rank or position shall meet the requirements for certification in a timely manner by attending the basic academy, equivalency academy or obtaining an exemption from those requirements. This law went into effect January 1, 2002.
The primary purpose of peace officer certification is to ensure that law enforcement agencies do not hire or retain officers who:
(A) have been discharged by a law enforcement employer for serious misconduct
(B) have convictions for certain criminal offenses; or
(C) have otherwise proved themselves to be unsuitable to be peace officers.
All local and state governmental agencies employing general authority peace officers, including the Washington State Patrol and Fish and Wildlife as well as public four-year college and university police departments are directly affected, because they employ peace officers subject to certification.
This process also authorizes the Commission to revoke or deny certification to any peace officer after a written notification and hearing process. The causes for revoking or denying certification status to a peace officer are a relatively narrow band of causes when compared to other states.
There are certain circumstances under which a peace officer, who has had their certification revoked or denied, may apply to have their certification reinstated.
Understanding that policing is a difficult and complex profession, it becomes the responsibility of labor and management to insist upon the highest ethical and professional standards. Police misconduct has a disastrous effect on virtually every aspect of our society and the public trust. The certification process affords us a tool to combat police misconduct and hold ourselves accountable to the people in the communities we serve.
Peace Officer, Tribal Officer and K9 Team Certification Program Contact
WSCJTC – Peace Officer Certification
19010 1 Ave South, Burien, WA 98148
Lacey: 360.486.2431 / Burien: 206.835.7332
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