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Tribal Peace Officer Certification

Under RCW 43.101.157, tribal governments may voluntarily request certification for their police officers. Tribal governments requesting certification for their police officers must enter into a written agreement with the commission. The agreement must require the tribal law enforcement agency and its officers to comply with all of the requirements for granting, denying, and revoking certification as those requirements are applied to peace officers certified under this chapter and the rules of the commission.

Tribal officers making application for certification as tribal police officers shall meet the requirements peace officer certification.

Looking for forms? Peace Officer Certification Forms


Tribal Peace Officer Certification FAQ

Are tribal Officers recognized as general authority peace officers?

Please see RCW 10.92.020(2) and confer with your city/county attorney for further interpretation.


Is it required that tribal law enforcement officers be certified?

Certification of tribal law enforcement officers is voluntary. The Commission does not require tribal officers to obtain certification.


If I leave one agency and lateral to another tribal agency am I still certified?
An officer’s certification remains active unless the officer has a break in law enforcement service of more than twenty-four months, at which time the certification is considered lapsed. Employment as a tribal law enforcement officer, and successful completion of the psychological and polygraph test and completion of an Equivalency academy are required to reinstate an officer’s certification.

If I am a certified Washington peace officer and become employed as a tribal law enforcement officer does my certification continue?
Your Washington peace officer certification would lapse after twenty-four months as a tribal law enforcement officer. An officer who laterals from a Washington law enforcement agency to a tribal law enforcement agency or vice-versa, must apply for the proper certification.

What are the requirements for an officer who is a lateral applicant from within the state to become certified?
Any officer upon being given a conditional offer of employment as a peace officer or a reserve, must successfully pass the psychological and polygraph test as a condition of employment. The same requirement applies to tribal officers seeking certification as a tribal law enforcement officer. Officer’s from out of state seeking lateral employment, or officers whose certification has lapsed because of a break in service, must complete the psychological and polygraph tests and the Equivalency Academy as a condition of certification. This requirement is the same for Washington peace officers, and tribal law enforcement officers.

How will I know when I am certified?
You will receive a "Peace Officer Certification Certificate" or a “Certified Tribal Police Officer Certificate” in the mail, or upon graduation from an Equivalency Academy or the Basic Law Enforcement Academy. This certificate is the property of the officer, not the agency.