Dear Prospective Peace Officer Applicant:
One of the most frequent requests we get here at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy is from individuals like you asking how to become a Police Officer/Peace Officer in the State of Washington. This article will cover some of that information, resources, and links to helpful web pages.
First, it is important to note that, in Washington State, you cannot apply directly to the Police Academy. To be eligible to attend the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) you must first be hired by one of the 272 recognized law enforcement agencies in the State of Washington.
Generally the minimum criteria for becoming a Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Fish and Wildlife Officer, Gambling Agent, Natural Resource Officer, Tribal Police Officer, or Liquor Enforcement Agent in Washington is the following: (This pre-hire criteria is different for each agency, be sure to check with your local, county, or state hiring authority for minimum hiring criteria).
Hiring Process (after conditional offer):
Physically fit and able to pass the PAT Test : http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=139-05-230
You are seeking a career in one of the most complex, dynamic and noble public service fields. A Peace Officer must be educated, physically fit, have good judgment, be a good communicator and act ethically. Communication skills (verbal and written) are extremely important. You must have a passion to serve others. Individuals who are primarily drawn to the power, prestige or excitement of the profession rarely succeed in the long term. Many of them do significant harm to their careers and to community trust.
The following lists are some suggestions which could give you the edge, or make you more desirable to a Chief of Police, Sheriff or Agency Director. Some agencies and communities may place a greater or lesser emphasis on these.
Frequently asked Questions:
1. Can I self-sponsor myself through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Academy?
No. Only recruits that are hired by one of the 287 recognized Law Enforcement Agencies in Washington are allowed to attend the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
2. Does everyone take the same physical ability test or PAT Test?
Yes. The PAT test is the same for all applicants regardless of age or gender.
3. Where would I find information as to who is hiring Law Enforcement Officers in the State of Washington?
There are links above for Public Safety Testing and National Testing Network. Also go to your local city,county or state agency web page and view the employment opportunities available. Not all jurisdictions in Washington test through Public Safety Testing or National Testing Network. We also maintain a list of employment opportunities on our Employment Web Page.
I hope this information is helpful. For more specific information I encourage you to contact the Human Resources division of the city or county you are considering applying to. I wish you the best in your career pursuit and hope someday we see you here at the academy.