Police Officer Requirements - Washington

Washington

Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission

 

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) is the only agency authorized to certify peace officers.

Who must be certified?
Every full-time peace officer in Washington state, including the Washington State Patrol, and Fish and Wildlife officers regardless of rank. Reserve Officers do not need to be certified.

 

What are the requirements I must meet to become certified?
RCW 43.101.095 requires as a condition of continuing employment, all Washington peace officers shall:

1.    Meet the basic law enforcement training requirements or meet exemption requirements under RCW 43.101.200.

2.    Have not been denied certification or have had your certification revoked in this or another state.

3.    Meet all requirements set forth in RCW 43.101.080 (19).

4.    Have a signed "Application for Peace Officer Certification" form (available at the top of this page) on file with the WSCJTC.

 

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Before you can become a police officer, you must complete 720 hours of basic law enforcement academy (BLEA) training within six months of hire to the law enforcement agency you are employing with. All academy recruits must be physically able to actively and fully participate in the defensive drills and other required physical activities in accordance with WAC 139-05-230. The WSCJTC requires you to pass a fitness ability test prior to entry into the academy.

Applicants should contact the agency they want to work for to inquire about minimum requirements; however, most law enforcement agencies require that you:
1. Be a U.S. Citizen.
2. Have a high school diploma or GED.
3. Have a valid Washington State driver’s license.
RCW 43.101.095

 

Peace officer certification. 

 

(1) As a condition of continuing employment as peace officers, all Washington peace officers: (a) Shall timely obtain certification as peace officers, or timely obtain certification or exemption therefrom, by meeting all requirements of RCW 43.101.200, as that section is administered under the rules of the commission, as well by meeting any additional requirements under this chapter; and (b) shall maintain the basic certification as peace officers under this chapter.

 

(2)(a) As a condition of continuing employment for any applicant who has been offered a conditional offer of employment as a fully commissioned peace officer or a reserve officer after July 24, 2005, including any person whose certification has lapsed as a result of a break of more than twenty-four consecutive months in the officer's service as a fully commissioned peace officer or reserve officer, the applicant shall submit to a background investigation including a check of criminal history, a psychological examination, and a polygraph or similar assessment as administered by the county, city, or state law enforcement agency, the results of which shall be used to determine the applicant's suitability for employment as a fully commissioned peace officer or a reserve officer.

     (i) The background investigation including a check of criminal history shall be administered by the county, city, or state law enforcement agency that made the conditional offer of employment in compliance with standards established in the rules of the commission.

     (ii) The psychological examination shall be administered by a psychiatrist licensed in the state of Washington pursuant to chapter 
18.71 RCW or a psychologist licensed in the state of Washington pursuant to chapter 18.83 RCW, in compliance with standards established in rules of the commission.

     (iii) The polygraph test shall be administered by an experienced polygrapher who is a graduate of a polygraph school accredited by the American polygraph association and in compliance with standards established in rules of the commission.

     (iv) Any other test or assessment to be administered as part of the background investigation shall be administered in compliance with standards established in rules of the commission.

     (b) The employing county, city, or state law enforcement agency may require that each peace officer or reserve officer who is required to take a psychological examination and a polygraph or similar test pay a portion of the testing fee based on the actual cost of the test or four hundred dollars, whichever is less. County, city, and state law enforcement agencies may establish a payment plan if they determine that the peace officer or reserve officer does not readily have the means to pay for his or her portion of the testing fee.

     (3) The commission shall certify peace officers who have satisfied, or have been exempted by statute or by rule from, the basic training requirements of RCW 
43.101.200 on or before January 1, 2002. Thereafter, the commission may revoke certification pursuant to this chapter.

     (4) The commission shall allow a peace officer to retain status as a certified peace officer as long as the officer: (a) Timely meets the basic law enforcement training requirements, or is exempted therefrom, in whole or in part, under RCW 
43.101.200 or under rule of the commission; (b) meets or is exempted from any other requirements under this chapter as administered under the rules adopted by the commission; (c) is not denied certification by the commission under this chapter; and (d) has not had certification revoked by the commission.

     (5) As a prerequisite to certification, as well as a prerequisite to pursuit of a hearing under RCW 
43.101.155, a peace officer must, on a form devised or adopted by the commission, authorize the release to the commission of his or her personnel files, termination papers, criminal investigation files, or other files, papers, or information that are directly related to a certification matter or decertification matter before the commission.

     (6) The commission is authorized to receive criminal history record information that includes nonconviction data for any purpose associated with employment by the commission or peace officer certification under this chapter. Dissemination or use of nonconviction data for purposes other than that authorized in this section is prohibited.

     (7) For a national criminal history records check, the commission shall require fingerprints be submitted and searched through the Washington state patrol identification and criminal history section. The Washington state patrol shall forward the fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation.

 

SUMMARY

Age Applicants must be 18 years old or above, No maximum age limit

Education High School Diploma or G.E.D

Citizenship US Citizen

Other Requirements

Complete basic law enforcement training which complies with standards adopted by the commission

Have not been denied certification or have had your certification revoked in this or another state.

Undergo  background investigation including a check of criminal history, a psychological examination, and a polygraph test or similar assessment

Pass Fitness Ability Test

Have a signed "Application for Peace Officer Certification" form

No adult felony or misdemeanor or any domestic violence conviction

Sumbit fingerprints

Discharged under honorable conditions (fair employment laws apply) if with military record

Possess a valid Washington State Driver’s License prior to being hired

 

 

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