Experienced Police Officer (Lateral)

Tacoma, WA
City of Tacoma

Salary: $82,950.40 – $114,670.40 Annually
Closing Date: 6/30/2024 5:00 PM Pacific

Position Description

The Tacoma Police Department is offering an incentive for lateral hires. The incentive includes $10,000 upon commission and paid to the employee on their first check; $7,500 upon completion of probation; and $7,500 one year after the completion of probation. NOTE: for this recruitment, only candidates whom are hired and start in the 2024 calendar year will qualify for the incentive.

The Tacoma Police Department will be giving hiring priority to in-state lateral candidates for any immediate vacancies. Qualified out-of-state candidates will be placed on an eligible list for interview and hiring consideration and may be considered for subsequent vacancies.

At this time the Tacoma Police Department is placing out-of-state lateral candidates at step 4 ($50.08) in the hiring range; in-state laterals will be placed at step 5 ($52.53) in the range. Please note, step placement is at the discretion of the hiring authority and is subject to change at any time.

A Police Officer is responsible for crime prevention, criminal apprehension, and the general enforcement of laws and ordinances. This is general duty and investigatory police work involving the protection of life, property, and preservation of the peace. Work involves an element of personal danger and employees must be able to act without direct supervision. Physical requirements include above-average physical endurance in running, climbing, and lifting as well as good balance, hearing, and vision.

City of Tacoma Recruitment
The City of Tacoma wants to employ a workforce that reflects the community we serve. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and we welcome candidates with diverse and/or multicultural skill sets and personal experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

Transforming Tacoma
The Tacoma Police Department is a proud participant in Transforming Tacoma; actively working to develop pragmatic, specific recommendations and reforms that the Tacoma Police Department and the City of Tacoma can implement to strengthen the Tacoma Police Department’s relationship with Tacoma’s community; ensure that the Tacoma Police Department’s activities and operations are safe, just, effective, lawful, and consistent with national, best, emerging, and transformational practices. For more information about this effort, please visit the Transforming Tacoma website.



  • Must be currently employed as a law enforcement officer or have been employed as a law enforcement officer in the last 24 months. There may not be more than a 24-month break in service
  • Must have 12 or more months of continuous post-commissioned street patrol experience
  • Non-patrol sworn officer experience, such as jail/corrections/court, or dispatch, does not count toward “street patrol experience” in calculating the total months of post-commissioned experience
  • Must be a citizen of the United States of America or a lawful permanent resident
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D.

NOTE: Applicants who failed probation, were terminated, resigned in lieu of termination, are about to be terminated, or would not be considered for rehire by their former department or agency, are not eligible for a lateral position.


  • Successful completion of law enforcement academy training approved by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License, First Aid and CPR card with maintenance thereafter.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Understanding of the principals, practices and procedures used in police work
  • Up-to-date knowledge of State, County and City laws and ordinances, recent legislation and court decisions affecting police duties
  • Geography of the city
  • Traffic and crowd control techniques
  • Operation of a variety of specialized police vehicles and equipment
  • Crime scene preservation and investigation methods and techniques
  • Preparing clear and concise electronic reports
  • Exercising independent judgment when responding to emergencies
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Correct usage of English; grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary

Physical requirements will adhere to the Tacoma Police Officer job classification specification.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

Applicants must pass all phases both before and after the eligibility list is established, including driving record, credit history, conviction/arrest record, work history, reference check, oral board interview and polygraph examination.

Applicants may be removed from the eligible list for failure to pass the pre-employment interview, background investigation or any other screening element. Once a conditional offer of employment is made, all applicants must undergo a polygraph, medical examination and psychological evaluation to determine if they meet the Tacoma Police Department standards in effect at the time of examination. The medical examination will include a drug screening.

This position is covered by a Labor Agreement between the City of Tacoma and Local 6 Tacoma Police Union IUPA. Questions regarding this announcement may be directed to the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400.

Possession of a Washington State Driver’s License is required at time of appointment with maintenance thereafter. In addition, possession of a valid First Aid card and CPR card with maintenance thereafter are required prior to the end of the probationary period. An employee must successfully complete a twelve-month probationary period prior to obtaining permanent status in this classification.