What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Washington?
Law enforcement careers in Washington is lucrative and well endowed. With the added excitement, thrill and adventure that comes with the job, it’s a position that is highly sought after and suitably preferred.
Having said that, the training process in Washington differs for a town and city police job when compared to state police or state trooper job. The former would require less training while the latter would necessitate intense academy training.
The state police also have an equivalent position called the Deputy Sheriff. Washington has 39 counties with each of them having a Sheriff’s office. While the Sheriff is independently elected, the Deputy Sheriff’s position is appointed. In other words, if you are qualified, you have a good chance of being selected for the job. The large counties in Washington with the Sheriff’s department are:1. The King County which is the largest county in the state
2. Pierce County – The second most populated county in the state.
3. The Spokane County – The fourth most populated county in the state.
Qualifications required to be appointed as a police officer or a Deputy Sheriff in the Washington area are as follows:
- The candidate should be at least 21 years of age
- Should possess a high school diploma
- Have a valid Washington state driving license
- He or she should be a US citizen
- Should have no prior record of any kind of felony convictions
- Should be willing to relocate within the county or municipality as and when required.
- Should be willing to take a polygraph test and pass a physical, written and psychological exam.
- Pass background investigations.
In comparison, the State Trooper job requires slightly different qualifications. There are 3 functions and thus 3 different areas of operation that a State Trooper need to involve in. They are named as :1. State trooper
2. Communications Officer
3. The Trooper Cadet
Communication officers are highly trained law enforcement telecommunication specialists who are usually the first respondents to a crime. They provide a lifeline to law enforcement officers on the ground in critical and life-threatening situations.
They often need to make decisions that decide the outcome of an emergency. Their training helps them provide accurate and critical information to the field officers, thereby assisting these law enforcers to bring about effective solutions to the problem.
Their training also helps them empathize with different socio-ethnic groups who may be under extreme duress while making the emergency call. Thus, they must provide a calm and peaceful response to the person on the other end of the call which in turn may go a long way in helping diffuse the situation
They are about 600 State Troopers in Washington state alone. They function to enforce traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways. They also oversee the security of the state and provide protection to the governor.
Qualifications to be a State Trooper in Washington is:
- Be a US citizen,
- The minimum age while applying for the job is 19.5 years.
- Have no drug-related background and should possess sound psychological mental health. He or she should also have to pass a medical examination test.
- Pass a physical fitness test
- Have no prior criminal or conviction records of any kind.
- Should be willing to relocate to anywhere in the state
- Should be willing to work long hours especially on weekends and manage rotational shifts.
Apart from these common hiring requirements, there are some general practices that law enforcement agencies adopt as part of their hiring process.
The rules laid out in the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission states that people hired to State Trooper positions should have completed about 720 hours of basic training. Applicants are told to contact the agency and learn more about its training requirement.