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  • Age question

    (Posted this in Ask a Cop but wanted some local advice).

    I've posted something similar to this in the past, but I was wondering if you can still apply when you are 20 years old. I ask this because I know the hiring process could take (I know, it varies a lot) up to a year. I'm 19, in college, I turn 20 in February. I'd like to at least start sending out applications as soon as I can. If it's at age 21 I'm hired then great, if it's many more years than that, I'm OK too. Just wondering what you guys think.

    I know that some applications say you must be 20.5 to apply which probably answers my question. I'm mainly just wondering if I'm not 20.5 years of age will they even look at my application or just toss it in the trash? Thanks!

  • #2
    You would probably get the best information by emailing some local departments and asking them. I know the State Patrol allows you to test with them at 19 1/2.


    • #3
      It depends entirely on the department's requirements. Some require you be 21 when you apply, others only require you be 21 when you get offered the job.

      Personally, I think the age should be raised to at least 25. Those 4 extra years aren't a lot, but at least give the person more life experiences and a LITTLE bit more maturity that helps the person convey some authority as an officer. Try doing bar checks as a 21 year old rookie officer. Yes, technically you'll have every legal authority to enforce the same laws a 40 yr old officer can, but you won't appear anywhere NEAR as credible as someone even a little older.

      21 is just too young, IMO. And no, I don't mean anything personal by that comment.


      • #4
        Here at Tacoma PD we require you to be 20 1/2 to apply. We figure that by the time you are through with the hiring process you will be 21 yoa which is the requirement for CJTC BLEA.


        • #5
          You can apply bUt keep studying. Just because you'll get a couple apps in will not mean you'll get the job especially now when there are a ton of qualified applicants out there. The process can take years for some people after they test and retest a few times.


          • #6
            I know Seattle PD had a guy that turned 21 while in the academy, so it is possible that you can get hired prior to 21. I would wait no ensure you meet all the minimum requirements though as waiting until you are 20 1/2. Some extra time in college to finish out a degree will not hurt you any, and depending who hires you it could mean some extra $$$ after training. The issue with many departments is that they have to issue you a pistol while in the academy (so you can be trained on it), and if you're not yet 21 you can see where there can be issues.

            Just my 2 cents.


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