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Tacoma Police Department


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  • Tacoma Police Department

    Hello everyone. I am currently in the process of testing with the Tacoma Police Department and had a couple questions for officers who have either worked for the TPD or are currently working there.

    1. How long have you worked for the TPD?
    2. What do you think makes Tacoma a unique police department? What does the TPD have that other departments in the area may not?
    3. How do you feel the morale is within the department?

    I guess those are good starters for now. I have only had the chance to run in to one TPD officer so far and interview him. They're pretty hard to find and question. Hehe. They always look busy and seem like it wouldn't be a good time to interrupt.

    I look forward to your responses. Thanks everyone.
    Last edited by Lucky7MQ; 11-10-2009, 01:12 PM. Reason: Combined questions that were repetative.

  • #2
    There is a member on this forum who is a recruiter with Tacoma PD. His screen name is TPD Recruiter, you might want to send him a PM.


    • #3
      I’d like to wish you “Good Luck” through the process!

      I know that we have a really tough process to go through in order to get hired; some say we may be too picky. I take that as a compliment! We want to hire only the best and fortunately we are in a position to do just that. Don’t take what I just said in the wrong way. Just because someone may not meet our standards does not mean they would not be acceptable at another department. And don’t take that statement as demeaning to all of our other fine departments. I have many friends at other departments who did not meet the TPD standards; they are great people! They are great officers! It just means that they did not meet our standards at the time they went through the process.

      It looks like we are finished hiring for the remainder of 2009; however, we do know that we will have between 12-20 retirements to hire for in 2010, starting immediately in January. Right now we are gearing up and preparing for those 2010 hires. And, unfortunately, we will have to fill spots for those who fail our training programs and those who may move on to other careers or other departments.

      To answer your question about morale, it hasn’t been higher than it currently is! Anyone who’s been in Puget Sound a while knows of our past history from 6 years ago. What occurred could have happened to any department around here, it just happened to land on us. A lot of needed house cleaning resulted and procedures and policies have changed. (Thank You CALEA!) Professionalism has increased! We have a great three year contract in place for sergeants and below. Our budget issues have not been as serious as they have been for other departments; we have never had layoffs in our 125 year history and don’t see them at all in our future.

      Personally I have been with TPD for 15 years now. I have 28 total years as an officer having worked for Kittitas County, the Town of Kittitas, the City of Clarkston and the City of Fircrest before landing my dream job here at Tacoma PD. As you can see, I have worked for and alongside many departments across the state; large, medium and small, counties and cities, Western Washington and Eastern Washington. I tell this to everyone who will listen; I work for the best department in the State of Washington. Here is why…

      Facilities: New state of the art facilities throughout the department to include our HQ and Sub-Stations.

      Uniforms and Equipment: We provide all of the uniforms and equipment you need except for your underwear and boots (This includes an assigned take-home car and a personally issued patrol rifle)

      Great People: Some of the most professional officers, detectives and supervisors I have ever known work here.

      Training: At TPD you will receive more training than you ever thought you could get. This includes Pre-Academy Training (one month), Academy Training (5 months), Post-Academy Training (two months), PTO Training (four months), Quarterly In-Service Training (four 10-hour sessions), Mandatory and Voluntary On-Line Training Sessions, Weekly Turnout Training Sessions and, if you are on a specialty team, Monthly Specialty Team Training Sessions.

      Specialty Teams and Assignments: SWAT, Search and Rescue, Special Response Team, K-9, Bio-Hazard Team, Lab Team, EOD/Bomb Tech, Marine Services Unit and Dive Team. All of these are co-lateral duties performed in addition to regular assignments.

      Special Assignment Positions: Patrol Specialists, Traffic/Motors, Community Liaison Officers, School Resource Officers, Hiring Coordinator, Training Officers, Range Officer, Quartermaster, Court Coordinator, Desk Officers, Bike Officers.

      Size: The size of our department is very important, large but not so big that you get lost; room for opportunities other than general duty patrol, promotional opportunities.

      Type of Work: If you want to be busy as a patrol officer, you will be busy. It’s the nature of our city. The types of calls will be different than other departments too, many more of the “adrenaline pumping” calls than other departments. Some say that you will handle more shooting, stabbing, robbery and “in-progress” calls with Tacoma in five years than you will at other departments in 30 years! That’s my type of police work! We’ve had lateral officers from larger departments leave us to return to the departments they came from citing that we were too busy for them and they wanted to return to quieter streets.

      Pay and Benefits: By contract our patrol officers, patrol specialists, detectives and sergeants will make 105% of the base wages of our comparable cities. That puts us at the top of our comparables! We also have incentive pay and application rate adjustments for various items such as: working for CALEA accreditation (1%), attaining and maintaining CALEA accreditation (2%), LEOFF II officers get an automatic adjustment (2%), Specialty Team incentive pay (5%), Swing shift (3%) and Grave shift (5%) incentive pay, Longevity Pay (2% - 8%), Mentoring Pay (2%) Education or Military incentive pay (2%), Bi-Lingual Pay (2%). We have a College Tuition Assistance Plan, Matching Deferred Compensation Plan ($192 per bi-weekly pay period), a generous vacation/holiday/sick time package, the usual Medical/Dental/Life insurance package (premiums paid by employees range from $40 - $136 per month depending on the plan and coverage) and a Flexible Spending Account which the employee can contribute pre-taxed dollars which can be used towards medical premium costs, other medical costs or child care. Oh, and the city contributes $360 a year into this account for you!

      If you would like any more information or would like to talk personally, send me a PM.


      • #4
        Sergeant (TPD Recruiter),

        Thank you so much for all of this information. It was very thorough and helped answer a lot of the questions I had about the department. You definitely "sold" and reinforced why Tacoma is the department I'd love to ultimately end up working for, even if I don't get hired with TPD initially.


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