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  • Questions regarding application for employment in Washington State

    I just moved out here from Michigan about 5 months ago, and I've been trying to get into law enforcement for awhile now. Problem I was running into is that in Michigan, you put yourself through a self-sponsored academy, Great! you're certified. Now try and find a job. Ha! I came out here in Novemeber to test for the King County Sheriff, only to find when I arrived that they were laying off deputies, not hiring. Discouraged now. Anyways, I loved the area, and found a job in my current line of work in Renton, so I moved in December with the intention of applying at the (many) departments locally once I got settled in and could figure out exactly where I wanted to be. Ok, so great, ready to start applying! I'm just curious, when using Public Safety Testing, is it like 'the outside world' where you could put in an application to departments that aren't neccessarily hiring, but they'd have your application (PST scores) on record in case something opens up? Or should I only apply to departments that show a need? Also, I am VERY interested in the Vancouver jobs, but due to some scheduling conflicts, I might not be able to test until mid-July! Yikes! Any honest opinions on whether I should rush to get testing done sooner, or just be patient and wait until I can be fully ready? I know, that's a hard one for someone who doesn't know me to answer, but an honest opinion and advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

    Finally (and I know this is getting long, I apologize...) I feel like what I am looking for is a smaller, more rural department. I did an internship with the MI state police last summer in a rural area, and I just loved it. It felt like what I've always wanted to do. NO, not being lazy and just driving around all day, but it seemed to fit ME better than the idea of "running and gunning" in the larger city (quoting the troopers when refering to Detroit cops....) Any opinions on smaller departments that are looking for someone currently?

    OK, sorry for getting long winded! I appreciate your time and any help you can give, thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Test with PST, most of the smaller departments use them in the hiring process.
    "If you run from the law, you'll only go to jail tired."

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    • #3
      Public Safety Testing will often times list the current openings for the individual department in the department profile. Sometimes that info is current, sometimes not. Therefore I would call each individual agency your considering and ask if they have openings or are simply testing to keep a current list.

      Lastly, CJTC (Washington State Police Academy) has a current hiring page that will be helpful. The page is here. https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/ind...jobs&Itemid=11 Aside from PST, this will be your most helpful resource for Police jobs in Washington State.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
        I just moved out here from Michigan about 5 months ago, and I've been trying to get into law enforcement for awhile now. Problem I was running into is that in Michigan, you put yourself through a self-sponsored academy, Great! you're certified. Now try and find a job. Ha!
        I am not going to sugar coat anything here,

        In Washington State, we do not have a self sponsored academy so in order to go through the academy, you have to be hired on with a Police department or Sheriffs department directly. Hiring right now is definitely a challenge in this State. The budgets are just not there for most agencies.



        Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
        I'm just curious, when using Public Safety Testing, is it like 'the outside world' where you could put in an application to departments that aren't neccessarily hiring, but they'd have your application (PST scores) on record in case something opens up? Or should I only apply to departments that show a need?
        It is different per department. Some departments will keep it in their records so if something opens they will contact you for oral boards if your scores are good enough or some departments will just discard your results right then and there. The term that you are wanting to look for under the departments hiring status on Public safety testing is "Continuous testing". Just to be 100% certain, you may want to personally call the department and talk with HR or the person in charge of recruiting. The testing can add up so you don't want to throw your money away.



        Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
        I am VERY interested in the Vancouver jobs, but due to some scheduling conflicts, I might not be able to test until mid-July! Yikes! Any honest opinions on whether I should rush to get testing done sooner, or just be patient and wait until I can be fully ready?
        Once again each department is going to be a little bit different as far as their testing is concerned. Some departments will be very flexible with rescheduling oral boards, polygraphs, etc. On the other hand, if you are unable to make it to your scheduled polygraph/interviews/etc, the department will move on to the next person in the process. You have to keep in mind that a lot of these departments need positions filled quickly and will not waste their time around you having to re-schedule things over and over. As I previously mentioned, each department will be different. In my opinion, I wouldn't start testing until you know for sure you can get dates off as needed for oral boards, polygraphs, etc.


        Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
        Any opinions on smaller departments that are looking for someone currently?
        The best thing to do is look on publicsafety first and go through each department and see if they are hiring. If they are hiring, you can then go onto wikipedia and get information about the size, geography, etc. Another website you can check into is national testing network and the BLEA academy website: https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/ind...jobs&Itemid=11 Another thing you can do is look go on google maps and then look at a bunch of cities and then google the name of the city + police in the search field. A lot of agencies will conduct their own testing instead of going through a company that conducts the testing. A good example of this is Bothell Police. Bothell Police does not use PST or NTN for their testing. The only way you can find out if their hiring is to go onto their website. I hope I explained that enough to where it makes sense...


        Essentially here is the way it works in Washington for the academy:

        There are two police academies in the State of Washington. One police academy is in Burien. This is the academy used where all of the local city agencies send their officers and where the Sheriff's departments send their deputies. The other academy is the Washington State Patrol academy. Only Washington State Troopers go through this academy. The WSP academy facility is used by other agencies but mainly for the driving course and I think for some special DUI/DRE (drug recognition expert) training.



        I wish you luck in your quest for a law enforcement job in Washington and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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        • #5
          Our Civil Service rules have changed and allow us to hire academy graduates with zero time on the road as "Lateral-Entry" officers (with some limitations). Also, if you are unable to make the June 18th PST event, there are others in July...HOWEVER, the sooner you test the better as the first list will be certified and then your odds of getting on the list become increasingly difficult unless you score well.

          We currently have ten openings. If you are interested in applying with us, NOW is the time.

          Please contact me if you have any questions:
          Sgt. Troy Price (360) 487-7463

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          • #6
            That's part of the reason I came out here, was the whole idea of going through an academy for free as opposed to paying a college and being sent out there with a "good luck." I know it's a bit of a gamble to go this route, but one that's worth the risk, at least to me. I hope. I know it's hard right now, the field is tough to get in to, but it's still better than alot of places, so I just have to hope for the best. I just wish I had my college degree in CJ instead of something else, or at least some military experience. That's probably gonna hurt me, but I'll never, NEVER say that a veteran doesn't deserve some preference in a job search. Just sucks for me, but oh well, what can you do. At least my background is clean, so that's a plus, and I have some life experience, I've been out in the world working for a few years (crossing my fingers that anything at all will help....) And thanks for the replies, I appreciate the input. Good luck to anyone else out there job hunting!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
              That's part of the reason I came out here, was the whole idea of going through an academy for free as opposed to paying a college and being sent out there with a "good luck." I know it's a bit of a gamble to go this route, but one that's worth the risk, at least to me.
              I guess I'm a bit opposite. I'd kill to be able to self-sponsor right now. I know it's a gamble, but hell, it's a better way to market yourself. The issue here is WA is that Lateral Transfer opportunities are AMAZING because it's cheaper to higher a current cop rather than send one through the academy, FTO, etc.

              Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
              I just wish I had my college degree in CJ instead of something else, or at least some military experience.
              What is your degree currently in? I'd say any degree that has practical application is FAR better than a CJ major. A lot of applicants have a CJ degree, they're kind of worthless outside of LE. Hell, with my degree, I have a fantastic job as a vocational rehabilitation counselor that if, God forbid, I get injured as a police officer, I can always return to. Careers requiring CJ degrees don't have the same level of flexibility in my opinion.

              Also, why not join the Guard/Reserves while you're applying?

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              • #8
                Automotive degree, I've been working on cars for aaaaabout.... 7 1/2 years, roughly. Hmmm, mebbe I could get into accident investigations someday. Oh wait, gotta become a cop first. Horse, then cart. Part of me wishes I had done the academy and risked it, BUT: I was accepted and all ready to go, the director keeps in touch with me (he has come right out and said he was looking forward to me going through the program. Not trying to brag, but I slaughtered my intro classmates on my test scores. Yes I know there is FAR more to the academy and the job than that, but still) so I have a fall back plan in a sense. Also, I was in no financial shape to quit my job and go back to college, but I'm making enough right now I could be debt free real soon, that would put me in a much better position to go back to college in a year or so, should I decide to do so. Until then, I'm gonna keep hammerin' away and applying anywhere I can and hope for the best.

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                • #9
                  Oh yeah, and as far as the military, haven't really thought about it much; isn't 28 too old???

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                  • #10
                    RJW.... Send me an e-mail and request for a list I have of all Washington law enforcement departments with hyperlinks to their web pages. A lot of times you really have to do your research to find those who are hiring. If you are serious about testing and researching all of the departments, this would help. Most departments in Washington do not use PST or NTN. Anyone can e-mail and request the list..... [email protected] .
                    www.tacomapolice.org

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                    • #11
                      That list is very good and i have found departments that where hiring that i would never even of thought of!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rjw_83 View Post
                        Oh yeah, and as far as the military, haven't really thought about it much; isn't 28 too old???
                        Nope, Army max age is like 41, Air Force is 35 I think, and Navy is 34 (Active) 39 (reserve). Here's the list of age limits for military service.

                        http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joini.../faqenlage.htm
                        GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

                        "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GIOSTORMUSNRET View Post
                          Nope, Army max age is like 41, Air Force is 35 I think, and Navy is 34 (Active) 39 (reserve). Here's the list of age limits for military service.

                          http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joini.../faqenlage.htm
                          That is out of date. It changed in April to I think 35 for everything.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CountyGuy View Post
                            That is out of date. It changed in April to I think 35 for everything.
                            I stand corrected, here is the updated age limits.

                            http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joini...y/a/enlage.htm
                            GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

                            "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

                            Comment

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