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  • Potential Officer Questions

    Hello, I am currently in my final year of college in Southern California (dual major with IT and Marketing), and my girlfriend and I want to move up to Washington after I graduate. We love the weather and the people. My uncle lives in Vancouver, WA, and we visited them last summer and lover everything about Washington. My girlfriend very much likes the Olympia area, and has been looking at what kinds of homes are available in the Olympia and Lacey areas.

    I am interested in becoming law enforcement of some sort, either Sheriff, Police or Corrections (both of my parents are CCII's). My girlfriend's brother-in-law is LAPD and I have been asking him a lot about the job and the academy, but I know it won't be exactly the same as in WA.

    I would like some insight into what the different duties of the jobs (Sheriff vs. PD mainly, because I know a bit about Corrections) are and what paths have good pay, benefits and advancement opportunities. I might be interested in Highway Patrol/State Patrol, but we'd like to live in the Olympia area (I'm open to Vancouver area as well), and I know that location can't be guaranteed. Can anyone help out a possible future officer? Thank you!

  • #2
    Clark county just recently received approval to hire 8 additional corrections officers. They are in the middle of the process to hire 8 deputies.

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    • #3
      Congratulations on only having one more year of college left. Corrections is probably going to be you best bet at getting a foot in the door somewhere. The enforcement positions up here can be quite competitive. It can be a crap shoot for even the most qualified candidates. The process can also take a long time. The good news is most agencies in Washington use Public Safety Testing (check out their web page) to conduct their initial test. You just have to test one time and you can send your score to multiple agencies. I would think about coming up to test a few months before you finish up school. You can get an idea of what the test is like and if you do well, you can have your scores sent out to a few agencies.

      As far as Sheriff vs. PD goes, in most of the urban areas Clark County (Vancouver), Pierce County (Tacoma) and King County(Seattle) the sheriff department is pretty similar to a PD. They patrol urban areas and handle calls similar to any urban PD. Once you start getting into the more rural areas, the Sheriff Deputy is on their own and backup can be over an hour away. That lends it's self to a whole different type of police work.

      Clark County is a great agency. They just made a bunch of offers but I am sure they will be ready to hire more by the time you graduate. If you are going to apply to Clark County, I would apply this winter sometime. Sometimes it can take a year to make it through the hiring process.

      Finally, Washington State Patrol is in a huge hiring frenzy. They have their own style and if that is something you might be interested in, they have their own separate hiring process. You should check out their web page.

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      • #4
        I put in an application for a wanted correctional officer in Tumwater this morning. I know the process takes a while, so I thought I might get started and/or put some feelers out. I also saw that Seattle PD recently had open applications, but I missed the window sadly. Any info on when they might be hiring again? I put in an "Job Card" with the City of Olympia for Law Enforcement as well.

        Also, some advice that others have heard about being an officer is to not live nearby where you work/patrol. This sounds like pretty sound advice, am I right? Or else people you interact with or bust might know where you live...

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