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  • Which departments are hiring the most in Wa

    Hello and thank you in advance for any info you can provide. I am lookimg to relocate my wife and 3 kids to Washington. I wanted to know what department if any are having large academies this year. I am trying to be realistic about the departments I apply to as it costs a ton of money to fly back and forth feom the east coast.

    Here in NY we have departments that have an average 3 to 4 year wait before you get hired if you score high enough on the test. Is it the same way across the state in Wa or are there some departments I could test with that could hire me in the same year?

  • #2
    I'm not a cop, but, I feel like I have a decent grasp on how it all works. In WA, most agencies use Public Safety Testing (some use National Testing Network), and a few do in house testing (Seattle PD and Tacoma PD are the two in house testers that I can think of off the top of my head). You sign up with Public Safety testing, and there is remote testing allowed for some agencies (a search option is available for that). Once you pass the written and PAT, your scores are sent to the agencies you selected and the hiring process starts from there.
    All departments (aside from state patrol) go to the same academy., so you'll be in the academy with recruits from a bunch of other departments. Western WA goes to the academy in Burien, eastern WA goes to the academy in Spokane. I believe there is one (sometime 2 i think) academy class per month. So once you get picked up by a department, they slot you for an academy class. Then about 2 weeks before the academy start date, you do the PAT again as the entrance test to the academy.
    It all depends on where you rank on the eligibility list, you background investigation, and HR staffing/efficiency on how fast you go through the hiring process.
    So its really a matter of doing your research on what departments you are interested in, then applying.
    There are plenty of threads on this forum that have insight to different departments, where people suggest to avoid, and where people love.

    Note to anyone from WA or knows the process here in WA, if I got any of that wrong or am a bit off on any of it, feel free to correct me so that I also have a better understanding.

    Comment


    • #3
      For the most part, everything R89 is accurate. The academies are not designated by which part of the state you are in. I started in eastern, WA and I was sent to the academy in Burien (Seattle) because they had an opening sooner.

      The hiring process here is nothing like NY. Depending on your score, you will typically be hired (assuming you get hired) within a 2-6 month time frame.

      The nice thing about public safety testing is you can take 1 written exam and 1 PAT test and it is good for 1,10, or even 50 different departments. You do have to pay money depending on how many depts you want your exam results to go to.

      There are some departments that will even pay your airfare, hotel, and car rental costs. This is not everywhere by any means but some departments will. You just have to check out their websites.

      Seattle has over 200 openings so they have the most openings but almost every dept in WA is hiring.

      I hope this helps

      Comment


      • #4
        Depends obvious places with the largest population are hiring the most officers (Seattle, King County Sheriff, Spokane, etc). R89 is correct it just depends on you as an individual. Talked with an officer from SPD who applied in October and was hired and in the academy by February. Seattle and King County are the only two agencies who have guaranteed slots at the academy (5 seats from 7 they used to have). Buriens academy has a new class every 3 weeks so every agency is sending recruits there, also there are people who fail out of the PAT test to get into the academy and agencies who have a recruit waiting might get a call to go in and try and fill that spot.

        As for the hiring process that is correct. NTN (National Testing Network) and PST (Public Safety Testing) are the two websites to apply to departments locally here. Seattle and Tacoma do their own testing and do not share scores with other agencies so if you test with them and want to use your PAT at another department you are out of luck. Seattle will have you visit twice during the hiring process, first time to take the written and video exam and then you will find out your scores directly after and then you will take the PAT down in Burien and then meet your BI to go over your packet following the oral board. If you pass backgrounds you will have to come out again to finish the hiring process (polygraph, medical, psychological).

        Obviously hiring is different per applicant user Slane got hired by SPD in like 3 months, where others it takes 6+ months (SPD released a report saying it takes an average of 182 days from start to finish for an applicant to be hired). From start to finish though (testing, hired, academy, FTO, off probation) it will be well over a year before you are officially 100% on your own. As for large academy classes that just is not a thing out here, departments cant over fill classrooms, each academy class has its limits (between 20-30 recruits) but again multiple classes running at the same time. Smaller departments maybe only hiring 1 to 3 positions where King County and SPD are trying to fill their 5 spots every 3 weeks. Never heard of an applicant out here starting with a department and taking over a year to get a final offer however you maybe testing for multiple years, like myself its been a solid 2 years testing with departments to land a final spot.

        Check Tukwila's post on here, I believe the recruiting officer there mentioned they would reimburse you for travel expenses if you test with them. Other agencies are offering hiring bonuses if you get hired. Bellevue is staffed up now but they were offering 16k, and SPD is offering 7500 for entry and 15k if you are already a Police Officer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello from a fellow NY'er (Rochester). I moved out here in 2004 for the same reason. Hiring process out there was impossible to get hired being number 4,000 on a list for 2 openings and a 3-4 year hiring process if you were lucky enough. You will find that law enforcement out here is very different and pays much better with better benefits. Check us out at www.jointukwilapd.com We are actively hiring entry-level officers and our process begins by applying to take the written and PAT exam at www.nationaltestingnetwork.com Our hiring process typically takes 2-6 months depending on your background.

          Comment


          • Marshal40
            Marshal40 commented
            Editing a comment
            Maybe this is one of the reasons Seattle Police/Marshals has a hard time. With a hiring process that takes 6-8 months even for laterals, applicants will take a quicker offer from another department.

        • #6
          Thank you for all of the extremely thorough responses! This was a big help!

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by MCSO-3420 View Post
            Seattle has over 200 openings so they have the most openings but almost every dept in WA is hiring.
            Mind my asking why? A lot of openings / agencies constantly hiring is sometimes considered a bad thing, atleast local to me, just wondering if its the same in Washington.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by UnivPD View Post

              Mind my asking why? A lot of openings / agencies constantly hiring is sometimes considered a bad thing, atleast local to me, just wondering if its the same in Washington.
              You need to specify which department, as there are a only a few reasons that apply to why a lot WA agencies have high turnover, such as dealing with the west side traffic and cost of living but specific departments usually have varied reasons as to the turnover. It also doesn’t help that the public perception towards certain departments has made it enticing to lateral elsewhere.
              Last edited by COMoparfan392; 03-30-2020, 05:32 PM.
              "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by COMoparfan392 View Post
                such as dealing with the west side traffic and cost of living but specific departments usually have varied reasons as to the turnover.
                Thats kind of the general answer I was looking for. I'm not trying to bash any specific department, its just something that I've noticed: When an agency advertises hard like that: "We are awesome! Come work for us! Lateral Bonus! Always hiring / Always vacancy!" it just throws up a red flag, at least to me.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by UnivPD View Post

                  Thats kind of the general answer I was looking for. I'm not trying to bash any specific department, its just something that I've noticed: When an agency advertises hard like that: "We are awesome! Come work for us! Lateral Bonus! Always hiring / Always vacancy!" it just throws up a red flag, at least to me.
                  It’s definitely something to be wary of. Dealing with the parking lot traffic isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and good luck being able to afford a house within two hours drive of Seattle city limits unless you work OT every off day or your spouse has a great job.
                  "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by UnivPD View Post

                    Mind my asking why? A lot of openings / agencies constantly hiring is sometimes considered a bad thing, atleast local to me, just wondering if its the same in Washington.
                    I would say that most agencies in the Seattle area are good to work for. They will all have their ups and downs. I think Seattle PD has a lot of openings because their agency went a long time without a contract (This has recently been resolved), the lack of support from admin, city officials and the community as a whole. This is just my opinion and from what I hear from others including Seattle officers.

                    King county from what I know is a good agency. Overall, if you are from a more conservative area of the country, you might want to stick to eastern wa such as Tri cities or Spokane areas. If you really want to be near Seattle, try Snohomish County or Pierce County agencies.

                    I would not be concerned about agencies who are recruiting hard. Most agencies are recruiting hard due to the lack of qualified applicants. Many, many agencies offer sing on bonuses that range from 5K-15K dollars. Many depts offer front loaded vacation and sick time as well. These departments aren't bad agencies, its just the supply and demand of laterals is big here. If you are a lateral with 2+ years expeirience, you can probably work at any agency want as long as you have a clean background.

                    Hope this helps

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by COMoparfan392 View Post

                      It’s definitely something to be wary of. Dealing with the parking lot traffic isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and good luck being able to afford a house within two hours drive of Seattle city limits unless you work OT every off day or your spouse has a great job.
                      In LE with most agencies understaffed you will work OT. If you work in Seattle you can buy a reasonably priced house in Kitsap County and take the ferry paid for by the city. Ferry commute is good, take a nap on the way in, enjoy an adult beverage on the way home.
                      You miss every shot you don't take.

                      Comment


                      • Marshal40
                        Marshal40 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Also before anyone gets their skivvies in a knot. I am not in uniform during my commute and generally do not discuss what I do for a living while enjoying the adult beverage.

                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Marshal40 View Post

                      In LE with most agencies understaffed you will work OT. If you work in Seattle you can buy a reasonably priced house in Kitsap County and take the ferry paid for by the city. Ferry commute is good, take a nap on the way in, enjoy an adult beverage on the way home.
                      Being that I worked plenty of 14+ hours shifts, I can’t imagine having to commute on top of that. Take homes are highly underrated. Commute distance/time is something that applicants need to take into consideration and think about how it impacts their quality of life. That being said, there’s worse ways to go home than the ferry...
                      Last edited by COMoparfan392; 04-02-2020, 10:09 AM.
                      "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        I agree with what everyone else has said. If you want to live in the Seattle area the only agency I would avoid is Seattle PD, terrible morale mostly from their anti LE mayor and city council. It really depends on what you're looking for.

                        A little more laid back, not as much violent crime look at your eastern King County (known as the eastside) agencies like Mercer Island, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Duvall. Redmond and Kirkland are good but are more populated so you will be busier, but overall a higher income level. You also have Enumclaw and Black Diamond in the SE corner of the county.

                        In south King County you have Renton, Kent, and Auburn all of which are good agencies and have a variety of work, they essentially have the same geography with the suburb neighborhoods in the "hills" of the cities and your more typical inter-city type work in the valley.

                        Federal Way and Tukwila are more running and gunning with lots of gang and drug issues.

                        The Sheriff's office is good, they're known (or were) for having one of the top FTO failure rates in the state. Their patrol area is constantly shrinking as more unincorporated areas are being annexed into cities, however many of the cities that incorporated over the past 30 years have actually contracted with KCSO for policing services (Covington, Maple Valley, Newcastle, Sammamish, Kenmore, Burien, etc.) On top of that they also have the LE contract for Sound Transit, Metro, and the King Co Airport. So there's plenty of room to bounce around on different assignments.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
                          I agree with what everyone else has said. If you want to live in the Seattle area the only agency I would avoid is Seattle PD, terrible morale mostly from their anti LE mayor and city council. It really depends on what you're looking for.

                          A little more laid back, not as much violent crime look at your eastern King County (known as the eastside) agencies like Mercer Island, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Duvall. Redmond and Kirkland are good but are more populated so you will be busier, but overall a higher income level. You also have Enumclaw and Black Diamond in the SE corner of the county.

                          In south King County you have Renton, Kent, and Auburn all of which are good agencies and have a variety of work, they essentially have the same geography with the suburb neighborhoods in the "hills" of the cities and your more typical inter-city type work in the valley.

                          Federal Way and Tukwila are more running and gunning with lots of gang and drug issues.

                          The Sheriff's office is good, they're known (or were) for having one of the top FTO failure rates in the state. Their patrol area is constantly shrinking as more unincorporated areas are being annexed into cities, however many of the cities that incorporated over the past 30 years have actually contracted with KCSO for policing services (Covington, Maple Valley, Newcastle, Sammamish, Kenmore, Burien, etc.) On top of that they also have the LE contract for Sound Transit, Metro, and the King Co Airport. So there's plenty of room to bounce around on different assignments.
                          +1

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