Currently we are not accepting applications for Police Recruit. Please continue to follow updates in the media and our Facebook page.
The Tacoma Police Department is currently seeking qualified individuals who are interested in a law enforcement career that would provide professional and personal challenges. Join us and grow with a police department that is a leader in community involvement, use of technology, and professional growth opportunities.
The City of Tacoma is an international, ethnically-diverse community. With a backdrop of Mt. Rainier, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, and Puget Sound, residents enjoy the Northwest's pristine environment and natural recreation opportunities. Three times named and All-American City by the National Civic League, in 2004 Tacoma-Pierce County was rated as one of only five of "America's Most Livable Regional Communities."
The community supports professional theater and dance companies, classical and contemporary musical events; including resident symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra and opera company, numerous community theaters, art galleries, art and historical museums, and a AAA minor league baseball team.
The City is served by excellent public and private educational institutions, including the University of Washington - Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University, the Evergreen State College, Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, and numerous trade and business schools. Only 28 miles from Seattle, Tacoma is close enough to enjoy all of the advantages of a major metropolitan area nearby.
Tacoma is Washington State's third-largest city, with approximately 203,400 residents. Find out why Tacoma is called The City of Destiny by clicking here. Want to learn more about Tacoma Public Schools? Click here to go to their website to learn about the District and its schools. Tacoma offers location, affordability, recreation, and the attractions of a larger city, but with a hometown feel.
ATTENTION MILITARY AND FORMER MILITARY
The Tacoma Police Department is an approved agency for G.I. Bill benefits. To learn more about the hiring process and the G.I. Bill, click here.
"It's Not Just Another Day At The Office"
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The Tacoma Police Department is excited to announce that we conduct our own written and physical ability testing. We feel this allows us to create a "one-on-one" relationship with all of our applicants. This testing will be of no cost to you!
ATTENTION OUT-OF-STATE APPLICANTS
The Tacoma Police Department does not have a process to proctor testing other than here in Tacoma. You must travel to Tacoma a total of three (3) times during the hiring process for: 1) the PAT and/or Written Test for placement on the Eligible List, 2) the Oral Board Interview and Background Interview, and 3) the Polygraph, Psychological, and/or Medical Examinations.
We are not currently accepting applications for the position of Recruit/Entry-Level Officer and Lateral-Entry Officer.
THE HIRING PROCESS FOR RECRUIT AND ENTRY-LEVEL APPLICANTS
There are eight steps to the testing and hiring process that Recruit/Entry Level Officers go through once the application is received. The testing and hiring process can take four to six months. The testing and hiring process for Recruit/Entry-Level applicants from out-of-state or those who must travel long distances is scheduled in three sessions.
Step One: The written and physical ability tests (PAT) may be conducted on the same day, or on two consecutive days. You must be prepared to take each test. There will be no waivers or exceptions. The written examination assesses minimum cognitive competencies for those individuals wishing to pursue employment in law enforcement. For a list of study guides to the written test click here. The PAT is the same test required by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to enter and successfully pass the Basic Academy. You can review the physical ability test standards by clicking here. Applicants are then ranked and placed on an eligibility list based upon their written test score and successfully passing the PAT. Applicant scores are valid for one year on this list.
Step Two: Applicants will then be mailed a Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) for completion. This questionnaire must be completed fully and honestly. An initial personal history interview will be conducted between the applicant and the Hiring Officer. During the personal history interview, the applicant will be required to produce several items. These include:
High school diploma or GED Certificate. (Original transcripts must be received in an officially sealed envelope from the school.)
Transcripts from colleges and/or universities. (Original transcripts must be received in an officially sealed envelope from the school.)
Military discharge papers. (Document must include discharge status - Member 4 copy) Copies are acceptable.
Citizenship or naturalization papers. Copies are acceptable.
Certified copy of birth certificate from county of record. (NO PHOTOCOPIES)
All marriage licenses and all divorce decrees. Copies are acceptable.
Name change documents. Copies are acceptable.
WSCJTC Basic Academy certificate or other State Basic Academy certificate (if applicable). Copies are acceptable.
Driving record from the Washington State Department of Licensing. (Original from DOL) A driving record from each state in which a license was held is also required.
Step Three: Qualified applicants will be invited to an Oral Board. The Oral Board usually consists of a Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, another commissioned officer, and a citizen. The Oral Board will judge whether the applicant will move on to Step Four.
Step Four: A complete and thorough background investigation will then be conducted. The background investigation can take 2 - 4 weeks. Applicants must be available to the Background Investigators via e-mail and/or phone throughout this step.
Step Five: Once completed, the applicant's information and background investigation is forwarded through the Hiring Unit chain of command for review and approval.
Step Six: A Conditional Offer of Employment will be made based upon successful completion of the hiring process; to include a polygraph examination, psychological interview, and medical examination.
Step Seven: The final decision to hire rests with the Chief of Police or his/her designee.
RE-APPLICATION AND RE-TESTING
Applicants who take a test and desire to try to improve their test score are encouraged to re-apply. Per Tacoma Municipal Code 1.24.590 Personnel Rules - Applications For Positions - Time Interval: "Applicants are not eligible to retest within six months of the establishment of the eligible list resulting from the first examination."
THE HIRING PROCESS FOR LATERAL-ENTRY APPLICANTS
The steps in the hiring process for Lateral-Entry applicants are virtually the same as for Recruit/Entry-Level applicants, except for Step One. Step One for Lateral-Entry applicants is listed below.
Step One For Lateral-Entry: Lateral applicants are given credit for post-academy experience in lieu of the written exam. Lateral applicants must pass a modified PAT test; which includes five (5) push-ups (no time limit), fourteen (14) sit-ups (one minute), and a mile-and-a-half run (17:55 minutes or less). The City of Tacoma Human Resources Department establishes an eligibility list based upon experience listed on the application. The eligibility list is valid for one year.
Lateral Officer Qualifications:
Must be a US Citizen
Must be a High School graduate or have a G.E.D.
Must be currently employed by a law enforcement agency in Washington State.
Must have 24 or more months of post-academy experience as a full-time sworn street patrol officer or recently released or facing layoff due to reduction in force; with the the ability to be rehired.
Must be certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.
Non-patrol sworn officer experience, such as jail/corrections, or dispatch, does not count as "street patrol experience" in calculating the total months of post-academy experience.
WILL MY PAST HISTORY PREVENT ME FROM BECOMING A POLICE OFFICER?
The Tacoma Police Department does not release the automatic disqualifiers for applicants. The Chief of Police reviews these policies on a yearly basis, and this information is held in the strictest confidence within the Hiring Unit. We do not even release this information to our current officers.
What we can let you know is we will review each applicant's drug possession history, driving record history, credit history, and criminal history, among other items; including but not limited to honesty and integrity.
Drug History - An applicant may be disqualified for possession of drugs depending on the number of times the drug is possessed, the type of drugs possessed, and how long ago the possession occurred. Possession is defined as control, touching, holding, selling, trafficking, or transporting any illegal non-prescribed drug.
Driving History - An applicant's driving record will be thoroughly assessed, and may be a factor for disqualification. We look at the number of infractions an applicant has received, the frequency of infractions, the type of infractions, and how long ago the infractions occurred. Some criminal driving offenses are automatic disqualifiers.
Criminal History - An applicant may be disqualified based upon their criminal history including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, "Alford" pleas, and non-conviction information. The type of crime, frequency of crime, and how long ago the crime occurred are reviewed and may be considered a disqualifier.
Credit History - An applicant may be disqualified based upon their current credit history. Accounts that are currently in collections may be considered a disqualifier. To review your credit history for accounts that are currently in collections, you may obtain a free copy of your credit report at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.isp.
To assist potential applicants in deciding whether or not to apply, we have provided a self assessment survey. This self-assessment should in no way be construed as a deterrent to applying and participating in the hiring process; it is simply to be used as a diagnostic tool that may help potential applicants with their decision. Click here for the Self-Assessment Survey for Prospective TPD Applicants.