Washington requires completion of 720 hours of basic training at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) before you can become a certified police officer in the state.
The first step to certification is to find a job and be hired by a police agency. Then you must complete, BLEA training within six months of hire.
Standards to Become a Police Officer
In order to be hired applicants must meet certain minimum statewide standards. Individual police agencies may have additional requirements. The state standards are U.S. citizenship, a high-school diploma or GED equivalent certificate, and having a valid Washington State driver’s license.
You will have to contact individual police agencies to find out what over specific requirements they have in order to be hired. You can find a complete list of Washington police agencies at the end of this article.
Minimum Requirements & Qualifications
As an example of local requirements necessary to become a police officer, here are just a few for Seattle. These may differ from other police agencies.
- Applicants must be at least 20.5 years old at the time they take an exam required by the city.
- If you have served in the military your discharge must have been under honorable conditions.
- Any conviction for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving or hit and run driving may be disqualifying.
- Certain drug use, such as but not limited to, marijuana or cocaine, within three to 10 years before the date of application may be disqualifying.
Applicants will undergo a criminal records check. Felony convictions, misdemeanor or felony convictions while employed in a law enforcement capacity, or any domestic violence conviction are disqualifying factors.
Fitness Test Standards
In addition to meeting the state and local entry-level requirements, recruits will then have to qualify to enter the academy. That qualification includes passing a physical fitness test prior to entering the school.
Testing will be conducted to determine aerobic capacity, strength, and flexibility and failure to demonstrate the required level of fitness will result in ineligibility to attend the academy.
Here are specifics of the physical fitness requirements. You’ll be required to complete a 300-meter run between 56 and 71 seconds, and then after 15 minutes of rest one minute of sit-ups. After another five minutes of rest you will have to demonstrate the maximum number of push-ups you can do.
The final phase of the test, after a rest of 10 minutes, will be a 1.5 mile run. A good explanation about the test and its procedures can be found at https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/images/docs/classes/blea/pat_website_info.pdf.
WA Police Academy Curriculum
In the academy, recruit officers training is designed to provide basic knowledge and skills necessary for safe, proper and effective law enforcement service. Instructional blocks include: Criminal Law and Procedures; Traffic Enforcement; Cultural Awareness; Communication Skills; EVOC; Firearms; Crisis Intervention; Patrol Procedures; Criminal Investigation and Defensive Tactics.
Average Salary For Cops in Washington
According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of Washington makes between $60,660 – $79,300 per year. However the data collected by BLS is not very accurate because it does not record overtime pay or off duty work like private security work, special assignments and etc. These factors, if included in the data, would have drastically increase the average salary of a police officer in WA.
Find a Law Enforcement Job In Washington
There are several law enforcement job openings in Washington. Simply visit our Career Job Opening Section or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment. Below is a list of law enforcement agencies in the state of Washington.