Police Officer LATERAL (Application Closes October 9, 2023)

City of Seattle, WA
September 1, 2023
Seattle, WA
Job Type


Position Description
The Seattle Police Department is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity in its workforce.

Hiring Bonus: The City of Seattle is offering a $30,000 hiring bonus for lateral entry police officers. Please see the Seattle Police Department website to learn more.

Speak with a Recruiter: Complete this form and a recruiter will reach out to you via text!


* ***Please read the entire job bulletin information carefully, as our testing process has changed.****


Applicants must complete all parts of the Public Safety Civil Service Testing Process (steps 1 & 2) that are listed below by October 11 , 2023 . If that is not possible, candidates should wait to apply in the next exam cycle that will open a week after this one closes.

1. Register and Complete 2 Exam Components: The law enforcement exam components must be self-scheduled through the National Testing Network (NTN) . Examinations are offered virtually or at physical locations across the United States. Applications must be received by October 9 , 2023 and all exam components must be completed by October 11 , 2023 . These components include:

  • Frontline National (Law Enforcement) Exam
  • Public Safety Self-Assessment (Parts 1 & 2)

(Financial hardship fee waivers are available for the NTN Testing fee. See additional information below.)

2. Submit Application: Upon scheduling your NTN exam, all candidates must submit a formal application to the City of Seattle as soon as possible. To submit an application, click "Apply" at the top of this job bulletin.

Candidates who meet eligibility criteria and pass all portions of the exam will be placed on an eligible list according to their exam scores. Candidates will be informed of their application status on or before October 13 , 2023 . If they pass, candidates must then complete and pass all the below pre-employment steps to become a Seattle police officer.
3. Lateral Entry Oral Board: Candidates who successfully pass all components of the NTN test listed above will be scheduled for a lateral entry oral board interview to be conducted virtually via Microsoft Teams on October 28 , 2023 .

4. Backgrounding: Candidates who pass the exam and oral board will receive a link via email from the Seattle Police Background unit to fill out their personal history information. SPD will then conduct a thorough investigation into the candidate's history. Ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications for this position listed below.

5. Medical Evaluation, Psychological Exam, and Polygraph Exam: Candidate will need to complete a medical evaluation that includes drug screening, medical history, vision & hearing test, and a stress EKG test. A psychological exam will be completed via ZOOM. The medical tests can only be completed in-person at specific Seattle locations currently.

6. Final Offer of Employment: If the candidate completes and passes all the above steps, they will be given an official offer of employment with the Seattle Police Department.


If applicable, candidates may have preference points added to their passing exam scores for : military experience, multilingual abilities, prior community service experience , prior work experience with the City of Seattle, and prior service as a Police Reserve in the Seattle Police Department.

Applicants who are proficient in more than one language may request to be tested for multilingual proficiency (after passing initial exams). Applicants who have two or more years of verifiable full-time professional or volunteer experience or equivalent (4,160 cumulative hours) delivering direct human/social services may request to be considered for community service preference points by completing this Form .

All requests for preference points will be evaluated in accordance with Rules 9.17-9.21 of the City of Seattle's Public Safety Civil Service Commission.


The Seattle Police Department is seeking individuals committed to understanding and protecting the ethical, cultural and ethnic values of the City of Seattle and its residents as Police Officers. As first responders, Police Officers are vital to public safety and under regular supervision, perform basic police services in accordance with the mission, goals and objectives of the City of Seattle Police Department and in compliance with governing federal, state, and local laws.

Lateral Entry Police Officer candidates are experienced police officers who have worked for other municipal, county, or state agencies for at least 24 of the past 36 months (post academy experience) at the time of testing, with full police powers and duties. An applicant MUST have experience as a patrol officer who has responded to 911 calls. Experience gained solely as a Corrections Officer does not qualify an applicant for lateral entry status, even if the applicant has completed an equivalent basic law enforcement academy. If you are currently a police officer but do not meet the experience requirements of a Lateral Police Officer, you may qualify to test as an Exceptional Entry candidate. Exceptional Entry candidates should apply as an Entry Level Police Officer and take the entry-level exam.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. Explains laws and police procedures to residents.
  • Operates a patrol car. Patrols city streets, areas and businesses to deter criminal activity and promote public safety.
  • Investigates conditions hazardous to life or property; conducts initial investigations of crime and crime scenes; may assist detectives in criminal investigation work. Conducts search and seizure activities as appropriate. Collects and preserves crime scene and evidence.
  • Arrests and/or detains suspected violators of the law. Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
  • Records facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
  • Transports individuals in custody.
  • Presents evidence and testimony in judicial settings.

The City of Seattle provides police service 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Shift work, including nights, weekends, and holidays, is required.


Eligibility Standards:

  • Be at least twenty and half (20.5) years of age.
  • Hold United States citizenship, OR have legal permanent residency in the United States.
  • Attained a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency (GED).
  • Two (2) years of post-academy experience as a certified law enforcement officer (municipal, county, state) with FULL law enforcement power and duties during the last 36 months.
  • For individuals who have been discharged from military service, discharge from military service under honorable conditions.

Applicants must meet all eligibility standards by the date of exam administration.

Minimum Employment Standards :

The following standards apply to all candidates for Police Officer.

Drug Use. Prior to the exam date:

  • Have not used Marijuana within twelve (12) months, and
  • Have not used cocaine or crack within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used club drugs, such as, but not limited to: Ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, or MDMA (ecstasy) within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used any Hallucinogens, LSD, Mushrooms, or Psylocybin within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used PCP, Angel Dust, Wet or Phencyclidine within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used Opium, Morphine, or Heroin within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used Methamphetamine, Crank, Crystal, Ice, Speed, Glass, or Amphetamine within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not inhaled aerosols, sometimes referred to as Huffing (paint) or Whippits (Nitrous Oxide) or used Khat within the previous five (5) years, and
  • Have not used four (4) or more controlled substances within the previous ten (10) years, and
  • Have not used any illegal drug(s) while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity, and
  • Have not manufactured or cultivated illegal drug(s) for the purpose of the sales/marketing of the drug(s).

Please note that use of illegal drugs and the illegal use of prescription drugs, referred to in this standard, means the use of one or more drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Offers of employment are conditioned upon a pre-employment drug screening to confirm abstinence from illegal drug use.

Traffic Record

A candidate's driving record will be thoroughly assessed and may be a factor for disqualification. Examples of infractions/traffic crimes that may be disqualifying:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Reckless Driving, or Hit & Run Driving.
  • Suspension of your driver's license within five (5) years of the exam date
  • Three (3) or more moving violations (speeding, negligent driving, etc.) within five (5) years of the exam date will be carefully reviewed.
  • Two (2) or more accidents within five (5) years of the exam date, wherein candidate was judged to be at fault and/or charged with a moving violation.

Criminal History

A candidate's criminal history, including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, "Alford" pleas, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following will be disqualifying:

  • Any adult felony conviction.
  • Any misdemeanor or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity.
  • Any domestic violence conviction.

Employment Record

A candidate's employment history, including any terminations, or leaving an employer in lieu of termination, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.

Financial Record

A candidate's credit history, including excessive credit card debt or unresolved accounts in collection will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following will be disqualifying:

  • Failure to pay income tax or child support.

Professional Appearance

All applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times. SPD has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional, as it relates to the position of Police Officer. Any and all tattoos, branding (intentional burning of the skin to create a design), voluntary disfigurement (marring or spoiling of the appearance or shape of a body part), or scarification (intentional cutting of the skin to create a design) shall be carefully reviewed by SPD on a case-by-case basis.

A valid Washington State Driver's License is required prior to being hired.

Ability to accurately type at least 35 wpm is highly desirable.

Seattle residence is not required for application or appointment.

Job offers are contingent on review of credit, criminal and driving history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application.

Additional Information

Sign up here to participate in an upcoming Seattle Police Applicant Workshop to learn more about policing careers, the Seattle Police Department, and tips to navigate our hiring process!

Speak with a Recruiter: Complete this form and a recruiter will reach out to you via text!

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP FEE WAIVERS: If payment of the NTN Testing Fee presents a financial hardship for you, please complete this electronic form . Upon completion of this form, the City of Seattle will review your request and provide further instructions. Candidates must also complete a Seattle Police Officer job application in order for the fee waiver to be processed. To submit an application, click "Apply" at the top of this job bulletin.

PLEASE NOTE : Applicants are highly encouraged to review the Seattle Police Department's "Careers and Opportunities" web pages for further information about the hiring process.

The role of the Fire and Police Exams Unit in the Seattle Department of Human Resources is to oversee the initial exam process, establish an eligible list, and upon request by the Seattle Police Department, certify candidates from the eligible list.

The Police Department will directly contact and schedule eligible candidates for all of the remaining steps in the pre-employment screening process. The Seattle Police Department makes all hiring decisions after a pre-employment selection process, which includes a background investigation, additional interviews, physical agility exam, polygraph, and psychological and medical exams.

Disability accommodations are available to those who qualify. For more information on how to request an accommodation, please visit the NTN Testing FAQ Page (Question 16).

Salary: 44.91 - 52.45 (Hourly)
Benefits: The City of Seattle has a comprehensive benefits package for police officers. For more information about benefits, please click here .

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents.

For more detailed overview of our benefit package for Police Officers http://www.seattle.gov/police/police-jobs/salary-and-benefits

Closing Date/Time: 10/9/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

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