Becoming a Police Officer in Spokane, Washington

As a Spokane police officer you will be responsible for maintaining law and order in the heart of the inland empire. You will work in an environment that includes desert scrub, rivers, vineyards, and urban streets. As a Spokane police officer you’ll work in support of the city’s motto, “near nature, near perfect.”

If you are interested in finding out how to become a cop in Spokane you can use this guide as a planning tool to help you prepare and stay organized. The application process follows these steps:

  1. Minimum requirements
  2. Application
  3. Tests
  4. Personal history form
  5. Polygraph examination
  6. Board interview
  7. Background investigation
  8. Health testing
  9. Chief’s review
  10. Training academy


Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Spokane

Before you fill out an application, your first step should be to check that you meet the minimum qualifications for becoming a police officer in Spokane:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Higher education
    • Either 30 semester or 45 quarter credit hours
    • Minimum C grade point average or 2.0
    • Includes at least 3 semester or 5 quarter hours of college English
  • At least 21 years old by the time of appointment
  • Height-weight proportional
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions

Step 2. Application

You can either apply online, print an application, or request one to be mailed to you. Make sure to fill out the application legibly and in its entirety. Once you have submitted a complete application and it is screened to see that you meet the minimum requirements, you will be scheduled to take a civil service exam and physical agility test.

Step 3. Tests

The next step in becoming a police officer in Spokane will be for you to complete a civil service test. This is an evaluation of your basic abilities in the following areas:

  • Vocabulary
  • Memory
  • Application of specific instruction
  • Mathematics
  • Reading comprehension
  • Situational and driving judgment

Upon successful completion you will be scheduled for the physical agility test. This is comprised of four scored events. You must earn a minimum of 30 points to pass each event and have a cumulative score at the end of 160 points. The maximum score for each event is 50 points. The events are listed with their minimum and maximum qualifying standards:

  • 300-meter sprint: 71-56 seconds
  • Untimed push-ups: 21-35
  • Sit-ups: 30-38 in one minute
  • 1.5-mile run (minutes:seconds): 14:31-13:35

Step 4. Personal History Form

When you pass your testing you will be required to fill out a personal history form. You will have to provide information about:

  • Credit history
  • Criminal history
  • Traffic record
  • Past employers
  • Personal references

Step 5. Polygraph Examination

If there are no red flags raised from your personal history form you will proceed with a polygraph examination. Your examiner will question you about any previous instances of illegal or immoral behavior including your professional and personal life.

Step 6. Board Interview

At this point in the process of becoming a police officer in Spokane you will have the chance to speak with a board interview panel. You will be asked how you would respond in certain scenarios and should demonstrate superb communication and interpersonal relationship skills.

Step 7. Background Investigation

This point in the process may take weeks to complete. A detective from the Spokane PD will confirm everything you have attested to in your application, personal history statement, and polygraph examination. This will mean going through records and conducting interviews with people who have known you personally or who may have observed you over a period of time, such as neighbors, classmates, or colleagues. Your detective will have to confirm you are of good, moral character and would make a great addition to the Spokane police department.

Once your background investigation is complete and you are found to be in the best competitive condition you will be made a conditional offer of employment.

Step 8. Heath Testing

The Spokane PD requires you to undergo a series of physical and mental health checks to make sure you are in an optimum condition to perform the job duties of a Spokane cop. You will need to complete:

  • A medical examination conducted by a doctor who will test your vision and hearing, perform a detailed medical physical, and give you a drug and alcohol test.
  • A psychological evaluation where you will be assessed based on your ability to work in stressful situations and your overall state of mental health.

Step 9. Chief of Police Review

Before you begin the training academy the police chief will make a final review over your application packet and evaluations up to this point. The chief will have some final questions for you and you will also have the opportunity to ask any final questions of your own.

Step 10. Training Academy

You will complete your final training at the Spokane police academy in an 18-week program. The training academy generally runs five days a week for eight hours a day with the weekends off. You will learn the essential skills you will need to make you an exceptional cop. Areas covered include:

  • Report writing
  • Legal procedures
  • Criminal justice system
  • Interrogation techniques
  • Driving maneuvers
  • Field sobriety testing
  • Self-defense
  • Firearms and non-lethal weapons training

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