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City of Tacoma WA Police Officer Recruit (Entry Level) in Tacoma, Washington

Police Officer Recruit (Entry Level)


$88,150.40 - $105,497.60 Annually


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Job Number



Tacoma Police Department

Opening Date


Closing Date

12/20/2024 12:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

Are you ready for a career that is exciting, rewarding, and allows you to make a positive impact in your community? Look no further than the Tacoma Police Department! Police Officer Recruits perform general duty police work involving the protection of life and property, enforcement of laws and ordinances, maintenance of order, and prevention and investigation of crimes. Work is performed according to departmental regulations and procedures prescribed by superior officers and normally consists of routine patrol, traffic regulations, and crime prevention and investigation on motorcycles, or on foot.

Responsibilities involve a substantial element of personal danger and employees must be able to act without direct supervision and exercise independent discretion in emergencies. All assignments in this class involve responsibility for recognizing the social importance of police functions, for tactful and courteous treatment of the public, and for conscientious and efficient performance of duties under little direct supervision.

Employees may be assigned to work on special assignments that call upon specialized ability and knowledge usually attained through experience as a uniformed Police Officer. Assignments and general and special instructions are received from superior officers who review work by personal inspection, check of reports, and general appraisal of the effectiveness of the employee and the entire police service.

Primary Duties

  • Successfully complete the Basic Law Enforcement Academy provided by the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission;

  • Learn and apply knowledge of basic first aid procedures;

  • Resolve a variety of potentially volatile and dangerous situations in a calm, confident, and effective manner;

  • Drive a patrol car under normal and adverse conditions;

  • Train and use firearms safely in accordance with departmental rules;

  • Clean and maintain assigned firearms and vehicles;

  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions;

  • Learn, interpret and apply modern principles, practices, and procedures of police work;

  • Write clear and comprehensive reports;

  • Work with the public and coworkers in a professional and courteous manner;

  • Show initiative in performing job functions, and ability to enforce federal, state and local laws.


The Tacoma Police Department has partnered with Public Safety Testing to administer both the Written Exam and the Physical Abilities Test (PAT).

  • Once you submit your application, please visit to schedule a Written Exam and PAT that works best with your schedule.

  • Make sure you select Tacoma Police Department as your agency of choice in your profile. Tacoma will cover the cost of testing when you attend an in-person event or test online. Once you pass both the written and PAT, Public Safety Testing will send your results to City of Tacoma Human Resources who will match your test results and application materials and advance you to the eligible list for interview and hiring consideration.

To learn more about the Tacoma Police Department's hiring process, hiring standards, and the physical abilities test click here. (

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

Transforming Tacoma

The Tacoma Police Department is a proud participant in Transforming Tacoma; actively working to d evelop pragmatic, specific recommendations and reforms that the Tacoma Police Department and the City of Tacoma can implement to strengthen the Tacoma Police Department’s relationship with Tacoma’s community; ensure that the Tacoma Police Department’s activities and operations are safe, just, effective, lawful, and consistent with national, best, emerging, and transformational practices. For more information about this effort, please visit the Transforming Tacoma ( website.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States of America or a lawful permanent resident;

  • You must possess a high school diploma or GED;

  • You must be at least 20.5 years of age at the time of application - and be 21 years of age by date of appointment;

  • You must be able to meet the physical requirements and medical standards prescribed by the City of Tacoma and Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Licenses, Certificates and Other Requirements:

  • You must possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license at time of application. A valid Washington State driver's license is required for employment (with maintenance thereafter) and driving history will be thoroughly assessed during the hiring process.

  • First Aid and CPR card upon hire with maintenance thereafter.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

  • Above-average physical endurance in running, climbing and lifting as well as good balance, hearing and vision.

  • Work includes indoor and outdoor environment.

  • Officers may work varying shifts depending on assignment to include nights and weekends. The general Police Patrol Officer schedule is a 4/10 schedule with rotating days off.

  • Incumbents in this classification may be exposed to gunfire, toxic chemicals, traffic hazards, and occasional driving at high speeds.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Fluent English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary.

  • Principles, practices and procedures used in police work.

  • State, County and City laws and ordinances.

  • Recent legislation and court decisions affecting police duties.

  • Traffic and crowd control techniques.

  • Rules of evidence and laws of arrest.

  • Operation of a variety of specialized police vehicles and equipment.

  • Crime scene preservation and investigation methods and techniques.

  • Basic First Aid procedures.

  • Operation of a personal computer.

  • Prepare clear and concise reports.

  • Maintain proficiency in driving and in the use of firearms in accordance with department guidelines.

  • Analyze situations accurately and adopt effective courses of action.

  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

  • Understand scope of authority.

  • Relate effectively to people of a variety of cultures, languages, abilities and social-economic situations.

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others.

  • Observe legal and defensive driving practices.

  • Comply with safety standards and regulations.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

Applicants who are eligible for veterans scoring criteria (Veterans Preference) MUST attach a copy of their DD-214 member copy 4 (proof of military discharge form) at time of application to be eligible for review for Veteran's Preference points.


Applicants must pass the physical abilities test and written exam before being placed on an eligibility list for interview and hiring consideration. The PAT consists of three activities: squat thrusts, sit-ups and push-ups. Please visit to schedule a Written Exam and PAT that works best with your schedule. The requirements for the PAT can be found on the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission website ( .

Eligible candidates must pass all phases of the hiring process including oral board, pre-offer assessment test, and background investigation. Upon successful completion of these hiring steps, the applicant may receive a conditional offer of employment, conditional upon available positions within the Police Department and the successful completion of the polygraph examination, physical and psychological examinations, and any other phases of the pre-employment process that might need to be accomplished. Candidates may be removed from the eligible list for failure to pass any of these hiring steps. Once an applicant becomes a commissioned officer, the position is covered by a Labor Agreement between the City of Tacoma and Local 6 Tacoma Police Union IUPA.

Communication from the City of Tacoma

Please indicate in your online application that you prefer email notification as this is the preferred method of communication with the City of Tacoma. In order to receive the most efficient communications from the City of Tacoma Human Resources Department and the Tacoma Police Department, we suggest that each applicant create a Gmail email address for correspondence. Please use any combination of your first and last name as the email address. Ex:, This will assist the Tacoma Police Department hiring unit with tracking information received during the hiring process.

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend an hour or more entering the required information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement. If you experience any complications while applying, please contact Human Resources at 253.591.5400 by 12:00 p.m., Friday, December 20, 2024 in order for us to assist you before the closing time.

If you are interested in additional information regarding test standards, testing deadlines and other information about the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department, visit our websites at or

Questions regarding this announcement may be directed to the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400.

The City of Tacoma offers a generous program of employee benefits with plans for the whole family. Our plans include:

  • Medical coverage for eligible employees, spouses and dependents, including children up to age 26

  • Vision care with VSP for employees and eligible dependents enrolled in the Regence PPO medical plan with vision benefits

  • Dental coverage for eligible employees and their elected dependents, including dependent children up to the age of 26

  • Deferred compensation allowing tax-deferred savings as authorized under Section 457 of the IRS Code

  • Personal time off

  • Paid holidays

  • Participation in the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters Retirement System (LEOFF2)

  • Continuing education and advancement opportunities and a

  • Growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives

Interested in learning more about what the City of Tacoma has to offer for employee benefits? Visit our Employee Benefits website.


INSTRUCTIONS: Answer the following questions as truthfully and accurately as possible. Your responses may be accessed in subsequent examinations, and any sign of deliberate misinformation or intentional exaggeration will result in disqualification from the examination process and possible bar from future employment opportunities with the City of Tacoma. Please indicate "Yes" to show that you have read and understand these instructions.

  • Yes

  • No


    Are you a high school graduate or do you have a G.E.D? Please remember that verification of high school graduation, or its equivalent may be provided in the form of an official transcript, diploma, or other approved documentation that confirms graduation from high school or its equivalent. You will be required to produce one of the prescribed documents as part of the background process.

  • Yes

  • No


    Are you 20 1/2 years of age or older?

  • Yes

  • No


    Are you a citizen of the United States of America or a lawful permanent resident?

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you currently possess a valid driver's license?

  • Yes

  • No


    PLEASE NOTE: Questions 6-13 are checking for your understanding of aspects of the hiring standards. Selecting "no" will disqualify your application. I understand that I may be required to perform the physical abilities test multiple times throughout the testing process and it is my responsibility to stay in good physical condition.

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that as part of the recruitment process an applicant's criminal record, including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, 'Alford' pleas, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following examples 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

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that as part of the recruitment process an applicant's driving record will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the past five (5) years being the most critical. The following will be disqualifying until the time parameters have been met:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI), Negligent and Reckless Driving, Hit and Run within the past five (5) years.

  • Suspension of your driver's license as a result of a DUI within the past five (5) years.

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that as part of the recruitment process an applicant's employment history, including any terminations or leaving an employer in lieu of termination, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that all applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times. The Tacoma Police Department has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional, as it relates to the position the applicant is applying for. Any and all tattoos, branding (intentional burning of 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 the Department on a case-by-case basis.

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that as part of the recruitment process an applicant's credit history will be thoroughly assessed and related decision-making issues may be grounds for disqualification. The following are areas of concern:

  • Failure to pay income tax

  • Failure to pay child support

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that the City of Tacoma complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. The Drug-free Workplace Act requires that federal grant recipients publish a statement notifying their employees that drug abuse in the workplace is prohibited as follows: The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the City of Tacoma workplace. I understand that marijuana is still an illegal substance on a federal level; therefore, as a condition of employment candidates for the position of Police Officer Recruit will be required to participate in a pre-employment drug test that will test for marijuana usage. I understand that detection of marijuana in the pre-employment drug test may prevent a candidate from being hired. I understand that as a condition of employment I will be required to comply with the City of Tacoma Drug-free Workplace policy.

  • Yes

  • No


    I understand that I will need to complete all testing components (written exam and PAT) with Public Safety Testing before my application materials will be advanced to the department for interview and hiring considerations. Visit to complete all aspects of the testing process.

  • Yes

  • No


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening.

  • Job Interest Card notification

  • Professional organization

  • Military organization

  • City of Tacoma employee

  • Online job board posting

  • Word of mouth

  • LinkedIn

  • Indeed

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Careers in Government

  • Government Jobs

  • Outreach Event

  • National Diversity Network

  • African American Job Network

  • Asian Job Network

  • Disability Job Network

  • Latino Job Network

  • Retirement Job Network

  • LGBT Job Network

  • Veteran Job Network

  • Other (please provide information below)


    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. Thank you, your feedback will be used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings.

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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