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Port of Seattle Police Employment

This is not your ordinary police force. Port of Seattle Police protect and serve the interests of both the community and nation by ensuring a safe environment for the Port of Seattle.

Recruiting Brochure

police brochure 

Download the Port of Seattle Police Department Recruiting Brochure (PDF, 4MB)

Police Application Process

Entry-Level Applicants
Application and Testing:
The Port of Seattle is currently contracted with Public Safety Testing (PST) to conduct our written and physical ability examinations for entry level police officers. You are able to complete your application online and select a testing date, time and location convenient for you. For further information, you may contact Public Safety Testing toll-free at (866) HIRE-911. 
Public Safety Testing will validate your test results and send the score to the Port of Seattle directly.

Oral Board:
Based on availability of openings, we will contact you to schedule an oral board.

Civil Service Eligibility List:
Based on the oral board, as well as veteran's preference points, qualified candidates will be merged onto the existing entry level list. This list determines the order in which background investigations are conducted.

Port Process Dates (subject to change):
To be determined. 
Lateral-Level Applicants 


Prospective lateral police officer applicants should follow the Port of Seattle Human Resources link to submit their application for employment regarding available lateral police officer positions.


Application Review:

Once received, applications will be reviewed for content to assure that the candidate meets all of the minimum requirements necessary to be considered for a lateral police officer position.

Automatic Disqualifier Review:

Candidates who meet the lateral police officer standards will be supplied with a document listing automatic disqualifying topics.  In order to move forward in the hiring process, the candidate will need to review questions asked on this document and attest that they meet department standards and disqualifiers as outlined.  Candidates who have experienced any of the listed automatic disqualifiers will not be allowed to move forward in the hiring process.

To view a list of these automatic disqualifiers, please follow the Automatic Disqualifier link.  

Physical Fitness Assessment:

Candidates who progress forward from the automatic disqualifier phase of the hiring process will need to successfully complete our department’s physical fitness assessment to be considered for the in-person oral board phase of our process.  Our physical fitness assessment is administered by the Exercise Science Center in Fircrest, WA.

Candidates will be notified when they are free to proceed with the physical fitness assessment.  The candidate will then contact the Exercise Science Center and, at the Port of Seattle Police Department’s expense, schedule an appointment to take the assessment.

To view the physical fitness requirements and contact information for the Exercise Science Center, please follow the Exercise Science Center link.

Candidates must pass the Exercise Science Center physical fitness assessment in order to move forward in the hiring process.

Oral Interview:

Successful candidates will be invited to participate in a structured oral interview to help determine their suitably for employment with the Port of Seattle Police Department.  Passing candidates will be placed on our Lateral Police Officer Eligibility List.

Pre-Screen Questionnaire:

Successful oral board candidates may be selected to move forward in the hiring process and proceed into the background stage. Eligible candidates will be notified by the Port of Seattle prior to officially beginning backgrounds. A pre-screen question and answer session with an investigator will be the first step in the background process.

Background Information Packet:

Selected candidates will be directed to a web-based Personal History Questionnaire / Background Packet.  Candidates with have fifteen days to enter all of the required information into this packet and submit it back to the agency.

Background Interview:

After all of the background information has been submitted and successfully passes the review process, the candidate will be scheduled for an interview with the assigned background investigator.

Polygraph Examination:

Once the background interview has been successfully completed, the candidate will participate in a polygraph exam, generally on the same day as the background interview.

Background Process:

Upon successful completion of the polygraph exam, the assigned background investigator will complete the background investigation and submit the results of the investigation to the Office of the Chief of Police.

Interview with the Chief of Police:

At the discretion of the Chief of Police, candidates will be selected to participate in an interview with the Chief of Police, or designee, to help determine their suitably for employment with the Port of Seattle Police Department.

Psychological Examination / Doctor’s Physical:

After the interview with the Chief of Police, or designee, if a conditional offer of employment is extended to the candidate, the candidate will be expected to pass a psychological examination and a physical examination prior to being presented with a non-conditional offer of employment.


For Inquiries Contact:

Port of Seattle Human Resources
Attn: Derek Bender
Sr. Talent Acquisition Representative
P.O. Box 68727
Seattle, WA 98168
P: 206-787-3375
F: 206-787-7213

Molly Kerns
Police Sergeant
P: 206-787-6418

Police Officer Requirements

Entry-level Requirements 

Entry-level requirements must be met at the time of application

Candidates must be 21 years old at the time of application and successfully complete the state law enforcement training program (Basic Academy). See Public Safety Testing for further testing information.
Lateral-level Requirements

Lateral-level requirements must be met at the time of application

  • Applicants who successfully pass the oral board will be placed on an eligibility list for a period of one year.
  • Lateral standards must be met by the time of application.
  • Applicants from within Washington State must have a minimum of 24 consecutive months as a full-time, paid commissioned officer assigned to patrol or investigative duties, and no more than a 24 month break in service.
  • Special agents from the Washington State Gambling Commission and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife are eligible to apply as a lateral.
  • Federal law enforcement officers/agents, correction officers, and military police officers do not qualify for lateral positions.
  • Applicants who currently hold a Law Enforcement Certification, and who have less than 24 consecutive months experience as a full-time, paid commissioned officer may qualify for exceptional consideration upon review and authorization from the Chief of Police.
Out-of-state Lateral-level Requirements

All out-of-state lateral candidates must meet in-state lateral requirements

  • Out-of-State candidates must have successfully completed a state-certified police academy granting them a full authority certificate, and must hold a current and active full authority law enforcement certification.
  • Out-of-state candidates must not have a break in service longer than 24 months.
  • A full authority certification refers to a fully commissioned state peace officer, with full powers of arrest and unrestricted enforcement powers of criminal and traffic statutes within the state of issuance while acting in an individual capacity.
  • The holder of a full authority certificate must have completed a state authorized and sanctioned law enforcement training academy for its full duration. All out-of-state lateral applicants must also meet the requirements outlined in Washington Administrative code 139-05-210 "Basic Law Enforcement Certificate of Equivalency" and be qualified to attend the Washington State Equivalency Academy.
  • The Police Department retains the option of sending out-of-state laterals to the full WSCJTC Academy in lieu of the Equivalency Academy.
  • The successful out-of-state candidate must successfully complete the Washington State Equivalency course, or must successfully complete the WSCJTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

Police Standards and Disqualifiers

The following standards apply to all candidates for sworn and non-sworn (civilian) positions:

Honesty / Integrity

Honesty and integrity are essential traits for a successful career in law enforcement. Any false statements, lack of candor, cheating, or failure to fully divulge requested information will result in immediate disqualification from the hiring process.

Minimum Requirements

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • A U.S. Citizen with the ability to read and write in the English language.
  • Proof of high school diploma or a GED certificate.
  • A Washington State Driver's License (must be obtained prior to hire).
  • Successfully pass a background investigation that includes a complete criminal records check, a polygraph examination, a medical examination and a psychological examination.

Automatic Disqualifiers

Drug Use
Drug use beyond these standards will normally disqualify you for employment with the Port of Seattle Police Department.  "Use" is defined as: trying, testing, or experimenting, which includes, but is not limited to tasting, smoking, injecting, absorbing, sniffing or inhaling.  
  • No use of marijuana/hashish within the last one (1) year, regardless of age.
  • No use of any non-prescribed Schedule I - V drugs (except for marijuana/hashish) over five (5) times combined.  This standard applies to synthetic versions of Schedule I - V drugs. 
  • No use of any non-prescribed Schedule I - V drugs (except for marijuana/hashish) in the last three (3) years.  This standard applies to synthetic versions of Schedule I - V drugs.
  • No use of hallucinogens, opiates or heroin within the last ten (10) years. 
  • No injection of any non-prescribed drugs, regardless of time frame.
  • No trafficking, selling, offering to sell, or transporting for sale of any illegal drugs, regardless of time frame. 
  • No drug use of any non-prescribed Schedule I - V drugs after submitting an application, while employed, or after having been employed by a law enforcement agency (including military law enforcement), regardless of time frame.
  • No intentional inhalation (huffing) of any aerosol or substance (nitrous oxide, whippets, paint, glue, DXM, etc.) in the last three (3) years. 

Examples of schedule I-V drugs include, but are not limited to:

  • Schedule I (RCW 69.50.204) - Examples could include: Codeine, heroin, morphine, ecstasy, LSD, peyote, GHB, methaqualone, marijuana/cannabis, etc.
  • Schedule II (RCW 69.50.206) - Examples could include: Opium, cocaine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, methamphetamine, amphetamine, depressants, hallucinogenic substances, etc.
  • Schedule III (RCW 69.50.208) - Examples could include: Stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, ketamine, anabolic steroids, hallucinogenic substances, etc. 
  • Schedule IV (RCW 69.50.210) - Examples could include: Barbital, diazepam, fludiazepam, halazepam, lorazepan, phenobarbital, etc.  
  • Schedule V (RCW 69.50.212)
Criminal Activity
The following are disqualifying:
  • Any adult felony conviction.
  • Conviction of any offense classified as a felony under Washington State law while employed in any capacity at a law enforcement agency.
  • Admission(s) of having committed any act amounting to a felony under Washington State law, as an adult, within five years prior to application or while employed as a peace officer (including military police officers).
  • Any conviction under a domestic violence statute.
  • Unlawful sexual misconduct.
Traffic violations that are disqualifying:
  • One or more traffic crime convictions in the last five years (DUI, Suspended, Reckless, Negligent 1st Degree, etc.).
  • As an adult, any conviction for Attempting to Elude or Hit and Run.
  • Involvement as a driver in two or more chargeable (at fault) collisions within three years prior to date of application.
  • Any two convictions for driving under the influence or alcohol and/or drugs.
An applicant's employment history will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. The following shall be disqualifying:
  • Dishonorable discharge from the United States armed forces.
  • Lying during any stage of the hiring process.
  • Falsification of application, personal history questionnaire or other forms during hiring process.
  • Previous revocation or denial of any (CJTC/POST) certified status, or suspension of current CJTC/POST certified status.
An applicants credit history, including excessive credit card debt or unresolved accounts in collection, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification. 


Port of Seattle Police: What makes serving on this force so extraordinary?

In this series of four videos, POSPD Commanders and Officers talk about their service with the Port and how it has been a remarkable and fulfilling experience.

Something bigger than ourselvesWatch video

Something Bigger than Ourselves police video
A destination police departmentWatch video

A destination police department videoLife experience we needWatch video
Life experience we need police video
Port of Seattle Police Dive TeamWatch video
POSPD Dive Team video

Port of Seattle Opens Doors to Exciting Careers

Event Helps Local High School Students see the opportunities in Public Safety
Port of Seattle Police Chief Rod Covey may be focused on hiring 20 new police officers at the beginning of 2018, but he also is thinking about recruitment efforts five years from now.
The Port of Seattle Police Department joined the Port of Seattle’s Fire Department and Emergency Management Department at a recent Port-sponsored Public Safety Career Awareness event. Eighty local high school students from Highline Public Schools gathered at the Port’s Fire Department to learn about public safety careers. They listened to department leaders and rotated through stations that allowed them to get a hands-on look at public safety careers.
“Police departments and (to a degree) fire departments are having difficulty throughout the nation recruiting police officers and fire fighters. These kids, most of them are just turning 16,” Covey said. “I will retire in five years and I’d love to be able to say that I hired three people out of this group today.”

Jose Rosiles, an Evergreen High School senior, said he wanted to come to the event to learn more about being a firefighter.
“I wanted to see the different methods they have, training methods they use in case of fires,” he said. Rosiles said a career in firefighting seems exciting.

Nicole Charlie Mosneger, Tyee High School student in the Highline Public School District also said she was drawn to a career as a firefighter. “I like to help people, so I thought it would be a good choice,” she said.
Covey said he has a goal of increasing the number of minority and female candidates in the public safety field at the Port.

“Most of them don’t believe they can because they don’t see enough women in the profession, they don’t see people from their community in the profession. They think they can’t do it because nobody else before them has done it.

“That’s on us as a policing profession to not get to these people to tell them ‘yes you can,’” Covey added.

He’s hoping to help students connect with police officers and help them see police officers in a different light.

As students circulated through different stations, they tried on hazmat suits, sat inside a fire truck, learned about bomb disposal robots, interacted with one of the Police Department K9s, and explored the inside of the mobile 911 center.

Lukas Crippen, Port of Seattle firefighter and graduate of Highline Public Schools said it’s great for students to have this hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

“It can give them motivation to move forward with their careers,” he said. “If I can do it, they can all definitely do it too.”

Robin Mueller, Career Access Specialist with Highline Public School said these events really help put high school into context.

“That’s what I see these (events) really helping with, connecting what’s down the road to what are you learning in high school right now. That relevancy piece is huge.”

Tyler Yeazel, a senior at Tyee High School in the Highline Public School District, said he loved checking out the SWAT vehicle and the fire engine.

“I love the thrill of it all because you get to do something new every day.”
Brandon Sweet, a Tyee High School freshman said he was  impressed with the thermal imaging camera, which allows firefighters to see areas of heat through smoke, darkness, or heat-permeable barriers.

Fire Chief Randy Krause said he wants to let students know there are a lot of facets to public safety, and that career opportunities are available.  “If you ask, we are going to open the door to help you. Even today, if you are curious in any shape way or form we will bend over backwards.”
Krause, Covey, and Emergency Response Manager Randy Hansen told students it is not so much the work background that is important when looking at potential candidates, but rather the passion and desire to do the work.

“That fire in your belly, something burning in side of you. That kept me on track every single day,” Hansen said.