Reflect Tacoma | Protect Tacoma

Logo: Reflect Tacoma | Protect Tacoma
Can you see yourself here? We can.     Apply Now

Tacoma Police Department Jobs

Logo: Reflect Tacoma | Protect Tacoma
Can you see yourself here? We can.

The Tacoma Police Department is on a mission to reflect and protect our community. We are actively working to find and hire new and experienced officers who reflect the diversity of Tacoma. As we work to improve, we encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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Why Tacoma?

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Careers + Benefits

The Tacoma Police Department offers highly competitive pay and benefits. We are committed to helping every officer grow, advance, and create a meaningful career.

Hiring Process

Policing has a big impact on society, so our hiring process is longer and more in-depth than most civilian jobs. But don't count yourself out. If you're a caring and hard-working person who wants a career that asks you to perform at your physical, mental, and relational best, we're looking for people just like you.

Learn what may disqualify an application. Read our FAQs.

1

Apply Online

 

New recruits and lateral officers must apply for positions within the Tacoma Police Department through GovernmentJobs.com. Links to open positions are available at the bottom of this website.

Applicants must meet the Minimum Requirements described below.

General Requirements
  • You must be a United States citizen;
  • 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 & Certifications
  • You must possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license at the 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
  • Above-average physical endurance in running, climbing, and lifting as well as good balance, hearing, and vision.
  • Work includes indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Employees will have a work schedule that will consist of working Holidays, weekends, and various shifts. Depending on staffing and seniority.
  • 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 the 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.

If you have questions or concerns about Minimum Qualifications or disqualifying factors, a TPD recruiting officer is available to provide insights and to discuss the process further. Just reach out to us using the form below.

2

Public Safety Test

 

The City of Tacoma will pay applicant test fees for both the written exam and physical ability test (PAT) ONLY for those exams as follows:

  • In-person written exam administered at a PST test site throughout the Pacific Northwest
  • Virtual written exam administered via PST’s online in-home testing program
  • In-person physical ability test (PAT) administered at a PST test site throughout the Pacific Northwest
  • Virtual physical ability test (V-PAT) via PST’s V-PAT in-home testing
  • If you passed the LEO written exam and PAT within the past six months, you may add Tacoma PD under certain conditions.  Check your PST account under “New Positions”.
3

Hiring Workshop
New recruits only

 

This in-house workshop reviews the entire hiring process in detail and explains the documents required for successful selection.

4

Personal History Questionnaire

 

Applicants who have applied and met the City's minimum qualifications will be sent an Initial Personal History Questionnaire via e-mail. It is the applicant's responsibility to follow all instructions, to check their e-mail regularly, and to meet set deadlines. Failure to follow the requested processes may result in disqualification.

Veterans Preference

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.

If you have questions or concerns about the Personal History Questionnaire, a TPD recruiting officer is available to provide insights and to discuss the process further. Just reach out to us using the form below.

5

Oral Board

 

The Oral Board (OB) is a formal interview. Unlike the Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) and other group-oriented steps in the process, the OB is the first opportunity for the applicant to meet with TPD personnel as an individual. Candidates must score a 70% or higher to continue in the application process. To ensure that all applicants are treated fairly, TPD does not ask follow-up questions.

6

Suitability Assessment

 

The Suitability Assessment is an online test designed to understand the psychology of the applicant. The results of this test are not publicized.

If you have questions or concerns about the Oral Board or the Suitability Assessment, a TPD recruiting officer is available to provide insights and to discuss the process further. Just reach out to us using the form below.

7

Background Investigation

 

A complete background investigation typically includes:

  • Personal/professional references
  • Driving record (since inception of driving)
  • Employment history
  • Credit check
  • Drug use history
  • Criminal history
  • Home check (interview with spouse/significant other)

If you have questions or concerns about a background check, a TPD recruiting officer is available to provide insights and to discuss the process further. Just reach out to us using the form below.

8

Offer of Employment

 
Conditional Offer of Employment (COE)

Once the background check is complete, each viable application (whether lateral or entry) is presented to the TPD Chain of Command. Applicants whose applications are accepted will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment (COE).

Final Offer of Employment (FOE)

Once the polygrapher, medical doctor, and psychologist verify that the applicant meets the department's standards, the applicant is notified and a date and time for the applicant to receive their FInal Offer of Employment (FOE) from the Tacoma Chief of Police.

If you have questions or concerns about the Offer of Employment phase, a TPD recruiting officer is available to provide insights and to discuss the process further. Just reach out to us using the form below.

Employment Benefits

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department are proud to provide its officers with competitive compensation packages, incentive pay, reimbursements, and a variety of insurance plans*. If you work as an officer elsewhere, you'll likely find it hard for the pay and benefits to compete with what we offer.

Need more info? Talk to an officer or download our benefits sheet.

Icon: $25,000 bonus

$25,000 signing bonus

 

Effective March 14, 2022, qualified lateral officers who join Tacoma Police Department will receive:

  • $10,000 in their first paycheck
  • $7,500 upon completing probation
  • $7,500 upon completing one year of service (after probation)
Icon: Hourly pay incentives

$50.03/hr + incentives

 
Lateral Officer Base Pay
  • In-state lateral officer: $50.03/hr
  • Out-of-state lateral officer: $47.69/hr
New Officer Base Pay
  • New Recruit (0-6 months): $37.98/hr
  • Commissioned (7-9 months): $43.37/hr
  • Commissioned (10+ months): $47.69/hr
Longevity Pay
  • 5 – 9 years - 2%
  • 10 – 14 years - 4%
  • 15 – 19 years - 6%
  • 20 + years - 8%
  • 25 + years (mentor) - 10%
Incentives & Rate Applications
  • LEOFF II Disability/Retirement - 1%
  • TPD Accreditation - 2%
  • Bi-Lingual - 2%
  • Education or Military - 2%
  • Swing Shift Differential - 3%
  • CJTC Training Officer - 3%
  • Night Shift Differential - 5%
  • SWAT Team - 5%
  • Lab Team - 5%
  • Search & Rescue Team - 5%
  • Motorcycle Officer - 5%
  • Bomb Technician - 5%
  • K-9 Officer - 5%
  • Police Patrol Specialist - 5%
  • Police Training Officer - 5%
Additional Pay & Benefits
  • Clothing & Uniform Allowance ($690/year)
  • Shooting Pay ($120/year)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan ($211/pay period)
     
Icon: Medical dental vision

Medical, Dental, and Vision

 
Medical Coverage

Tacoma offers medical plan options for Police Officers, spouse/domestic partner*, and children up to age 26 with low premium costs.

Dental Coverage

Tacoma offers dental plan options for Police Officers, spouse/domestic partner*, and children up to age 26 with no premium cost.

Vision Coverage

Tacoma offers vision plan coverage based on your health plan election for Police Officers, spouse/domestic partner*, and children up to age 26. There is no employee cost for vision coverage.

Wellness Programs

Tacoma Police Officers have access to a part-time psychologist and peer support network. In addition, the City of Tacoma offers a robust Wellness Program that provides education, motivation, and tools to improve well-being and to earn incentives such as a premium credit to reduce the cost employees pay for their health insurance coverage.

Icon: Holiday pay

Paid Leave, Paid Holidays

 
Vacation Leave

Vacation leave is accrued based on tenure, starting with 13 days per year. Time is prorated for mid-year hires.

Holiday Leave

In addition, Police Officers receive 13 ten-hour holidays per year that may be used at the Officer’s discretion.

Paid Sick Time

Paid Sick Time is accrued per pay period and prorated for mid-year hires. Typically, Officers accrue 12 days per year.

Icon: Take-home vehicle

Take Home Vehicle

 

Tacoma Police Department currently allows Officers to take home their assigned patrol car. Officers must have completed the Police Training Officer program and live within Pierce County.  The program allows the department to continue community-oriented protection philosophy, enhance police response times, and improve efficiency.

Icon: Deferred Compensation Plan

Deferred Compensation - 457(b)

 

Income can be set aside on a pre-tax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income. Contributions to a 457(b) plan are tax-deferred and earnings on the retirement money are tax-deferred.

A 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is a voluntary retirement plan offered by the City of Tacoma, created to allow you to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. Contributions are made to the account in your name via payroll deduction for the exclusive benefit of you and your beneficiaries. The value of the account is based on your contributions made and your investment performance over time.

A deferred compensation plan can help bridge the gap between what you have in your pension and Social Security, and how much you'll need in retirement. Depending on what plan you choose, your contributions may be pre-tax or post-tax.

Icon: Insurance plans

Insurance Plans

 
Life Insurance

The City of Tacoma provides you with two forms of employer-paid Life Insurance benefits for you and your designated beneficiaries in the event of your death. You can be secure with the knowledge that your family will be taken care of should you die unexpectedly.

In addition to the basic life and AD&D insurance policies, the City of Tacoma offers access to voluntary employee-paid Supplemental Life and AD&D Insurance benefits at group rates, for you and your family members.

Disability Insurance

Officers receive additional pay in lieu of Long-term Disability (LTD) insurance that is passed on to the union, which provides LTD benefit options. New recruits have access to the City of Tacoma’s LTD coverage until they become Commissioned Officers. LTD benefits provide for the replacement of income in the event you are not able to work.

Icon: Union representation

Union Representation

 
IUPA Local 6

The primary mission of I.U.P.A. Local 6 is to represent and advocate for our members in collective bargaining and connect our members to the communities they serve. In addition to local Advocacy & Representation, Wellness & Insurance, Financial Security, Opportunity, and Community, Local 6 is part of the International Union of Police Associations.

* Benefits vary for police recruits and commissioned officers. Domestic partners must be registered with or recognized by the state of Washington.

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Community Commmitments

We acknowledge that change is overdue in our profession and improvement is needed in our department. Law enforcement in America doesn't have a record of treating all people fairly. It's more than unfortunate — it's wrong. Here's what we're doing about it.

How we're changing

From dash cams and body-worn cameras to leadership transformation, we are actively rolling out reforms recommended by 21CP, a leading international consulting group focused on equity and innovation.

Community Safety Plan

A Message from Chief Moore

TPD is hiring people of quality and courage, people from every walk of life and background, people committed to the ideal of community protection. Read more about Chief Avery Moore’s vision for TPD.

Chief Moore's Message

Our Community Outreach

A police department is only as strong as the connections it creates with the community it serves. Read up on our agency's efforts to build bridges, heal hurts, and provide avenues for listening and learning.

Community Outreach
Learn more from the City of Tacoma Office of Equity & Human Rights.

Apply Now

If you're considering a career in policing or you're an experienced officer with a heart to do first-rate community protection, we invite you to apply. Come be a part of the changing face of Tacoma Police.

Apply Online

The Tacoma Police Department is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other basis.

Note: The next entry level application period begins May 30, 2022.

Talk to Us

PPO Taylor Reeves, Tacoma Police

If you have questions about applying or becoming a TPD officer, we'd love to connect with you.

Call Officer Taylor Reeves
at (253) 881-8861

Contact Us

Connect

To learn more about the Tacoma Police Department, visit the City of Tacoma's website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the PAT improve my standing on the eligibility list?

 

No. A successful PAT earns you the right to take the written test.

What is an eligibility list?

 

This list is established by the Human Resources Department and is based on the written test score and military experience of candidates.  Candidates are ranked by numbers and more than one candidate may be in one rank.  For example, an eligibility list may have two candidates in Rank 1, eight candidates in Rank 2, and so on.

Am I able to apply if I have physical limitations?

 

The Tacoma Police Department is an equal opportunity employer.  Any candidate who is physically and cognitively able to meet the requirements of the position is welcome to apply.  It would be impractical to list all of the various medical standards a candidate must meet.  However, vision and hearing standards generate the most inquiries.

  • Visual Acuity - The minimum acceptable standard of distant visual acuity must be 20/200 binocular vision uncorrected, but not less than 20/200 in the worst eye.  Such vision must be corrected to 20/20 in the best eye, and not less than 20/40 in the worst eye.
  • Color Vision - Color vision should be sufficient to distinguish the colors red, yellow, and green.  The Color vision test used is the Ishihara Test.  If the applicant does not pass this test, we then use test D3.
  • Hearing Acuity - The applicant must have unaided, or aided, hearing between zero (0) and twenty-five (25) decibels for each ear at the frequencies of five hundred (500) Hz, one thousand (1,000) Hz, two thousand (2,000) Hz, and three thousand (3,000) Hz.

What else do I need to consider before applying?

 
  • Drug History - An applicant may be disqualified for possession of drugs depending on the number of times the drug is possessed, the type of drugs possessed, and how long ago the possession occurred.  Possession is defined as control, touching, holding, selling, trafficking, or transporting any illegal non-prescribed drug. 
  • Driving History - An applicant's driving record will be thoroughly assessed and may be a factor for disqualification.  We look at the number of infractions an applicant has received, the frequency of infractions, the type of infractions, and how long ago the infractions occurred.
  • Criminal History - An applicant may be disqualified based upon their criminal history including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, "Alford" pleas, and non-conviction information.  The type of crime, frequency of crime, and how long ago the crime occurred are reviewed and may be considered a disqualifier.
  • Credit History - An applicant may be disqualified based upon their current credit history.  Accounts that are currently in collections may be considered a disqualifier

How many applicants do you have for a test?

 

On average, the City of Tacoma Human Resources office receives 400 applications per test cycle.

Is Tacoma hiring out-of-state applicants?

 

Yes! The hiring process for out-of-state officers is the same as for in-state officers. To complete all of the necessary steps, you should plan on at least two (2) on-site visits to Tacoma.

Is there an age limit for new or lateral hire officers?

 

No. The Tacoma Police Department does not have an age cut-off for new or lateral officers. However, applicants must pass the Physical Ability Test (PAT). The PAT is an evaluation tool for us to gauge your ability to participate in the physical requirements expected for the position.