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Employment arrow Standards & Minimum Requirements

Here you can find information about the background questionnaire forms, hiring standards and minimum requirements for all civilian and commissioned career opportunities that exist within the Washington State Patrol.

Detailed information about the standards and minimum requirements for the career paths offered at the State Patrol can be found below.

All Applicants: Personal Background Evaluations

All applicants are subject to personal background evaluations, including a polygraph examination, because of the nature of the work and security requirements.

Background Questionnaire

Personal Evaluations

Commissioned and CVEO Applicants

Drug Possession/Usage

Drug possession/usage beyond these standards disqualifies you for employment with the Washington State Patrol:

"Possession" is defined as having actual physical control of any illegal (non-prescribed) drug for personal use or otherwise.

"Use" is defined as trying, testing, or experimenting, which includes, but is not limited to tasting, smoking, injecting, absorbing, sniffing, or inhaling.

  1. No use or possession 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.
    1.1  No use or possession 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.

    1.2  No use or possession of Marijuana/Hashish within the last one (1) year, regardless of age.

    1.3  No use or possession of Opiates or Heroin, regardless of timeframe.

    1.4  No injection of any non-prescribed drugs, regardless of timeframe.
  2. No trafficking, selling, offering to sell, or transporting for sale of any illegal drugs, regardless of timeframe.

  3. No drug use or possession of any non-prescribed Schedule I-V drugs (except for Marijuana/Hashish) after submitting any law enforcement application.

  4. No drug use or illegal possession of any non-pprescribed Schedule I-V drugs while employed with a law enforcement agency (including miltary law enforcement).

  5. No intentional inhalation (huffed) 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 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 Conviction Standards

    1. Have no felony convictions.

    2. Have no misdemeanor convctions involving DUI, use or possession of firearms in the commission of a crime, crimes of violence, (i.e. domestic violence, assault, etc.), moral turpitude, controlled substances.

    3. 2.1  Other than those identified above, misdemeanor convictions over the age of 21 may be considered on a case-by-case basis provided they did not occur within the last three (3) years. Final approval will be determined by the Human Resource Division (HRD) Commander.

      2.2  Misdemeanor convictions under the age of 21 may be considered on a case-by-case basis provided they did not occur within the last three (3) years. Final approval will be determined by the Human Resource Division (HRD) Commander.

      2.3  No more than two (2) convictions of major moving violations (reckless driving, negligent driving, etc.), regarless of timeframe.
    4. Applicant must possess a current, non-probationary, and non-restricted valid driver's license. History of restrictions on license or driving record due to vehicle operation or control will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Upon hire, must possess a Washington State driver's license and maintain such licensure during employment with the WSP.

    For this purpose, the term "conviction" shall include any disposition adverse to the subject, except a decision not to prosecute, a dismissal, or acquittal; provided, however, that a dismissal entered after a period of probation, suspension, or deferral of prosecution or sentence shall be considered a disposition adverse to the subject.

    Any applicant with a history or conviction of domestic violence shall be eliminated as an employee candidate at that point in the hiring process per RCW 10.99 and the Washington State Patrol Regulation Manual, Chapter 8.00.320. RCW Mandate - Will apply to all fully commissioned trooper applicants and CVEO applicants.

    Applicants - Minimum Requirements:

    The character of police officers today is continually being challenged. Because public scrutiny is particularly intense for uniformed personnel, applicants seeking employment with the Washington State Patrol as Trooper Cadets must possess an exemplary background and personal history. The third phase encompasses a polygraph examination and a thorough background investigation.

    The nature of police work necessitates that only the best applicants are chosen. The competition for a limited number of positions is very keen. For this reason, we have provided our standards to assist you in making a realistic assessment of being hired as a Trooper Cadet.

    • Be a citizen of the United States of America.
    • Possess a valid, non-probationary, non-restricted Washington State driver's license.
    • Trooper Cadet applicants must be 19-1/2 years old at the time of application (CVEO applicants must be 21 years old).
    • Possess a certificate of high school completion or the equivalent from an accredited school.
    • Vision corrected by contact lenses or surgery to 20/25 in each eye. If vision is not corrected by contact lenses or surgery, then uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 in each eye, corrected to 20/25.
    • Be willing to work weekends, holidays, rotating shifts, and be on 24-hour call.
    • Be free from the use of narcotics or controlled substances.
    • Body must be well-proportioned and in compliance with departmental height and weight or body fat standards (Not required for CVD applicants).
    • Successfully pass a pre-employment polygraph examination.
    • Be approved for employment after a thorough background investigation.
    • Successfully pass a departmental medical examination.
    • Successfully pass a departmental psychological examination.
    • Be willing to accept statewide assignments (Not required for CVD applicants).
    • Knowledge between right and wrong and demonstrate it by example and lifestyle.
    • Incur the expense of keeping one's uniform clean.
    • Work in all weather conditions.
    • Demonstrate the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide accurately.
    • Maintain good personal hygiene.
    • Pay one's bills and meet financial obligations.

    Applicant must be of good moral character. Indications of a lack of good moral character include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
    • Intentional deception or fraud or attempted deception or fraud in any application, examination, or other document.
    • Acts or conduct that would cause a reasonable person to have substantial doubts about the individual's honesty, fairness, respect for the rights of others, or for the laws of the state and/or the nation.
    • Conduct that adversely reflects on the individual's character to perform the duties of a trooper.

    Must possess and/or demonstrate the following physical abilities, skills, and traits:

    • Ability to see, hear, smell, feel, walk, jump, run, climb, lift, drag, carry.
    • Ability to jump into a vehicle, jump over guardrails, and change a tire.
    • Ability to shoot a pistol, rifle, and shotgun with either hand.

    Must be able to learn and demonstrate the following job requirements after being trained by the department:

    • Knowledge of First Aid.
    • Knowledge of when and when not to use force, up to and including firearms.
    • Communicate clearly when using radio equipment.
    • Operate a standard-issue patrol vehicle unaided.
    • Knowledge of when to use emergency lights and siren.
    • Ability to demonstrate the proper use of all issued equipment.
    • Ability to provide credible courtroom testimony.


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