This page provides information and resources on personnel issues unique to law enforcement for Washington cities and counties.
Unlike the majority of a public agency's other employees, law enforcement personnel typically work around the clock and often are subject to civil service rules not applicable to the rest of the staff, making hiring, firing and day to day supervision more of a challenge. In addition, the nature of the work itself places unique pressures on the employees and their families that affect job performance.
For other topics regarding law enforcement, see MRSC's Police and Law Enforcement table of contents. If you have information to share (e.g., civil service rules, ordinances, sample policies, issue papers, etc.) or are aware of other websites that we should link to, please email Lynn Nordby, MRSC Public Policy and Management Consultant, or call (206) 625-1300.
Pay and Benefits
- Police and Detectives, Occupational Outlook, BLS, Department of Labor
- Police Overtime: An Examination of Key Issues, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, National Institute of Justice Research in Brief, 05/1998
- Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Bureau of Justice Assistance Fact Sheet, 07/2001
- Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program: Response to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Bureau of Justice Assistance Fact Sheet, text file, 09/2001
- Public Safety Officers' Educational Assistance Program, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Bureau of Justice Assistance Fact Sheet, 07/2001
Code of Ethics
- Principles for Promoting Police Integrity: Examples of Promising Police Policy and Practices, U.S. Department of Justice, 01/2001
- Model Policy on Standards of Conduct, International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Law Enforcement Ethics - Links to an ethics "toolkit" including the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor and other resources from the International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Ethics Training in Law Enforcement - International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Police Integrity: Public Service With Honor, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, National Institute of Justice publication 163811, 1997
- Measurement of Police Integrity, A report on a survey exploring police officers’ understanding of rules concerning police misconduct, perceptions of disciplinary fairness, and willingness to report misconduct National Institute of Justice, Research in Brief, May 2000
- Law Enforcement Executives - Sheriff, Police Chief, Marshal
- Psychological Examination and Polygraph Test Required - RCW 43.101.080 (19)
- Police Recruitment and Retention in the Contemporary Urban Environment, Jeremy M. Wilson and Clifford A. Grammich, The Rand Center for Quality Policing, Sponsored by the Office of Community Oriented Policing and the National Institute of Justice, 2009
- Analyzing Concerns among Police Administrators: Recruitment and Retention of Police Officers in North Carolina, by Douglas L. Yearwood, Director, North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center, and Stephanie Freeman, Training Specialist, North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Division, Raleigh, North Carolina, Police Chief Magazine, March 2004
- Community Oriented Policing Services, US Department of Justice - An index of resources available on the topic of recruitment
Lateral entry or transfer is similar to a qualification standard that applicants for certain police department positions must meet in order to be eligible to apply for the position. The candidates must already have a certain level of experience and be employed or have been employed by a police department within the past twelve months.
RCW 35.13.360 - .400 requires and establishes procedures and conditions for the lateral transfer of qualified county sheriff's employees who, by reason of annexation or city incorporation, are laid off due to sheriff's department cutbacks. These statutory rules apply to all cities, including code cities.
- The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) does not provide Assessment Centers. However, WASPC recommends Public Safety Testing as a contractor for this valuable service.
- The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Assessment Centers link.
Special Limited Commissions
- Kirkland Municipal Code Sec. 3.16.020 - Police Department and Issuance of Limited Commissions
- Longview Municipal Code Sec. 2.42.045 - Community Service Officers - Limited Authority
- Vancouver Municipal Code Sec. 2.20.030 - Special Police Officers
Special Police Personnel Issues and Programs
- Avoiding the High Cost of Turnover - Workshop presentation from 2006 COPS Conference, "Community Policing: Leading the Way to a Safer Nation". The workshop explored the real costs of losing a police officer and how to successfully communicate to political leaders the need to replace officers as well as the need to focus on officer retention.
- Early Warning Systems: Responding to the Problem Police Officer, Samuel Walker, Geoffrey P. Alpert, Dennis J. Kennedy - A report prepared through a grant from the US Department of Justice, 2000,
Domestic Violence Involving Law Enforcement Officers
Job Related Stress
- International Conference of Police Chaplains - Link to current newsletter of the organization
- Law Enforcement Chaplaincy in Sonoma County, David R. Powell, Senior Chaplain and Executive Director, Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service, Sonoma County, California, and Michael A. Dunbaugh, Chief of Police, Santa Rosa, California, Police Chief, November 2003
- Pierce County Jail Chaplain
- Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy