Mission: The Washington State Patrol makes a difference every day, enhancing the safety and security of our state by providing the best in public safety services.
I worked at Washington State Patrol (More than 3 years)
This is a great place to work as a civil service employee. (1) My personal pay was great (especially given the low cost of living near headquarters, and the fact that there's no income tax). (2) Tons of intelligent and hard-working people there. (3) Interesting work. Police/fire/communications officer jobs are all very interesting, which makes your work more interesting. (4) Washington is beautiful. (5) The fact that you're working with police culture means that you have very clear directions, and almost no ambiguity about your job (this is a really great thing).
The biggest con was that commissioned police officers were appointed to lead some of the civil service divisions. Most of the commissioned leaders don't have experience in civil service functions, so they are being asked to lead civil service departments without any experience in that department. Most of the commissioned leaders are incredible smart, which is the only reason this works out most of the time.
Advice to Management
Hire civil service leaders to lead civil service divisions (don't have your commissioned staff lead a civil service division when they don't have any background in that area). Even though they are all smart enough to do it, it causes a lot of unforeseen headaches.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Washington State Patrol in January 2017.
Upon passing the PST I received a phone call to schedule a polygraph examination. The poly was somewhat stressful but not inherently difficult. If you take a polygraph exam, just be truthful and follow directions. It is not meant to trick you in any way, and the administrator explains everything very thoroughly. If you pass, you will be notified about 10 minutes after the test is concluded and you will be asked to have your fingerprints taken.
Several days after that, I was called by my background investigator who asked a few questions pertaining to my background (obviously) and then he asked which of my references would be the best ones to call, which I thought was very considerate. My background investigator kept me informed and advised me of any hurdles throughout the entire background process such as references not being available or other such issues. The total background process took less than a month, but I've heard others take up to 5 months.
After that, I was called to schedule my oral board interview. I was given the option to choose one the next day, the following week, or two weeks ahead. After I scheduled the time and date I just had to show up on time in a suit, and I think at that point I pretty much had the job. There were about 5 other interviewees that showed up with me, and all of us passed. Normally, oral boards would he conducted in the presence of a lieutenant or captain, a senior trooper from recruiting or someone from HR, and another trooper or sergeant. However, mine was conducted by two troopers. They asked about 15-20 questions to which I was expected to give a response and they would transcribe them into a worksheet that was reviewed by someone higher up. About 5 minutes after the oral board I was given my conditional job offer.
Shortly after you pass your oral board, you will be read your conditional job offer. You can either stay and conduct the written psychological interview the same day, or schedule it for a later date. It is valid for six months, so if you can't accept employment for six months or more, schedule the psych exam appropriately.
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