That is dependent on several factors. For entry level, they must first take the Public Safety Test and then are placed on our list. We have a very streamlined process to reduce the amount of time, but it is also dependent on the applicant’s attention to returning necessary documents and their availability to interview and take various exams such as the physical, psychological and medical.
Patrol deputies have multiple choices for duty uniforms. They can wear a typical patrol uniform (collared button up shirt and pants), a modified uniform consisting of 5.11 pants and undervest collared shirt, or the Utility Jumpsuit. An external vest carrier option is available to wear with the undervest shirt or jumpsuit and is very popular.
The SCSO is transitioning in 2021 to the Glock 9mm pistol (model 45) as the issued duty pistol. We currently carry the Glock .45 caliber (model 21). Deputies can carry their own select pistol so long as its approved by the Master Armorer and they can qualify with it. Deputies are also issued a patrol rifle with red dot sights and a shotgun.
Selection of a work shift is based entirely on seniority in your current rank when working patrol. The work location is based on your preference and the needs of the agency. Most people’s request to work a certain area are granted but not guaranteed.
Those applicants who successfully complete all processing and accept a final offer of employment are then put in line to attend the next available Academy offered by the WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC).
The CJTC determines how many positions each agency gets in a Basic Law Enforcement Academy class. There is an Academy campus in Spokane and Burien. We try to keep as many students here locally but that is never guaranteed.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is the primary responsible agency for Law Enforcement Services within the borders of Spokane County outside of the cities of Spokane, Liberty Lake, Cheney, and Airway Heights. SCSO provides contract LE services to the cities of Spokane Valley, Deer Park, Medical Lake, Millwood, Spangle, Waverly, Rockford, Fairfield and Latah.
Spokane Valley PD is one of two Precincts for the SCSO. The City of Spokane Valley was part of unincorporated Spokane County until they created their own city in 2003. Because of the excellent service, reputation and relationships made prior, the City of Spokane Valley continued to request Law Enforcement services from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office instead of creating their own police department. This is the largest LE contract for policing services in WA state and based on the mutual advantages, there is no reason to believe it will not continue to strengthen in the future.
There are far more available positions on SWAT than K9, but both require an advanced set of skills to include problem solving, patrol deputy tactics, common sense and ability to operate as a team and independently. Most SWAT operators have at least 3-5 years of total experience. Most deputies assigned to K9 have longer on the job and a prerequisite is participating as a quarry (working with the K9 teams in training in the bite suit).
There are numerous places to find information on how best to prepare. Modern law enforcement requires deputies to be self-starters, problem solvers, liability manager, decision makers, team members, empathetic and caring public servants who desire to maintain the highest levels of integrity. There isn’t really a “book” or study guide to prepare.
No, the Jail in Spokane County is a separate correctional agency and not affiliated with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. After being hired, you will typically attend in-house training and then head to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) and then the Field Training Program (FTO phase) in Patrol before being released to solo duty. Lateral applicants will attend in-house training and then the CTJC Equivalency Academy (2 weeks) along with the FTO phase.