Frequently Asked Questions

You will receive a notification if you are moving on to the next part of the process about a week after the closing date on the job classification.

The majority of our communications will be through email. Please email JoinWCSO@co.washington.or.us or call 503-846-6369 with any questions.

The State’s Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) reviews previous training and determines if additional or abbreviated training must be completed to be certified in Oregon. Many out-of-state lateral hires attend an abbreviated two week DPSST academy to attain their Oregon Certification. Please contact DPSST for additional questions.

There are four phases in the hiring process:

Phase One: National Testing Network, Application, Preliminary Background Check, Physical Ability Test

  1. Test with NTN – Interested Patrol and Jail applicants must complete the Frontline Law Enforcement Test through National Testing Network (NTN). The minimum passing score in each of the three categories is 70% and testing is open year-round.
  2. Apply with Washington County – Washington County Human Resources (HR) emails invitations to submit an application through the county’s employment opportunities page.
  3. Preliminary Background Check – The Sheriff’s Office completes a preliminary background check.
  4. Sheriff’s Office Orientation and Physical Abilities Test (PAT) -Applicants attend an agency orientation and take the PAT. The PAT is an obstacle course that must be completed in less than 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Washington County does not require applicants to complete the “Push/Pull” test.

Phase Two: Video Session, Pre-Suitability Evaluation

  1. Video Session – During an independent video session, applicants answer four questions related to decisions making.
  2.  Pre-Suitability Evaluation – Applicants complete a 434-questionnaire evaluating long-term suitability.

Phase Three: Background Investigation, Job Shadow, Portfolio Review

  1. Comprehensive Background Investigation – Investigators complete a thorough background to determine applicant eligibility.
  2. Job Shadow – During the background investigation, applicants complete a jail job shadow and patrol ride along.
  3. Portfolio Review – A panel of subject-matter-experts score each applicant’s portfolio (background summary report, full application and video session).  Applicants with scores above 70 continue to phase four.

Phase Four: Interviews and Evaluation

  1. Panel Interview – Applicants complete a panel interview, those with scores above 70 are placed on an eligibility list.
  2. Command Staff Interview – Candidates interview with Command Staff.
  3. Sheriff’s Interview and Conditional Job Offer – The Sheriff conducts final interview.  Select candidates may receive conditional job offers.
  4. Full Physical and Psychological Evaluation – Candidates must successfully pass a physical and psychological evaluation completed by licensed third parties.

We conduct four “hiring cycles” per year for the position of jail or patrol deputy. Each cycle lasts about five months, from application period to conditional job offer. For 2020, the start of these dates include February 24, May 30, August 30 and November 20.

The very first step — even before applying — is to take the National Testing Network and have the scores sent to us. After passing the entrance exam, prospective recruits will formally apply with our agency, take the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT), and enter into the hiring cycle.

The Oregon Physical Abilities Test — also known as ORPAT —  is designed to replicate critical and essential physical tasks and demands faced by police officers in the normal performance of their duties. Specific tasks and overall physical demands are replicated in the ORPAT through the use of a carefully designed and validated “obstacle course” that must be complete in less than 5 minutes and 30 seconds. It is a state-wide requirement for anyone applying to become a law enforcement officer.

Our background investigators complete a thorough process to determine applicant eligibility. They may contact any past associates, including supervisors, roommates or landlords. This is the most time-consuming aspect of the recruitment process, so clear and responsive communication between the applicant and background investigator is critical.

Primarily through email. To expedite process, please advise your references to expect contact from Sheriff’s Office.

Our brand new Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) is a ground-breaking addition to our renowned training program. Designed to be comprehensive and holistic in approach, it is one of the premier law enforcement training facility in the Pacific Northwest.

Every deputy — entry level or lateral transfer — starts their WCSO career at our 9-week, in-house academy that builds the foundation of our approach to law enforcement. We believe this “pre-academy” is critical to the short- and long-term success of our deputies.

After pre-academy, jail and patrol recruit deputies attend their respective state academies at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in Salem, Oregon. Jail recruits attend the 6-week basic corrections course, and patrol recruits attend the 16-week basic police course.

Following graduation from the state academy, jail and patrol recruit deputies enter into the Field Training Entry Program (FTEP) under the wing of an experienced peer deputy for several months. After a total probationary period of about 18 months from hire date, deputies will finally be “flying solo” in the jail and on patrol.

Day one of your career through your last day before retirement, the training never stops. Throughout their career, deputies receive some of the best training in the country as they promote, apply for special teams, and innovate new ways to keep our neighborhoods safe. Some deputies enjoy training so much, they eventually join our super-talented training team.

It varies depending on when the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) holds an academy. You begin your WCSO career at our 9-week, in-house pre-academy and will then be scheduled to attend the DPSST academy shortly after. All training (including the DPSST academy) is paid.

We are invested in the well-being of our deputies. Extensive benefits include:

  • Relocation reimbursement up to $7,000
  • Additional incentive pay based on education and experience
  • Additional premium pay for special teams and assignments
  • Overtime/compensatory time for overtime, callback, and court appearance
  • Bilingual pay
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage
  • Life Insurance, occupational life and long-term disability
  • Retirement benefits – PERS/OPSRP and deferred compensation
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Paid time-off in lieu of holidays and other employee leaves (vacation, sick, military and more)
  • Clothing and footwear allowance
  • Uniform including initial tailoring, duty gear, and a firearm
  • Veteran’s Preference

For a complete list of premium pays and other benefits, refer to the Washington County Police Officers’ Association (WCPOA) collective bargaining agreement located at Labor Agreements. To explore additional benefits offered, visit Employee Benefits.

Seniority determines shift, days off and vacation. Jail and patrol deputies enjoy a 4/10 weekly work schedule (four, ten-hour days of work and three days off), 24/7 shifts, and schedule “bids” every six months.

You must complete your probationary period and have three years of service prior to being eligible. Each team has unique selection criteria.

Yes, per policy, tattoos are allowed with the following guideline;

  • One wedding ring tattoo on the ring finger is allowed.
  • Tattooed make-up giving the appearance of natural color and style is allowed.
  • No other visible tattoos are permitted on the head, face, neck, or hands. Hands are considered to be the area below the wrist bone.
    • Tattoos depicting racist, indecent, extremist, lawless, or offensive themes are prohibited. A tattoo is considered “offensive” if it is sexist, sexual, racist, vulgar, anti-social, violent, or discriminates against any person by virtue of words, symbols, or pictures in the tattoo or body art.
    •  Tattoos or body art associated with any organization or group that advocates intolerance or discrimination, that bring discredit upon the agency, or that violate common standards of decency or morality are prohibited.

Hair

  • Hair shall be neatly trimmed, clean, and of a color that naturally occurs in human hair.  Stripes, spots, and dying of colors other than natural tones are prohibited.
  • If hair length extends below the bottom of the collar and interferes with daily work or presents a safety issue, it must be pulled back away from the face, such as in a braid or ponytail, tied with bands of a neutral color.
  • Hair over 1” long may not be spiked or sprayed to stand up on top of the head.

Facial Hair

  • Staff must be clean-shaven or wear facial hair that is well-groomed and closely trimmed, not exceeding 1 inch in length.
  •  Beards, including goatees, must not extend to the neck. Goatees may be worn with or without a mustache attached. Soul patches are not allowed.
  • Facial hair may be worn in any color that could naturally occur in human hair.
  • Patterns will not be cut into facial hair.

Jewelry

  • Any jewelry shall be moderate and project a professional image, save staff from distraction, and avoid creating a safety hazard.
  • Staff may wear earrings.
  • No other body piercings are allowed, to include eyebrows, tongue, or other visible body parts; this includes jewelry that appears to require piercing.
  • Piercing holes larger than those used for a small post earring must be closed or covered while at work or on duty.

Yes, you can transfer if was taken in the last six months.

Yes. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for Veteran’s Preference Points, please review these instructions.

  • Recruit deputies must be at least 21 years of age by hire date. There are no other age restrictions.
  • Applicants must posses a driver’s license in the State of Oregon (or obtain one before hire date). Acceptable driving record required.
  • No domestic violence convictions on record. No felony convictions on record. Misdemeanor conviction reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • U.S. citizenship must be obtained within 12 months of hire for jail recruit deputies, and 18 months for patrol recruit deputies.
  • Applicants must be a high school school graduate or possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate (while a college degree is not required, at least two years of college-level course work is desirable).

Recruit deputies must be at least 21 years of age by hire date. There are no other age restrictions.

NO. Plenty of our jail and patrol deputies have never graduated from college. However, applicants must be a high school school graduate or possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate. While a college degree is not required, at least two years of college-level course work is desirable.

Applicants must posses a driver’s license in the State of Oregon (or obtain one before hire date). Acceptable driving record required.

No domestic violence convictions on record. No felony convictions on record. Misdemeanor conviction reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

U.S. citizenship must be obtained within 12 months of hire for jail recruit deputies, and 18 months for patrol recruit deputies.

Entry-level recruits and lateral transfers can expect to earn between $30.88 – $41.84 per hour.

This does not include:

  • Bilingual Pay
  • Incentive Pay
  • Premium Pay
  • Overtime