General Order 32.1

Last Revised:    03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

32.1.1    Recruitment Program

32.1.2    Recruitment Administration

32.1.3    Recruitment

32.1.4    Selection process – Civil Service Positions

32.1.5    Job relatedness

32.1.6    Uniformity of process

32.1.7    Notification of ineligible candidates

32.1.8    Selection process – Non-Civil Service Positions

32.1.9    Retention and Privacy of Records

32.1.10    Security of records

32.1.1 Recruitment Program

The Olympia Police Department is committed to maintaining a work force of professional employees who have the knowledge, skills, temperament, and dedication to provide quality law enforcement services to the citizens of Olympia. The Department believes that there is strength in having a work force that represents the diversity of the community; and strives to maintain that diversity by actively seeking qualified women and minority candidates.

32.1.2 Recruitment Administration

The Training Supervisor is responsible for administering the Department’s civil service recruiting program.

All Department personnel who assist with the recruitment function are trained in relevant personnel matters, including, but not limited to the following:

I.    Civil Service rules;

II.    Department application and selection process;

III.    Position qualifications;

IV.    Cultural awareness;

V.    Department career opportunities;

VI.    Applicable contract terms;

VII.    Interview techniques.

32.1.3 Recruitment

In recruiting commissioned Police Officers, the Department seeks both entry-level and experienced candidates who are ethically grounded and possess values that are consistent with contemporary law enforcement.

I.    In recruiting for entry-level candidates, the Department seeks persons who meet the following criteria:

A.    Candidates who have good oral and written communication skills and who are computer literate.

B.    Candidates who are physically able to meet the entry qualifications of the Criminal Justice Training Center’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

C.    Candidates who have a minimum of a high school education (or equivalent).

II.    In recruiting academy graduate-level candidates the Department seeks officers who meet the following criteria:

A.    Candidates who are or have been employed by law enforcement agencies within the past twenty-four (24) months.

B.    Candidates who have a record of exemplary performance;

C.    Candidates who possess a Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) Basic Certificate, or who are eligible to be awarded that certificate on completion of the CJTC Equivalency Academy.

III.    In recruiting advanced-entry level candidates, the Department only seeks officers who meet the following criteria:

A.    Candidates who are currently employed by law enforcement agencies with standards, training and performance expectations similar to the Department’s;

B.    Candidates who have had a minimum of two years of continuous service as police officers;

C.    Candidates who have a record of exemplary performance;

D.    Candidates who possess a Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) Basic Certificate, or who are eligible to be awarded that certificate on completion of the CJTC Equivalency Academy.

32.1.4 Selection process – Civil Service Positions

The Department, in cooperation with the Olympia Civil Service Commission and the City Human Resources Department administers the new employee selection process.

For commissioned police officers, the selection process includes the following elements:

Selection elements

I.    Phase one

A.    Written test (Entry-level candidates only)

B.    Physical Ability Test (Entry-level candidates only)

C.    Suitability Assessment

D.    Panel interview.

II.    Phase two

A.    Background investigation

B.    Personal interview with the Chief

III.    Phase three

A.    Medical examination

B.    Psychological examination

C.    Polygraph examination

D.    Appointment

Qualifications Review

I.    Candidates who do not achieve passing scores in any phase of the selection process are eliminated from further competition.

II.    The number of candidates invited to the panel interview may be limited, based on the anticipated number of vacancies to be filled and current Civil Service rules.

III.    Based on the scores from phase one testing and the panel interview, the Civil Service Examiner establishes an eligibility list. The eligibility list ranks the candidates from the highest cumulative score to the lowest. The eligibility list is valid for the period of time specified in the Civil Service Commission rules and regulations.

IV.    When a vacancy occurs, the Civil Service Examiner provides the Department with the names from the top of the eligibility list.

A.    Based on the successful completion of phase II testing the Chief of Police may extend a conditional offer of employment to any or none of the qualified candidates.

Passing phase two of the selection process is not a guarantee of employment.

B.    When the eligibility list has been exhausted the process may be repeated pursuant to current civil service rules.

32.1.5 Job relatedness

The police officer selection process uses rating criteria and minimum qualifications that are job related and have been documented as having validity, utility and minimum adverse impact. The elements of the selection process measure skills, knowledge, abilities and traits needed to perform each particular job.

32.1.6 Uniformity of process

Under the oversight of the Training Supervisor and the Civil Service Examiner, all elements of the employee selection process are administered, scored, evaluated and interpreted in a uniform manner.

32.1.7 Notification of ineligible candidates

Candidates who are determined to be ineligible for appointment on the basis of a single test, examination, interview or investigation, and who will not be permitted to reapply or retest in the future, are informed of that fact in by the Civil Service Examiner.

32.1.8 Selection Process – Non-Civil Service Positions

For non-Civil Service employees, the selection process includes the following:

Selection Elements

I.    Initial Selection

A.    Application screening;

B.    Skill tests (some positions);

C.    Practical tests (some positions).

D.    Panel interview

E.    Personal interview with the hiring manager (at discretion of the manager)

Positions covered by the labor agreement between the City of Olympia and the Teamsters may include additional selection process criteria as outlined in the contract.

II.    Suitability Investigation

A.    Background investigation

B.    Interview with the Chief

C.    Conditional offer of employment

III.    Final selection and Appointment

A.    Psychological test battery (some positions);

B.    Polygraph examination;

C.    Appointment.

IV.    Qualifications Review

A.    All candidates go through the application screening process. All candidates who pass the application screening process are eligible for testing and/or panel interview.

B.    The hiring manager may elect to have a private interview with candidates who have completed a panel interview and testing (where appropriate.)

C.    The hiring manager makes an offer of employment to successful candidates that are conditional upon successfully completing a suitability investigation. The hiring manager recommends candidates for appointment to the Chief of Police following successful completion of the suitability investigation

If the hiring manager is not satisfied with the qualifications of any of the candidates, the manager may terminate the process and start again.

32.1.9 Retention and privacy of records

The City of Olympia complies with all Federal, State and local requirements governing the privacy, security and access to information regarding candidates’ selection process records.

The Olympia Civil Service Commission Rule 5(11) establishes guidelines for the retention and destruction of records and material relating to civil service recruitment, selection, testing and other files.

32.1.10 Security of records

Selection process materials used by the Department, Olympia Civil Service Commission, or City Human Resources Department are stored in a secure area when not being used. Access to these materials is permitted only to those City and Department employees who are directly involved in the selection process.