General Order 32.2

Last Revised:    03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

32.2.1    Background investigations

32.2.2    Background investigation records

32.2.3    Polygraph - pre-employment

32.2.4    Polygraph examiner qualifications

32.2.5    Polygraph - use of results

32.2.6    Medical examination - pre-employment

32.2.7    Psychological examination - pre-employment

32.2.8    Pre-employment examination records

32.2.9    Probation - new employees

32.2.1 Background investigations

I.    A background investigation of each candidate for employment is conducted prior to appointment to probationary status.

II.    Whenever practical, background investigation interviews are done in person.

III.    Background investigations include, but are not limited to, the following elements:

1.    Review of criminal history, if any;

2.    Interviews with at least three personal references;

3.    Interviews with current and previous employers;

4.    Verification of education;

5.    Verification of professional certifications;

6.    Verification of age;

7.    Verification of citizenship;

8.    Interviews with current and previous landlords (if applicable);

9.    Verification of credit history;

10.    Interviews with family (preferably in the candidate’s home), neighbors and friends.

32.2.2 Background investigation records

I.    Background investigation records on appointed candidates are filed in the background records system.

II.    Background investigation records of each non-selected candidate are maintained on file by the recruitment administrator for three (3) years or per State and Federal records retentions regulations.

III.    Background investigation records on appointed candidates who complete probation and are given permanent status are maintained or archived by the Department for a minimum of six (6) years after termination of employment or per State and Federal records retentions regulations.

32.2.3 Polygraph - pre-employment

All job announcements for positions which require candidates to pass a polygraph examination as a part of the selection process shall indicate that successful completion of the polygraph examination is a condition of employment.

32.2.4 Polygraph examiner qualifications

In the selection process, the Department uses only polygraph operators who are professionally trained, certified and experienced in the use and interpretation of the polygraph instrument.

32.2.5 Polygraph - use of results

Polygraph results, together with information from the background investigation and other selection elements are analyzed together to make employment decisions.

32.2.6 Medical examinations - pre-employment

I.    A medical examination is required of police officer candidates in phase two of the selection process. The purpose of the examination is to uncover any medical problems which may affect work performance or contribute to work- related disabilities.

II.    The following examinations are generally performed for all sworn officers:

A.    Medical history;

B.    Anatomic examination;

C.    Hearing test;

D.    Vision test;

E.    Urinalysis;

F.    Blood test;

G.    Any other necessary examinations needed to determine if candidate is qualified, as determined by the Olympia Civil Service Commission.

III.    Only licensed physicians are used to certify the general health of candidates.

IV.    Pre-employment medical examinations are scheduled with physicians selected by the Department, and are provided without cost to candidates.

32.2.7 Psychological examination - pre-employment

I.    A psychological examination is required of all candidates in phase two of the selection process. The battery of psychological tests is designed to assess the emotional stability and psychological fitness of each candidate.

II.    Psychological examinations are conducted by psychol¬¨ogists licensed by the State of Washington and certified by the American Psychological Association, and who have had experience working with the law enforcement profession.

III.    The psychologist’s report identifies psychological profiles for each candidate and the prognosis for the candidate’s future job success based on testing norms. The report indicates that the candidate either passed or failed the psychological testing phase of the selection process.

IV.    Pre-employment psychological testing is scheduled with a psychologist selected by the Department, and is without cost to candidates.

V.    Results and recommendations from pre-employment psychological testing are the property of the Department, and are confidential between the psychologist and the Department (i.e., as client). Specific results of psychological testing are not shared with candidates.

32.2.8 Pre-employment examination records

Records of the results of pre-employment medical and psychological examinations are retained as follows:

I.    Pre-employment medical and psychological records of each candidate are maintained for three (3) years or according to State and Federal records retention regulations.

32.2.9 Probation - new employees

I.    All employees serve a period of probation as defined in the position classification specifications or as specified in the applicable labor agreement.

II.    No credit is granted towards satisfaction of the entry-level probationary period for any time not worked due to disability leave, or any other leave of absence.

III.    During the probationary period, new employees shall successfully complete all required certifications, entry-level classroom training and field training.

IV.    The Olympia Civil Service Commission has no provision for extension of the required probationary period.