As part of the program to overhaul the Seattle Police Department to live up to Justice Department requirements over policing and constitutional rights in the city, SPD will loosen its guidelines over everything from tattoos to drug use to driving records.
More substantive might be a planned increase in efforts at the community level to recruit and hire new police.
Policy changes and initiatives affecting recruitment include:
- · Elimination of $25 application fee
- · Partnerships with community-based organizations including Atlantic Street Center, Filipino Community of Seattle and El Centro De La Raza
- · Community based workshops to prepare candidates for testing
- · New advertising and recruitment materials based on community input
- · Changes to the minimum hiring standards policy including:
o Marijuana policy has been updated to require that new hires have not used marijuana in the past year, rather than fewer than 25 times overall
o Elimination of some clauses under Traffic Record that may have unnecessarily disqualified applicants
o Changes in Professional Appearances standards regarding tattoos, scarification, and elimination of the policy regarding dental ornamentation. Tattoos and scarification will now be reviewed on a case by case basis.
o Additional context included for applicants: during the background investigation process SPD is interested in learning greater detail about challenges applicants may have faced, as well as the lessons the applicant has learned and the changes the applicant has made as a result. This context will be included in the review process
- · Strategic ethnic media advertising plan in partnership with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
- · Full redesign of website designed to make application process more accessible
- · Recruitment outreach through social media
If you’re interested in being a cop, the city will host a series of community workshops to explain the hiring and testing process. The closest workshop location is the Atlantic Street Center (21st and Atlantic, just south of I-90). The center is hosting a workshop at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The next round of testing for new officers is July 13, and enrollment is open.