Lateral applicants

Are you a current law enforcement officer looking for an impactful role within the natural resource environment? Becoming a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Police Officer can provide you with the challenge, adventure, specialized training and diverse patrol environment you crave.

WDFW Police are looking for candidates who exemplify our core values (Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect and Empathy) who can bring existing experience and build on it to step off the pavement and effectively engage with the public on fishing, wildlife and conservation issues.

Before applying, be sure to check out our list of minimum requirements and potential disqualifiers. Then, if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, visit the third-party Public Safety Testing system to begin the application process.

Testing phases

Phase 1

  • Schedule a testing date with Public Safety Testing (select the "Lateral" option)
  • Complete the Law Enforcement Written Exam and Physical Ability test
  • Suitability assessment screening
  • Background investigation
  • Chief's interview

Phase 2

  • Conditional offer of employment
  • Polygraph
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Pre-employment medical exam with drug screening

Required training

All lateral officers must complete the In-House Training Academy at WDFW headquarters in Olympia. This training spans five to seven weeks and covers hunting, fishing, vessel operations, firearms, commercial investigations, species identification, dangerous wildlife control, and many more topics.

If you’ve completed the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC), upon hire, you’ll be given a date to begin the in-house training.

If you’re a lateral officer who completed a basic training program in another state, you’ll first have to complete the 80-hour CJTC Equivalency Academy in Burien, WA. For this purpose, the term "basic training program" does not include any military or reserve training program or any federal training program not otherwise approved by the commission. Visit the CJTC BLEEA site for the details behind previous curriculum/training profile approval to be a lateral peace officer in Washington State.

Lateral hires are paid while they attend the equivalency academy. Additionally, lodging, meals, and uniforms are also covered.

Successful applicants will join our team committed to protecting our natural resources and the public we serve.

Competitive benefits, unique opportunities

WDFW Police offer a robust pay and benefits package, along with opportunities for advancement into supervisory or specialty roles, including work as a detective, firearms instructor, or Karelian bear dog handler.

Have other questions? Visit our FAQ page or contact our Recruitment and Hiring Division at