Employment Information

Group Photo SUV at Riverwalk

Policing a community is exciting, challenging, and offers many rewards.  One has the ability to influence individual lives and shape the feeling of safety, security and enjoyment for an entire community. 

Although Police Officers are often the  first image of what one thinks when considering a police career, the Mount Vernon Police Department has many opportunities who serve such as Animal Control Officer, Community Service Officers, Outreach Coordinator, Park Ranger, Records Specialist, Evidence/Property Custodian, and Police Secretary.


The Mount Vernon Police Department actively accepts applications for the position of Police Officer and/or Park Ranger, when job opportunities are available. The Park Ranger position is currently filled, so we are only accepting applications for Police Officer. Interested parties are encouraged to visit Public Safety Testing for information on how to apply. The application and test scheduling process is completed at the convenience of a computer terminal.

Benefits & Working Conditions              

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Department Information

The Mount Vernon Police Department has a staff of 61 full-time employees, consisting of 46 fully commissioned staff, 4 limited commission staff and 11 civilian staff.

Full Commissioned staff:

  •  Chief of Police, 
  • 3 Lieutenants, 
  • 6 Sergeants, 
  • 36 Police Officers

Limited Commission staff

  • 1 Park Ranger,
  • 1 Animal Control Officer,
  • 2 Community Service Officers 

Civilian staff:

  • Records Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Investigations Secretary
  • 7 Records Specialists
  • Outreach Coordinator


It is important to our department to recruit quality employees, and to represent the diversity of the community we serve. The multi-faceted hiring process takes anywhere from three to four months, and includes the following:

  1. Meet qualifications and submit an application
    Through Public Safety Testing
  2. Pass Physical Agility Test
    Measures strength, agility, and endurance
  3. Pass Written Exam
    Measures judgment, writing, and academic skills
  4. Oral Board Interview
    Evaluates presentation, common sense, decision-making abilities, communication skills, etc.
  5. Polygraph Exam
    Verifies truthfulness
  6. Background Investigation
    Thorough review and verification into the candidates' background
  7. Conditional Offer of Employment
    Candidate is suitable to continue in the selection process
  8. Psychological Examination and Evaluation
    Measures psychological characteristics and stability
  9. Medical Examination
    Physical examination, drug screening, x-rays, lab work, vision, hearing, etc.
  10. Applicant is hired and sent to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center for approximately 18 weeks of training at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy


Competition among police agencies throughout the state is tough. Everyone wants to hire the best candidates; the "cream of the crop." The Mount Vernon Police Department has five recruiters, Sergeants Walter Martinez and Dave Shackleton and Officers Edgar Serrano, Elizabeth Paul and Chris Carlson, who work under the direction of the Administrative Lieutenant. Recruiters attend career fairs at high schools, colleges, military bases, and participate in available virtual recruiting events.  They also rely on speaking engagements, word of mouth, and social media to assist in locating as many potential applicants as possible. Career questions, contact our Recruiters!

Lateral Transfers

Sworn police officers from other agencies within the State of Washington, that have successfully completed the Basic Law Enforcement Academy and have at least 12 months of experience post academy with no break in service may apply directly through the City of Mount Vernon Human Resources Department.  No written or physical testing is required, and applicants will proceed through the hiring process starting with step #4 above.

For applicants with a break in service not exceeding 24 months, a physical test is required through PST.  No written testing is required.

Sworn police officers from agencies outside the State of Washington that have completed a basic law enforcement training program that is recognized under the reciprocity program at WSCJTC qualify under the same requirements as above.  If the basic law enforcement training program attended is not recognized, then successful completion of the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy is required within one-year of appointment.

Information on the Reciprocity Program at WSCJTC can be found on the CJTC website

Pay Increase

Upon completion of one year of service with Mount Vernon Police Department, "lateral" hires receive monetary compensation for their years of service with other agencies by moving to a higher pay range and receives vacation credit as well. Seniority, however, is based solely on time employed with the City of Mount Vernon.

Entry Level

Read about the entry level process that you will go through to be hired as a police officer for the City of Mount Vernon.