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 60.5 full-time and one half-time. There are 45 sworn employees, which include 1 Chief of Police, 3 Lieutenants, 6 Sergeants, and 35 Police Officers. In addition, we have 1 Park Ranger, 2 Community Service Officers, 1 Animal Control Officer, 1 Outreach Coordinator, 1 Records Manager, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 Investigations Secretary, 1 Receptionist, and 6.5 Records Specialists. With the exception of the Chief of Police and Records Manager, all are civil service positions.


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 four to six 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 Dave Shackleton and Officers Jeff Dowhaniuk, Edgar Serrano, Elizabeth Paul and Chris Carlson, who work under the direction of Administrative Lieutenant. Recruiters set up information booths at high schools, colleges, military bases, and job fairs. 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 may apply for employment at the Mount Vernon Police Department. These "lateral applicants" go through a similar testing process described above; however, if hired, they would not have to go to Basic Academy a second time as long as their certification has not expired. If an officer "laterals", his/her training and experience would be evaluated to determine if that officer must attend the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

Out of state lateral applicants will be considered, pursuant to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission academy reciprocity summary (recognized "out of state" law enforcement academies), as listed 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 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.