Requirements & Testing

Entry Level Requirements

  • Applicants must be 21 years of age or older at the time of appointment.
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a valid motor vehicle driver’s license
  • Have an AA degree from an accredited college or university - A waiver of the AA requirement may be granted when an applicant has a high school diploma or its equivalent and meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • At least twelve months of law enforcement experience
    • At least twelve months of public sector criminal justice corrections work experience
    • Completed at least one year (45 quarter hours or 30 semester units or equivalent) of study from an accredited college or university.
    • A minimum of two years of military service

Applicants who are appointed based upon the waiver criteria above are required to sign an agreement with the City to effect that he/she will obtain an associate degree or more within a four-year study period after the first day of completion of his/her probationary period with the department. Failure to actively pursue a course of study to obtain degree or failing to complete the minimum education standards will be cause for dismissal. All responsibility for obtaining the above requirements will rest with the employee and all studies will be at the employee’s own time and expense.

Lateral Requirements

The Longview Civil Service rules provide that lateral-entry applicants for police officer may be considered as such when:

" . . . 7.1.1 “Lateral entry applicants for Police Officer are subject to the same minimum qualification requirements as entry level applicants as described herein except that, during a continuous lateral-only recruitment, law enforcement experience may be accepted in lieu of the one-year college education requirement if said work experience is determined to provide the necessary knowledge and abilities for the position. Lateral entry applicants shall be in possession of a basic law enforcement qualification certificate or equivalent, issued by the state in which he/she attended the basic law enforcement academy. Lateral entry applicants shall have no breaks in continuous law enforcement service of more than twenty-four months.” 

Testing Process

Written examination which is a commercially prepared, multiple-choice test with questions relating to general law enforcement practices. 

Lateral-entry applicants, in lieu of taking the written exam, will be rated on several criteria including the rank of law enforcement positions held, formal education and the total months of in-service training and/or other law enforcement-sponsored classes. Applicants with more years of law enforcement experience, training and formal education receive the greatest number of points. Lateral applicants may also choose to test through the Public Safety Testing website.

Physical Ability Assessment

Physical ability assessment is the same battery of tests required to be passed for admittance to the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy. The test consists of the following events: 

  • 300 Meter Sprint
    • 56.0 to 71 seconds, with a mean of 63.5 seconds
    • Measures anaerobic capacity used in high intensity baton and defensive tactics training
  • Max Push Ups
    • 21 to 35 repetitions, with a mean of 28 repetitions
    • Measures muscular endurance in the chest and arms used in high intensity arrest simulation training
  • 1 Minute Sit Ups
    • 30 to 38 repetitions with a mean of 34 repetitions
    • Measures muscular endurance in the abdominal region used in high intensity arrest simulation training
  • 1.5 Mile Run/Walk
    • Time of 13:35 to 14:31, with a mean time of 14:02
    • This test measures aerobic capacity used in extended control and defensive tactics training

Oral Interviews

Oral interviews are scheduled before an interview board for those candidates who have successfully passed the written and physical ability test and names have been certified by Public Safety Testing.


After testing and interviews, applicants are ranked on an eligibility list. Applicants are considered when vacancies occur based on the Civil Service "Rule of Five" for additional selection screening, including background investigation, Computer Voice Stress Analyzer, and psychological and medical evaluation before offers of employment will be made.

Candidates names once established on the City’s eligibility list are valid for one year from the date placed on the list. A continuous eligibility list is maintained as names from the testing agency are received and oral interviews scheduled and completed.