Unlike many police departments across the country, the Spokane (WA) Police Department has seen a continuous stream of applicants over the past years and the number of police officer applicants grew from 414 in 2019 to 762 in 2021.
“Fortunately, in Spokane… our applicant number actually increased,” Cpl. Nick Briggs, Spokane Police Department public information officer, tells KXLY. “Last year, we receive a grant to do recruiting and we really branched out and saw other markets, other areas of the country. This is an awesome area of the country. There's a lot to do. It's a great place to live. It’s also a great place to work.”
Briggs said the trend is different in Spokane when compensation and affordability are issues in hiring. Spokane offers $5,000 bonuses for entry-level officers with annual pay starting at $55,645. Starting pay for lateral, certified officers is $63,308 with pay ranging up to $101,226.
The job postings for officers touts the area as having an “abundance of outdoor recreation, numerous waterways within a close driving distance, arts and culture, a plethora of breweries and wineries, and a rich food scene in the vibrant downtown core.”
He says the community is roughly 50% females, so it is important to have a police department that reflects the community. More than 70 females applied in 2021, however, as of March 2022, of the 341 commissioned officers only 30 are women.
“The Spokane Police Department, we look at ourselves as very professional, progressive, and an ethical police department. We are a police department that wants to connect to the community,” Chief Craig Meidl says in the department’s recruiting video.