Chief Mike Zaro (253) 830-5000 • Fax (253) 830-5069 •
Station address: 9401 Lakewood Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499; Phone: (253) 830-5000


Being a Reserve Police Officer is a voluntary position that allows the department to supplement community and police services while also allowing individuals interested in future law enforcement careers to train and gain experience. It also allows others who have an interest in their community the opportunity to serve it as a law enforcement officer.

The Reserve Officer program is a functional unit within the Patrol Response Unit. Reserve Officers work side-by-side with full time patrol officers after they have attended the WSCJTC approved Reserve Academy. Upon graduation, Reserve Officers learn to become fully operational police officers by being assigned with a Police Training Officer on a probationary basis. When their training is complete, Reserve Officers progress to the level of being able to operate as a solo officer in the field covering every aspect of patrol procedures and functions. Eventually, Reserve Officers may apply for opportunities to work with the Criminal Investigations Unit, the Special Assault Section, the School Support section, the Traffic Section, and the Marine Patrol.  Reserve Officers are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per month and are required to attend all annual mandatory training. 

If you are interested in applying to become a Reserve Police Officer, please contact Officer Tenney at .  All applications will be kept on file in anticipation of future Reserve Police Officer openings with academies held in locations to be determined.

Minimum Qualifications

  • US Citizen
  • 21 years of age at time of hire
  • High School graduate
  • No felony convictions as an adult
  • Valid WA driver’s license
  • No drug use after age 25 AND not within the past 5 years (3 years for marijuana)
  • Pass a comprehensive background investigation
  • Cannot be active duty military


Applications are submitted online through our Human Resources  website. This is an entirely electronic process and the Reserve Police Officer posting will not appear until the position opens.

Selection Process

The City of Lakewood is no longer using an outside vendor to conduct our selection process. We are now utilizing our own internal process. The recruitment, selection and hiring process of police officer candidates is comprehensive.

Candidates are required to pass:

  • Written test
  • Physical fitness test
  • Oral board
  • Medical and psychological examination
  • Polygraph and/or computer voice stress analysis (CVSA) exam

Entry-Level Reserve Officer Recruits must first complete the 249 hour Reserve Officer Academy.  Upon graduation from the academy, recruits undergo additional advanced training and work with a police training officer (PTO) for the first few months.  The selection process for Lateral Reserve Officer Applicants is the same as for Entry Level with the exception of the written examination. 

Background Investigation

The background investigation is a crucial step in ensuring we hire people of the highest character and integrity to become our Police Officers. The investigation may consist of, but not limited to, the following elements:

  • Completion and submission of Personal History Questionnaire paperwork
  • Criminal History and driver’s records checks
  • Credit report check
  • Interviews with personal and professional references
  • Interviews and records check with current and past employers
  • Interviews with applicant’s spouse or significant other
  • Neighborhood checks and Home visit/interview
  • Polygraph examination and report
  • Medical physical examination and report