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Public Safety Officer - Pierce Transit - Lakewood, WA

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Job Information:

Company: Pierce Transit

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The Public Safety Officer plays an integral role in Pierce Transit's ability to deliver safe service to the community.  The individuals selected for these positions are provided with training that will equip them for success in facing and managing the routine elements of the job as well as the unexpected challenges.  The Public Safety Officer's role is to create a security presence with-in the Pierce Transit system by being visible, observing, reporting, and engaging customers.  The Public Safety Officer works in partnership with Pierce Transit's fully commissioned law enforcement officers in protecting the customers and employees of Pierce Transit.  Public Safety Officers are not fully commissioned law enforcement and do not have arrest powers.

The ideal candidate for this role is an individual with excellent communication skills, a reputation for demonstrating maturity and sound judgment, and someone who excels in a team environment.  There are elements of this position that will be physically demanding so the successful candidate will need to be physically fit and ready to take on all the role entails including:

  • Patrolling on foot and by bicycle through parking structures, park and ride facilities, transit centers, bus stops, etc.
  • Riding the transit system buses within the service area providing a uniformed presence on board the buses.
  • Searching transit facilities and vehicles for suspicious devices and/or people and conducting assessments of transit facilities, physical security breaches, threats to employees, customers and assets.
  • Assisting Pierce Transit Police as necessary and working closely with neighboring police agencies.
  • Using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to conduct active surveillance of Transit Facilities, capturing video evidence for use in criminal and civil proceedings, testifying in court as required, listening and responding to radio traffic, responding to employee reports of suspicious activity, investigating and reporting on suspicious activity and notifying Pierce Transit Police or other police agencies of criminal activity.
  • Preparing detailed reports and taking photographic evidence for reporting purposes.

Public Safety Officers hold a "Special Commission" and are Specially Commissioned Peace Officers. They are not fully commissioned law enforcement officers, do not carry firearms when performing their duties and do not have full powers of arrest as defined by RCW 10.93.020(5).


Essential Functions


The following functions are not intended to serve as a comprehensive list of all duties performed in this classification, only a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.

  • Issue passenger exclusion orders according to established procedures as part of the exclusion program
  • Issues notices of infractions for parking violations that occur on Transit property.
  • Conducts thorough patrols on foot and bicycles of various parking structures, park and ride facilities, transit centers, bus stops, etc.  Rides the transit system buses as a means of transportation from various locations within the service area and provides a uniformed presence on board the buses.
  • Uses department issued cell phone to communicate to supervisor, Transit Police, South Sound 911, and other police agencies. 
  • Completes various reports including Security Incident reports, use of force reports, and monthly reports. Also enters key information into a security database. 
  • Works closely with neighboring police agencies. 
  • Conducts assessments of transit facilities, reports inoperable equipment, conducts vehicle inspections, physical security breaches, assesses threats to employees, customers and assets. 
  • Searches transit facilities and vehicles for suspicious devices and/or people. Provides customer service to include taking complaints, answering questions and responding to requests for assistance 
  • With the use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), conducts active surveillance of Transit Facilities, captures video evidence for use in criminal and civil proceedings, testifies in court as required, listens and responds to radio traffic, responds to employee reports of suspicious activity, investigates and reports suspicious activity, notifies Transit Police or other police agencies of criminal activity and prepares detailed, specific reports; takes photographs of evidence for reporting purposes.
  • Conducts traffic control and employee escorts as requested. 
  • Demonstrates regular and predictable attendance. 
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Other Functions:

  • May serve as a Field Training Officer (FTO) to other Public Safety Officers or become certified department instructors in other specialized training techniques. 
  • May administer first aid and CPR if needed. 
  • Does not use firearms but may use defensive tactics strategies to physically subdue threatening individuals where personal safety or safety of the public is at stake.
  • May temporarily perform Sergeant duties in the absence of the Public Safety Sergeants. 



To be considered for this position, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • High school graduation or GED.
  • Valid driver's license with a driving record that meets the hiring standard at the point of hire and throughout employment in this position.
  • One year of work experience in the public sector providing service to the public or customers, preferably within the last five years.

The incumbent will possess knowledge of and skill in applying:

  • Policies and procedures regarding access to buildings, vehicles and property;
  • General safety precautions and fire safety procedures;
  • Methods in communicating and dealing effectively with staff, customers and members of the public;
  • First aid and other basic first responder techniques;
  • Effective methods of observation and report writing.

In addition, the following skills and abilities are required:

  • Use basic communication devices such as cellular phones, radios, and computers;
  • Use monitoring devices such as CCTV;
  • Use fire extinguishers;
  • Observe behavior, gather pertinent information and report facts accurately and concisely;
  • Verbally diffuse or de-escalate tense, intimidating or threatening situations;
  • Remain calm and focused in situations where personal safety or safety of others may appear to be at risk;
  • Understand and apply written and verbal directions;
  • Use sound, independent judgment within the scope of authority, policies, and procedures;
  • Maintain positive working relationships with staff, customers and supporting organizations, such as law enforcement, to promote confidence in the safe and secure delivery of transit services.

The ideal candidate will submit an application that includes: 

  • Experience in public transportation security.
  • One year of experience in the public-sector security field, military police, corrections or related field.
  • Basic knowledge of criminal justice system and criminal law.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Must be able to pass a 200-hour in-house academy which includes a 40-hour IPMBA police cyclist course, a 40-hour Defensive tactics course and Taser training.
  2. Must be able to work a flexible schedule including weekends and night shifts.
  3. Must be available to respond to public safety incidents throughout the service area.
  4. Must have an exemplary driving record and be able to obtain a valid Washington State driver's license prior to employment and successfully pass a thorough criminal and civil background check.
  5. Must meet the Pierce Transit Department of Public Safety Certification of Standards as part of the pre-screening process.
  6. This position is represented by the International Association of Machinists. Dues will be required as a condition of employment


Supplemental Information


Application Instructions
To be considered for this vacancy, you must apply online:

  • Submit a completed electronic application that provides details for all employment and employment gaps for the last ten years.
  • Complete the supplemental questionnaire portion of the electronic application.
  • Upload a cover letter that explains your qualifications as related to this vacancy and your interest in the position.


Job Status:

This job is currently active.