About Us

Police Chief Jake OpgenorthIt is with great excitement that I take on the role of  Police Chief for the City of Pullman Police  Department. I began my law enforcement career in 1992, and have had the distinct honor of dedicating 29 years of service to the City of Pullman. Over this time, I have served the agency in every capacity; from Patrol Officer to Commander.

As a WSU graduate, Coug fan, and active member of  the Pullman community, I can think of no greater  honor than to complete my law enforcement journey as the Chief of Police at Pullman PD. I am committed to carrying on the great work that our community has come to expect - professional and compassionate policing, innovation, transparency, and positive community engagement. The Pullman Police Department is a leader in the law enforcement profession, and I look forward to continuing this trajectory as I lead its outstanding officers and staff over the years ahead.

Jake Opgenorth, Chief of Police
Email Jake Opgenorth
About Us
D.A.R.E. Program
D.A.R.E.'s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills needed to live drug-and-violence-free lives. The program strives to equip youth with tools that will enable them to avoid negative influences while focusing on their strengths and potential for success. 

D.A.R.E. establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders. 

Fifth grade students in Pullman public schools complete the D.A.R.E. curriculum. 
Reserve Police Officer Program
The Pullman Police Department offers this opportunity to those interested in serving as a law enforcement officer, while still working in their current line of employment, retired, or pursuing a full-time education.  

The Pullman Police Department Reserve Officer program was established for the purpose of providing volunteer police personnel to supplement the regular police force, benefiting both the City of Pullman and the volunteer. 
Pullman Police Advisory Committee
The Pullman Police Advisory Committee is a volunteer group whose members contribute their time and talents to promote public safety, serve as liaisons between the community and its police department, and assist in educating the community for a better understanding of the respective responsibilities of police officers and citizens. 

Committee documents, including meeting agendas and minutes, are available online via BoardDocs.  Video recordings from past meetings are also available on our YouTube Channel

Interested in joining the Pullman Police Advisory Committee?
Police Advisory Committee Application

Learn more
Organizational Chart
Culture, Policies & Accountability
Community Policing
The Pullman Police Department embraces the Community-Oriented Policing philosophy of active community engagement and cooperation. We work in partnership with our community, recognizing the value of engagement and collaboration toward improving public safety.
Body-Worn Cameras

Pullman PD was an early adopter of body-worn cameras (BWC), mandating their use by Pullman Police and Code Enforcement officers since March 2013, well before the national movement to deploy law enforcement BWC’s. We mention this only to point out that we proactively deployed BWC’s as a way to be transparent with our community, rather than reactionary. All Pullman patrol cars are equipped with in-car cameras.

In addition to use in criminal cases, body-worn camera video helps to hold officers accountable for their interactions with the public.


Anyone can make a complaint about a contact they had with any member of Pullman PD staff. The complaint will be thoroughly investigated by a supervisor or member of our command staff. If the investigation reveals a policy violation, disciplinary action will be imposed. The severity of the disciplinary action will be proportional to the seriousness of the policy violation, also taking into consideration any prior similar misconduct. We also review complaints to determine if there is a need for specific training, or a policy change or addition.

Chief Opgenorth takes personnel complaints seriously. If there is misconduct, it is in his best interest to know about and have an opportunity to correct it. If the interaction involved a Patrol or Code Enforcement Officer, it would likely be captured on body-worn camera video.

21st Century Policing
The Pullman Police Department has used President Obama’s President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report as a guide and reference for policing with procedural justice. Procedural Justice is the practice of fair and impartial policing built on understanding and acknowledging human biases, both explicit and implicit. Procedurally-just behavior is based on four central principles:

  1. Treating people with dignity and respect
  2. Giving individuals ‘voice’ during encounters
  3. Being neutral and transparent in decision making
  4. Conveying trustworthy motives 
Sue Rahr, Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, was one of the eleven appointed task force members who authored the Report. Much of what is in the report reflects Director Rahr’s contributions, and consequently is reflected in Washington State’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) in philosophy and training (more details below).
Impact on Police Officer Conduct
It is important to train our officers not only about what they are expected to do, but also the manner in which they are expected to do it. When it comes to officers making appropriate decisions, and how they treat others without deference to race, ethnicity, or standing in the community, Chief Opgenorth personally believes we can make the most difference through:

  • Hiring standards that emphasize a proven history of ethics and integrity
  • Internal reward/evaluation/discipline systems that reinforce appropriate conduct and values
  • An organizational culture of exceptional behavior with no tolerance for misconduct
Police Advisory Committee (PAC)
The PAC serves as a liaison between the community and the Police Department. The Committee members represent a wide cross-section of our community. There are Committee member primary and alternate positions for a variety of constituencies.

The Pullman Police Advisory Committee meets on the second Monday of every month at 5:30 pm in the Pullman City Council Chambers (190 SE Crestview Street, Building A). The meetings are open to the public and are recorded and posted on the Pullman Police Department YouTube channel. You are always welcome to attend.
Multicultural Student Leaders
Pullman PD strives to develop trust that facilitates honest communication and a positive working relationships with multicultural student groups at Washington State University. 
Collaboration with the ACLU
When updating our Immigration Enforcement policy, we collaborated with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). We collaborated on policy development that was subsequently implemented with their approval.
Social Media
Pullman residents receive their news and information in a variety of ways. We utilize a number of methods in an attempt to engage as much of our community as possible in the following ways:

  • Facebook (@PullmanPD)
  • Instagram (@pullmanpolice)
  • MyPD Mobile App
  • NextDoor
  • Twitter (@PullmanPolice)
  • Website
  • YouTube
Chief Opgenorth invites all community members, 16 years of age and older, to sign up for a ride-along. Get an unfiltered, front row seat to see what our officers do and why they do it!
Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA); 18 weeks (720 hours)

Washington State is one of only a few states that not only establishes training standards, but also provides Basic Training for Peace Officers. 

Under the guidance of Sue Rahr, the Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, the BLEA is a national leader in training that transitioned from a “warrior” to a “guardian” mentality. BLEA training emphasizes partnerships with citizens in a community and stresses cooperation, inclusion, and caring for all members of the community. The result is police officers who can build relationships, solve problems with community members, and police with compassion. The BLEA’s motto is “Training the Guardians of Democracy”.

BLEA: De-Escalation Training

BLEA is a leader in providing, and requiring, de-escalation training. Students receive 200 hours of violence de-escalation, mental health, and patrol tactics training. The patrol tactics course includes rendering care/first aid to anyone injured in an altercation with police, and cultural competency and implicit bias training. After the academy, officers are required to receive 40 hours of de-escalation refresher training every 3 years. BLEA De-Escalation Training includes:

  • People in Crisis
  • Verbal Skills
  • Introduction to Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
  • Crisis Management
  • Patrol De-Escalation
  • CIT Intervention
  • Crisis Referral Services
BLEA: Cultural Competency & Implicit Bias Training

BLEA students receive training on understanding perception and bias, professional ethics, and a patrol tactics course that includes rendering care/first aid to anyone injured in an altercation with police, history of race & policing, alternatives to booking, implicit and explicit bias, building relationships, and understanding local cultures.

Post-BLEA: Advanced Officer Training

Washington State requires every law enforcement officer in the State of Washington to receive a minimum of 24 hours of annual advanced officer training. In 2019, each Pullman Police Officer averaged 94 hours of advanced officer training.

Advanced Officer De-escalation Training

All Pullman Police officers have been receiving de-escalation training over the past decade. There has been a renewed focus on de-escalation training as the result of tragic incidents involving those in a mental health crisis and members of minority communities. Here is a partial list of training officers receive in this area (not all officers have attended all of the listed training):

  • Communication Skills
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
  • Crisis Management Tactics & Scene Management
  • De-Escalation & Conflict Resolution
Use of Force (UOF)
Pullman PD Use of Force Policy

Pullman PD documents and reviews all officer use of force. We classify use of force at a very low level, beginning with just a hold to physically move someone. Officers are required to document specific details every time that force is used, including the reason for the use of force. All use of force instances are reviewed by the Operations Commander to ensure policy compliance. If use of force is suspected to be non-compliant with policy, a formal investigation is conducted by a supervisor. If a policy violation is affirmed, disciplinary action follows. The level of discipline is commensurate with the seriousness of the violation, and may result in discipline up to termination. The use of force review process includes a review of police reports written by officers at the scene, all available photographs, and body-worn camera video and in-car camera video from officers at the scene. If use of force appears to be a criminal violation, an independent investigation is conducted by an outside agency and then forwarded to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney for a charging decision.

UOF: National Use-of-Force Data Collection

The Pullman Police Department has voluntarily provided use of force data to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection program since January 2018. National Data Collection users can view use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement from a nationwide perspective. 

UOF: Pullman PD Specific Research

Criminal Justice researchers from Washington State University have unlimited access to all Pullman Police officer body-worn camera (BWC) video footage for the purpose of research. Research involving over 4,600 hours of Pullman officers’ videos concluded that there was no evidence that Pullman police officers were more likely to use force, use force more quickly, at higher levels, or for longer durations in situations involving minority suspects.
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