PST Information Center

Learn About PST

PST delivers a revolutionary applicant recruiting and testing system that produces a high quality, pre-tested candidate pool while saving departments significant staff time and money. All under one roof!

  • Pre-Employment Testing System
  • Pre-Employment Background Investigations
  • EyeDetect Lie Detection
  • Polygraph Examinations
  • Workplace Misconduct Investigations
  • Promotional Testing
  • Assessment Centers

Who's It For?

We assist agencies with a variety of human resource needs for:

  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Firefighters
  • Corrections Officers
  • Paramedics
  • 911 Dispatchers
  • Private Security 

We offer pre-employment written & physical ability testing, CPAT testing, comprehensive background investigations, polygraph examinations,, promotional testing including assessment centers, and other services. We do everything and give you the results.

How Does An Agency Get Started?

Just contact us! It's as simple as that. We are happy to meet with your agency if you are interested in our Pre-Employment Testing System or other services. Our revolutionary system will help you hire great people while saving time and money.

Get In Touch

What Are Agency Officials Saying?

  • When we switched to PST, we immediately experienced a noticeable increase in candidate quality and quantity.
    - Heather Stafford, City of Olympia, WA HR/Civil Service

  • There are three things I will never live without: my husband, my washer & dryer, and PST.
    - Rita Lowery, Personnel Manager, Boise, ID Police Department

About PST

Public Safety Testing was formed in 2000 to assist local governments ease the burdensome process of establishing and maintaining eligibility lists for positions such as police officer/deputy sheriff, firefighter, corrections officer, 9-1-1 dispatcher and others. We conduct advertising and recruiting assistance, application processing, written testing and physical ability testing for those agencies that subscribe to our service.  Currently more than 175 police, sheriff, fire, and dispatch agencies in the Pacific Northwest contract with our firm for their initial pre-employment testing services.  We have had the privilege of helping hundreds of agencies hire thousands of police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and 911 dispatchers.

 We proudly serve those we work with and are guided by our core principles that permeate each of our services:

  • Provide exceptional customer service, and
  • Produce the best results possible for each client

Subscribing agencies have consistently indicated that by utilizing our services they are saving money, saving staff time, and the quality and diversity of applicants has been enhanced.  Agency representatives appreciate that they only process candidates that have passed the written and physical ability exams and want to work for their agency. With continuous testing, eligibility lists are frequently updated with new candidates so eligibility lists are always up to date.

We conduct tests frequently in those regions where client agencies are located.  Currently our test sites are focused mainly in the Pacific Northwest, but as we expand to other regions, so will our test site locations. In addition, through a network of college testing facilities, we have the ability to offer applicant written testing in all 50 states.

Applicants are able to test for any agency that we represent anywhere that we are testing.  Applicants apply online, choose the testing date/location most convenient for them and may take one written and one physical ability test and have their scores sent to one or more agencies of their choice.  Applicants receive their written and physical ability scores on the day that they test.  Applicants are very attracted to this type of service and feedback indicates they appreciate greatly the flexibility and convenience of our process.


PST was founded by Jon & Pat Walters. Jon serves as the President/Founder of Public Safety Testing, Inc.   Jon has over 20 years of policing experience, including seven years as the Chief of Police in Mukilteo, Washington (1990-1997).  From 1997-2000 he served as the Executive Director of the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS), a US Department of Justice Regional Community Policing Institute serving the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.  In this position, he was responsible for managing federal programs designed to enhance police-community relations, trust and partnerships to address crime, fear of crime and quality of life issues at the local level.

Jon is a graduate of the 171st session of the FBI National Academy, a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the Washington Association of Fire Chiefs, Association of Washington Cities and the FBI National Academy Associates.  He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Justice and a Master of Science degree in Organization Development.  In addition, Jon received his Supervisory, Mid-Manager, and Executive level certifications from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

PST Staff

At PST, we are privileged to work with a team of experienced and dedicated professionals with a combined hundreds of years of experience in the civil service, human resources, customer service, law enforcement, fire service and public safety fields.

Key Personnel

Ronald “Buzz” Horch

Buzz serves as PST’s Director of Operations.  When PST started 17 years ago, Buzz was serving as a background investigator at the Vancouver Police Department and PST hired Buzz on a part-time to help PST with test proctoring.  Since that time, Buzz has served in the Human Resources management and security fields, including in the HR department at the City of Vancouver and as the HR Manager at the Port of Vancouver.  From 2004-2016, Buzz served as the program manager (in essence, the Chief/Director) for security of the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  Buzz managed a staff of about 300 in 14 locations and many competing demands in a challenging political environment. Some of his duties included VIP protection, safeguarding property, access control, training, K9 operations, scheduling, invoicing, investigations, quality control, labor relations, and employee relations; he developed and implemented over 45 independent security and administrative work processes and systems; and, he directly assisted the US Department of Justice with managing security operations for President-elect Obama’s 2008 Presidential Transition Team. Buzz was a sworn Special Deputy US Marshal and he holds a top secret security clearance.  In 2004 he earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. Buzz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Washington University (major in Political Science and minor in Music) and a management certificate in Corporate Finance from Cornell University.


Colleen Wilson

Colleen Wilson manages PST’s promotional testing and executive services.  After serving 40 years in uniform (22 years as a police chief), Colleen retired as the Port of Seattle police chief where she served for 9 years.   She also served as the Monroe chief for 9 years and as the Sumner police chief for five years.  Colleen became the first female police chief in the state of Washington, the first female president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) and chair of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.  Appointed by three governors and a Supreme Court Justice as the law enforcement representative to various task forces, Colleen has helped make legislative and policy changes for Washington state, most recently in the area of ethical responses by police officers.  Colleen attended Gonzaga University, the University of Washington’s Cascade Program for Executive Excellence, and the FBI National Academy and Executive Leadership programs.  Colleen’s experience, reputation and talent brings great value to PST and to those we serve.  


John Gray

John Gray develops and delivers promotional testing services for PST.  John served in the law enforcement profession for 32 years, including 12 years as a Police Chief for Lake Stevens and Arlington.  He worked for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years; 5 years as a supervisor, 3 as a detective working several hundred cases of sex crimes and crimes against children, and was the staff assistant to the Sheriff handling complex plans.  He came to Washington State from Oregon where he was a deputy sheriff and U.S. Park Ranger.  He has extensive experience, training and education in the management of an agency including screening and hiring applicants.  He has conducted and supervised background investigations.  He has completed the Integrity Interview Course offered by John Reid and Associates.

John is a life member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and chaired the committees providing accreditation and management assistance to agencies.  He is on the faculty for the Executive Institute at Western Illinois University presenting training and seminars.  He taught management topics for the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command for 5 years and was a part-time instructor for 10 years at Everett Community College, Washington teaching courses in Child Abuse Investigation, Professional Development, Report Writing and Officer Safety.  He also teaches or guest lectures for criminal justice training agencies and organizations of the topics of budgeting, leadership, and supervision.

John has a Master of Education from Western Washington University; a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from San Diego State University, is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, the Northwest Law Enforcement Executive Command College and FBI LEEDS program; the International Association of Police Chief’s Leadership of Police Organizations; and holds an Executive Certificate from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

He continues to publish articles on leadership and management topics in Police Chief Magazine, Law & Order Magazine, and Public Manager Magazine.


Joshua Sapien

Josh has worked for Public Safety Testing for 13 years and prior to working with PST, he gained considerable experience in customer service by working at Starbucks and in the food service industry.  He has graduated from Shoreline Community College with an Associate’s degree and continues to pursue educational opportunities.  Josh manages and schedules pre-employment testing services and background investigations services. 

Diana Lau

Diana has worked for PST for ten years and provides administrative and IT support.  Diana is often the first point of contact for applicants and agency representatives.  She is responsible for updating the PST website with new departments, testing dates, updated information and website pages.  Diana also serves as a test proctor and administrator.

Diana has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington.


Diane Bates

Diane serves as a technical advisor and test administrator for PST and has served in that capacity since 2001.  Diane served for over 23 years as the chief examiner to the City of Renton Civil Service Commission in addition to responsibilities within the human resources field.  During that time she was actively involved in the administration of entry, lateral and promotional processes for uniformed police and fire personnel, including the recruitment and selection of chiefs for both departments.  Diane assisted the Renton Police Department in achieving accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) by ensuring the recruiting, testing and hiring program met CALEA's established criteria.