From the point of hire, it takes about 19 months to get a new police officer working on the street.That means if Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain wants to grow the force in 2020, he needs to start the hiring process in 2018. This delay is what McElvain refers to as the pipeline. He’s received city council approval to add an additional 28 officers between now and 2020, but the process isn’t as simple as some might expect.It takes four months to complete the hiring process, which includes background checks and a polygraph exam. Then recruits wait an average of six months to go to the training academy, a process itself that lasts five months. Four more months of field training and a new hire can get to work.Meanwhile, they’re considered part of the force and receive a paycheck as soon as the hiring process is complete. For more than a year, new hires are paid before they actually start their jobs. McElvain said they can help out with some things that don’t require academy training, like processing property evidence, but the system is held up by the academy.“Unless the state Legislature funds the academy to put on more academy classes, the entire state law enforcement, police, sheriffs are all held hostage to get people into the academy,” McElvain said.The state academy is the only option for Washington police to receive mandatory training. But departments can’t hold spots in the academy, which means candidates are hired months before they can receive training just to ensure a place in line.