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Bellingham Police Department

  • Contact Information

    Bellingham Police Department
    505 Grand Avenue
    Bellingham, Washington 98225
    Phone: 360-778-8228
    Department Website

Agency Added: 04/06/2016 | Last updated: 01/22/2019

Community Information

On the shores of Bellingham Bay with Mount Baker as its backdrop, Bellingham is the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border. The City of Bellingham, which serves as the county seat of Whatcom County, is at the center of a uniquely picturesque area offering a rich variety of recreational, cultural, educational and economic activities.

Department Information

Due to the unique character of our City, the beauty of the surrounding landscape and diverse opportunities within our agency, working at the Bellingham Police Department offers an unmatched quality of life for those seeking a career in law enforcement.

Regardless of where your career takes you at BPD, officers hired with our department start off at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Burien, Washington. After graduating from the academy, new officers returning to Bellingham start the Field Training program while assigned to the patrol division. Since 2005, the patrol division has utilized a schedule based on a 10.7 hour work day. The work week is 5 days long and officers enjoy rotating weekends of 4 or 5 days off at a time.

Once the necessary experience has been gained while working on patrol, officers have the opportunity to apply for a variety of specialty units within the department. See our About Us section for details. Whether you find yourself riding our local trails as a bike officer, conducting surveillance in our Special Investigations Unit, or tracking down suspects with your K-9 partner, each position has qualities that appeal to a wide range of personalities and interests. In addition to unique job descriptions of each specialty unit, the hours and shifts differ as well which can provide officers with a healthy change of pace throughout their career.

With approximately 110 commissioned officers, our department offers innovative training, modern equipment and diverse specialty units often associated with larger departments. At the same time our employees enjoy benefits felt at many smaller departments in terms of being a close-knit work group where every face becomes familiar over time. If being part of a team that makes a positive impact in the community sounds appealing, then we encourage you to seek out employment opportunities at our department.

Area Information

  • County: Whatcom
  • Population: 83,365
  • # of staff: Over 100 commissioned officers

Agency Requirements:

Category Requirement Required at time of..
Test Hire
Minimum Age 21 years of age.   X
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
Washington State residency by time of hire.
High School Grad/ GED Yes   X
Driver's License Required Valid Washington State driver's license by time of hire and good driving record. A three year driving abstract must be submitted prior to hire, with periodic submission of driving abstract per City policy.   X
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult No record of felony convictions.   X
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile Felony convictions as a juvenile and misdemeanor convictions will be reviewed. A misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily disqualify and applicant, but offenses, by their nature and recentness, may reveal a lack of specific qualifications for this position.   X
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Yes   X
Vision Requirements Uncorrected vision in either eye of 20/100 or better, vision able to be corrected to 20/20 in better eye and 20/30 in lesser eye. Visual acuity including closeness, distance, color, peripheral and depth perception, with the ability to adjust focus and to read a computer screen and typewritten page.   X
College Requirement Associate's Degree or two years (90 quarter hours/60 semester hours) of general education course work toward a degree at an accredited college or university.   X
Other Tattoos on the face, neck, hands, fingers, tongue, scalp or ears are prohibited. At no time while on duty or representing the Department in any capacity, shall any offensive tattoo or body art be visible. Tattoos that consist of religious or political symbolism shall not be visible while on duty.

Possession of, or ability to obtain, Red Cross certification for Infant/Child and Adult CPR and Standard First Aid within two years of hire.

Candidates must successfully pass the Physical Fitness and Abilities Test for this agency.

This agency allows out of state testing.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score    
Request/ Access Scores Quarterly – every July, October, January, & April.

The next testing deadline to complete the written and physical ability test is by January 18, 2019.

Current Hiring Status

Qualified candidates will be placed on a ranked eligibility register based on the written exam score. The top scoring 15 candidates or the top 25%, whichever is greater, will be referred to the appointing authority for final assessment.

The eligibility register will be valid for two months. 


Salary Information

Recruit salary is $4,950 per month. Upon entry to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy, salary is $5,445 per month.

Benefit Information

An extensive benefit package is provided, including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage for employee, spouse and dependents. The state-wide Washington Law Enforcement and Firefighters Pension Plan (LEOFF) provides retirement benefits.