Law Enforcement Officer Position

Bellingham Police Department - Lateral Police Officer



The information herein is provided by the respective agency and is only as accurate and as up-to-date as the agency representative(s) update this information. PST is not responsible for the veracity of this data as it is provided directly from the agency. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to verify any information about the agency with the agency.

Bellingham Police Department - Lateral Police Officer

Last updated on February 12, 2021
PST Partner Agency since May 27, 2020

Vacancies: 4-6

Testing Deadline: December 31, 2021.

Important Information

The City of Bellingham is currently accepting applications for Lateral Police Officer. Interested applicants need to complete the City of Bellingham application first.Click here to apply!

Once candidates are placed on the eligibility list, they will be invited to complete the Personal History Statement through PST.

 This process is an open and continuous examination. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Candidates will be notified of their final rank and score regularly as incoming applications are reviewed.

Personal History Statements submitted through PST without an invitation from the City of Bellingham will not be reviewed.

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 120 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.

At the Bellingham Police Department, our mission is “Committed to Community.

When we look to the future of the Bellingham Police Department, we see an organization where:

  • Employee and public safety is a priority.

  • Employees and volunteers are highly trained, equipped with the latest technology, and recognized for their performance.

  • Adequate and dedicated funding is in place. We are fiscally responsible and efficient users of the funds and resources entrusted to us by the public.

  • Employees demonstrate professionalism, consistent with our mission statement and core values.

Area Information

County: Whatcom
Population: 91,800
# of Staff: Over 100 commissioned officers

Hiring Status

Bellingham Police Department - Lateral Police Officer has 4-6 vacancies.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is December 31, 2021.

This process is an open and continuous examination. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Candidates will be notified of their final rank and score regularly as incoming applications are reviewed.

Each candidate placed on the Civil Service Eligibility Register will remain on the register for 6 months from the date of their placement on the register.

Salary Information

Experienced Police Officer hires will be placed in the current pay plan at the rate of one pay step for each completed year of service up to a maximum of the top step of the appropriate pay scale. 

Lateral Transfer: $6,098.00 - $7,845.00 Monthly (Placement determined by years of completed service)

This position is represented by a union.

Benefit Information

City of Bellingham Police Officers are eligible for the following benefits:

  • Vacation Leave: Lateral Police Officers will be given vacation credit prospectively for each completed year of service as a sworn police officer prior to hire by the City of Bellingham, up to a maximum of ten years.
  • Sick LeaveAll employees shall receive or be paid for the equivalent of 12(8 hour) holidays totaling 96 hours annually
  • Retirement -LEOFF retirement benefits through the Washington State Retirement Systems
  • Deferred Compensation
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Uniforms and Equipment - City provided
  • Educational Incentives- AA Degree or 90 quarter/60 semester college credits: 1.5% of current base salary. Bachelor’s Degree: 5% of current base salary.

Bellingham Police Department - Lateral Police Officer Requirements

Category Requirement Required at time of...
    Test Hire
Written Examination No, not required
LEO/CO Physical Ability Test (PAT) No, not required (may be required later)
Minimum Age 21 years of age.
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
Washington State residency by time of hire.
High School Grad/ GED Yes
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.
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult No record of felony convictions.
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.
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Yes
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.
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.
Basic Law Enforcement Academy Certification

Graduation from an approved law enforcement training academy and ability to meet standards prescribed by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for equivalency.

Prior Experience Requirement

Twenty-four (24) months of full-time paid duty as a sworn police officer in a civilian governmental jurisdiction providing general law enforcement services, and be in said position at the time of application, or retain active commission.

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.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score
Request/Access Scores On an as-needed basis as vacancies occur

Contact Information

Bellingham Police Department - Lateral Police Officer

505 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225 Whatcom County


Agency Test Requirements
Written Examination: No, not required
PAT: No, not required (may be required later)

Other City of Bellingham positions

Police Officer
WhatCOMM Dispatcher

Sign Up