911 Dispatch Position

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM Dispatcher



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 - WhatCOMM Dispatcher

Last updated on January 07, 2022
PST Partner Agency since May 09, 2017

Vacancies: 3

Testing Deadline: December 31, 2022.

Important Information

The City of Bellingham is currently hiring for WhatCOMM Police Dispatcher. All testing must be completed after September 21, 2021 to be considered.

Mayor Seth Fleetwood announced on September 21, 2021 that obtaining full COVID-19 vaccination no later than December 3, 2021 will be a condition of employment for all City employees. You can read the full announcement here.

Public Safety Testing offers multiple dates and locations to complete testing; refer to the PST calendar for testing locations/dates. All testing will be held at a Public Safety Testing site.

This is an open and continuous examination. Applicants must complete the written exam through Public Safety Testing. Candidate scores will be pulled from Public Safety Testing weekly. Candidates will be invited via email on a weekly basis to complete a City of Bellingham Employment Application. (Please note: if you do not hear from us within one (1) week of testing with Public Safety Testing, please contact Human Resources at (360)778-8229; the personal history statement (PHS) is due by the date/time you apply.)

Candidates that meet minimum qualifications will be invited via email to participate in the upcoming Skills Testing. The Skills Testing sessions are tentatively scheduled for the weeks outlined below in Bellingham, WA. Candidates must appear in person to complete the Skills Testing.

  • Week of January 24, 2022
  • Week of February 14, 2022
  • Week of March 21, 2022
  • Week of April 18, 2022
  • Week of May 16, 2022
  • Week of June 20, 2022
  • Week of July 25, 2022
  • Week of August 22, 2022
  • Week of September 26, 2022
  • Week of October 24, 2022
  • Week of November 14, 2022
  • Week of December 12, 2022

Qualified Candidates will be placed on a ranked eligibility register based on the Public Safety Testing score, worth 60% of the final score and the Skills Testing score, worth 40% of the final score. Candidates will be notified of final score and rank within two (2) days of completing the Skills Test.

The top scoring 15 candidates or the top 25%, whichever is greater, will be referred to the Department for final assessment.

Each candidate placed on the Civil Service Eligibility Register will remain on the register for 2 months from the date of their placement on the register.

Example: John Smith was placed on the eligibility register on April 24, 2022 and will remain on the register through June 23, 2022 while Sue Jones was placed on the eligibility register on May 10, 2022 and will remain on the register through July 9, 2022.

Please refer to the City of Bellingham employment website for more information www.cob.org/employment and fill out a job interest alert to receive email notification with the most recent information on public safety career opportunities.

Additionally, it is required to have the Personal History Statement (PHS) completed through Public Safety Testing; please ensure all sections are completed by the date you submit your application.

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

A Public Safety Dispatcher receives and processes telephone requests for police, fire and medical emergency response. The person in this position determines the nature, urgency and jurisdiction of a call and either dispatches public safety personnel and equipment to the scene of the emergency or transfers the call to the appropriate jurisdiction. The Dispatcher enters information from the caller and responding units into a computer-aided dispatch software program and continually updates the status of those responding to the incident. The WhatCOMM Dispatch center serves as the Public Safety Answering Point for Whatcom County. The center also serves as the activation point for the AMBER Alert Plan for North Puget Sound.


WhatCOMM Dispatcher In Training:

This is the entry-level position for new Public Safety Dispatchers during their training period. A new hire will go through a structured training program to learn WhatCOMM policies and procedures for handling emergent and non-emergent calls as well as other agency, department, and dispatch center protocols. 

WhatCOMM Dispatcher I:

A Dispatcher in Training will promote to Dispatcher I when he or she completes the initial training period and can independently handle the call receiving function. 

WhatCOMM Dispatcher II:

A Dispatcher II is distinguished from the Dispatcher I position by the ability to handle both dispatch consoles as well as the call receiving function.

Essential Functions:
1. Receives, prioritizes, and routes emergency telephone calls from the public to appropriate jurisdictions. Enters the nature, location and source of the emergency call into a computer terminal using computer-aided dispatch software. Retrieves and evaluates information from the computer-based on knowledge of dispatch and emergency response procedures, status of available emergency responders and familiarity with major roads, local businesses and geographic features. Relays call information and/or dispatches appropriate Police personnel to the scene of the reported incident.
2. Enters and receives information such as wants, stolen vehicles, missing persons and runaways from a computer terminal with a nationwide law enforcement database and transmits requested information to law enforcement personnel in the field.
3. Communicates with a variety of agencies including US Customs, Canadian Customs, WSP, US Border Patrol, USCG, Homeland Security and Whidbey Island Naval Base regarding warrant service and resources that the agencies have available for emergencies.
4. Regularly contacts and updates status of field units according to established procedures and protocols. Contacts various resources as requested by field units.
5. Receives non-emergency telephone complaints and inquiries from the public. Determines the nature of the call based on established procedures and either refers the caller to the appropriate agency or enters the call in the computer and dispatches units according to the priority and urgency of the call.
6. Staffs the NAWAS phone and notifies Whatcom County Department of Emergency Management of changes. Notifies San Juan County of all situations that may affect them.

1. Generates routine reports such as the incident history reports and incident shift summaries.
2. Develops and recommends updates to comprehensive dispatch policies, procedures, and protocols as necessary for the efficient operations of the center. Identifies and recommends new policies and procedures to improve dispatch operations and minimize liability.
3. Performs Lead Worker duties as assigned to include posting overtime, making seating charts, and notifying Deputy Director of equipment/personnel issues and significant events that may impact staffing.
4. Performs training of new employees to include call receiving and radio dispatching.
5. Performs other duties within the scope of the classification.

Area Information

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

Hiring Status

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM Dispatcher has 3 vacancies.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is December 31, 2022.

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

This recruitment process will create a Civil Service register that will be used to fill anticipated vacancies.

Each candidate placed on the Civil Service Eligibility Register will remain on the register for 2 months from the date of their placement on the register.

Example: John Smith was placed on the eligibility register on April 24, 2022 and will remain on the register through June 23, 2022 while Sue Jones was placed on the eligibility register on May 10, 2022 and will remain on the register through July 9, 2022.

Salary Information

$25.69/hr - WhatCOMM Dispatcher -in -training

$27.24/hr - $33.49/hr - WhatCOMM Dispatcher (fully trained)

Benefit Information

The City’s excellent and comprehensive benefit program includes medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their dependents, plus life insurance and long term disability for employees. The package includes generous paid leave provisions, including vacation, 12 holidays per year and sick leave. City employees participate in the Washington State Retirement System with joint contributions by the City and the employee. The City of Bellingham also offers an Employee Assistance Program, and employees have the option of participating in a Flexible Spending Plan for health care/dependent care reimbursement, as well as deferred compensation programs. Additional information about the benefits can be found in the What-Comm collective bargaining agreement at: https://www.cob.org/employment/Pages/labor-agreements-pay-schedule.aspx

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM Dispatcher Requirements

Category Requirement Required at time of...
    Test Hire
Written Examination Yes, required
Typing Test Yes, required

The typing test is a critical component of your written test score and you are required to complete the online typing test before the day of your exam. You will be allowed four (4) attempts at the typing test every seven (7) days and are responsible for selecting the score that you want PST to forward to the agencies you have applied with.

40 WPM; 95% Accuracy

Minimum Age 18
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident Yes, or can lawfully work in the U.S.
Driver's License Required Yes
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult Must pass a Police criminal convictions records check, background investigation, psychological exam, and polygraph exam prior to hire.
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile Must pass a Police criminal convictions records check, background investigation, psychological exam, and polygraph exam prior to hire.
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Yes
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score
Request/Access Scores Every January and July
Dispatch Typing Test 40 WPM; 95% Accuracy

Contact Information

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM Dispatcher

505 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225 Whatcom County
(360) 778-8228


Agency Test Requirements
Written Examination: Yes, required
Typing Test: Yes, required

Other City of Bellingham positions

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