911 Dispatch Position

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM 911 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 911 Dispatcher

Last updated on March 14, 2023
PST Partner Agency since May 09, 2017

Vacancies: 6

Testing Deadline: December 31, 2023.

Important Information

The City of Bellingham is currently hiring for What-Comm 911 Dispatcher. Are you a confident, enthusiastic, motivated professional who wants to make a difference and support your community? Apply now for one of our What-Comm 911 Dispatcher positions. Qualified candidates are safety oriented, skilled at decision making, problem solving, and conflict resolution. What-Comm 911 Dispatchers will be required to have the ability to work independently to support and assist both the department and the public.

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)

Candidates that meet the minimum qualifications will be placed on a ranked eligibility register based on the Public Safety Testing score, worth 100% of the final score. Candidates will be notified of final score and rank.

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 911 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 911 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 911 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 911 Dispatcher has 6 vacancies.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is December 31, 2023.

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 911 Dispatcher -in -training

$27.24/hr - $33.49/hr - WhatCOMM 911 Dispatcher (fully trained)

Employees receive step increases annually in accordance with theWhat-Comm (Police Dispatchers) Collective Bargaining Agreement and City policy.

Benefit Information

City of Bellingham employees receive medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as life insurance and long-term disability. Additional benefits include flexible spending accounts, a medical insurance opt-out program, and access to our employee assistance program. All eligible City employees are enrolled in a Washington State Department of Retirement Systems pension plan. Additionally, employees may elect to participate in the City’s 457 deferred compensation retirement savings plan.

Employees will receive 12 paid designated holidays. In addition, they receive three paid floating holidays each year. Employees accrue 8 hours total of contract and state sick leave per month in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement and Washington State Law. At the time of hire, employees will accrue 7.34 hours of vacation per month. Vacation accruals increase based on years of service.Leave accruals are based on 1.0 FTE, accruals are pro-rated if part-time and require employees to be in paid status at least 120 hours/month.

For additional information regarding benefits and compensation Information please visit the following:

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM 911 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 within 90 days (before or after) your written 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; 90% 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; 90% Accuracy

Contact Information

Bellingham Police - WhatCOMM 911 Dispatcher

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


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

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