911 Dispatch Position

Bellingham Police - What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator (Dispatch)



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 - What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator (Dispatch)

Last updated on June 17, 2024
PST Partner Agency since May 09, 2017

Vacancy: 1

Testing Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Important Information

The City of Bellingham is currently hiring for What-Comm 911 Telecommunicators. Are you a confident, enthusiastic, motivated individual who wants to make a difference in your community?  Do you want to perform meaningful work in a positive and supportive team environment? If you've worked with the public or have call center experience, this is a great opportunity for you to expand your career. Apply now for one of our What-Comm 911 Telecommunicator positions. Qualified candidates are safety oriented, skilled at decision making, problem solving, and conflict resolution. What-Comm 911 Telecommunicators 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.

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).

This process closes June 30th, 2024.

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 additional examinations, assessments, or tests. Additional examinations, assessments, or tests may include review of the Application Materials, Personal History Statement (PHS), and Interviews. Candidates may be removed from the eligibility register for failure to pass the additional examinations, assessments, or tests.

Please note: Candidates may be removed for the reasons specified in Civil Service Rule Section 9.11 at any time throughout this process.

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 Telecommunicator (PST) receives and processes voice, text and multimedia requests for police, behavioral health, fire, and medical emergency response. The incumbent in this position determines the nature, urgency, and jurisdiction of a report and either dispatches public safety personnel and equipment to respond or transfers the call to the appropriate jurisdiction. The PST enters information from the reporting party and responding units into a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software program and continually updates the status of those responding to the incident via radio, CAD, and phone communication. The PST provides guidance and assistance to the public in life-safety situations; and coordinates appropriate responses to high-risk, high-stress operations, with the objective of keeping all participants safe. The What-Comm Emergency Communication Center (ECC) serves as the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Whatcom County. This position is essential and must report to work during times when the City is closed.


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

What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator I
A PST in Training will promote to PST I when they successfully complete the initial training period and can independently perform emergency and non-emergency call receiving.

What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator II
A PST II is distinguished from the PST I position by the ability to independently operate all dispatch consoles as well as perform emergency and non-emergency call receiving.

Essential Functions:

  1. Receives, prioritizes, and routes emergent and non-emergent reports from the public to appropriate jurisdictions. Accurately documents the location, nature, and source of the emergency report into a computer terminal using computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software. Develops and maintains familiarity with major roads, local businesses, and geographic features.
  2. Professionally controls calls using de-escalation techniques and clear, effective verbal communication. Uses critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make decisions quickly in accordance with policy and procedures. Maintains a calm demeanor under chaotic and stressful circumstances, multiple conversations, and a frequently noisy environment. Employs effective stress management to maintain wellness and efficacy. Adheres to confidentiality, disclosure, and privacy related policies and laws.
  3. Relays incident information and/or dispatches appropriate Police personnel to the scene of the reported incident. Retrieves and evaluates information from multiple databases based on knowledge of dispatch and emergency response procedures. Regularly contacts and updates status of field units according to established procedures and protocols. Contacts various resources as requested by field units. Switches rapidly between emergent tasks, prioritizing duties as needed to support the safety of responders and citizens.
  4. Queries databases and evaluates warrant, order, stolen property, and missing person information. Enters stolen vehicles and missing persons or runaways into state and nationwide law enforcement databases and transmits requested information to law enforcement personnel in the field. Receives, documents, and processes incident information from various sources including but not limited to phone, text, TTY, relay services, telematics companies, and radio. Generates routine reports such as the incident history reports and incident shift summaries.
  5. Communicates with a variety of local, state, and federal agencies regarding law enforcement activity and resources available for emergencies.
  6. Develops and maintains working knowledge of best practices pertaining to public safety telecommunications. Maintains currency with industry changes and participates in continuing education and professional development.

Additional Work Performed:

  1. May participate in developing and recommending updates to comprehensive dispatch policies, procedures, and protocols as necessary for the efficient operation of the center. Identifies and recommends new policies and procedures to improve dispatch operations and minimize liability.
  2. Performs Lead Worker duties as assigned to include posting and mandating overtime, making seating charts, and notifying Supervisors or the Deputy Director of equipment/personnel issues and significant events which may impact staffing.
  3. Performs training of new employees to include call receiving and radio dispatching, as assigned.
  4. Performs other duties within the scope of the classification.
  5. Manages chain of custody for records and documents used in court proceedings and legal discovery as assigned.

Area Information

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

Hiring Status

Bellingham Police - What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator (Dispatch) has 1 vacancy.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is June 30, 2024.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is June 30, 2024.

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

Salary Information

$29.45/hr - What-Comm Telecommunicator-in-Training/What-Comm Telecommunicator I

$30.92/hr - $38.41/hr - What-Comm Telecommunicator II (fully trained)

Upon promotion from What-Comm Telecommunicator I to What-Comm Telecommunicator II the salary starts at $30.92/hr. Employees receive step increases annually in accordance with the What-Comm (Police Telecommunicator) Collective Bargaining Agreement and City policy.

In addition to the hourly rate of pay, What-Comm Telecommunicators are eligible for the following compensation:

  • 8 hours of Holiday Pay at the rate of 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for 12 designated holidays
  • 2.5 times the regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked on designated holidays
  • Shift Differential for hours worked between 2:00 pm and 6:00 am
  • 1% certification premium for obtaining and maintaining Telecommunicator Certifications
  • Up to 1.5% matching deferred compensation contribution
  • Eligibility for 3% Master Dispatcher premium after seven years of service
  • Protected bid leave time

**The current average annual compensation for the Telecommunicator work group is $122,000, this figure is provided for illustrative purposes and is an average including overtime, premium and specialty pays. This does not constitute any guarantee of compensation.**

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 - What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator (Dispatch) 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
Citizenship 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 - What-Comm Public Safety Telecommunicator (Dispatch)

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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