Police Officer Employment and Testing

Police officers work with people in a wide variety of circumstances, many of which are stressful. Therefore, maturity, good judgment, self-confidence and a desire to assist the public are necessary.

The Bellingham Police Department employs over 100 commissioned officers. New hires begin as Police Officer Recruits. Upon successful completion of the Academy, the recruits move into the Full Performance Police Officer Classification and are assigned to the Patrol Division.

Upon completion of a twelve month probationary, an officer may work toward qualification in one of several specialized areas, including Investigations, Traffic, Crime Prevention, K-9 and SWAT Team.

Police officers work with people in a wide variety of circumstances, many of which are stressful. Therefore, maturity, good judgment, self-confidence and a desire to assist the public are necessary.

The current salary for Police Officer Recruit can be found on the City of Bellingham Labor Agreements and Pay Schedules webpage, under Police Guild. Experienced law enforcement officers may start at a higher step within the pay range. An extensive benefit package is provided, including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage for employee, spouse and dependents. Guild membership is required within 30 days of hire. The state- wide Washington Law Enforcement and Firefighters Pension Plan (LEOFF) provides retirement benefits.

Requirements

The City of Bellingham requires an Associate's Degree or two years (90 quarter or 60 semester hours) of general education course work toward a degree at an accredited college or university. The minimum qualifications include U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident, valid Washington State Driver’s License, at least 21 years of age, and standards of physical condition including, but not limited to, physical fitness and vision 20/100 uncorrected each eye (corrected to 20/20).

Recruitment Process

The City of Bellingham is a classified Civil Service System using ranked eligibility lists developed from test scores to select final candidates for hire. The exam consists of a scored written test and a pass/fail physical fitness test. Additional procedures include background investigation, polygraph exam, drug screening, medical and psychological exams and department interview. Status in any other Civil Service System is not transferable to Bellingham.

The City of Bellingham partners with Public Safety Testing to provide full pre-employment testing services for the position of Police Officer Recruit. Candidates interested in applying can sign up to receive email notification when opportunities are posted.  Job Alerts

For more information, to fill out an application and schedule to test, go to Public Safety Testing, select Police and sign up for the Bellingham Police Department (available during the recruitment period).

What to expect at the Public Safety Testing website:

  • Completion of the application process.
  • Review all information related to the Bellingham Police Department police officer position, including minimum requirements, salary and benefits.
  • Detailed information about the testing process for both the entry level test and PAT testing.
  • Schedule your own convenient test time.
  • Take high quality job simulation tests in a standardized, fair testing environment.
  • Completion of the Public Safety Testing application.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  Persons with disabilities needing assistance in the application/examination process should contact Human Resources

More Information