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. This schedule has been well received since its inception, and aside from the outstanding balance between work and time off, it also provides our department with training opportunities that were not previously possible. One day a month is dedicated as a training day for each patrol group and allows officers to stay up to date on education and a host of skills necessary to provide a high level of service to our community.
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 119 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.
To find out more about Bellingham and discover what life is like off-duty in our great city, browse our visiting section.