Lateral and Entry-Level Police Officer

City of Bellingham - Bellingham, Washington

Jun 2, 2020

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Application Deadline:
Dec 1, 2020

Salary Information

Entry Level:
$5,408 monthly
Academy Graduate:
$5,949 monthly
Lateral Transfer:
$5,949.00 - $7,654.00 (Placement determined by years of completed service) (Plus premiums) monthly
Top Pay:
$7,654 (plus premiums) monthly

Job Description

The City of Bellingham is currently accepting applications for Lateral and Entry-Level Police Officer. Click here to apply!

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.

Lateral Police Officer:

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Candidates will be notified of their final rank and score regularly as incoming applications are reviewed. Current closing date is 10/23/2020

Out of State Lateral Police Officers attend a two-week training course at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission located in Burien, WA. (For more information, visit their website)

Pay Placement: Experienced Police Officer hires will be placed in the current pay plan at the rate of one pay step for each completed year of service up to a maximum of the top step of the appropriate pay scale. (Current Pay Schedule)

Lateral Police Officers will be given vacation credit prospectively for each completed year of service as a sworn police officer prior to hire by the City of Bellingham, up to a maximum of ten years.

Entry-Level Police Officer:

Applicants interested in this position must complete testing through Public Safety Testing. Please visit the Public Safety Testing website. Applicants must complete the written exam through Public Safety Testing prior to the testing deadline. Please see the current City of Bellingham Police Officer Recruit posting for the current testing window by clicking here.

Due to COVID-19, if you are unable to complete the Physical Ability Test prior to the testing deadline, you will have to complete and pass the Physical Ability Test at a later date in order to continue in this selection process.


City of Bellingham Police Officers are eligible for the following benefits:

  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • All employees shall receive or be paid for the equivalent of 12(8 hour) holidays totaling 96 hours annually
  • Retirement - LEOFF retirement benefits through the Washington State Retirement Systems
  • Deferred Compensation
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Uniforms and Equipment - City provided
  • Educational Incentives- AA Degree or 90 quarter/60 semester college credits: 1.5% of current base salary. Bachelor’s Degree: 5% of current base salary.

This position is represented by the Police Guild.

Additional Information

Full Performance Police Officers start in the patrol division. 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 website 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.

The Bellingham Police Department is committed to community and believes that strong relationships are developed through effective communication and shared perspectives. Our YouTube video series was started as a means of sharing information during a time of social distancing and encouraging conversation about issues that are impacting our community. When we look to the future of the Bellingham Police Department, we see an organization where:

  • Employee and public safety is a priority.
  • Employees and volunteers are highly trained, equipped with the latest technology, and recognized for their performance.
  • Adequate and dedicated funding is in place. We are fiscally responsible and efficient users of the funds and resources entrusted to us by the public.
  • Employees demonstrate professionalism, consistent with our mission statement and core values.

Job Requirements

  • Age: Minimum Age 21
  • Education: Associate's Degree or two years (90 quarter hours/60 semester hours) of general education course work toward a degree at an accredited college or university.
  • Experience: Please see below for Lateral and Entry-Level Police Officer requirements:

Lateral Police Officer Requirements:

  • Twenty-four (24) months of full-time paid duty as a sworn police officer in a federal, state or local civilian governmental jurisdiction providing general law enforcement services, and be in said position at the time of application, or retain active commission.
  • Graduation from an approved law enforcement training academy and ability to meet standards prescribed by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for equivalency.
  • Lateral applicants currently employed and meeting physical standards as police officers in another jurisdiction are accepted as able to meet the physical requirements of the job.

Requirements for Lateral and Entry-Level Police Officer:

  • Bilingual proficiency highly desirable.

  • Employment contingent upon passing a criminal convictions check, background investigation, polygraph examination and fingerprinting. Subject to re-check every five years.

  • Employment contingent upon passing a psychological and general medical evaluation.

  • Employment contingent upon passing a pre-employment drug test.

  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, Red Cross certification for Infant/Child and Adult CPR and Standard First Aid.

  • Valid Washington State driver's license or ability to obtain within 30 days of Washington State residency and good driving record. A three-year driving abstract must be submitted prior to hire, with periodic submission of driving abstract per City policy.

  • Attainment of the age of 21 years.

  • U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident. Washington State residency by time of hire.

  • No record of felony convictions.

  • Misdemeanor convictions will also be reviewed. A misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant but offenses, by their nature and recentness, may reveal a lack of specific qualifications for this position.

  • Police Officer Recruits (Entry-Level) must successfully complete the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

    NOTE: A standard 12-month Civil Service probationary period applies for all officers following placement into the Full Performance Police Officer classification.

Contact Informaton

Jason Monson

City of Bellingham
Bellingham, Washington 98225
phone: 360 778 8838

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