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Police Officer (BLEA Certified)

Location: Bellingham
Posted on: June 1, 2021

Job Description:

Nature of Work

This process is an open and continuous examination. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Candidates will be notified of their final rank and score regularly as incoming applications are reviewed.

This recruitment process will create a register that will be used to fill anticipated vacancies. This position is represented by a union.


This position performs fully responsible, professional general duty police work in the protection of life and property through the enforcement of laws and ordinances. After a period of formal and on-the-job training, employees in this class are responsible for independent law enforcement duties ranging from average to considerable difficulty and performed under general supervision of a sergeant or other ranking officer.

Work normally involves patrolling in an unaccompanied automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or foot patrol, and/or conducting detailed criminal investigations, traffic regulation, or community policing activities in a designated area on an assigned shift. Work involves a substantial element of danger and requires the responsible exercise of appropriate judgment in meeting critical emergency situations. Employees are sworn to act on behalf of the Police Department and the City of Bellingham and carry firearms in the performance of their duties.

Employees may be directed to work on, lead, or plan special projects or assignments which call upon specialized abilities and knowledge attained through experience as a uniformed officer. Work of this class may be reviewed by superior officers via personal inspection, reviews of reports and/or oral discussion.


  • Patrols a designated area of City on foot, bicycle, or in an automobile, motorcycle or small watercraft to investigate, deter and/or discover possible violations of criminal and vehicle (and/or boating) traffic laws, codes and/or ordinances. Maintains radio contact with the dispatch center.
  • Responds to calls, complaints or reports of the actual, possible or potential occurrence of specific criminal activity and takes appropriate action. This may include, but is not limited to, mediating civil disputes or interceding in domestic disturbances; maintaining peace; protecting persons; enforcing traffic laws; apprehending, controlling and arresting persons, including those who are violent and/or emotional; assisting disabled persons, motorists, and others; and providing information and direction.
  • Participates in community policing activities: gains familiarity with individuals, groups, businesses and special issues of assigned community; meets with and makes presentations to community groups; assists in neighborhood problem-solving projects; and sponsors public education programs and activities.
  • Administers immediate assistance to citizens in critical and/or emergency situations where the security of lives and/or property may be endangered. In the course of duty, officers are exposed to a range of physical injuries, accidents, child abuse, mental health concerns, or death where they may be required to administer first aid, CPR or other assistance prior to the arrival of emergency services, and to provide support to victims and families.
  • Secures and controls crime scenes and administers aid, may gather and/or supervise the collection of evidence and witness statements, and arrests or supervises the arrest(s) of suspects.
  • Appears in court to present evidence and testify against persons accused of crime; maintains or supervises surveillance over suspected criminals; arranges and/or participates in the return of fugitives from other cities or from outside the state.
  • Develops and maintains required skills through participation in intermediate or advanced training classes in law enforcement methodology, first aid, regular or special weapons/tactics and procedures and related subjects.


  • Engages in specialized investigative assignments (e.g., Forensics, Drug/Gang Task Force etc.).
  • Performs specialized assignments (e.g., Neighborhood Resource Officer, Behavioral Health Officer, Canine Unit, SWAT etc.).
  • Works with other law enforcement agencies on special policing assignments and events and/or multi-jurisdiction emergencies as directed.
  • Performs special operations work such as raids and searches as directed.
  • Performs related duties as directed.


Work is performed both indoors and outdoors in any and all property existing in the City of Bellingham and its environs. This involves working in a variety of environmental conditions and may require: walking, sitting or standing for long periods; running, climbing, jumping, or physical exertion in inclement weather; physical agility in slippery conditions, mountainous or uneven terrain, or in water. Officers work in unaccompanied automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or on foot patrol, maintaining contact with the dispatch center. There is exposure to high-risk situations which require emergency response procedures such as the use of masks, gloves, etc. to prevent contact with infectious diseases; and the use of protective clothing, equipment, firearms and other gear. While in uniform and/or driving a police vehicle, the Police Officer will not be allowed to use or display any tobacco product. Officers work rotating shifts including evenings, weekends and holidays.

Officers work a unique shift called 10/40, consisting of 10 hr. 40 minutes per day. Officers work the following schedule: 5 days on, 4 days off, 5 days on, 5 days off. More information on this shift schedule will be provided during the interview stage of the process.

Physical abilities to perform the essential functions of the job including:

  • Physical strength to restrain and control persons and physically defend self;
  • Manual dexterity to operate a motor vehicle or handle tools and guns in the performance of assigned tasks, including keyboarding, grasping and reaching.
  • Occasionally lift, push, carry and pull materials, objects or persons weighing up to 100 lbs using proper lifting techniques;
  • Frequently sit, stand, walk, drive a vehicle or ride a bicycle;
  • Occasionally run, jump, climb, balance, kneel, crawl or crouch;
  • Frequently communicate verbally;
  • Uncorrected vision in either eye of 20/100 or better, vision able to be corrected to 20/20 in better eye and 20/30 in lesser eye.
  • Visual acuity including closeness, distance, color, peripheral and depth perception, with the ability to adjust focus and to read a computer screen and typewritten page.

Experience and Training

  • 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.
  • Successful completion of Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) Basic Law Enforcement Academy and active commission.
  • Bilingual proficiency highly desirable.

Necessary Special Requirements

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

PLEASE NOTE: Failure to meet the following qualifications on the medical exam is reason for rejection:

Uncorrected vision in either eye of 20/100 or better.

Vision able to be corrected to 20/20 in the better eye and 20/30 in the lesser eye.

Defective color vision or depth perception.

NOTE: The urinalysis drug screen, background investigation and polygraph examination includes a review of illegal drug use. A history of using illegal drugs, considering the nature and recentness of these offenses, may be grounds for disqualification for this position.

Selection Process

You are encouraged to print a copy of this job announcement for your reference as the process moves along

As part of the application, the following items are required to be submitted:

  • A Cover Letter addressing the following questions:
  • Why do you want to be a Police Officer?
  • Why do you want to join the Bellingham Police Department?
  • What do you know about Bellingham and why do you want to serve this community?

  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcripts from accredited college or university including legend/explanation of credit hour conversion (an unofficial transcript is required for all schools attended)

Please ensure your application is complete and all required information has been provided. Standard completeness means all application fields (contact information, personal information, education, work experience, references, and required supplemental questions). The information provided in your application must support your selected answers in the supplemental questionnaire. Provide as much detail as you believe will fully describe your experience and training.

Cover letters and resumes are not reviewed to determine if your application meets minimum qualifications. Supplemental Questionnaire responses not supported in your application will disqualify you from consideration for this position.

Application Review Process: Candidates will be notified of their final rank and score regularly as incoming applications are reviewed.

  • Minimum Qualifications: Applicants must provide specific, detailed information so an initial determination can be made regarding your level of qualifications for this position.
  • Supplemental Question Review: Applicants that meet minimum qualifications will go through a Supplemental QuestionReview.Relevancy of your experience and training, together with composition, grammar, spelling and punctuation will be considered when evaluating responses. Applicants must receive a passing score of 70% or greater.
  • Applicants will be notified via email of Final Scores & Ranks. The final ranking of the register will be based on total scores from the Supplemental Question Review (100%).

The final candidates will be referred to the department for additional assessment. Eligible candidates will also be required to complete a Personal History Questionnaire.

Applicants who failed probation, were terminated, resigned in lieu of termination, are about to be terminated, or would not be considered for rehire by their current or former department or agency, may not be eligible for this position.

Each candidate placed on the Civil Service Eligibility Register will remain on the register for 6 months from the date of their placement on the register.

Example: John Smith was placed on the eligibility register on April 24, 2021 and will remain on the register through October 23, 2021 while Sue Jones was placed on the eligibility register on May 10, 2021 and will remain on the register through November 9, 2021.

Please Note: Candidates will receive updates regarding application status via email. Please be sure to check your email frequently.

Equal Opportunity:

Our environment is characterized by respect for cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and ethnic diversity. The City of Bellingham is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its work force. We do not make decisions on the basis of an individual's race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age (40+), disability, retaliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. All are encouraged to apply for employment.

Keywords: BELLINGHAM CITY OF, Bellingham , Police Officer (BLEA Certified), Other , Bellingham, Washington

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