Police Dispatcher Employment Information


Police dispatchers answer all 911 calls for Whatcom County. If it is a fire or medical emergency, the caller is transferred to the Fire Dispatch Center. All other calls are processed by the dispatcher who determines the nature, urgency, and jurisdiction of the call. What-Comm dispatchers dispatch for 9 law enforcement agencies; Bellingham Police, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Blaine Police, Ferndale Police, Everson Police, Lynden Police, Sumas Police, Lummi Tribal Police, and Nooksack Tribal Police. Dispatchers enter information from the caller into a computer aided dispatch (CAD) software program and dispatch the appropriate emergency responders. Dispatchers monitor responders, process requests, and continually update CAD with the status of responders and associated incidents. Dispatchers require the ability to handle stressful situations in a calm manner. They often deal with very upset callers who are having their worst day. Dispatchers must possess excellent communication skills, customer service skills, and be able to perform multiple complex tasks simultaneously. They must be able to listen to callers and the radio while typing information into CAD. Speed and accuracy are essential. The 911 center is a 24/7 operation. Individuals hired to work as a police dispatcher are required to work any assigned shift. Shifts include day-shift, swing-shift, and nightshift. Shift change occurs every 2 months.

Salary and Benefits

  • What-Comm Dispatcher-in-Training: $25.69
  • What-Comm Dispatcher: Starting rate is $27.24/hr. Full hourly range is $27.24 – $33.49.

The City of Bellingham offers a competitive salary and excellent benefit package to include medical, dental, vision and life insurance. The City also offers excellent vacation, holiday, and sick leave benefits. This position will participate in the State of Washington Employees’ Retirement System plan.


  • A minimum of one (1) year experience in a position dealing with the public in stressful or time-sensitive situations is required.
  • Keyboard entry skills at a minimum of 40 wpm NET required.

Necessary Special Requirements

  • Must be able to pass a hearing evaluation prior to hire.
  • Must have a telephone at place of residence.
  • Must be able and willing to work any shift and special shifts as assigned.
  • Must pass a police criminal convictions records check, background investigation, psychological exam and polygraph exam, and medical screening prior to hire. 

 Recruitment Process

The City of Bellingham partners with Public Safety Testing to provide full pre-employment testing services for the position of WhatComm Police Dispatcher. 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 WhatComm Police Dispatcher (available during the recruitment period).