Chapter 2.24


2.24.010    Chief appointment.

2.24.020    Exemption of chief and assistant chief.

2.24.030    Powers and duties.

2.24.040    Special and reserve police.

2.24.050    Reserve police officers – Participation in volunteer firefighters’ relief and pension plan.

2.24.055    Warrant officers.

2.24.060    Forfeiture of firearms – Disposition.

2.24.010 Chief appointment.

There is a police department, headed by a chief of police appointed by the mayor. [Ord. 8371 § 1(a), 1975; Code 1980 at § 1.76.010].

2.24.020 Exemption of chief and assistant chief.

There is a chief of police and an assistant chief of police, appointed in the department, who shall be exempt from civil service. [Ord. 8371 § 1(b), 1975; Code 1980 at § 1.76.020].

2.24.030 Powers and duties.

The police department has all such authority, responsibility, and duties as are normal to municipal police departments, including, but not limited to, maintenance of the peace, issuance of citations, arrest and detention of persons committing criminal offenses or who are mentally ill, investigation of criminal activity, establishment and maintenance of intelligence files, production of scientific evidence, crime prevention, animal control, and such other duties as are set by ordinance of the city or by the laws of the state. [Ord. 8371 § 1(c), 1975; Code 1980 at § 1.76.030].

2.24.040 Special and reserve police.

There shall be such reserve police officer and limited police commission appointments as shall be authorized by the chief of police whenever such appointments will serve and assist the police department in maintaining adequate police protection and other law enforcement services. Reserve officers shall have as to the law enforcement duties assigned to them the same full power to issue citations and make arrests as the regular police officers of the city. A reserve police officer shall receive such training as is deemed appropriate and perform such duties as are specified by the chief of police, but shall receive no compensation for performing such training or duties. Limited police commissioned personnel shall have those limited enforcement powers as are specifically designated in the appointment by the chief of police. The appointment of reserve officers and limited police commissions may be revoked at the sole discretion of the chief of police. [Ord. 10672, 1995; Ord. 9707, 1987; Ord. 8371 § 1(d), 1975].

2.24.050 Reserve police officers – Participation in volunteer firefighters’ relief and pension plan.

The city of Bellingham shall allow qualifying reserve police officers to participate in the volunteer firefighters’ relief and pension plan, administered by the State Board for Volunteer Firefighters, under option 3 as provided in RCW 41.24.410, which option provides that the city will count and pay the cost of all credit for service as a reserve officer and pay pension fees at the option of the member, who must agree to pay his/her portion of the fees plus interest, at an actuarial rate to be determined by the state board. Any portion of the back fees may be assigned by the municipality to be paid by the member. [Ord. 1998-11-083].

2.24.055 Warrant officers.

A. The position of warrant officer is hereby established in the Bellingham police department as authorized by Washington Laws of 2015, Chapter 288, Section 1. The warrant officers shall have special limited authority as provided for in this section.

B. The Bellingham police department is authorized to employ up to two warrant officers.

C. Minimum qualifications for the position of warrant officer include: be at least 21 years of age; type 30 words per minute; satisfactorily complete a Bellingham police department background investigation, including a polygraph examination, a criminal convictions records check, and a psychological exam; possess a valid Washington State driver’s license; submit a satisfactory three-year driving abstract; and satisfy any established training requirements by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

D. Warrant officers shall have the special limited authority to: make arrests authorized by warrant or other court orders; serve civil and criminal court orders, including protection orders, no contact orders, restraining orders, and anti-harassment orders; serve subpoenas; transport to and book arrested persons into jail; extradite and transport prisoners; provide security for the Bellingham municipal court; and all duties ancillary to the aforementioned authority. The warrant officers shall also have the authority to perform other duties for the Bellingham police department that do not require the authority of a fully commissioned police officer.

E. Training requirements for warrant officers shall be established by the chief of police and approved by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

F. Warrant officers shall not be entitled to death, disability, or retirement benefits pursuant to Chapter 41.26 RCW on the basis of service as a warrant officer as described in this section. [Ord. 2015-07-028 § 1].

2.24.060 Forfeiture of firearms – Disposition.

The chief of police shall administer the disposition of firearms forfeited pursuant to RCW 9.41.098 and shall promulgate such policies and procedures as are necessary to provide for disposition. Any proceeds of an auction or trade of forfeited firearms shall be paid into the police pension fund, as long as it is in existence, or the city general fund. [Ord. 1999-01-002].