Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife - Communications Officer/Dispatcher

The primary role of the WDFW Communications Officer is to conduct dispatch services, focusing on officer and public safety by answering emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and coordinating responses and dispatch services of commissioned general authority enforcement field officers. Communications Officers are required to multi-task to ensure officer safety and facilitate prompt response to incidents involving the public's safety. Additional duties require customer service and referral to achieve compliance with laws relating to fish and wildlife, providing responsive public service, promptly resolving human-wildlife interaction conflicts, and forming partnerships with the public and peer agencies to benefit fish and wildlife.

We are located at the WDFW's "WILDCOMM" Statewide Communications Center at the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, WA. This is a law enforcement dispatch and communications system open 7 days a week, from 7AM to 5PM. Our Communications Officers are part of the Enforcement Program which currently employs about 160 full-time employees. Of these, 140 are commissioned FWOs, which include a Chief, Deputy-Chief, Captains, Detectives, Sergeants, and Officers. Currently, 88% of the Enforcement Program staff is field deployed. Communications Officers work 40 hours per week, to include weekends.

Communications Officers must maintain tactical oversight of an incident until resolved and produce a record in applicable communications activity computer systems. Communications Officers must be capable of transmitting and receiving radio communications from field personnel.  

The following are automatic and potential disqualifiers. Applicants should not apply to our agency if they indicate any of the automatic disqualifiers. Potential disqualifiers will be considered on a case by case basis.


Category Disqualifier
Automatic DUI within five years. Also includes reduced charges (e.g. negligent driving).
Automatic Pattern of traffic violations and/or auto accidents in the past five years or while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
Potential Applicant's driving record.

Drug Usage

Category Disqualifier
Automatic Use of marijuana in the last 3 months.
Automatic Illegal drug use other than marijuana in the last 3 years, unless there was an immediate, emergency medical circumstance to justify the use of a prescription controlled substance not prescribed to the person.
Automatic Illegal drug use while employed in a criminal justice capacity
Automatic Manufacture, sale, transporting for sale, or facilitating the sale of illegal drugs (unless under 21 at the time AND the act occurred more than 10 years from the date of application).
Potential Pattern or history of drug use.
Potential Illegal drug use while serving in the military.
Potential Note:
Drug schedules 1-5 derived from RCW 69.50.204, RCW 69.50.206, RCW 69.50.208, RCW 69.50.210 and RCW 69.50.212

"Possession" is defined as having actual physical control of any illegal (non-prescribed) drug for personal use or otherwise.

"Use" is defined as trying, testing, or experimenting, which includes, but is not limited to tasting, smoking, injecting, absorbing, sniffing, or inhaling.

Criminal Activity

Category Disqualifier
Automatic Any felony conviction.
Automatic Any criminal conviction while employed as a criminal justice professional.
Automatic Conviction for any crime under a domestic violence statute.
Potential Adult misdemeanor convictions.
Potential Pattern of Fish and Wildlife and/or natural resource violations.


Category Disqualifier
Automatic Dishonorable discharge from the United States armed forces.
Automatic Falsification of the application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during hiring process.
Automatic Previous revocation or denial of any CJTC/POST certified status, or suspension of current CJTC/POST certified status.
Automatic Any termination or resignation in lieu of termination, from a law enforcement agency.
Potential Any termination or resignation in lieu of termination, from any job.
Potential Substandard performance evaluations.
Potential Civil litigation while employed in a criminal justice capacity.


Category Disqualifier
Automatic Failure to pay income tax or child support.
Potential Current credit accounts in collection or unresolved accounts in collection.


Category Disqualifier
Potential Any conduct or pattern of behavior that would tend to disrupt, diminish or otherwise jeopardize public trust in the law enforcement profession.
Automatic No Personal History Statement.
Potential Candidates with any tattoos that are deemed offensive may be disqualified.
Potential Incomplete Personal History Statement, or inaccurate/outdated information provided in Personal History Statement.
Potential Pattern of fish and wildlife violations