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How To Become A Police Dispatcher In Texas

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How To Become A 911 Dispatcher

How to Become a 911 Dispatcher

Amelia Mueller News & Media

The emergency number field is diverse and offers a lot of opportunities to those who find their calling in it, but how does someone become a 911 dispatcher or call taker? At the end of January, the NCT911 training program launched its first ever virtual/in-person hybrid Regional Telecommunicator Academy, which trains brand new 911 dispatchers and call takers on the foundation training theyll need to be successful in their new careers. A 911 telecommunicator is the umbrella term for both 911 call takers, who typically answer 911 calls, and 911 dispatchers, who typically dispatch from the radio.

If youre researching the qualifications, skills, and education youll need to launch your career as a 911 dispatcher, look no further. Weve created this guide to help you on your 911 journey.

What qualifications will I need?

Before you start applying for 911 telecommunicator jobs, make sure you have or can obtain the necessary qualifications. For those searching in Texas, these are a little more strict than in other states.

Youll need:

What skill sets will help me succeed?

So, you know you have or can obtain the necessary qualifications, but what type of skills do you need to be hired as a 911 dispatcher? Some of these are pretty obvious, but there are a few characteristics of a good telecommunicator that may surprise you.

  • Balance
  • Customer Service
  • Typing Accuracy
  • Self Awareness
  • Resiliency

Where can I find a job as a 911 dispatcher?

Becoming Competitively Qualified To Work In Dallas

Besides meeting the basic requirement of having one year of emergency dispatcher or call-taker experience under your belt, you should also strive to distinguish yourself above your competition. There are several certification opportunities available in the Dallas area as well as through online organizations. These include:

While considering the training involved in becoming a 911 dispatcher in Dallas, you should also think about an associates or bachelors degree in a related field. This demonstrates a higher level of commitment to emergency dispatch and can facilitate an easier movement up the career ladder. These degrees can be obtained through a variety of online schools as well as at least seven college campus locations in Dallas proper, not including the Fort Worth combined metro area.

Keeping Up With Your Training

Although you are not required to complete continuing training as a 911 dispatcher in San Antonio once you have obtained the initial certifications, it is a good idea to keep up with the latest developments in your field. It is also not unlikely that future continuing education requirements could be implemented rules and regulations governing dispatchers in Texas do frequently change.

Besides improving your chances for career growth and promotion, obtaining continuing education in your field through organizations such as the Texas National Emergency Number Association will ensure you are doing all you can to be the best possible life-saver.

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Background Investigation And Reference Check

All candidates in the final stages of the hiring process will undergo a state agency mandated background investigation. Each candidate must complete a Background History Statement and provide six references. Candidates are expected to assist in ensuring their references respond to the Hiring Background Investigator. In addition, the background investigator will summarize in a written report: 1) the candidates employment and educational history 2) the candidates results for hiring process events 3) input from references, including independent references not provided by the applicant and 4) police records from other law enforcement and governmental agencies. The background investigator then makes a recommendation regarding suitability for the job and hiring of the candidate.

Texas Trooper Or Highway Patrol Requirements

Have what it takes? Brazos County hiring 911 dispatchers

Texas has approximately 225,544 miles of rural highways and the state depends on the Texas Highway Patrol to patrol those highways.2 The THP has over 2,100 commissioned officers and is divided into seven regions and 19 districts.2 In order to be eligible for a Texas state trooper position, prospective officers must satisfy state requirements and:

  • Be 21 years old upon graduation from the departments law enforcement academy
  • Have at least 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university*
  • Have uncorrected vision at the following levels: 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other eye, 20/30 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye or 20/20 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye.

*Applicants with prior law enforcement or military experience may substitute experience for required semester hours.

Training for the Texas Highway Patrol takes place at the Departments Law Enforcement Education Academy. The curriculum is made up of intense physical and academic classes across a span of 28 weeks. Troopers are paid a base salary of $55,481 per year while in training, $60,613 upon swearing-in, and $73,208 after a 12-month field training probation period, with regular increases thereafter.2 Note that the basic schedule for Texas state troopers assumes a 50-hour work week as the standard.

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Other Helpful Skills And Experience

Prospective police dispatchers should have strong multitasking abilities, since being a 911 dispatcher involves simultaneously taking calls, typing notes, and interacting with other emergency personnel. Police dispatchers should also have a calm demeanor and be able to cope with high levels of stress, as the job routinely involves intense mental pressure. 911 operators should be prepared to work first, second, or third shift especially in larger cities, there can be a higher demand for second and third shift dispatchers as more emergencies tend to occur during these hours. It is not uncommon for police dispatchers to work rotating shifts, including holidays and weekends. The ability to speak a second language fluently, especially Spanish, may give operators an edge in the hiring process. Finally, earning an associateâs or bachelorâs degree may increase an emergency dispatcherâs opportunities for promotion.

The Essential Guide To All The Job Requirements Needed To Become A 911 Dispatcher

911 dispatchers play a vital link in the emergency services as they act as the connection between law enforcements, medical services , and the people who need these services. You may not have ever needed the services of a 911 dispatcher, but the chances are you will have heard of the experiences had by these significant professionals. Of course, they are very stressful positions and not as laid-back as being someone in an administrative career however, they are essential and the job can be very rewarding. This article will provide information on how to become a 911 dispatcher and the different skills and training required to enter this industry.

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Texas Sheriff Deputy Requirements

Texas has 254 counties and each county elects a sheriff. The county sheriff is responsible for the county jail, court security, bail bonds, and civil process. Sheriffs deputies must meet the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement minimum requirements for law enforcement officers. The Sheriffs Association of Texas Training is responsible for training and certifying sworn officers who will be working for sheriffs offices in Texas.

Apply With The City Of Austin

How To Become A 911 Dispatcher Near Me

To apply for these positions, you can conduct a search for 911 dispatcher jobs in Austin on the citys employment vacancy website. The city provides an official 911 dispatcher job description online.

When applying for emergency operator positions with the city you will first need to create an online account. Along with your application you will need to:

  • Be able to type at least 40 words per minute
  • Pass a basic-skills test
  • Provide a copy of your high school transcript and DD-214 if applicable

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How To Become A Police Dispatcher

A police dispatcher is just one of many careers within the fields of law enforcement and emergency response. These professionals answer 9-1-1 calls, provide assistance and support over the phone and coordinate emergency help. If you are interested in serving your community and becoming a police dispatcher, there are some training and skills required for the job.

In this article, we explore what a police dispatcher does and how you can become one.

An Exciting Opportunity For People Who Don’t Get Too Excited

If you have the ability to stay calm under pressure, this job may be for you. Were looking for people with patience, the ability to convey reassurance, and a sincere desire to help people. In addition, successful candidates will have:

  • The ability to pass a thorough police background check and drug test
  • Average typing and spelling skills
  • The flexibility to work nights, weekends and holidays
  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent

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Fire And Police Dispatch Job Training

Many emergency call centers hire 911 operators with a high school diploma or GED. Some agencies may prefer that candidates have college experience though it may not be required, earning college credit can prepare prospective dispatchers to work with the various databases and software suites used in emergency response. However, nearly all police dispatcher positions require candidates to have at least one or two years of customer service experience, preferably in a fast-paced telecommunications environment. Those who wish to pursue police dispatcher jobs should also have above-average typing speeds without compromising accuracy.

Once hired, 911 dispatchers should expect to be in training for up to 18 months as they learn how to use their agencyâs emergency communications systems to respond to calls quickly and effectively. As part of this training, new operators will learn the basics of first respondersâ capabilities in order to understand how to prioritize and route personnel. Police dispatchers will learn basic first aid with a focus on being able to walk callers through performing CPR and similar life-saving measures when necessary. Training for fire and police dispatch jobs will also include learning how to operate a teletype machine in order to be able to take calls from the hearing impaired.

Job Description For Dispatcher

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Dispatcher assigns drivers and vehicles to convey freight or passengers to assigned destination. Coordinates and trains drivers according to and in compliance with DOT regulations and company rules. Being a Dispatcher provides updates to customers on delivery status. Tracks driver assignments and other shipping data in a computer database. Additionally, Dispatcher requires a high school diploma. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Dispatcher gains or has attained full proficiency in a specific area of discipline. Works under moderate supervision. To be a Dispatcher typically requires 1-3 years of related experience. …View full job description

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Eligibility Requirements For Telecommunicators/jailers

Dispatch and the city jail are essential to the daily operations of the Pasadena Police Department. The eligibility requirements for these positions are the beginning of the application process designed to identify and select personnel who can physically, mentally and intellectually meet the demands of working dispatch and/or the jail. A list of eligibility requirements can be viewed by clicking the Telecommunicator/Jailer requirements link.

Applicants seeking employment as a telecommunicator in dispatch must successfully pass a test designed to assess job-related skills in tasks such as data entry, multi-tasking, and decision making. Applicants for jailer positions must pass a reading comprehension and vocabulary test, as well as a typing test designed to gauge the applicant’s data entry skills.

Additional applicant screening includes a physical and psychological examination, polygraph examination, and an oral review board.

Overview Of Your Data Rights

Your data rights for personal data where we are the data controller.

You can review and enforce your personal data rights through your account, communications you receive from us, third party mechanisms, or with the assistance of our support team using the emails at the end of this Policy. For instance, you can:

Your data rights for personal data you submit to our Customers.

Upon making your personal data available to an employer , your personal data may be controlled by our Customer. In this regard, we are a data processor for personal data Customers maintain have us process, and your data rights are subject to our Customers internal policies. For these reasons, we are not in a position to directly handle data requests for personal data controlled by Customers. You should contact the Customer regarding personal data they may hold about you and to exercise any data rights you may have. We will cooperate with such inquiry in line with applicable law and our contractual obligations with the Customer.

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Tattoos Body Art & Branding

For new Killeen Police Department Probationary Police Officers, any tattoo, body art, or branding that displays any design, logo, or wording will be regulated in the following manner:

  • Any tattoo, body art, or branding that depicts or represents an idea or theme that is inconsistent with an officers Oath of Office or the mission of the police department is prohibited. Tattoos and body art that are offensive, inappropriate and unprofessional include, but are not limited to those that are, racist, sexually suggestive or explicit, or undermine the City or department values.
  • Tattoos, body art, and branding of the head, face, neck, scalp and hands are prohibited. Wedding ring tattoos will be acceptable in lieu of a traditional wedding ring.

Training Mandates Due By 08/31/2025

Becoming a 911 Dispatcher… The Hiring Process

Individuals not appointed with a department must go thru one of our Training Providers to complete the required training listed above. TCOLE will not accept training that is not thru one of our providers.

Licensed Peace Officers :

Current 2-year Training Unit: :

A minimum of 40 hours of training to include the current Legislative Update course #3187.

Current 4-year Training Cyclewithout

Additional mandated courses:

withinwithinwithin withinPRIORwithinexclusively

*This mandate overrides the afore mentioned Unit and Cycle requirements, but not the Additional Mandated Courses.

Deputy Constables:

In addition to the afore mentioned Licensed Peace Officer requirements, the Civil Process course must be completed each 4-yr training cycle.

*This mandate overrides the afore mentioned Unit and Cycle requirements, but not the Additional Mandated Courses.

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Is There A Way To Experience Call Dispatching Before Applying

Some call centers offer what is called a “sit-along.” With a sit-along, you can sit inside the call center with one of the agents and experience what their work is like. This is perhaps the best way to see if becoming a police dispatcher is something you would like to do. You should contact a dispatch center near you and see if they offer this opportunity. You may need to pass a background check before participating in a sit-along.

Opportunities For Specialization And Advancement

A telecommunicator may specialize in particular areas of emergency dispatch. An example would be tactical dispatch. Tactical dispatchers are specially trained to handle high-risk, low-frequency incidents.

Post-secondary schooling may facilitate advancement. The University of North Texas, for example, lists a bachelorâs degree in a related field among the preferred qualifications for Communications Supervisor/ Public Safety Specialist IV. Among the acceptable degrees are criminal justice, sociology, computer science, and business. Among the other preferred qualifications is bilingualism in English and Spanish.

Other degree options that may have application in the emergency communications field are emergency management, public administration, and training and development.

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How Are 911 Dispatchers Trained

If theres something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna call? Its definitely not Ghostbusters. Unlike the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, the greatest threats in our society are most definitely not ghosts, but everyday dangers, and circumstances.

In times that we need help, whether for life-threatening or stressful situations, there are people we can actually call to help us out, and theyre called emergency dispatch personnel. They are the humble people whose face we cannot see and are hardly recognized for their hard work.

Emergency dispatch personnel save thousands of lives every day by just picking up the phone and doing their best to help the person on the other side of the line. However, the only way they could do this is if they actually know how to do their job.

A rigorous training is necessary for someone to be able to think up the best recourse in dire situations. In life or death situations every second count. Hence, emergency dispatchers are trained to be able to think of a solution in the shortest time possible.

It is also important for a dispatcher to have excellent communication skills because it is their job to communicate critical information and coordinate the emergency personnel.

Texas 911 Operator Education

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911 dispatcher work in Texas is challenging and can be competitive. If you accomplish a four-year degree, this will give you an edge over the competition. The following subjects are considered highly relevant to the 911 dispatcher work:

Some degree programs offered throughout the state include:

  • Public Security
  • Emergency Management

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How To Get The Job


If you don’t have any relevant work experience, working in a customer service position for a while can help you qualify for a police dispatcher job.


You may need to take and pass a civil service test.


Look at job-search resources like,, and for available positions. You can also visit individual police departments and related agencies online or in-person to apply.

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