Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Is It Hard To Become A Police Dispatcher

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Pass A Background Check

Becoming a Dispatcher | What is the Job like?

All potential law enforcement and emergency response professionals are required to complete and pass a background check during the application process. Police dispatchers will also have a background check due to the sensitivity of their role, including their access information through the Criminal Justice Information Services .

A background check typically includes the following elements:

Criminal history

This includes any convictions and arrests. In most cases, felony convictions can make you ineligible for a police dispatcher role. But minor charges may be up to the discretion of the employing call center. The background check will also search the criminal and terrorist watch lists.

Family history

In some cases, the applicant will also need to provide information about their immediate family. This may include personal information to review criminal history for those individuals as well. The background check may also examine your child support history and remove applicants who were found delinquent.


A polygraph test is a series of questions while hooked up to a machine that lets the test administrator know if you’re telling the truth. The polygraph isn’t often used for police dispatcher jobs, but in some cases, they may want to verify your information as a part of their hiring process.

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You Will Get Personally Invested In Your Calls

We got a call from a woman who thought she was about to be robbed at gunpoint. There was a prowler outside her house, and it was my job to direct the cops there and keep her calm. But I was just a hair away from freaking out myself, because I knew that at any second there could be the sound of breaking glass, followed by the woman screaming. It’s like watching a horror movie while knowing that it’s all happening for real across town. See if you don’t yell at the screen a bit then.


This was one of the most emotional cases of my career. I had an officer en route, and after a few minutes he told us he was on scene, so I told the caller to open her front door and go outside to meet him. She walked out and told me there was no one outside. I asked the officer where he was and it turned out he’d lied, for whatever reason, and was still a few minutes out. Officer Round-to-the-Nearest-Hour was dicking about God knows where, and this lady had just opened her door and walked out into prowler territory. She freaked out, and all I could do was tell her to get back inside and lock the door. My inclination was to say, “The police officer just put you in danger and you should sue the police department,” but instead I said he was “around back” and kept that charade up until Officer Mosey casually wandered onto the scene.

Once she hung up, I told my supervisor what had happened and then went outside to scream for several minutes. That’s because …

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Question #: What Would You Do If You Received A Call From An Unresponsive Caller

In some instances, a 911 caller won’t be able to communicate their emergency to you. When interviewing as a 911 operator, interview questions regarding these unresponsive callers will come up. It’s critical that you know how to answer these types of scenario-based dispatcher interview questions to be considered for the job. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Think about a time when you had an unresponsive caller at a previous job. What did you do?
  • If you have dispatcher experience, but never had an unresponsive caller, what were you trained to do?
  • If you have never worked as a dispatcher, think about what you might do.

How You Could Answer

“When I think of an unresponsive caller, I usually think of someone who is suffering from a medical event such as cardiac arrest. The caller can’t communicate the situation over the phone but needs urgent help. There are other cases where a caller may need to stay silent due to domestic violence or home invasion. If the call is coming from a landline, I would dispatch the police to the exact location. Otherwise, I would dispatch the police to the area where a cellphone call is picked up by nearby towers.”

Can’t Get Any Better Than That

How to Become a Police Dispatcher

When he was in North Dakota working in the oil and gas sector, becoming a 9-1-1 Police Dispatcher was the furthest thing from Andrés mind. But, he did want to get back to Canada, so he started to do a little research on what job opportunities there were back home.

He discovered that BC was looking for 9-1-1 Police Dispatchers. He read the work description on the BC RCMP website and something clicked. He thought that this job would fit his personality perfectly. The work was dynamic and fast paced. Thats what he was looking for.

Previously, André had been in the Coast Guard, an actor, and he even owned a restaurant, so he obviously was accustomed to change and diversity. He applied, trained, and for the past five years, has been a dispatcher at the Island 9-1-1 Dispatch Centre in Courtenay.

This career is the closest thing to a than any other work I have done, says André. Its well suited to me.

André also liked the idea of being a vital part of the RCMP family. After all, his father was a Mountie who retired after 30 years. His father was posted in communities across Canada but, as the youngest of four children, his father had settled into his final posting in New Brunswick so André grew up in Fredericton.

Dispatchers definitely know all about change. While there is some repetition in the job, every call is unique.

André credits being part of a cohesive team of good people that makes the job fun, light, and far more enjoyable.

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Now Hiring: Police Technician

Are you looking for a career in Law Enforcement which provides essential support to the department? Do you have an interest in performing a wide variety of tasks including maintaining records, property and evidence, and taking reports? The Santa Rosa Police Department is looking for enthusiastic and responsible applicants for the entry-level position of Police Technician. We offer paid on-the-job training and the opportunity to provide a vital service to the community. This recruitment is open now through November 22, 2021. Apply Now!

Srpmic Seeking Applicants For Public Safety Dispatcher

If you have good communication skills and a desire to help people and make a difference in your community, a Salt River Public Safety dispatcher job could be for you.

The Salt River Police Department is currently looking to fill one supervisor position and six dispatcher positions. Community members are invited to apply to join what SRPD Public Safety Communications Manager Kimberly Clark calls a close family.

We have a motto, said Clark. Were small enough to be family, but large enough to be a professional.

There is currently one Community member on staff, who works as a supervisor. Being a dispatcher is not for everyone. Understandably, handling emergency calls that may involve people you know, or even your own loved ones, can be difficult.

The qualifications to become an SRPD public safety dispatcher are a GED/high school diploma, at least one year of customer service experience, the ability to type 35 words per minute, being able to multitask, and passing the CritiCall test, a computer-based and skills-based test for potential public safety dispatchers.

All dispatchers start with call-taking and will eventually go through a two-week Basic Dispatch Academy. This is followed by the Fire Dispatch Academy and fire dispatch training, then the Police Dispatch Academy and police dispatch training.

Clark said that it takes on average 10 to 12 months for someone to complete full training for the different aspects of dispatching: police, fire, 911 and detail.

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When You Call Matters A Lot

When we’re short-staffed, there’s nothing to do but stay at your station, even if you need to pee. Try not to think of your 911 operator urinating into a Mountain Dew bottle while you recount your tragic water slide accident. When the storm of the century hits? I still have to get to work. Even if my car’s stuck in the driveway, they’ll find someone with a 4×4 and push it out. 911 does not get snow days.

The second shift is from around 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., so it’s obviously the busiest shift, and all the folks with seniority got their asses transferred away as soon as possible. This means the most experienced dispatchers aren’t around during the busiest hours. And hey, that’s like most other workplaces. The folks with seniority are going to use their seniority to make work suck less. Unfortunately, our “work” happens to be “dealing with terrible calamities,” and if those calamities happen at the wrong time, there could be nothing but a room full of newbies to help. It’s not exactly comforting to be on the phone screaming “There’s fire everywhere — oh God, the bees! Not the bees! Arghhblgg!” and be met with “Bear with me, sir, it’s my first day.”

Avoid Mission Impossible Jobs

911 Dispatcher – A Day in the Life

Mission Impossible jobs are activities or tasks that leave the driver little to no room for error. They are the deliveries with tight deadlines, which give the driver no margin for error. These unrealistic and rushed assignments can create animosity and tension between dispatchers and drivers and risk the reputation of the company.

Instead, plan trips with some compliance cushion and all parties will be satisfied.

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What Degree Do You Need

High School Diploma

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become 911 Operators or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked 911 Operators what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Most police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers have a high school diploma.

Top 3 Ambulance Dispatcher Jobs

  • SUPERVISING AMBULANCE DISPATCHERThe County of Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA

    SUPERVISING AMBULANCE DISPATCHER Print ( Apply SUPERVISING AMBULANCE DISPATCHER Salary $53,849.52 – $72,570.72 Annually Location Los Angeles County, CA Job Type Full time Department HEALTH SERVICES …

  • Communications DispatcherLifeguard Ambulance ServiceSanta Rosa, CA

    Under the supervision of the REDCOM Communications Supervisor, the Dispatcher is responsible for … ambulance , QRV, fire engine, paramedic engine, or ladder truck.MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: ⢠High …

  • DispatcherAmbulnz80041, CO

    Together with Ambulnz, the first technology-enabled, on-demand ambulance dispatch , DocGo delivers the last mile of at-home medical care. While basic telehealth companies are limited to virtual visits …

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Police Dispatcher Duties & Responsibilities

Make no mistake, working as a dispatcher can be incredibly stressful. Dispatchers are often responsible for doing double duty as 911 operators. They take calls for service then send law enforcement to the scene. Dispatchers have a variety of duties, such as the following:

  • Acting as the first point of contact for people in desperate need of help, people who may not even be coherent when they make the call
  • Make sense of what the caller is dealing with
  • Make sure people get the exact emergency services they need
  • Monitor and record the location of on-duty police officers
  • Take both 911 and non-emergency calls for service
  • Perform driver’s license and wanted-person queries
  • Assign case numbers and record case notes
  • Use computers and computer-aided dispatch
  • Monitor police radio traffic
  • Dispatch patrol officers to calls for service
  • Provide assistance to officers by contacting other services as needed

The Entry Level: Certification Training & Degree

Fresno PD looks to hire 911 dispatchers

In most Dispatcher roles, employees will be required to have a high school diploma or GED for education requirements. Some Dispatchers may have an associates degree or some other form of higher education, but it usually isnt required for this career. Entry-level Dispatchers will most likely have to complete some form of training to be prepared for the job.

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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.

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.

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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.

Identify Job Duties And Understand Essential Skills

‘It’s just call after call’: California 911 dispatcher News

Although 911 is a universal system throughout the United States, the job duties of 911 dispatchers may differ, depending on the PSAP they work for. Some PSAPs hire both call takes and dispatchers, with these two professions requiring their own set of job duties. Before applying to become a 911 dispatcher, it is important to carefully review the specific job duties of the position, which may be found on the PSAPs website or through a formal job posting.

The general job duties of a 911 dispatcher include:

  • Questioning callers to determine their location and the nature of the emergency
  • Receiving incoming telephone calls regarding fire, police and emergency medical services
  • Determining response requirements and placing priorities on situations
  • Recording details of all calls, dispatches and messages
  • Retrieving and entering data from teletype networks and computerized data systems
  • Contacting emergency response field units to determine their availability for dispatch

In addition to basic job requirements, job postings for 911 dispatchers commonly detail the essential skills and knowledge associated with the position. It is important that candidates review these requirements to ensure their skills are in line with the demands of the job.

911 dispatchers must:

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What Typing Speed Do You Need To Be A 911 Operator

Typing Speed

You, as the dispatcher, are expected to hear, understand and type everything down into the computer as its being said. Its not unheard of that dispatchers type 90 words per minute plus. Thats a skill that stays with you even when youre no longer on the floor.

The Dispatcher Career Roadmap

Entry-level Dispatchers may shadow and train with a more experienced employee until they have completed training and feel comfortable handling calls. Many people start as truck Dispatchers or delivery Dispatchers, which is a little less high stress than an emergency Dispatcher. Once an employee has had a couple of years of experience built up, they may become senior dispatchers or supervisors.

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