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Job Descriptions

The tasks and duties that encompass jobs in public safety communications are variable from agency to agency, and from position to position. The following sections were taken from actual job announcements for public safety dispatcher. They are typical of the tasks and jobs that a public safety dispatcher is required to perform.

Also view the current job listings, which often contain full, technical job descriptions or attached Acrobat (pdf) files.

Uses a computer-aided dispatch system, receive emergency calls from the public requesting police, fire, medical or other emergency services. Determine the nature and location of the emergency; determine priorities, and dispatch police, fire ambulance or other emergency units as necessary and in accordance with established procedures. Receive and process 911 emergency calls, maintain contact with all units on assignment, maintain status and location of police and fire units. Monitor direct emergency alarms, answer non-emergency calls for assistance. Enter, update and retrieve information from a variety of computer systems. Receive requests for information regarding vehicle registration, driving records and warrants, and provides pertinent data. Monitor several complex public safety radio frequencies. Operate a variety of communications equipment, including radio consoles, telephones and computer systems.

Communications Dispatchers perform a full range of radio and telephone operational duties in this 24-hour facility. Dispatchers are required to process and prioritize incoming calls for police, fire and EMS assistance.

Supervisor—Performs as shift supervisor/lead dispatcher for any assigned shift within police or fire comunications center. Provides supervision of subordinate personnel, to include the assignment/review of work. Prepares input to performance evaluations, receives/dispatches routine/emergency telephone calls/radio communicationsfrom/to citizens, patrol units, other law enforcement, fire and rescue, or other public safety agencies. Acts as shift supervisor in dispatching personnel and equipment in emergencies using established protocols. Operates a variety of communicaitons equipment, operates an electronic telephone console, receives emergency calls and provides information to the public. Prepares and maintains accurate records and logs of all radio transmissions, telephone calls and other records, files, information systems. Types information on a computer keyboard to process or update information accurately. Operates computer inquiry terminal to obtian information on persons and vehicles through related database systems.

Under supervision, provides communication and support services to the police and fire departments. Inputs and accesses information automated law enforcement systems. Coordinates dispatching of emergency police, fire and other public safety equipment by receiving and transmitting radio calls. Inputs and retrieves computer data quickly. Types letters, forms and reports on computer keyboards. Processes emergency requests for service. Answers questions and provides information to the publc over the telephone. Makes entries into automated record files. Maintains accurate, up-to-date files and logs. Relates effecively to those contacted in the course of work. Prepares reports as required. Uses good judgment in making decisions, in emergency and routine situations. Performs other duties as required. May act as a police matron/jailer. Public safety dispatchers work rotating shift assignments including weekends and holidays, and are assigned to work one of the shs in a 24-hours period.

This is the journey level class in the Commmunications Dispatcher series. Under general supervision, Communications Dispatchers II perform the full range of radio-telephone operational duties in a 24-hour facility.

Receives and records emegency and routine business calls. Dispatches city emergency forces and/or other resource agencies, in accordance with prescribed procedures, often requiring immediate independent judgement. Operates CAD equipment. Monitors and operates multiple police and fire frequencies. Monitors and operates silent alarm panel and notifies responsible parties. Coducts inquiries on individuals using the automated wants and warrants system. Provides the public with basic instructions to safeguard persons in hazardous conditions prior to arrival of trained fire and police personnel. Performs routine clerical work as required. Performs other related duties as assigned.


Salary range: $1,334-$1,401-$1,471-$1,545-$1,622 bi-weekly plus benefits.

Note: A $5 application processing fee is required for each employment application submitted to the city. The fee must be paid at the time the application is submitted. Should you be invited for an examination, an additional processing fee of $5.00 will be required. A fee waiver form is acceptable for applicants who self-certify their inability to pay due to financial hardship. Applications will not be processed without the fee or waiver.

The Police Technician II-Dispatcher performs non-sworn police work and support dudes such as public safety dispatch, community relations and property and evidence operations. Performs other related work as required and may on an occasional and temporary basis be assigned duties normally performed by other non-sworn uniformed employees. Examples of duties- Handles Inquiries Involving police, fire, and medical emergencies; receives emergency and routine calls for service; dispatches police, fire and emergency medical units; operates computer-aided dispatch system; makes Inquiries and entries through local, state and federal Information computer systems; operates personal computers using word processing and desktop publishing programs; collects and processes evidence; dusts for fingerprints and performs identification tasks; photographs or graphically records physical and biological evidence at crime or accident scenes; performs darkroom functions; provides care and control of property and evidence for police and court purposes; prepares cases for and testifies in court; complies information, makes statistical calculations and prepares reports; assists city personnel In conducting auctions; may assist in training new dispatchers and in jail and custody operations.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: To be considered, applicants must possess the following entrance requirements. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the Eligible list. This Is a competitive examination where a candidate’s performance in the examination will be judged in comparison with the performance of other candidates. Note: The Eligible List created from this exam may be used to fill similar positions, If the need should arise.

EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE: I . Any combination equivalent to graduation from high school, and; 2.Two (2) years of responsible full-time working experience. 3. Type from clear printed copy at a speed of 35 net w.p.m., certificate required. 4. Possession of a valid State of California Driver’s License and a satisfactory driving record as condition of Initial and continued employment.


I .Willingness and/or ability to work rotating shifts, Including nights, holidays and weekends; work on an on-call basis; work irregular duty assignments; wear a uniform and safety equipment; work outside In Inclement weather; work under undesirable and hazardous conditions; conform to department grooming standards; successfully pass a background investigation; work alone; attend educational sessions as required; travel out of town for one day or more.

2. Physical and mental health — Candidates considered for appointment must pass a job related medical examination including a drug screening, have vision correctable w @0/30 and have normal color vision and hearing. Incumbents must demonstrate a state of physical and mental health consistent with the ability to perform assigned dudes.


PART I:A review of all applications to Identify those applicants who meet the minimum requirements for acceptance Into the exam. Resumes will not be accepted In lieu of completed City Application Forms. FAILURE TO SUBMIT SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE WILL REMOVE AN APPLICANT FROM THE EXAM.

PART II:An evaluation of those applications and Supplemental Questionnaires to select those best qualified to continue In the exam.

PART III:Typing Requirement (Qualifying Only). Certificates of proficiency are required which show a typing proficiency of at least 35 w.p.m. (net) and are dated no earlier than 1 Year prior to the application deadline for this examination.

Typing Speed Certificate (Read Carefully): When returning the application and supplemental questionnaire, the applicant must submit written documentation of being able to type at least 35 net words per minute. This documentation must contain the following: (a) the name of the applicant, (b) the date the typing skills test was administered, (c) the duration of the typing skills test (5 minutes minimum), (d) the gross words typed per minute, (e) the number of errors made (f) the name of the organization/agency that administered the test and (g) signature of person administering the test. The typing verification should be an original and documentation must be from an accredited business college, educational institution, public agency, professional service or business concern which routinely provides typing verification documentation in their normal course of business. The Personnel Department will not search the files to locate previously submitted verifications. EXCEPTION: submittal of the required typing verification documentation will be waived for a current permanent full-time city employee, if the employee presently holds a classification which requires a same or higher minimum typing speed.

PART IV:Performance Test (Qualifying Only). Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December I 1, 1996. This test consists of several sections, a written test which may include a dictation and directional exercise, as well as verification of data, and map reading sections. These will determine the candidate’s ability to read maps, determine locations and directions, and will evaluate abilities to perform the duties of this position. Dictation may be by audio and video tape.

PART V: A job-related Qualifications Appraisal Interview (weighted 100%). Tentatively scheduled in early February. Performance Examination may be given In conjunction with the Qualifications Appraisal Interview. The Panel will conduct a comprehensive review of each candidate’s technical knowledge and overall suitability for the position. Candidates receiving a score of 60% or more will have their names placed on an Eligible List. The 5 names highest on the list are certified to the department(s) having vacancies. Placement on the Eligible List does not guarantee employment. Tie scores will be broken by giving priority to the candidate based on the earliest application date. Prior to appointment, a thorough background check will be conducted. The successful competitor will also be required to pass a City paid medical. Federal law requires that, prior to employment, you must furnish proof of your identity and eligibility for employment in the United States.

The EXAMINATION may Include material to measure KNOWLEDGE OF organization and functions of a municipal law enforcement agency and modem office practices and procedures. ABILITY TO effectively coordinate the work of safety enforcement personnel In the field; administer property and evidence functions; perform technical crime scene work, clerical work and basic mathematical calculations with speed and accuracy, operate a computer terminal, a variety of office equipment and specialized police department equipment Including computerized telecommunications and dispatch equipment; read, interpret, apply and explain various codes, regulations, manuals, maps, etc.; establish and maintain accurate records; prepare reports concerning areas of assignment, communicate effectively; act with resourcefulness, courtesy and Initiative; establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees and the general public.

The city will make reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please notify us of accommodations needed as soon as you receive this notice. It Is difficult to reschedule appointments, therefore, we regret that no substitution In date and time can be made for this examination.

PART VI:Background Investigation. A thorough Investigation of personal history, Including but not limited to work history, education, military, arrest record, etc., will be conducted on all those candidates certified to the Police Department. A polygraph exam Is part of the background Investigation.

AGENCY SHOP-Employees in this classification, as a condition of employment, must agree to union membership or payment of an “in lieu” service fee or equivalent contribution to a designated charity