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Become A Police Dispatcher

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Working As A Police Dispatcher

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $38,010

    Average Salary

What Does A Police Dispatcher Do At San Jose State University

* communication's dispatching and public counter duties; providing clerical, records and technical support services including operating a centralized computer-aided dispatch (CAD), 9
* and other non-emergency phones, and monitoring campus alarms.
* The Police Dispatcher is responsible for maintaining effective and accurate communications between campus law enforcement, the public and other allied agencies.
* The Police Dispatcher I records and dispatches routine and emergency information promptly, clearly and accurately.
* Regular use of judgment and discretion is necessary to set priorities, assess the importance of information and react quickly and effectively.
* The Police Dispatcher will perform a variety of specialized support duties within the Police Communications Center.
* The Police Dispatcher is required to work rotating shifts which includes nights, weekends and holidays.
* Overtime maybe required.
* Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
* Receives emergency and routine requests for services from the campus community and from various electronic communications equipment, i.e. enhanced 911 and other telephone lines, radio transmissions, video display terminals, alarm enunciators, and in-person contacts from citizens in the University Police Department (UPD) lobby.
* Elicits and records pertinent and accurate information, and uses judgment and discretion to rapidly assess the nature and priority of information and the necessary response.
* Operates UPD and other emergency communications equipment to dispatch officers to calls for service, critical incidents and emergencies.
* Identifies locations where assistance is needed, makes rapid determinations as to availability and proximity of the nearest emergency personnel and equipment, and coordinates interagency communications with surrounding jurisdictions.
* Responsible for accurate data entry into the computer aided dispatch system.
* Operates police radio and data systems for the purposes of dispatching and communicating with police and other public safety resources.
* Provides support to other public safety and community service functions including parking and building access services.
* Monitors security and fire alarm systems, and coordinates responses.
* Assists campus visitors and provides customer service regarding police and public safety matters by phone or in person.
* May control and provide the release of official copies of crime reports, vehicle releases, property or other UPD matters.
* Utilizes dispatch and law enforcement systems and databases (both computerized and manual) to maintain department files and reports.
* Education and Experience
* High school diploma or GED, education beyond high school is desirable
* Minimum 1 year employment in a customer service industry
* Preferred Qualifications
* Education beyond high school
* Previous experience with law enforcement or security dispatching
* Bilingual background with fluency in Spanish or Vietnamese
* Passing a CritiCall Dispatch Test (offered in San Jose at the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium Academy)
* Possession of a current P
* O.S
* T. Basic Dispatch certificate
* Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
* Ability to effectively communicate (read, write, spell and speak in clear, concise English) via telephone, radio and in person
* Ability to learn correct telephone answering techniques; 9
* emergency, non-emergency, business and allied agencies
* Skill in reading and interpreting maps
* Skill in using various video display terminals
* Knowledge or ability to learn police emergency procedures, radio codes and phonetic alphabet
* Ability to operate and accurately enter data into the computer aided dispatch system (CAD) while simultaneously receiving information by phone or radio
* Ability to handle multiple priorities and organize workload
* Ability to dispatch officers to routine and critical incidents
* Ability to accurately enter data, research and retrieve information from automated dispatch and law enforcement databases
* Ability to independently analyze situations quickly and accurately, while taking effective action to assure public safety provider and citizen safety
* Ability to communicate clearly and distinctly using radio and telephone equipment
* Ability to maintain composure and work accurately in emergency situations
* Ability to achieve the P
* O.S
* T Dispatcher certificate prior to completion of the probationary period
* Ability to work in a confined area wearing a headset which restricts movement about the work area
* Ability to work as assigned, on schedules that may include weekends, holidays and non-traditional work hours; and a willingness to work overtime as required
* Ability to work in a highly structured environment where all communications are recorded or documented and reviewed as public record
* Ability to type at a net rate of 30 wpm on a computer keyboard
* Ability to maintain appropriate documentation of previous events, details and conversations
* Ability to assist in maintaining the agency compliance with Federal and State mandates and law
* Ability to comply with UPD policies and procedures as relates to the communications function
* Ability to monitor security and fire alarm systems
* Ability to perform with a high standard of customer service, professional conduct, and civic responsibility
* Knowledge in releasing official copies of crime reports, vehicle releases, property or other UPD matters
* Posting Date
* August 16, 2017
* Application Screening
* Application Screening begins September 5, 2017
* Applications received before that date will receive first consideration.
* This position is open until filled; however, applications received after screening has begun will be considered at the discretion of the university

What Does A Police Dispatcher Do At Idaho Division of Human Resources

* Operate a multi-channel radio with multiple frequencies and related equipment to receive messages and relay information between state police and emergency personnel to accident and crime scenes
* Obtain information about incidents and determine action to take
* Dispatch necessary personnel using radio or telephone
* Verify location and status of officers to insure their safety
* Direct emergency vehicles to insure effective handling of emergency situations
* Coordinate incidents through to completion
* Complete and file information such as wrecker lists and radio, telephone, and teletype logs by using or operating a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system
* Enter, access, and update information concerning individuals, vehicles, and articles through the National Crime Information Center and Idaho/National Law Enforcement Telecommunications computer systems
* Responsible for decision making/problem solving while maintaining control in crisis emergency situations
* Must be able to work effectively under extremely stressful situations and perform detailed work with a high degree of accuracy
* Operate a multi-channel radio with multiple frequencies and related equipment to receive messages and relay information between state police and emergency personnel to accident and crime scenes

What Does A Police Dispatcher Do At City of Pomona

* Receive emergency service calls from the public requesting law enforcement or other emergency services; determine nature, location, and priority of emergency; dispatch emergency units as necessary; maintain compliance with established procedures for operating a computer aided dispatch system.
* Dispatch and monitor City maintenance personnel including water, parks, street and sewer, and traffic signal divisions after hours; dispatch and monitor Humane Society services after hours and on holidays.
* Enter, update and retrieve information from the Teletype networks relating to wanted persons, stolen property including the input of addresses, responsible parties, responses and other pertinent information.
* Use telecommunications systems to coordinate emergency calls and relay information and assistance requests involving other law enforcement agencies.
* Receive, respond to and document requests for warrants and Department of Motor Vehicle print-outs; verify, type and file warrants; maintain a variety of automated and manual log records and files related to dispatching activities and public safety activities.
* WORK SCHEDULE AND BENEFITS:_** Work days and hours will vary depending on need and availability.
* Individuals must commit to working 10 hours per month and must be able to work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.
* Applicants must submit a typing certificate within seven (7) calendar days of application (minimum of 50 net words per minute).
* Please upload your certificate to your application or fax certificate to 909
* with the position title written on the top right corner

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How To Become A Police Dispatcher

Most police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers have a high school diploma. Many states require dispatchers to have training and certification.

In addition, candidates must pass a written exam and a typing test. In some instances, applicants may need to pass a background check, lie detector and drug tests, and tests for hearing and vision.

Most states require dispatchers to be U.S. citizens, and some jobs require a driver’s license. Experience using computers and in customer service can be helpful. The ability to speak Spanish is also desirable in this occupation.


Most dispatchers are required to have a high school diploma.


Training requirements vary by state. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO International) provides a list of states requiring training and certification.

Some states require 40 or more hours of initial training, and some require continuing education every 2 to 3 years. Other states do not mandate any specific training, leaving individual localities and agencies to structure their own requirements and conduct their own courses.

Some agencies have their own programs for certifying dispatchers; others use training from a professional association. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO International), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) have established a number of recommended standards and best practices that agencies often use as a guideline for their own training programs. 

Training is usually conducted in a classroom and on the job, and is often followed by a probationary period of about 1 year. However, the period may vary by agency, as there is no national standard governing training or probation.

Training covers a wide variety of topics, such as local geography, agency protocols, and standard procedures. Dispatchers are also taught how to use specialized equipment, such as two-way radios and computer-aided dispatch software. Computer systems that dispatchers use consist of several monitors that display call information, maps, relevant criminal history, and video, depending on the location of the incident. Dispatchers often receive specialized training to prepare for high-risk incidents, such as child abductions and suicidal callers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many states require dispatchers to be certified. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) provides a list of states requiring training and certification. One certification is the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification, which enables dispatchers to give medical assistance over the phone. 

Dispatchers may choose to pursue additional certifications, such as the National Emergency Number Association’s Emergency Number Professional (ENP) certification or APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) certification, which demonstrate their leadership skills and knowledge of the profession.


Dispatchers can become senior dispatchers or supervisors before advancing to administrative positions, in which they may focus on a specific area, such as training, or on policy and procedures.

Training and certifications, such as emergency medical technician (EMT) training, can aide those looking to advance. Additional education and related work experience may be helpful in advancing to management-level positions.

Important Qualities

Ability to multitask. Dispatchers must stay calm in order to simultaneously answer calls, collect vital information, coordinate responders, use mapping software and camera feeds, and assist callers.

Communication skills. Dispatchers work with law enforcement, emergency response teams, and civilians. They must be able to communicate the nature of an emergency effectively and coordinate the appropriate response.

Decisionmaking skills. Dispatchers must be able to choose between tasks that are competing for their attention. They must be able to quickly determine the appropriate action when people call for help.

Empathy. Dispatchers must be willing and able to help callers who have a wide range of needs. They must be calm, polite, and sympathetic, while also collecting relevant information quickly.

Listening skills. Dispatchers must listen carefully to collect relevant details, even though some callers might have trouble speaking because of anxiety or stress.

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Police Dispatcher jobs

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Police Dispatcher Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Arabic

  • Hindi

  • Urdu

  • Cheyenne

  • German

  • French

  • Bengali

  • Portuguese

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Turkish

  • Bosnian

  • Russian

  • Japanese

  • Gujarati

  • Dari

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Top Skills for A Police Dispatcher


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Top Police Dispatcher Skills

  1. Law Enforcement Agencies
  2. Public Safety
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked for multiple Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies with good reference leaving the field upon request of family.
  • Assessed severity of emergency request and dispatched public safety resources, accordingly.
  • Fingerprinted 100 cadets every semester.
  • Operated a NCIC/UCJIS computer terminal, checking for wants, warrants, vehicle registration, and driver license status.
  • Dispatch (Ems, Fire, Police) to designated locations depending on call type.

Top Police Dispatcher Employers

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Police Dispatcher Videos

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