Police dispatchers work as professionals of crisis communications who are tasked with making certain that critical information is properly transmitted from callers to responsive police personnel.
Police dispatcher work includes supplying police officers with timely and accurate details while dispatching staff to the scenes of incidents via a sophisticated system for communications.
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Traits of a Strong Police Dispatcher
- Good understanding of the geographical area
- Keen ability to listen well and record data in detail
- Advanced written and oral communication skills
- Adept interpersonal skills
- Talent for maintaining a cool and calm presence in the midst of turmoil
The Important Role of the Police Dispatcher
Police dispatchers are indispensable to police officers, providing invaluable instructions and information that adequately prepares police officers for what to do next with regards to an emergency.
Police dispatchers should display the uncanny ability to maintain consistent composure, while gathering and relaying vital information to the police officer receiving the information.
Police dispatchers must demonstrate true multitasking prowess in terms of managing phone calls and dispatching police officers seamlessly.
Police Dispatch Responsibilities
Police dispatchers should effectively gather seminal information before dispatching the proper officers. Essential information to be gathered includes the following:
- The incident: location and nature of
- If the incident is presently occurring, or if the report is of a previous incident
- The presence of any injuries
- Are there any firearms or weapons
- The urgency and nature of the call
- The incident: parties involved, including details/descriptions
If the caller is incapable of describing his or her location, the dispatcher should maintain the ability to trace the call. Dispatchers must be able to quickly scan data on the parties involved to glean important information for the officers, to include salient information pertaining to prior convictions and/or arrests.
Solid transcription and typing skills are crucial. An additional duty for police dispatchers is to help decide what exact officers are closest to the location and send them to the location the quickest.
In the midst of an emergency situation, police dispatchers often maintain communication with the caller, imparting additional information or merely restoring the caller’s sense of calm prior to police arrival. Police dispatchers often impart essential information to the caller during this time.
Police Dispatcher Job Description
Similar to other emergency positions for dispatch, at the minimum requirement, a candidate for a police dispatcher job typically must have a high school diploma and no criminal record. Many police departments will obviously give preference to candidates with a few years of dispatching experience.
Other desired skills will include a minimum typing speed (usually approximately 30 WPM), the ability to pass a background investigation, and having basic computer skills.
Primary Job Functions:
- Ascertaining the seriousness of the call and designating the proper level of police resources
- Utilizing teamwork with other department members to facilitate the police officer response
- Utilizing a Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADS)
- Monitoring the status and location of patrolling police officers
- Coordinating calls via an advanced 911 system