What is Police Dispatcher?
Police officers are always up and about. There has to be a way to get a hold of them when needed. This is especially so during emergency.
This is what a police dispatcher does. He or she answers the phone when you call the police department. They assess your call and then route it as your need demands. For a typical call, the dispatcher will do the following:
a. Answer the phone
b. Assess the nature of the call
c. Determine if siren or no siren is needed for the response
d. Determine the type of police vehicle needed for the response
e. Determine how many police officers are needed for response
f. Dispatch law enforcement officers through computer, phone, or radio
g. Log the call into the law enforcement computer system
h. Keep in touch with the officers that responded to the call to monitor progress
This job requires special skills. One of which is being calm at all times. This dispatcher of police must also have the following:
1. The skill to listen to the caller very well
2. Oral communication skills, the ability to relay information to law enforcement officers and caller
3. Good typing and transcription skills
4. Ability to follow step by step procedure
5. Excellent Organizational skills
6. Excellent problem solving skills
7. Good record keeping skill
8. Good interview skills to get information from caller
9. Ability to operate complex telecommunication equipments, like radio and computer
This is not a job for the faint at heart. The pressure could overwhelm the wrong person.
How to Become a Police Dispatcher:
Getting your high school diploma or GED will be a good place to start if you are interested in becoming a dispatcher. You should take classes like physical education, English, computer science, etc.
After that, requirements vary from police department to police department. Some police departments will hire you and give you on the job training. Others require that you be certified for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) before they consider you.
There are law enforcement departments that will give you a written test. There may also be a test to test your typing speed. Some departments require that you be able to type 40 words per minute (40 WPM).
Police Dispatcher Salary:
Dispatchers make good salary. The average salary is $36,000 per year. We have seen salary as high as $52,000 per year. This depends on your location, education, and level of responsibility. This salary will continue to increase as you gain more experience and years of service.
Police Dispatcher School:
The best and easiest way to get this job is to go through the Peace Officer Standards and Training. It will give you a leg up on your competition. Let’s face it, we live in a competitive world these days.
One way to get ready for POST is to get a certificate in criminal justice. Such certificate will take you 3 to 6 months to complete. This is not a bad investment of your time considering the reward.
One of our favorite schools for getting a certificate in criminal justice is Kaplan University. You can get their free and no obligation information to get started through this link.
Criminal Justice Careers