Communications Dispatcher Job at Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California

Communications Dispatcher

City of Santa Rosa , California

Job Information 



Mid Level


$70,088.00 - $85,162.00 Annually

Application Deadline 


No Application Deadline

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


5% Advanced P.O.S.T. Certificate
3% Intermediate P.O.S.T. Certificate
3% Bilingual Pay


Our 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center is located on the second floor of the Public Safety Building, equipped with a state-of-the-art computer aided dispatch system, including multiple monitors, ergonomically designed furniture, and individual work stations with outside window views. The Communications Center is staffed by a team of 22 dispatchers working 10-hour shifts, handling approximately 250,000 calls for service yearly. Supervision is provided by Communications Supervisors who report to the Technical Services Division Manager.

In addition to a competitive salary, retirement through CalPERS, and a generous benefits package, this position offers opportunities for special assignments which include trainer, administrative and tactical dispatcher, with incentive pay from 2% - 7.5%.

Hiring Incentives:
  • Vacation accrual rate that matches the applicant's total years of service as a Communications Dispatcher in California
  • A bank of 40 hours of sick leave at the time of hire
  • A bank of 80 hours of vacation leave upon successful completion of the training program
You are encouraged to talk with the Santa Rosa Police Department Recruiting staff for additional information or questions:

SRPD Recruiting Office
(707) 543-HIRE

Applicants must complete a City application and Supplemental Questionnaire online and must meet the following minimum experience requirements:

  • One year of full-time work as a 9-1-1 public safety law enforcement dispatcher with a law enforcement agency independently performing the full range of call-taking and radio dispatching duties within the last five years (excludes time in a Trainee status); and
  • Possess a California P.O.S.T. Public Safety Dispatcher Basic Certificate, or possess documentation of the California P.O.S.T. Dispatcher written exam T-Score of 54 or higher

The City of Santa Rosa is also interested in hiring qualified lateral Communications Dispatchers to work on a temporary (per diem) basis to assist in meeting staffing needs during vacations, sick leave and peak workload periods. You must meet the lateral minimum requirements stated above and must have two years of full-time experience, within the last two years, using the Sonoma County Public Safety Consortium Intergraph Computer Aided Dispatch System.  Please note, we are not accepting applications for the temporary per diem position if you are a CalPERS retired annuitant.

Disqualifying Factors

If you have been unsuccessful in a previous background investigation process (including psychological assessment) with the Santa Rosa Police Department, your application will be screened on a case-by-case basis to determine if you will proceed further in the selection process.
Pre-Employment Illegal Drug Use Standards 


Examples of Duties and Responsibilities


Essential Duties:

The following duties are considered essential for this job classification:

  • Perform a variety of disparate duties simultaneously and accurately
  • Receive, triage, and process emergency and routine calls from the public requesting police or other emergency service, applying the techniques, procedures, policies, and methods used in the operation of a moderately sized public safety dispatching agency
  • Interrogate callers to determine pertinent information, maintaining composure and working quickly under pressure
  • Accurately track the status and location of police units
  • Use a Computer Aided Dispatch system to enter pertinent response information and unit status data
  • Retrieve and verbally relay information from various databases
  • Monitor several different police radio frequencies and operate a variety of communications equipment and technology
  • Communicate tactfully with the public and department employees under stressful situations.

Additional Duties:


In addition to the duties listed in the Essential Duties Section, each employee in this classification may perform additional duties as assigned. Any single position may not be assigned all duties listed below, nor do the examples cover all duties which may be assigned.

  • Arrange for tow trucks and public works emergency service or contact appropriate agencies
  • Operate and maintain the audio recording device and produce copies
  • Perform a variety of record keeping, filing, and other general clerical work, specifically related to the communications center function and complex computerized systems
  • Monitor surveillance cameras; arrange for unplanned staffing needs
  • Monitor and respond appropriate personnel to internal panic alarms
  • Manually activate exterior doors from the communications center
  • Test and inspect equipment as required
  • Provide general instruction to new employees; travel by vehicle to mandated training.


Required Qualifications


Knowledge of: Standard radio or telephone communications receiving and transmitting equipment; standard broadcasting procedures and rules; operation of common radio dispatch equipment; public safety classification codes; basic provisions of the California vehicle and penal codes.


Ability to: Speak and hear clearly and precisely on the telephone, on the radio, and in person; exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in emergency situations; effectively communicate with and elicit information from callers who are injured, terrified, under attack, angry, hostile, chemically impaired, and/or suffering from mental illness; listen to lengthy explanations and extract pertinent information for responders; multitask sufficiently to perform a variety of disparate tasks simultaneously and accurately; effectively work independently with a minimum of supervision; work as part of a team; understand the geographic features and streets of the City of Santa Rosa sufficiently to deploy field units efficiently; use a keyboard to enter data at a speed necessary for adequate job performance; understand and follow oral and written instructions; comprehend and make inferences from written material; spell with accuracy sufficient to convey message; operate a computer aided dispatch system, various computer software applications, and other office equipment quickly and accurately; provide general instructions and assistance to new dispatchers; type at least 35 wpm; and satisfactorily complete the Continuing Professional Training requirement set by P.O.S.T., California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Education- Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade.


Additional Information

Selection Process: 

Part I:  Application
All completed applications and supplemental questionnaires will be reviewed and a list will be established that will consist of all applicants who meet the minimum work experience and education qualifications.

Part II:  Written Exam
Applicants who do NOT possess a California P.O.S.T. Public Safety Dispatcher Basic Certificate and have not successfully completed a probationary period of at least 12 months must take and pass the P.O.S.T. written examination which will demonstrate the required dispatcher competencies. This test is qualifying only and the pass point is a T-Score of 54.

If you have taken the California P.O.S.T. Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery written examination on or after July , 2018 and received a T-Score of 54 or higher, please attach to your online application listing the agency you tested with, the test date, and your T-Score; and if qualifying and approved, we will waive the written examination requirement for this recruitment.

Part III:  Oral Appraisal Interview
Applicants referred for consideration will participate in an oral appraisal interview to evaluate training, experience and other job-related qualifications for the position. 

Part IV:
  Typing/Keyboarding Skills Test and Background Investigation
Applicants successful through Parts I-III will be scheduled for the background investigation screening process which may include a polygraph examination.  Before the background investigation is conducted, your typing and keyboarding skills will be verified through an audio-administered typing test.  A typing speed of at least 35 wpm is needed.

The background investigation is extensive, and will include a police records check, D.M.V. records review, P.O.S.T. Personal History Statement, S.R.P.D. Background Issues Questionnaire, employer reference checks, and Chief's interview and evaluation. 
P.O.S.T. Personal History Statement Form 2-251

All applicants successful in the background investigation screening and the Chief's interview will be required to take and pass a City-sponsored medical examination, including a psychological evaluation, following a conditional offer of employment and prior to appointment.  

All notices will be sent via e-mail.

Working Conditions

This job is in an emergency communications center at the Police Department. The center is staffed by dispatchers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Incumbents in this classification are required to work various shifts as assigned. Shifts will include nights, weekends, holidays and rotating shifts. Due to the unpredictable nature of 24 hour a day/7 day a week emergency work, it is essential that incumbents assigned to this classification be able to work more than 10 hours in a day and more than 40 hours in a week with little or no notice, in order to maintain operational staffing requirements. Incumbents operate a visual display terminal for extended periods of time, sometimes without the ability to move at will. While the workstations are adjustable to accommodate standing, most incumbents perform the job duties while seated, often for long periods without breaks, and while standing there would be little opportunity for movement at will. Every job function requires real time keyboard entry of data, requiring continuous, repetitive arm and hand movement. Incumbents may also be required to move less than 20 pounds short distances when moving files, property, and supplies. Every job function requires the use of a variety of computers and communications equipment, which requires coordinating movement of more than one limb simultaneously and making fine, highly controlled muscular movements; the ability to hear and understand telephone conversations and radio traffic, and hear alarms and other auditory warning devices; and the ability to read and understand printed material and data displayed on multiple video display monitors.

Temporary (Per Diem) Positions: Continued employment as a temporary (per diem) Communications Dispatcher may be contingent upon working a minimum number of hours per month.


No location specified