Communications Dispatcher Trainee Job at Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California

Communications Dispatcher Trainee

City of Santa Rosa , California

Job Information 



Entry Level


$49,992.00 - $62,047.00 Annually

Application Deadline 


No Application Deadline

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


This recruitment will be open on a continuous basis.

The City of Santa Rosa is looking for enthusiastic and responsible applicants for the entry level position of Communications Dispatcher Trainee.  We offer paid classroom and on-the-job training and an opportunity to provide a vital service to the Santa Rosa community.

After completion of the training program your pay scale will increase to the Communications Dispatcher level - for salary details click here.

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 23 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.

Communications Dispatchers receive emergency and routine calls requesting police or other emergency services; accurately evaluate and process routine and life-threatening emergency radio and telephone communications. Our 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You are encouraged to talk with a Santa Rosa Police Department representative from the Recruiting Office for detailed information or questions.

SRPD Recruiting Office
(707) 543-HIRE


Examples of Duties and Responsibilities

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.

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 to various locations for mandated training.


Required Qualifications

Minimum Experience/Education Requirements:

  • One or more years of experience working with the public, using oral communication skills to obtain accurate information from a variety of customers.
  • Meet SRPD Illegal Drug Use Standards (see brochure)
  • Experience in the use of computers and various software programs.
  • Typing/keyboarding skills of at least 35 wpm.
  • Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade.

Ability to: Develop 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.


Additional Information

Selection Process: 

Part I:  Performance Examination
Applicants considered most qualified based on a screening of applications will be invited to participate in the Criticall Examination.

The written examination will be scheduled on an individual basis. Test Examinee Guide, click HERE (Download PDF reader). (Download PDF reader)

Part II:  Oral Appraisal Interview
Applicants successful in Part I testing will be invited to the oral appraisal interview with the Police Department. Depending on the number of successful candidates, those candidates scoring highest on the written examination may be invited first to interview.  The interview will evaluate training, experience and other job-related qualifications for the position.

Appraisal interviews will be scheduled on an individual basis.

Part III:  Background Investigation
Applicants successful through Parts I and II will be scheduled for the background investigation screening process.  

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

All applicants successful in the background investigation screening 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.  

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.


100 Santa Rosa Ave

Santa Rosa, CA 95401