This is an advanced journey level class characterized by the need to provide technical expertise in updating and maintaining national and state criminal information computer systems. The Public Safety Dispatcher Technician is the agency contact for California Department of Justice Audits and vendors providing technical, hardware and software systems. Incumbents have a working knowledge of the Dispatch Center in order to ensure properly functioning systems responsibility to lead others engaged in dispatching law enforcement, fire service, and emergency medical service personnel on an assigned shift. Incumbents receive requests for assistance, evaluate requests for criticality and type of response needed, dispatch personnel to assist with reported situations, and monitor situations for changes and safety of personnel for the duration of the response. This class is distinguished from the Dispatch Supervisor by the latter's overall responsibility to plan, organize, and supervise the operations of the Dispatch Unit.
Supervision Received and Exercised
Receives general supervision from the Sheriff’s Sergeant assigned to Dispatch.
Provides technical and functional oversight of dispatch staff.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
Provides guidance, and assistance to employees related to technical aspects of Dispatch notification of proper personnel, operation of communications equipment, documentation of calls, and related tasks; monitors and evaluates performance of new dispatchers, and provides input to supervisor; coordinates daily work activities; organizes, prioritizes, and assigns work; monitors status of work, inspects completed work, and troubleshoots problem situations.
Tests and validates function of hardware and software. Troubleshoots systems, hardware and software necessary for providing emergency medical, fire and law enforcement services; reviews and implements new technical policies; updates training manuals related technical aspects of dispatch.
Addresses technical issues with systems equipment with the system vendor; coordinates implementation of system updates; acts as liaison with the State of California Department of Justice; makes changes to the message switch databases; processes 911 misroute information to telephone provider; applies telephone systems updates; updates, installs and troubleshoots problems with technical equipment in dispatch center and coordinates resolution with vendors and the Information Technology Department.
Monitors and/or operates communications equipment, multi-telephone lines, and computers associated with police, fire, E-911, and emergency medical communications, which may include telephone equipment, radio communications equipment, audio recorder, TTY/TDD machine, printers, computer aided dispatching (CAD) system, paging systems, alarm panels, card reader/door lock system, weather service computer, general office equipment, or other equipment/systems.
Receives, screens, processes, and monitors emergency 911 calls and non-emergency calls from the public and other police/public safety agencies by radio and telephone; works to calm upset callers; evaluates, categorizes, and prioritizes calls; determines proper zone/jurisdiction of request and refers callers to other agencies as appropriate; receives routine/business calls for the department and records messages for department personnel.
Dispatches appropriate agency personnel to incident locations; determines nature of emergency, location of incident, number of units needed, and nearest available units; dispatches law enforcement units, fire fighters, ambulances, air ambulances, wreckers, utility crews, animal control, or other agencies as appropriate; coordinates situations requiring mutual aid with other jurisdictions/agencies.
Maintains communications with all parties involved in emergency situations; monitors status/location of field units and emergency units; assists emergency personnel in locating addresses; conveys information between callers and emergency personnel, general public, public safety agencies, hospitals, utilities, businesses, alarm companies, department personnel, or other individuals/agencies; updates field units with relevant information on an ongoing basis; coordinates exchange of information between officers, citizens, and other agencies; responds to requests from officers for backup, emergency units, information, or other assistance.
Responds to requests from law enforcement personnel or other authorized individuals for information involving license plates, driver’s license records, criminal history records, warrants, missing/wanted persons, location of individuals, stolen property, telephone numbers, or other information; obtains/provides background information as requested by authorized personnel.
Retrieves/updates criminal information and motor vehicle/license records using national and state criminal information computer systems (C.L.E.T.S); enters, removes, confirms, modifies, and/or updates entries and data as needed; enters and runs inquiries on data such as vehicle registrations, driver’s license records, criminal histories, warrants, lost/stolen property, or missing/wanted persons; receives be-on-lookout (BOL) notices and broadcasts/distributes as appropriate; sends or responds to confirmations on warrants, stolen vehicles, stolen tags, stolen vehicle parts, and stolen guns; types C.L.E.T.S. entries and processes C.L.E.T.S. transactions; verifies C.L.E.T.S. entries; ensures integrity/security of data and adherence to system requirements.
Performs basic maintenance of computer systems, communications equipment, and general office equipment; adds/deletes authorized dispatch system users; approves mnemonic requests; enters, removes, confirms, modifies and/or updates entries and data as needed; communicates with system vendors to identify and resolve system problems, inspects and tests equipment for proper operations; troubleshoots computer problems; performs daily backups of computer data; clears paper jams and replaces paper, ink, or toner; coordinates service/repair activities as needed.
Maintains logs and computer records of calls, work activities, and related information; enters radio traffic and call details into computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system; maintains daily logs of shift events/activities; maintains current maps, bulletins, telephone lists, directories, procedures, and other reference materials.
Exchanges pertinent information with co-workers, department personnel, other departments, and outside agencies; distributes incoming information/documentation to appropriate personnel; monitors incoming faxes and teletypes; provides information/documentation to other departments and outside agencies as requested.
Monitors radio traffic of other departments and other law enforcement, emergency, and non-emergency agencies to respond to radio calls and to maintain an awareness of activities.
Monitors weather service computer for weather updates; provides emergency notification of severe weather to appropriate personnel.
Monitors security cameras and alarm systems of courthouse, other departments, or other buildings; coordinates exchange of information between law enforcement personnel, alarm companies, and keyholders/contact persons.
Prepares, receives, completes, processes, and maintains a variety of forms, reports, correspondence, logs, and records.
Teaches C.L.E.T.S. classes for outside agencies; teaches dispatch shift staff in the technical duties related to dispatch.
Maintains inventory of forms and supplies; ensures availability of adequate materials to conduct work activities; initiates orders for new/replacement items as needed; receives and replenishes supplies.
Maintains current knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; maintains an awareness of new procedures, trends, and advances in the profession; reads professional literature; maintains professional affiliations; attends workshops and training sessions as appropriate.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Policies, procedures, and activities of the County and departmental practices as they pertain to the performance of duties; agency goals and purposes; terminology, principles, and methods utilized within the department.
Law enforcement terminology and radio code systems; law enforcement techniques and procedures as they relate to dispatch activities.
Operation of radio dispatching equipment, TTY system, audio recording equipment, and other equipment typically used in dispatch activities.
Emergency services in Solano County.
Techniques and effective methods of handling difficult public contacts.
Principles and practices of employee supervision and training.
Computers and software programs typically used in the position; automated record-keeping systems used in the criminal justice system; computerized data collection, retrieval, and analysis; specialized systems related to provision of emergency services related to the public.
Utilize basic office equipment, TTY, telephone systems, radio dispatch equipment, computers, and automated record-keeping systems.
Type and perform data entry accurately and with appropriate speed.
Comprehend, interpret, explain, and apply a variety of complex laws, regulations, policies, procedures, automated and technical equipment and other information related to emergency dispatch program operations.
Understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures.
Implement specific procedural steps quickly and accurately.
Dispatch law enforcement and emergency service personnel.
Interview people to discover information pertinent to the reported emergency situation.
Refer callers to other emergency services; make referrals to local and regional providers of social, medical and/or other specialized services.
Read and interpret maps and street guides.
Recall detailed information.
Monitor a variety of emergency situations at the same time.
Make decisions, project consequences of decisions, use independent judgment, and work with little direct supervision as situations warrant.
Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations.
Work under pressure.
Lead the work of others engaged in dispatching activities; provide training in dispatch procedures; effectively delegate responsibility and authority to others; determine and evaluate levels of achievement and performance of subordinates; secure cooperation and teamwork among professional and support staff.
Plan, organize, and prioritize daily assignments and work activities.
Collect and analyze data to identify, establish, and evaluate needs, draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
Research procedures and/or technical reference materials; prepare narrative and statistical reports; maintain accurate records and document actions taken.
Monitor and/or operate multi-line telephones, radio equipment, intercoms, and alarm systems.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
Establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, including those who have objectives counter to assigned role.
Education and Experience
Three (3) years full time work experience involving public safety dispatching, radio communications, personal computer operations, to include one (1) year of dispatch experience with Solano County’s Dispatch Unit.
High school diploma or GED required; supplemented by vocational/technical training in public safety dispatching and radio communications.
Possession and maintenance of valid California P.O.S.T. Dispatch certification is required.
Possession and maintenance of valid C.L.E.T.S. Terminal Operator certification may be required.
Candidates for positions in this class will be required to pass a background investigation in accordance with applicable law, regulation, and/or policy.
Recruiting requirements may be set to test typing and/or keyboard operation speed, however, these skills are not the primary areas to be measured in the selection process.
Incumbents must be willing to work rotating shifts, including weekends and/or holidays, and able to work in a closed/confining, stressful environment.
Positions allocated to this class may require bilingual skills.
Physical Ability: Tasks involve the ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (5-10 pounds). Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.
Sensory Requirements: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people. Requires acute auditory perception.
Environmental Factors: Requires the ability to work under conditions where exposure to environmental factors poses a limited risk of minor injury or illness.