Communication Specialist I (911 Operator/Dispatcher)
City of Garland - Garland, TX

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Responsible for receiving, analyzing, classifying and directing all incoming 911 emergency and administrative calls in order to coordinate the dispatch of emergency police, fire and other public safety equipment.

Essential Job Functions

  • Receive and respond to emergency and non-emergency telephone calls.
  • Process and evaluate information received and dispatch law enforcement and/or Fire/EMS, consider call priority, availability and the number and types of personnel needed.
  • Maintain and validate data in local, state and national computerized databases including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC).
  • Correspond or communicate with other Cities, agencies, etc to confirm or request information of a valid offense report or other law enforcement matters.
  • Prepare and maintain accurate records and logs of all radio transmissions, telephone calls and other records and files.
  • Perform administrative duties as needed or requested.

  • Preferred Knowledge - Abilities & Skills

    Education/ Experience
    • 6 months advanced training or coursework past the high school level
    • Up to one year of experience as a Dispatcher, Communication Specialist, Customer Service or similar position in a communication or dispatch center
    Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
    • Basic knowledge of public service activity and methods of local government
    • Basic knowledge of computer technology and equipment
    • Basic knowledge of law enforcement terminology and procedures
    • Basic knowledge of geography for the City of Garland and surrounding areas
    • Basic knowledge of English language for spelling and proper word usage
    • Skill in coordinating mental, manual and visual activities simultaneously
    • Skill in observing situations analytically and objectively and relaying details accurately
    • Skill in communicating using two-way radio, telephone equipment
    • Skill in reading and interpreting maps to determine locations and jurisdictional boundaries
    • Ability to multitask and demonstrate appropriate judgment on the spot
    • Ability to work under pressure and during emergency situations and react quickly to signals, unexpected situations and/or emergencies
    • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Police Department personnel, other City employees, outside law enforcement agencies and the public

    Licenses & Certifications 

    Valid State of Texas Class C Driver’s License 
    Texas Department of Safety (DPS) National Crime Information Center (NCIC)/ Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) certification or the ability to obtain within 6 months of hire 
    Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) Operator certification or the ability to obtain within 6 months of hire 
    Medical Priority Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) license and certification or the ability to obtain within 6 months of hire 
    CPR Certification or the ability to obtain within 6 months of hire

    Physical Tasks & Working Conditions

    The incumbent works in a typical office environment; relatively free from unpleasant environmental conditions or hazards; may be exposed to emotionally upset or argumentative individuals via the telephone; work is performed in a fast paced, high volume call center environment.


    Customer Service
    Decision Making/Judgment
    Managing Conflict

    Minimum Education & Work Experience 

    High School Diploma or G.E.D. equivalent 
    No experience required
    Or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.

    Must be able to satisfactorily complete background investigation, polygraph, dispatcher candidate exam; psychological evaluations; interviews; drug screening, and demonstrated knowledge of a computer keyboard. Ability to key 35 data strokes per minute while multitasking.

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