Sheriff Angel Cardenas

Dispatcher and Dispatcher Trainee




DEFINITION:   Under general supervision, operates 911 dispatch console to receive emergency calls and dispatch emergency personnel; and performs other work as assigned.


DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:  Dispatcher Trainee is the trainee level class for individuals without previous 911 dispatch experience. Employees in this class are assigned to complete a Dispatcher training program and the requirements for NCIC and CJIS certifications and to perform the duties of a Dispatcher (911) under immediate supervision. Employees in the Trainee class are expected to qualify for promotion to the class of Dispatcher within twelve months of initial appointment.


The class of Dispatcher is distinguished from Dispatch Supervisor in that the employee in the latter class is a first line supervisor responsible for supervision of the 911 center staff and operations.




The duties listed below are examples of the work typically performed by employees in this class.  An employee may not be assigned all duties listed and may be assigned duties which are not listed below.  Marginal duties (shown in italics) are those which are least likely to be essential functions for any single position in this class.


  1. Receives 911 telephone calls: asks questions to solicit information regarding the nature and location of the emergency; provides emergency instructions to callers regarding first aid and other actions to take until emergency response personnel can arrive; determines the priority of response to the call, which emergency response agency and which unit(s) in the agency to dispatch; dispatches emergency units; relays information to and from emergency response units.


  1. Responds to radio calls from law enforcement and emergency personnel in the field; performs computer record searches; checks warrant status on field detainees and in-custody suspects; confirms and abstracts warrant information and provides information to other agencies and field officers.


  1. Maintains logs of all calls received and made; operates tape recording equipment.


  1. Processes complaints by receiving information regarding complaints from persons at the sheriff’s office and completing reports regarding complaint information taken.


  1. Processes information request responses: receives verbal and written requests for information; determines location of information and whether information may be provided to requester; provides information to requester in written or verbal form as authorized by policy or supervisor.


  1. Processes reports and warrants; reviews law enforcement reports to abstract information for statistical reports; enters data into law enforcement information systems relating to wanted persons, stolen property, vehicles registration, stolen vehicles, etc.; sorts, indexes and files log records, correspondence, reports and other materials.


  1. Assists in jail administration functions: operates control panel to control movement of individuals in the jail; uses radio to communicate information regarding inmates and staff activities; notifies other agencies when they have warrants on individuals being detained; receives, receipts, and accounts for bail money for inmate commissary accounts.


  1. May search individuals and their belongings for contraband.




Knowledge and Ability:


Both Levels

Knowledge of techniques for communicating with people in distress; basic computer procedures; record keeping and filing procedures; use of reference books; basic law enforcement terms and radio codes.


Dispatcher Level

Knowledge of questions to ask to determine nature of call and of emergency; where to find procedural, reference and individual information; available resources; geography and jurisdictional boundaries of service area; procedures for operation of NCIC, CJIS and related information systems.


Both Levels

Ability to tend to multiple tasks at the same time; speak clearly over telephone and radio; communicate with people in emergencies; communicate with individuals from different backgrounds and with different communication abilities; use a computer; learn and follow detailed written and verbal procedural directions; select appropriate course of action based upon the information available; evaluate information for consistency; make decisions quickly; keep records of activities; sort and file documents using coding systems; formulate and ask questions to get needed information.


Special Requirements:   Ability to pass a background investigation and to qualify for and maintain certification to operate NCIC, CJIS and related computers.


Experience and Training:  Any combination of training, education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.  A typical way to gain the required knowledge and ability are as follows:


Dispatcher Trainee Level

Two years of clerical experience that included use of technical manuals and computer terminals.


Dispatcher Level

Completion of the Humboldt County Dispatcher training program and six months experience as a 911 dispatcher. 




Hearing to perceive spoken communications in noisy environments; vision to read manuals, handwritten material and computer screens in low light; mobility to reach and move about in the dispatch room; sitting for long periods of time; work for long periods without a break; remain alert during periods of limited activity; reach and carry files and computer printouts.



Work without supervision or immediate assistance on all shifts; stress of emergency and of rapid change in circumstances;  noise and distractions from radios, telephone and conversations.


FLSA STATUS:   Non-Exempt