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The Office of the Sheriff is seeking men and women interested in an exciting and challenging career in dispatching. Prior experience is not required. Sheriff’s Dispatchers perform a full range of radio and telephone duties. They receive, assess, prioritize and classify calls for service on a variety of emergency and non-emergency phone lines, including 911, from a population totaling 450,000 residents in 12 police jurisdictions. They also dispatch calls for service to police units, process computer inquiries and other requests for units in the field, and accurately track the activities of multiple police units.
Applicants selected as Sheriff’s Dispatcher I undergo six weeks of intensive classroom instruction on topics such as radio codes, phonetic alphabet, criminal law, call-taking, and Computer Aided Dispatch system. This is followed by 8-12 weeks of live call-taking and if successful, 3-4 months of live radio training under the supervision of a Communications Training Officer. Upon successful completion of the training process, they are promoted to Sheriff’s Dispatcher II.
License: Have a valid California motor vehicle operator’s license.
Education: Possession of a high school diploma, GED equivalency, or high school proficiency certificate.
Age: Must be 18 years of age.
Typing Proficiency: Ability to accurately type at a speed not less than 40 words per minute.
Other Requirements: Must pass a thorough background investigation, medical screening, and psychological evaluation prior to employment. Ability to work various shifts including weekends and holidays. Overtime work is required.
The testing process takes approximately 3-4 months to complete. Applicants must pass a computerized skills assessment (CritiCall), consisting of decision-making, data entry, memorization, prioritization, map reading, spelling and reading comprehension. Applicants will then be evaluated by an oral interview panel. Applicants who are successful will undergo a thorough background investigation, a psychological and medical examination, as well as truth verification testing. Although this is an extended process, all phases of testing are essential to ensure an applicant is suitable for this demanding, yet rewarding career.
Honorably discharged veterans may be allowed an additional 5% of their total score upon successful completion of the examination process. To obtain credit, veterans must provide a DD214 at the time of application.
Dispatch trainees are paid during their training, with a step increase 6 months after successful completion of training. They are provided $872 per year for uniform allowance, and $100 per month bilingual pay (if qualified). After passing probation, shift differential is granted at 3% or 5% of base salary, depending on the shift. Sheriff’s Dispatchers enjoy 13 paid holidays per year and accrue vacation at two weeks per year for the first five years, increasing with the length of service.
Sheriff’s Dispatchers work a wide variety of shifts and hours, including 4-day a week work schedules. Shifts are chosen by seniority 3 times per year.
Insurance options include medical, dental and life insurance for employees and their dependents. The retirement system is the Retirement Act of 1937 and Social Security. Although Contra Costa County is not part of the PERS system, individuals currently enrolled in PERS may be eligible for reciprocity.
Applicants must submit an online application at:
Applicants will be notified of the date, time and location of their assigned test date for the written test in approximately four to six weeks.
Specific questions about this position can be sent to the Dispatch Recruiting email: DispRecruiting@so.cccounty.us