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  • Dispatch Position

    The department in the city I live in is hiring Public Safety Dispatch Trainees. I was an explorer from 1999-2003. I still know the 10-code and phonetic alphabet, as well as other things I learned. My question is, should I apply for this? Here's a breakdown of my situation:

    - I'm attending a university and have about 64 units remaining until I get my BA in Political Science. Expected completion is Fall of 2008.

    - I have been employed by the same employer for 2.5 years, will be 3 in October. The company has downsized by around 40% since January, as it is in the construction industry. I am technically the only part-time worker (averaging about 30-36 hours per week during School, 40-45 during Summer), I am worried about how long my employment will remain, despite the fact that I have come out unscathed from recent lay offs and resignations (only 1 person involved in my hiring still remains. I have had over 4 bosses in my time here).

    - I am looking to get back into the swing of things, as my main goal is becoming a LEO. A 4 year absence from being engaged in law enforcement activities has done me well as far as worldly experience (I pay all my own bills, live on my own, do not depend on anyone) but now that I am more than half-way finished with my degree pursuits, I want to get my feet wet again.

    My main concern is hours. 95% of my classes are between 8am-5pm hours (the problem with attending a brick and mortar University of California school), with very limited course offerings in the evening. Is it feasible to expect that I could work as a Dispatcher and go to school in my off hours? As it is, I am already working and going to school, although currently I go to work, go to school, go back to work, and then go back to school.

    Apologies for the length of this post. Bottom line: what would you recommend?

  • #2
    Originally posted by baummer View Post
    Is it feasible to expect that I could work as a Dispatcher and go to school in my off hours?
    Yes it is, as long as you arrange your school schedule around your work hours, and not the other way around. With very few exceptions, most positions with LE agencies involve shift work. Therefore, you will be required to work all assigned shifts, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
    "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
    ______________________


    ComptonPOLICEGANGS.com

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    • #3
      It depends on your ability to study and sleep. Most agencies in the Inland Empire are on 4/10s or 3/9s for dispatchers. Evaluate your needs and make the decision. Right now the Communications Operators are making good money and working a lot of overtime.
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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      • #4
        I did it for a little while, but it's tough. Especially if you have a family. I was a part-time dispatcher and tried to pick up weekend shifts and night shifts as much as possible. Very seldom did I have a conflict, and my employer knew my school schedule before I started.

        Full time would be different of course, but even then as new guy on the totem pole you're probably looking at nights and weekends. Call some of the departments in your area and find out available shifts, openings, etc.
        I miss you, Dave.
        http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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        • #5
          Originally posted by baummer View Post
          The department in the city I live in is hiring Public Safety Dispatch Trainees. I was an explorer from 1999-2003. I still know the 10-code and phonetic alphabet, as well as other things I learned. My question is, should I apply for this? Here's a breakdown of my situation:

          - I'm attending a university and have about 64 units remaining until I get my BA in Political Science. Expected completion is Fall of 2008.

          - I have been employed by the same employer for 2.5 years, will be 3 in October. The company has downsized by around 40% since January, as it is in the construction industry. I am technically the only part-time worker (averaging about 30-36 hours per week during School, 40-45 during Summer), I am worried about how long my employment will remain, despite the fact that I have come out unscathed from recent lay offs and resignations (only 1 person involved in my hiring still remains. I have had over 4 bosses in my time here).

          - I am looking to get back into the swing of things, as my main goal is becoming a LEO. A 4 year absence from being engaged in law enforcement activities has done me well as far as worldly experience (I pay all my own bills, live on my own, do not depend on anyone) but now that I am more than half-way finished with my degree pursuits, I want to get my feet wet again.

          My main concern is hours. 95% of my classes are between 8am-5pm hours (the problem with attending a brick and mortar University of California school), with very limited course offerings in the evening. Is it feasible to expect that I could work as a Dispatcher and go to school in my off hours? As it is, I am already working and going to school, although currently I go to work, go to school, go back to work, and then go back to school.

          Apologies for the length of this post. Bottom line: what would you recommend?

          Be whatever you want to be. I dispatched so I could get a second degree after leaving the field of education that I got into with my first degree. Ironically, I no longer care to pursue a career in my second major (accounting), lol!

          Dispatching will help you as a police officer. I learned a lot about police work in those eleven months. Of course, I had other duties as well, but principally I was a dispatcher. I processed warrants, transported prisoners, patrolled with patrol deputies, and did some jail work also. With all of this I learned what cops actually do, and I learned some things that I find most street cops don't know but comes in very handy at times.

          Above all, finish your degree. I'm not sure how big and busy your area is. If it's slower paced then you can probably do your school work while you're at work.

          Go poli. sci!

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          • #6
            I guess it depends on whether you want to be a dispatcher or not. Part time dispatchers work a lot of crappy hours. I suggest you stay the course and stay in school.

            Comment


            • #7
              Stay in school, they are not going to want to hire someone that is going to leave in a couple years. 911 is a career and they're looking for career minded individuals. And as others have said, you'll have to work school around your work schedule, they will not put your personal schedule ahead of their own. If this was something you were going to get into for a few decades I'd say go for it, but don't do it part time for a couple years. It's not so much a foot in the door job anymore.
              MrJim911

              Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again

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              • #8
                My first job in LE was as a part-time dispatcher for the university police at the college I was attending. All the dispatchers were students. It was a great job. If you go for a FT job, know that yu'll probably have to take off for a semester or so to go through training and work rotary shifts. Also, be candid with your potential employer about your desired schedule. Some can be flexible, others, less so.
                Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                • #9
                  I worked my way through school as a dispatcher after having been an explorer for several years in the IE. I went to school full time for a year than got hired by a PD. I had to take a full year off before I went back to school part time. Once I was out of training it was easy with shift work to take a full time class schedule. (graves/swings are great shifts for school). I transfered schools, and went to work for a different department, and had to go part time for a year. So basically it has taken me 8 years to get a 4 year degree (I took a year off to go to the academy and for FTO too).

                  The downside is that it took a looong time. But I made really good money doing it. Got a ton of experience and was way ahead of the other trainees in the academy and FTO. Plus the cities I worked for even paid for some of my school costs. I also got into the retirement system at 18 so I will retire 5 years sooner.

                  My recommendation is if you want to go dispatch, get on with the university PD. I've met several dispatchers for UCR. They are good people. I don't know about UCR specifically, but I was offered a job at the school I went to, and they let people go to class on duty, worked around their schedule, and paid for most of the classes. But it was 20k less a year than the city PD.
                  Get low, get ground, get tactical! Sprawl! Sprawl! Sprawl!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nobody33 View Post
                    I worked my way through school as a dispatcher after having been an explorer for several years in the IE. I went to school full time for a year than got hired by a PD. I had to take a full year off before I went back to school part time. Once I was out of training it was easy with shift work to take a full time class schedule. (graves/swings are great shifts for school). I transfered schools, and went to work for a different department, and had to go part time for a year. So basically it has taken me 8 years to get a 4 year degree (I took a year off to go to the academy and for FTO too).

                    The downside is that it took a looong time. But I made really good money doing it. Got a ton of experience and was way ahead of the other trainees in the academy and FTO. Plus the cities I worked for even paid for some of my school costs. I also got into the retirement system at 18 so I will retire 5 years sooner.

                    My recommendation is if you want to go dispatch, get on with the university PD. I've met several dispatchers for UCR. They are good people. I don't know about UCR specifically, but I was offered a job at the school I went to, and they let people go to class on duty, worked around their schedule, and paid for most of the classes. But it was 20k less a year than the city PD.
                    Thanks for the advice. I've talked to UCR PD, and they're not hiring dispatchers at the moment, and said they didn't have any plans too in the future as they are fully staffed.

                    Comment

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