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Is it realistic to apply as a dispatcher as your first job?

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  • Is it realistic to apply as a dispatcher as your first job?

    As in after high school with no prior work experience while in university. Will you be considered?

  • #2
    Absolutely, we are in short supply nation-wide! That being said, like being a police officer, it is not for everyone. You have be motivated, a self-starter, and the ability to remain calm and professional under pressure is essential. The minimums USUALLY involve good speaking and typing (at the same time), good communication skills, the ability to remain calm (you are the calm in the storm, so to speak). Some agencies require you at least be 21, but a lot hire at 18. They are largely looking for those that can work full-time (keep in mind, dispatchers rarely work 8s, and as a new guy you'll most likely be graveyard shift). We work 12s where I work.
    USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
    "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
    DA Public Safety Dispatcher, APG MD

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    • #3
      Unless they have a specific age or experience requirement, I don't see any reason why you couldn't at least apply.

      Though they may prefer someone with a work history. Can you type, have any experience using a computer and talking on two way radios? They'll likely have a training course you'll have to complete. Do you have time to do that now? Here they have to be POST certified and have to go to the state academy for the class.
      Last edited by westside popo; 12-03-2018, 02:26 AM.

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      • #4
        The current sheriff of the county I worked for started as a dispatcher straight out of HS. He worked is way up from that job and held or supervised every job description in the agency (except chief deputy) before being elected sheriff
        Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-03-2018, 07:36 AM.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          In many ways, dispatching is much more difficult that Policing.

          “All you do is answer phones and talk on the radio,” except you are the information center for patrol. Being a good dispatcher is critical. Handling an irate caller who just witnessed or was just involved in a critical incident is not for the faint of heart. Maturity is a must. Personally, 18 is pretty young to handling the extreme seriousness of a 911 call. It could be a mentally ill person calling to say the toaster and washing machine are conspiring with Trump to take over the basement using death batteries or it could be a mom who just found her sleeping newborn and she is unresponsive and not breathing. Just occurred robberies and homicides and roll over accidents and mundane stuff like parents who “are following through on their threats to call 911” because Jr won’t do his 6th grade homework or Apple’s iWatch testing facility in Cupertino, CA making thousands of 911 calls a month.

          As was said above, the only real concern is the age requirement; but if you think you got the maturity, go for it.
          semper destravit

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          • #6
            Dealing with some people on the street is difficult enough. Couldn't imagine trying to talk to them on the phone. But everyone has to start some where.


            Good luck!

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            • #7
              I can name three people that started as a dispatcher and worked their way up to Chief of Police. And, I can name you a lot of folks that hired on as a dispatcher and retired doing the same job. It all depends on the person........
              If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

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              • #8
                Only if you want to be a dispatcher. Do you want to be a part time employee, or a part time college student? Personally, look at getting a job through your campus' student employment office. It will give you some practical experience, and they will work around your class schedule.
                Last edited by just joe; 12-10-2018, 12:48 PM.

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