Communications Specialist

King County
Full Time 24 per week $65,603 - $93,662 Per year WA King County Sheriff's Office, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States Apply before 5/27/2024 11:59


Join the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) Communications Team as a 911 Communications Specialist (911 Call Receiver)! KCSO is seeking individuals with a desire to serve their community and who possess exceptional customer service and communication skills.

A career as a 911 Communications Specialist offers an outstanding opportunity to directly impact lives by making a difference in critical moments. You'll play a crucial role in improving the quality of life within our community.

The King County Sheriff’s Office Communications Team handles calls from unincorporated King County, twelve cities, Metro Transit Police, King County Airport Police, and King County Animal Control. Over half a million people rely on our Communications Specialists and other King County Sheriff's Office personnel. 

WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to the public. This recruitment will establish an employment list (valid for one year) to fill current and future vacancies within the Sheriff's Office. For information regarding King County Civil Service Rules, visit the Civil Service website

Job Duties

As a Communications Specialist, you will:
Use telephones and radios to provide critical information and communicate directly with callers and Deputies in the field. As a King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) Communications Specialist, you will handle law enforcement calls only. Requests for fire or EMS assistance are immediately transferred to other agencies.
General job duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Receive, prioritize, and route emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and other agencies.
  • Gather information from calling parties and enter the type, location, and all required information for emergency calls into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System. Route calls for service to correct Dispatcher or appropriate emergency agency.
  • Assign response priority by determining whether immediate response could save lives or prevent crimes. Relay pertinent information via radio.
  • Retrieve information from State and National computer networks regarding wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, stolen vehicles, restraining orders, and criminal histories. Relay information to Deputies via radio.
  • Record information and maintain required logs and event cards.
  • Manage multiple radio frequencies and radio communications simultaneously.
  • Communicate effectively with confused, upset, hostile, or distraught people by phone, while gathering the information necessary to send the correct responders and equipment to the scene.
  • Communication center employees may hear and need to respond to graphic descriptions of violence and/or injury.

In this role, incumbents must have the ability to:
  • Manage uncertainty and be adaptable. Simultaneously receive emergency calls, take charge of the conversation, and gather critical information. Demonstrate the ability to act calmly, quickly, and with accuracy in a variety of emergency situations. Multi-task complex situations that may be fluctuating within a short time period.   
  • Be a quick learner. Comprehend basic principles and terminology applied to law enforcement and emergency management as applied to the operation of the communications center.
  • Make quality decisions. Follow moderately complex oral and written instructions and use knowledge and judgement to make quality decisions. Have the ability to evaluate problems and apply sound judgment in a high stress, critical incident management environment.
  • Instill trust within the organization and community. Interact with the public pleasantly and courteously, often under stressful conditions. Demonstrate Sheriff’s core values, including integrity, in all aspects of work.
  • Communicate effectively. Exhibit patience and remain calm and professional while questioning callers for whom may have limited English proficiency, or with callers who may be verbally abusive, emotionally upset, uncooperative or frightened.
  • Be interpersonally savvy. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, law enforcement personnel, and the public.   
  • Be resilient. Exhibit composure during high pressure situations that may occur. Demonstrate the ability to maintain personal well-being and resiliency, including the ability to manage stress.        
  • Work in a center that is 24/7 and be available to work unusual hours and on weekends and holidays. 
  • Work overtime on regularly scheduled workdays, as required by agency needs. 

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Are you the one we are looking for?
You have a minimum of one (1) year experience providing a high level of customer service and have the aptitude and skills necessary, including but not limited to:

  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to quickly shift from task to task.
  • Ability to control personal emotional responses and act appropriately under high levels of stress.
  • Strong organizational skills, being flexibility and adaptable in changing situations.  
  • Strong people skills and high level of customer service.
  • Ability to follow moderately complex oral and written instructions and to speak the English language clearly and quickly with a well-modulated voice.
  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to act quickly in accordance with established policy and procedures and maintain composure under pressure.
  • Effectively communicate in writing using English grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Supplemental Information

Ready to take the call? Here are the recruitment steps that you must follow:

Step 1- Submit Application 
1. Review the list of KCSO Automatic Disqualifiers and verify your qualification for employment with King County Sheriff's Office.
2. Complete an online employment application at The employment history should go back at least 10 years if you have 10 years of employment (or more to include relevant experience). Incomplete applications with no work experience listed or answering "see resume" may not be considered.
3. Complete answers to all the supplemental questions.
Step 2- Complete Technical Exam 
The technical exam is administered by Public Safety Testing (PST). Candidates will need to complete the technical exam AND separate typing test through PST within 15 days of application. To schedule an exam, please visit . Select KCSO as agency to ensure your scores are received. This is a scored component of the examination process.
Step 3- Oral Board Exam (Interview)
Candidates who pass the technical exam will be invited to an oral board exam (interview). This is a scored component of the examination process.
Step 4- Eligibility List & Background Investigation
Candidates who pass both the technical and oral board examination will be placed on an eligibility list. Eligible candidates will proceed with the background investigation process in order of their rank on the list. The background investigation process may take up to 8 weeks to complete.

Recruitment Timeline:
Accepting applications: May 1 – May 27, 2024
Technical Testing: Throughout May – Early June 2024
Oral Board Interview: End of May – Mid June 2024
Anticipated Start Date: Beginning of August 2024

Please note: The hiring and selection process is lengthy, requiring multiple months to complete.
Work Location: King County Regional Communications & Emergency Coordination Center
3511 NE 2nd St. Renton, WA
Work Schedule: The Communications Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays and weekends. Communications Specialists must be willing to work any shift or workweek, including overtime, as assigned.

Need additional information?
If you have questions about this job posting or the recruitment process, please contact Civil Service HR Analyst Sara Rogers at 206-477-0148 or by email at .

If you have questions about a career as a 911 Communications Specialist with King County Sheriff's Office, please contact Jennifer Francisco at 206-477-1264 or by email at .
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.
Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles - we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.