Dispatcher I

County of San Diego
24 per week $50,606 - $61,027 Per year CA Environmental Services, 8353 Miramar Pl, San Diego, CA 92121, United States
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Overview

JOB INFORMATION

See NOTE(S) below for future wage increases and/or additional compensation opportunities.
 
APPLICANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY TO OTHER ACTIVE DISPATCHER RECRUITMENTS, AS VACANCIES MAY BE FILLED UTILIZING ANY CURRENT DISPATCHER ELIGIBLE LISTS (AND ).
 
YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PASS A COMPUTER-BASED PERFORMANCE TEST TO BE CONSIDERED FOR DISPATCHER I POSITIONS.  
 
MULTI-TASKING SKILLS AND THE ABILITY TO MAKE QUICK DECISIONS ARE ESSENTIAL TO BE A SUCCESSFUL DISPATCHER.
 
FOR POSITIONS IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, SELECTED CANDIDATES WILL UNDERGO A COMPREHENSIVE CHARACTER AND BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING A POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK PRIOR TO HIRE. FELONY CONVICTIONS, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTIONS, OR USE OF ANY ILLEGAL DRUGS MAY BE DISQUALIFYING. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINK:
 
All Dispatcher I positions, under general supervision, receive incoming telephone calls and evaluate requests for Police services, Fire-Rescue services, Environmental Services and Transportation and Storm Water services.
 
      NOTES:

  • Employees in job classifications represented by Municipal Employees Association (MEA) are scheduled to receive the following general wage increases:

4% effective 7/1/24 

2% effective 1/1/25 

5% effective 7/1/25 


  • In addition to the scheduled general wage increases, the following special salary wage increase is also scheduled to take effect for Dispatcher I:  

5% effective Date 1/1/25

5% effective Date 1/1/26


  • Eligible benefitted employees originally hired on or after July 10, 2021, will be automatically enrolled in the San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS).
  • Dispatcher I employees may answer 50-170 calls a day and are required to sit for long periods of time. Please refer to the Supplemental Information section of the job bulletin for a more detailed description of typical Dispatcher I duties and working conditions.
  • Dispatcher I employees may be required to work extended periods of night or unusual shift work for which they may receive 5% additional pay. 
Dispatcher I positions in the Police and Fire-Rescue Departments work on a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and are the primary answering point for all 911 and non-emergency phone calls from within the City of San Diego (Fire-Rescue Department has dispatch contracts with Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, and Poway); elicit essential incident information from callers; determine the nature and extent of the request, the priority of the problem and the need for dispatching police, fire or medical field units; enter appropriate information by typing on a computer keyboard into a dispatch format; answer routine inquiries and refer calls not requiring dispatch to the appropriate department or agency.
 
      NOTES FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT POSITIONS:
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees typical starting hourly rate is $26.80.
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees must obtain a California P.O.S.T. Basic Dispatcher Course Certificate within one year from date of hire.
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees who possess a California P.O.S.T. Basic Dispatcher Course Certificate are eligible for 20% additional pay.  
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees assigned as operators in the 911 Police Department Phone Room are eligible for 5% additional special assignment pay.
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees work 10 hours per shift, four days per week, with three consecutive days off.
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees may be required to work overtime.
  • Police Department Dispatcher I employees may be required to work during all City holidays.
  • The communication center in the Police Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with day, evening, and night shifts. Dispatcher I employees will be rotated to different shifts on a periodic basis.

      NOTES FOR FIRE-RESCUE DEPARTMENT POSITIONS:
  • Fire-Rescue Department Dispatcher I employees work 12-hour shifts (44/36 rotation schedule).
  • Fire-Rescue Department Dispatcher I employees may be required to work overtime during training, if needed, on cleared positions.
  • Fire-Rescue Department Dispatcher I employees may be required to work during all City holidays.
  • Fire-Rescue Department Dispatcher I employees are eligible for 17.5% additional pay after successfully completing the paid mandatory Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification course.
  • All dispatcher classifications in the Fire-Rescue Department are subject to mandated overtime beyond their scheduled shift with short notice to maintain staffing levels.
  • The communication center in the Fire Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with day, evening, and night shifts. Dispatcher I employees will be rotated to different shifts on a periodic basis.

Dispatcher I positions in the Environmental Services Department and the Transportation and Storm Water Department receive incoming phone calls and operate radio communications equipment to dispatch and coordinate various City units involved in servicing, maintaining or repairing City property, assets, services or facilities.  Positions in these departments do NOT respond to 911 emergency calls.
 
      NOTE:
  • The communication center in the Transportation and Storm Water Department operates 24 hours a day and seven days a week, with a staggered schedule of day, evening and night shifts.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

You must meet the following requirements on the date you apply, unless otherwise indicated.

CITIZENSHIP:  You must be a United States citizen or have the current legal right to work in the United States.

AGE:  18 years of age or older; except for high school graduates (or persons with GED equivalency) who are 17.

      NOTE:

  • Applicants who are age 17 and are high school graduates, or have passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or General Education Development (GED) examination, are not required to have a work permit; however, they must submit a copy of their high school diploma, CHSPE or GED results at time of application.


EDUCATION:  You must meet ONE of the following options:

  1. Graduation from high school.
  2. Passage of the General Education Development (G.E.D.) test.
  3. Passage of the California High School Proficiency Examination (C.H.S.P.E.).
  4. Possession of a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree from a college or university.

      NOTE:
  • Candidates screened by the San Diego Police Department must present proof of education when they submit their Background Investigation Questionnaire.


HIGHLY DESIRABLE:

  • The ability to communicate and understand any of the following languages: Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Somali, Chinese, Indochinese or Tagalog.


Required documents should be attached electronically to your application.  If you are unable to attach at the time of application submittal, you must submit them as soon as possible via fax:  (619) 533-3337; or to the Employment Information Center:  City of San Diego Personnel Department, 1200 Third Avenue - Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101.  Include your name and the title of the position for which you are applying.

SCREENING PROCESS

The screening process will consist of the following components:

1.  APPLICATION REVIEW:  Please ensure all information is complete and accurate as the responses you provide on the supplemental questions will be reviewed using an automated evaluation system.  If you are successful in this initial screening process, your application will be reviewed for applicable education, experience, and/or training to ensure all minimum requirements have been met.

2.  PERFORMANCE TEST:  The performance test is a computer-based work simulation test that measures the general aptitudes needed to be a Dispatcher. No prior dispatch experience is necessary to pass the test.  The test includes the following fourteen (14) test modules and ten (10) decision-making scenario prompts that activate during the administration of the test modules.  The prompts measure the ability to make decisions quickly and accurately in a multi-task environment and to correctly signal the response using a computer:

  • DATA ENTRY: The ability to read written data and accurately enter that data using a keyboard.
  • DATA ENTRY (AUDIO): The ability to hear audible data and accurately enter that data using a keyboard.
  • CALL SUMMARIZATION 1: The ability to hear, comprehend, and summarize audible information.
  • CALL SUMMARIZATION 2: The ability to hear and comprehend audible information while accurately entering that information using a keyboard, and to subsequently use that information.
  • CROSS REFERENCING: The ability to locate information, requested in writing, on a written list and to correctly/accurately respond using a keyboard.
  • CROSS REFERENCING (AUDIO): The ability to locate information, requested audibly, on a written list and to correctly/accurately respond using a keyboard.
  • CHARACTER COMPARISON: The ability to compare and contrast written data.
  • MEMORY RECALL: The ability to learn and later recognize associated information.
  • MEMORY RECALL – NUMERIC (AUDIO): The ability to hear data (number sequences), memorize it, and then use a keyboard to accurately enter the data.
  • PRIORITIZATION: The ability to evaluate and analyze information in order to prioritize or categorize incidents.
  • MAP READING: The ability to use maps for determining routes and locations.
  • SPELLING: The ability to correctly spell words according to the context in which they are being used (i.e., homonyms).
  • SENTENCE CLARITY: The ability to select the written passage that is the most clearly written.
  • READING COMPREHENSION: The ability to read and comprehend written passages.


      NOTE:

  • For additional information regarding the performance test review:  


Performance Test Scheduling: Approved applicants will be notified regarding the opportunity to schedule themselves for the performance test.

Performance Test Waivers: You can request a performance test waiver via your application supplemental question responses if you:

  • Previously served and passed probation as a City of San Diego Dispatcher I and/or II within one year from the date of your application.
  • Passed the performance test for Dispatcher I – T10956 within one year from the date of your application.
  • Passed the performance test for Dispatcher II – T10957 within one year from the date of your application.
  • Are a current San Diego Police Department Dispatcher and have completed the Police Phone Dispatcher Phase Training.  Note: Submit a training completion memorandum provided by the San Diego Police Department communications section employee development office.

Performance Test Scoring: This is a pass/fail test. The test module scores are weighted to account for correct responses to the decision-making scenario prompts.  Applicants must pass ALL 14 test modules to successfully complete the performance test and be placed on the eligible list. Performance test weight: 100%.


Reexamination Eligibility: If you fail the performance test, you may reapply a month after your most recent test date.


Candidates who pass the performance test or are approved for a performance test waiver will be placed on the Dispatcher I eligibility list which will be used to fill position vacancies during the next one year.  For each vacancy, only those candidates with the most appropriate qualifications will be contacted by the hiring department for an interview.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

PERSONAL HISTORY STATEMENT: Successful candidates who are interested in a position in the San Diego Police Department must complete and submit a Personal History Statement to the San Diego Police Department. Information regarding this step of the process will be provided at a later date.
 
SUPPLEMENTAL JOB INFORMATION: A career as a Dispatcher offers many satisfying and rewarding opportunities to help others and make a sufficient contribution to public safety. This challenging, fast-paced work requires quick thinking and problem-solving abilities, and excellent public relations skills. The job, however, also has some demands that you may find less appealing. The factors listed below describe aspects of the job of which you may not be aware. It is important that you consider these conditions before you accept employment in this job classification.  This information is not provided to discourage you from seeking employment in this capacity; it is presented only to help you decide if this would be a good job choice for you.

  • There will be times that you will be unable to leave your work-station for long periods during your shift. Therefore, you must be able to work in a confined area for your entire shift. You will be required to wear a headset.
  • Typically, Police and Fire-Rescue Departments have been described as "paramilitary" work environments. Individuals hired to work in these departments will be required to work through a structured "chain of command."
  • You may be required to change your work shift (includes weekends, nights and holidays) and/or cancel days off or holiday plans on short notice. There may be times you will be mandated to work overtime.
  • You must respond courteously, calmly, and effectively to telephone calls when someone is rude, impaired, irrational, difficult to understand, confused, using obscene language, and/or screaming at you. You must also be able to respond to calls when a violent or highly emotional situation is taking place.
  • For some positions, you may be required to pass a thorough background check, which will include both personal and professional references. Professional references may focus on your suitability for this work, including your ability to deal with stressful situations. Personal references may include evaluations of your honesty and integrity, and will include arrest records, credit history, and use of controlled substances.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes applicable to this position, which may include the following: confirmation of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review and exam (which may include drug and alcohol testing); reference checks; and fingerprinting. Fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes, including a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All screening processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test result for alcohol, cannabis/marijuana, illegal drugs, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, or misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening or selection process, may constitute cause for disqualification or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an express or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. Candidates must notify the Personnel Department of any change in their name, mailing address, email address, or phone number, otherwise they may miss employment opportunities.
 

Rev. 13 – July 12, 2023 (Reexamination Eligibility Revised)

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