Radio Dispatcher Trainee

County of Orange
Full Time 24-per week $58,136 - $78,374 Per year CA Orange County Sheriff's Department - Headquarters, 550 N Flower St, Santa Ana, CA 92703, United States



 In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates: 

Effective June 28, 2024 – 4.25% increase

Effective June 27, 2025 – 4.00% increase

 This recruitment is open to the public, on a continuous basis, until the needs of the department have been met.  Please be advised this recruitment may close at 11:59 p.m. any day of the week and it is recommended that interested candidates apply immediately.RECRUITMENT/POSITION INFORMATION
This recruitment is being conducted to establish an Open Eligible List to fill current and future Radio Dispatcher Trainee vacancies for the Orange County Sheriff's Department until the next recruitment. This list may also be utilized to fill the lower level classification of Sheriff's Call Taker.

The Emergency Communications Bureau is a 24/7 operation and is based at the Loma Ridge Emergency Operation Center. The Bureau consists of Dispatch, and the Control One component of the County-wide Coordinated Communications System (CCCS).

Our Emergency Call-Takers receive approximately 2,500 calls per day and our Radio Dispatchers ensure that Deputy Sheriffs are provided with the information necessary for them to serve our 13 contract city partners as well as all Orange County unincorporated areas. Emergency Communications Coordinators provide vital information to all Orange County law enforcement agencies and are responsible for coordinating radio traffic on county-wide emergency frequencies.

Click to see OC Sheriff patrol areas.

  • Experience or training as an emergency communications operator, dispatcher or similar position.
  • Experience in the use of computers and various software programs.
  • Able to multi-task in stressful situations
Radio Dispatcher Trainees under immediate supervision, receive on-the-job training in the techniques and methods of 9-1-1 call taking and radio dispatching involving emergency public safety operations. The Radio Dispatcher Trainee is taught to handle emergency situations requiring independent judgment as to course of action where unprecedented situations may arise. Upon successful completion of the required training as Radio Dispatcher Trainee and pass a one (1) year probation period, incumbents will promote to a Radio Dispatcher. 

Receiving calls in the 24-hour 7/ day per week into the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems from citizens for emergency and non-emergency issues in adherence to departmental policies and procedures; Must be able to read maps and learn the geography and freeway systems; Obtain information from callers and determine type of action to achieve successful problem resolution; Interpreting maps ensuring calls for service are relayed to the appropriate governmental jurisdiction.

This is a full-time position and employees are required to work no less than forty (40) hours per week, rotating shifts, weekends, holidays and overtime may be required to meet operational staffing needs.

Shifts are 10-12 hours in length and are as follows: 6 a.m.- 6 p.m., 6 p.m.-6 a.m., 7 a.m.-5 p.m., 5 p.m.-3 a.m., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 9 p.m.-7 a.m., but are subject to change with the needs of the department.

Some Knowledge of:
  • The cities, highways, main streets, major buildings and geography of Orange County.
Ability to:
  • Learn to dispatch public safety equipment in a coordinated manner.
  • Must react quickly, efficiently and calmly in an emergency situation, and to adopt an effective course of action.
  • Learn applicable rules and regulations, policies and procedures, including applicable Federal Communications Commission Regulations and their application.
  • Prepare records and follow oral and written direction.
  • Work under pressure and exercise sound judgment in emergency situations
  • Handle a high volume of emergency calls with tact, good judgment, initiative and speed.
  • Learn to make immediate decisions and react in a quick, calm, controlled and effective manner in emergency situations.
  • Elicit information from callers while simultaneously typing information into computer terminal.
  • Speak clearly and concisely.
  • Comprehend, interpret and retain written and orally presented information.
  • Learn to dispatch public safety services and/or equipment in a coordinated manner for multiple contract cities and unincorporated units on a single frequency.
  • Work in a demanding fast paced environment
  • Learn radio codes, penal codes and basic law enforcement practices.
  • Follow written and oral directions.
Education and Experience: Any combination of education, training and/or experience which demonstrates possession of the knowledge, skills and abilities listed above.

Click to view the class spec/job description.

Applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or be on any form of probation, and must pass an extensive background investigation, including a psychological evaluation, to the satisfaction of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.

Background screening includes completing of a Personal History Form, interview with a background investigator, fingerprinting and will include a polygraph test. Some of the areas considered in the background screening include prior convictions, traffic violations, drug use, credit problems, employment history, professional references, and education verification (i.e. degree, license, or official transcripts).

The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for applicants who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. The following is a description of the physical and mental abilities that are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of this position. Applicants are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed for any questions or request an accommodation during the testing/selection process.

Physical and Mental Requirements: Ability to sit for prolonged periods of time and manipulate feet to operate radio microphone (foot pedal); manual dexterity to intermittently use hands, arms and shoulders; continuously extend neck upwards, downwards, or side-to-side to write or use a keyboard, use the radio and wear a headset at all times. Must have vision sufficient to see and read writing, view computer input using multiple computer monitors and phone buttons; speak and hear well in order to communicate clearly and be understood in person, over the phone and on the radio with exposure to noise of other radios, phones and voices.
Ability to independently reason and analyze data, and to reach objective conclusions; work under demanding conditions, deadlines and competing priorities; exercise good judgment in following procedures and directions in emergency situations, manage over-the-phone interactions with members of the public in emotionally charged situations; work cooperatively and interact appropriately with other individuals, including the general public.

Environmental and Working Conditions: Must have the ability to work indoors in an office environment with changing priorities, deadlines and multiple assignments concurrently; deal with emotional and/or adverse public interactions on a daily basis while maintaining a calm demeanor.  Must be able to work rotating shifts, weekends and holidays.

Applications must emphasize all the areas in which the applicant has expertise and accomplishments in the specific competencies related to the position, as applications will be screened to identify the most qualified candidates.
Minimum Qualifications: The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Human Resources screens all applications to identify the most qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the County. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the recruitment.

Interactive Computer 90-minute Exam (Refer/Non-Refer): The exam consists of job-related questions. This is a standardized exam and there are no study guides available. Candidates need a passing score on this examination in order to continue in the selection process. Only the most successful candidates will be referred to the next step. The exam will include the following:
  • Decision Making
  • Data Entry
  • Call Summarization
  • Cross Referencing
  • Memory Recall-Numeric
  • Prioritizing
  • Map Reading
  • Spelling
Eligible List: After all procedures have been completed, Sheriff-Coroner Human Resources will establish an eligible list of qualified candidates who may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present or future vacancies.

The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click   to review the policy. 

Based on the Department's needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.