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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Smile Police dispatching - how long did you train?

    Hi everyone!

    My last post asked about your experiences with rotating shift work. Now, I would like to know your specific experiences with police dispatch/training!

    I decided to accept the position and see how it goes. I get only 40 hours of training before I am assigned to my own 8-hour shifts (only one dispatcher works at a time since it is a smaller department). Also, my training isn't an official training/class...it is me sitting with the full-time dispatcher and observing her/doing what she says as actual calls are happening and people are walking in and out of the office and talking (some of these people are not even officers, just friends who stopped by to chat). So it is a chaotic way to learn!

    I will not handle most 911 calls since they are handled by county 911, but I handle pretty much everything else a normal police dispatcher would. I will always have at least two officers to dispatch at time, plus a few supervisors depending on the shift. I can type really quickly and I am beginning to be able to understand the radio better...one of my biggest issues is that there is no headset. So, you have our department radio set to my right since that is the one I use the most, then county radio and fire are behind me a few feet...so I have to pay attention to those as well, all while answering the phones and taking public walk-ins (impound releases, questions, etc.).

    Does anyone else have experience like this? Is this a normal amount of training time for police dispatch? It seems like 911 operators get a lot more training, but I know this job is a little different so I am just trying to get an idea of your experiences.

    I appreciate any additional information you might have / words of wisdom!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Police Dispatching - How Long Did You Train?


    While I have never been a full time, permanent dispatcher, I have had my time in the communication center. Your place is a pretty common scenario in many places. In fact, you are actually in a great position to get experience and see if you like this enough to be in a full blown 911 PSAP. I would say that your training time is not unusual at all. For a regular 911 PSAP, as you surmised, they do typically get more training. The neat thing about a position like yours is you pretty much have a very good handle on what is going on. You also might not have to work overnights, weekends, or holidays. Make the most out of it and enjoy yourself. Coming into this business can be a real eye opener. Get ready for the ride!




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