Police Dispatcher

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Police Dispatcher
REPORTS TO: Senior Police Dispatcher
DATE: 04/2009
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Under general supervision, provides prompt and accurate dispatching of police units; receives and disseminates emergency and non-emergency calls for service from citizens on the telephone; enters and maintains records in computer system.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.



Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs.

Computer Skills

Skilled in the use of computers, adapts to new technology, keeps abreast of changes, learns new programs quickly, uses computers to improve productivity. Makes good use of web tools and on-line resources, can implement and manage web projects.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.

Personal Organization

Keeps information organized and accessible, maintains clean/functional work space, works systematically/efficiently, manages time well.


Meets all team deadlines and responsibilities, listens to others and values opinions, helps team leader to meet goals, welcomes newcomers and promotes a team atmosphere.


Answers emergency and non-emergency calls from the public; determines the nature of the call; determines action required to handle call appropriately.

Dispatches the appropriate equipment and personnel to the scene.

Maintains awareness of officers location in order to dispatch calls appropriately, efficiently, and provide for officer safety.

Enters and maintains records into computer system.

Monitors equipment for functional performance.

Checks for wants and warrants on suspects, runaways, and stolen vehicles utilizing the computer systems.


Serves as receptionist and assists callers with non-emergency situations, such as giving office hours and directions to various agencies.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer (Miles/NCIC)
  • General Office Equipment
  • Multi-line phone
  • Radio Console


Education and Experience

High school diploma or GED; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

MILES/NCIC Certification.

CPR/AED desirable.


Knowledge of:

Geography of City of Takoma Park and surrounding area, including roadways.

FCC regulations related to the use of radio and telecommunications equipment.

Operation of radio, computer aided dispatch and other telecommunications equipment.

Operation of MILES\NCIC, and other computer systems used in emergency operations.

Policies, procedures and practices of emergency communications and dispatch operations.

Basic law enforcement procedures.

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Skill in:

Operating emergency communications and dispatch equipment.

Typing and operation of a computer keyboard in order to enter and retrieve data.

Typing at a rate of 45 wpm.

Eliciting information from irate, upset or anxious callers.

Giving detailed instructions and information to callers.

Communicating clearly and effectively with others, both orally and in writing.

Operating various office equipment.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to listen to caller, type into computer the information about the call, and respond to the radio simultaneously.

Ability to think clearly, speak audibly and distinctly, make decisions quickly, and take effective action in emergency situations.

Ability to deal with a variety of tasks effectively.

Ability to understand and carry out written and oral instructions.

Ability to read data, files and reports with comprehension.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.

While performing the essential functions of this job, the incumbent is regularly required to sit, use hands and fingers to handle, seize, hold, grasp or turn objects, to reach with hands and arms, and speak and hear.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office environment with little exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust. The nature of the work often means that the employee is unable to leave the office during the shift.

The incumbent's working conditions are moderately quiet, but busy with the telephones, radios, and visitors causing interruptions.

Regular exposure to persons displaying irate, angry or volatile behavior and emergency situations which exposes the incumbent to a high degree of stress.

Working time may require irregular hours and shift times.

file: Police Dispatcher

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.