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  1. #1
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    Dispatcher Tests

    I was just wondering if anyone here has any information on "Computer Based" Dispatcher entry test for local PD's. Anyone know what they consist of? Besides a typing test, that is.

    Also if anyone knows how the dispatcher to police officer usually goes inter department that would be helpful as well.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    cliche answer: every department is different. But you could expect to listen to a 911 call and have an entry form in front of you requiring to get all the important info. Most are a piece of cake.

    dispatcher to po is also different in each department, most department are staffed short in dispatch and hate to see people go to other areas....however other may consider it an advantage as having some experience and already knowing GOs codes and some procedures as well as personnel. I would be careful because instead of getting the foot in the door it could mean the foot in the concrete...just my 2 cents

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinkagePD510 View Post
    I was just wondering if anyone here has any information on "Computer Based" Dispatcher entry test for local PD's. Anyone know what they consist of? Besides a typing test, that is.

    Also if anyone knows how the dispatcher to police officer usually goes inter department that would be helpful as well.
    Most tests consist of several different parts. They test your ability to multi-task, to remember details of a 911 call(s), your ability to prioritize, and general computer operation skills. I personally don't think it is a test you can prepare for.

    As far as going dispatcher to officer within the same department, that usually doesn't happen. If you have law enforcement training (POST eligible) or are currently in school for LE you most likely won't be hired. Training for dispatchers can consist of up to 6 months on-the-job training and most agencies don't want to waste their resources on someone who is planning to leave within 2 years.

    Skiflyer also made a good point that most Comm. Centers are short staffed and hate losing dispatchers and might be a little upset to see you transfer within the department if they were under the impression you would be around for awhile. (This is something I've experienced personally).
    Last edited by DKTransit; 09-01-2011 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Spelling

  4. #4
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    These guys hit it pretty square on the head... The training they invest into you makes it hard for them to give you a blessing to go police somewhere BUT I will say this, where I work in Wisconsin we have ft dispatchers that got hired as pt police officers in the county because they were dispatchers... This is an absolutely huge perk in my opinion because having these guys on the street working as cops makes them understand what info they need and dont need when they are working which translates to them being absolutely amazing dispatchers... You can definitely tell when the cop dispatchers work... I recently moved and it is my understanding that some of the dispatchers in my new county are also mn part time licensed sworn deputies for the county they work for so they get some street experience... Be interested to know if this translates here as well (I am sure it does)
    - Bluecrew
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  5. #5
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    We have had a few Telecommunicators (call takers and dispatchers) go through our academy and eventually wash out in FTO. Now they are back in the Comm. Cntr. Don't know of any TC that made it through FTO at least with us. I think there was a guy that used to work for us as a TC and now is with St. Cloud PD.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AR-15 View Post
    We have had a few Telecommunicators (call takers and dispatchers) go through our academy and eventually wash out in FTO. Now they are back in the Comm. Cntr. Don't know of any TC that made it through FTO at least with us. I think there was a guy that used to work for us as a TC and now is with St. Cloud PD.
    Your right he was working there. He was a great cop but got forced out of the dept. I think he was there for about 4-5 years.
    "We Train to Fight, We Fight to Win, We Win to Survive, We Survive to LIVE!"

    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the information guys!

  8. #8
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    The last two deputies to get hired in our county came out of dispatch. The one thing that sucks about that ... we lose our best dispatchers.

    Dispatching would be a bigger asset then working in a jail, dispatch deals with a lot more people, needs to multi-task, and keep their cool during emergency situations.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeves44 View Post
    Dispatching would be a bigger asset then working in a jail, dispatch deals with a lot more people, needs to multi-task, and keep their cool during emergency situations.
    I agree 100%. I've done explorer's, reserves, and also have been a CSO and nothing better prepared me for LE than my time spent dispatching.

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