Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.


Under regular supervision (Public Safety Dispatcher I) or general supervision (Public Safety Dispatcher II), performs communications dispatch and status monitoring for both Police and Fire in a computer-aided environment; receives and transmits telephone and voice radio messages; dispatches emergency fire and police equipment and personnel; processes and maintains a variety of reports, records and files.


Public Safety Dispatcher I – This is the entry level class in the Public Safety Dispatcher series. Positions in this class have prior experience in public safety or public contact work. This level is not expected to function with the same amount of work knowledge or skill level as positions allocated to the Public Safety Dispatcher II level. Public Safety Dispatcher I’ s exercise less independent discretion and judgment in matters related to work procedures and methods. Incumbents in this class are expected to learn the office and field operations of the department under the direction of a Public Safety Shift Supervisor. Incumbents initially appointed to Public Safety Dispatcher I level may progress to Public Safety Dispatcher II after successfully completing one year (12 months) as a Public Safety Dispatcher I with the City of Escondido, and achieving the qualifications and department requirements established for progression.

Public Safety Dispatcher II – This is the journey level class in the Public Safety Dispatcher series. Positions at this level require demonstrated ability to perform responsible communications dispatch and status monitoring. Positions in this class series are flexibly staffed and positions at the Public Safety Dispatcher II level are normally filled by advancement from the Public Safety Dispatcher I level. Positions at this level require one year of experience comparable to a Public Safety Dispatcher I with the City of Escondido.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  • Answers incoming fire and police emergency 911 and routine calls from the public requesting police, fire, medical, or other emergency services.
  • Maintains, receives, and records pertinent information from two-way radio communications with emergency or field units; determines priorities, nature and location of calls for service
  • Monitors and maintains status of public safety personnel and equipment, to ensure the safety of emergency personnel and adequate city-wide fire protection; monitors radio receiver with several complex public safety radio frequencies and multiple lines for all communications; operate a variety of communications equipment, including radios, telephones and computer systems.
  • Dispatches police and fire personnel and equipment utilizing a Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) System according to standard operational procedure established by department, instructions from a superior, or by individual judgment if required by the situation.
  • Notifies superior regarding emergency situations and general activities.
  • Answers questions from the public pertaining to departmental policies and procedures or community services.
  • Records phone messages for off-duty and on-duty personnel and advises Watch Commander of pertinent incoming information.
  • Receives and transmits requests for information using the City and ARJIS computer and teletype systems.
  • Uses computer terminal to access various confidential law enforcement systems, including ARJIS, CLETS, SUN, and NCIC; interprets, verifies, receives and disseminates information and data.
  • Assists in training new Public Safety Dispatchers as assigned.
  • Responds to citizen requests for information or nonemergency service.
  • May serve as lead worker in the absence of the Public Safety Shift Supervisor.
  • May be required to perform bilingual skills as a condition of employment.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Provides vacation and temporary relief as needed.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

  • Fire and Police departmental policies and procedures and office practices, or ability to gain such knowledge.
  • City government organization, functions, and policies.
  • Federal Communications Commission regulations governing voice, radio and telephone communications, or ability to gain such knowledge.
  • City boundaries and major buildings.
  • Computer equipment and software applications.
  • Principles of customer service.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Principles and practices of customer service.

Ability to:

  • Learn, interpret and apply departmental policies and procedures and Federal Communications Commission voice-radio regulations.
  • Read maps rapidly and accurately.
  • Operate or learn to operate radio telephone equipment.
  • Type at a rate of 40 net wpm and operate a computer terminal.
  • Operate and use modern office equipment including a computer and various software packages.
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Speak and understand English clearly and distinctly over communications equipment.
  • Remain calm under pressure, exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in emergency situations.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community.
  • Work cooperatively with other departments, City officials, and outside agencies.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience Guidelines - Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Public Safety Dispatcher I/II

Education/Training: Graduation from high school or equivalent.

Public Safety Dispatcher I

Experience: Two years of experience in clerical or public contact work in which the primary responsibility was customer service. Excellent computer skills is highly desirable.

Public Safety Dispatcher II

Experience: One year of experience comparable to a Public Safety Dispatcher I with the City of Escondido and one of the following: California P.O.S.T. Public Safety Dispatcher Basic Certification or completion of a P.O.S.T.  certified Basic Dispatcher’s Course (120 hours). Prior experience using a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system is highly desirable.

License and Other Requirements - Must be willing to work any of three shifts, on a rotating basis. Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License. Works hours and schedules are flexible and include holidays and weekends. Must be willing to work overtime if required.


The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Exposure to noise of radios, telephones, alarms and voices; fumes and odors of backup generator; dust of excessive paperwork. Work environment is frequently fast paced and high pressure, performed in dimly lit and closely confined communication room. Work setting is informal, autonomy-oriented, having variable tasks. Work is frequently fast-paced with high pressure Work hours and schedules are flexible and include holidays and weekends; must be willing to work overtime if required.

Physical: CONTINUOUS sitting, downward flexion of neck, grasping of writing materials and paperwork. FREQUENT reaching at shoulder height, twisting at waist, side to side turning of neck, manual dexterity to operate computer keyboards and phone buttons. OCCASIONAL walking, bending, and stooping, reaching above shoulder height, upward flexion of neck. INFREQUENT standing and squatting.

Communication: VISION (may be correctable) to see writing, computer input, phone bank buttons, unit and status display board. HEARING for telephone, radio, verbal communications, alarms, tones, bells. SPEAKING clearly and distinctly using telephone, radio, personal contact. WRITING service cards and related paperwork. READING computer screens, service cards, teletypes.

Date: November 2009
Revised by JP/Department

Date: March 2005
Revised by MH/Department