Dispatch Academy

This course will teach you the basic information to becoming a Communications Operator.

Section One - Introduction to Communications

Manager's Welcome

Manager's Welcome

On behalf of your colleagues, I welcome you to the Vallejo Communications Center Training Program and wish you every success here. You will find this to be a challenging and demanding position, but one with many rewards and the satisfaction of performing a valuable service to the community. We believe that each employee contributes directly to our Communications Center’s growth and success, and we hope you will take pride in being a member of our team.

It is important that you focus your energy on the training program and give it your undivided attention each day. The efforts you put into the training program will be directly proportionate to the quality of training you receive. If you commit yourself and focus your energies, we will help you to be successful in your training and to reach your goal of becoming a fully-trained Communications Operator. We are committed to taking you, step by step, through the training program successfully and will help you in every way that we can. A dispatcher’s most valuable resource is his/her co-workers, and that begins with your Training Coordinator and CTOs. Use them for any needs you have throughout your training.

This Training Manual outlines your entire training program and our expectations from you. We hope that your experience here will be challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding. This agency has invested in you, and we believe your employment with us will be mutually rewarding for many years to come. Again, welcome!

Sincerely,

Aimee Crutcher

Communications Manager

Welcome to Dispatch

Welcome to Dispatch

Welcome to the Vallejo Police Department’s Dispatch Team and the world of Public Safety Dispatching. The term Emergency Services Dispatcher is synonymous with “Public Safety Dispatcher” and perhaps more appropriately describes today’s professional whose skills combine those of a radio dispatcher, telephone call-taker and computer operator. The goal is improved public safety by improving communication accuracy and decreasing response time. That goal very much involves YOU!

The terms Communications Operator, Call-taker, 911 Operator, Complaints Dispatcher and Communications Dispatcher are sometimes interchangeable. They are used to refer to you, the individual who receives the call from the reporting party (citizen) and obtains enough information to enter the appropriate call for service in order to properly dispatch police units.

The “dispatcher”, by use of the police radio, assigns departmental resources predicated on the information received from the Call Taker. These tasks are to be achieved in an accurate, quick, professional and efficient manner.

The Vallejo Police Dispatch Center is the nerve center of the Police Department. Most all the initial information received by the Department passes through the Dispatch Center. Your role as a Police Dispatcher is a vital link between the public and police personnel. It takes a special kind of person to be able to perform the jobs of call-taking and dispatching accurately and responsibly…since seconds count.

Your job requires a positive out-look which allows you to consistently perform well under pressure. Dexterity is needed to operate the various computers located at the communications console. The ability to make quick decisions and take the necessary actions to follow through an incident is critical. A prime requirement is the ability to quickly comprehend what is read or heard, process that information, make quick and accurate decisions, input information into the CAD (computer aided dispatch) system and/or verbally relay that information, over the Police radio frequencies, in a clear, concise and expeditious manner.

The telephone is the most available, and therefore the most important, means of access the citizen has of obtaining the services of the public safety department. It is the primary link between them and the help they need. When you answer an incoming call on the telephone, you are about to meet someone – you will be engaged in a conversation that is as important as a face to face visit.

Dispatchers sit behind the telephonic front counter of the law enforcement agency as far as the public is concerned: the link between someone who needs help and the Public Safety Officers who can supply the assistance needed. The impression you make on each caller can impact, positively or negatively, on the overall effectiveness of the Police Department.

As a member of the public safety communications community, you are a part of a safety services team. We provide vital support functions while working toward the larger goals and objectives of our law enforcement agency, which include providing efficient law enforcement services to the citizens of Vallejo. As a member of the Dispatch Center, you will need to be able to work well with others. This includes your co-workers, trainers, staff members, and police personnel. Professionalism is expected. Upon accepting the responsibilities and challenges of the position, you will experience a level of personal satisfaction and professional achievement seldom encountered in a routine work environment. You will have earned the right to take pride in a job well done.

Let us begin now and take your first steps in learning your new and exciting career.

Your Role

Your Role

Your role as a Public Safety Dispatcher will provide you with the unique opportunity to be a tangible force in insuring public safety. The entire process of the criminal justice system usually begins with the Dispatcher and the vital information that person provides to law enforcement officers. To perform this role in an effective manner, you should always remember that the public judges the Department on the employees they meet in person or over the telephone. As a rule, the public is unaware of the long extra hours, arduous duties, and trying experiences encountered by the Dispatchers, and therefore expect (and deserve) the same high standards at all times.

Job Satisfaction

In spite of the stress and responsibilities, which are an integral part of the role of the Public Safety Dispatcher, you will find few careers that offer such a high degree of job satisfaction and professional integrity. Upon completion of your training, and upon acquiring the necessary skills and experience required, you can congratulate yourself for becoming a member of an elite and respected group of employees.

Objectives

As a Public Safety Dispatcher handling incoming calls for service, it is your responsibility to screen these calls in order of priority and importance. It is also your responsibility to project a positive image of our Department and your position by displaying a courteous and professional demeanor during all telephone contacts. To obtain accurate and complete information, proper questioning and listening techniques must be utilized at all times. The objective of the Dispatcher training is to provide the inexperienced Public Safety Dispatcher with the necessary information and background to become a successful and effective dispatcher.

Part of your training for call taking will include:

  • The ability to speak in a voice that is clear, easily understood and authoritative.
  • The ability to deal courteously with the public under any circumstances.
  • The ability to take control and direct the flow of the telephone conversation.
  • A knowledge and understanding of call screening and prioritization.
  • Recognition of the importance of information verification.
  • Knowledge of logical questions to ask, and in the proper sequence.
  • Knowledge of the 911 history.
  • An understanding of the importance of keeping others in the room and supervisors apprised of new and/or updated information.

The objective of the dispatch training is to introduce to the inexperienced Public Safety Dispatcher to radio procedures and operations necessary to become a successful and effective dispatcher.

Part of your training for radio dispatch will include:

  • The ability to properly operate the radio console and all associated functions.
  • The ability to recognize, decipher and respond to radio traffic while maintaining accurate unit status.
  • The ability to dispatch police resources.
  • A knowledge of the geography, police beats of the City of Vallejo that will assist them in making correct and efficient deployment decisions.
  • The ability to read or scan events quickly for pertinent information and then air the event in a clear concise manner as to be easily understood by field personnel.
  • The ability to properly and professionally communicate on the radio.
  • The ability to make critical decisions that can affect the safety of many people, both the citizens and public safety personnel.

A dispatch trainee will gain the knowledge that they are the link between the police officer in the field and the citizens of Vallejo. The trainee must have the ability to perform the skills and work independently with minimal supervision before being considered a qualified dispatcher and be released from the formal training program.  This can be a stressful, yet very rewarding experience for you.

Mission, Goals and Code of Ethics

Mission, Goals and Code of Ethics

Mission Statement

To provide professional law enforcement services that enhance, protect, and promote the quality of life for persons residing, visiting, or doing business in the City of Vallejo.

Goals

Deliver police services that satisfy citizen’s needs

Develop, empower, and sustain a highly professional workforce

Employ management systems that improve organizational effectiveness

Promote awareness and understanding between the Police Department and the people it serves

Foster a high quality culture throughout the organization

CORE VALUES

Professionalism - The City of Vallejo Police Department will conduct itself consistent with our professional and ethical standards of leadership, communication and responsibility. We will adhere to our mission statement and core values and will be accountable for ourselves and our actions and will at all times treat others with honor, respect and compassion.

Integrity- We are a responsive, empowered, professional organization with clear priorities. We will uphold our professional reputation with well managed resources and at all times conduct ourselves in a manner that gains the respect and trust of those we serve. We will deliver police services that satisfy customer needs; develop, empower, and sustain a highly professional workforce; employ management systems that improve organizational effectiveness; promote awareness and understanding between the Police Department and its customers, and foster a quality culture throughout the organization.

Pride - We have pride and belief in ourselves, our service and in the effective performance of our duties. We are a premier law enforcement agency that is second to none, championed by our customers and benchmarked by our counterparts. We are a high performance team, focused, flexible, empowered and highly responsive to new challenges.

Dispatcher Code of Ethics 

As a Public Safety Communications Operator, I am dedicated to serve the public; to safeguard life and property; to keep my personnel informed on all calls that may require their attention; to assist all public safety vehicles and personnel in the performance of their duties; assure that all rules and regulations which govern my position are not violated in any manner.

I will keep my private and social life free from all criticism; maintain a calm attitude during times of stress and emergencies; develop self-control and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others, regardless of race, creed, or religion. I will obey the laws of the land,  rules,  and  regulations  of  the  Federal  Communications  Commission  and  my department. Whatever information I receive of a confidential nature will be revealed only in the official performance of my duties.

I will never act in a selfish or unofficial manner or let my personal feelings, friendships, prejudices or animosity influence my decisions. I will enforce the rules and regulations of my department and the Federal Communications Commission without fear, favor or ill will, never employing unnecessary force and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the high responsibility of my position as a symbol of public faith and trust and will accept it to be held as long as I am faithful to the ethics of public safety service. I  will  constantly  strive  to  achieve  those  objectives  and  ideals,  which  govern  my profession,  dedicating  myself,  before  God,  to  my  chosen  profession,  public  safety telecommunications.

As a Public Safety Dispatcher handling incoming calls for service, it is your __________ to screen these calls in order of priority and importance.

  • responsibility
  • obligation
  • right
  • prerogative