The 911 Public Safety Dispatcher plays a critical role in the Henrico County Public Safety Team
THE FIRST, FIRST RESPONDERS. Henrico County’s 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatchers are the critical link between those in need of emergency services and those that provide it. As part of the public safety infrastructure, dispatchers work in partnership with Police, Fire & EMS, and the county’s Office of Emergency Management, to deliver world-class public safety services to the citizens of Henrico County. We are there when seconds count.
9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatcher Duties
The 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatcher, or Communications Officer as known within the Division, is a skilled emergency communication professional who receives emergency 911 calls and non-emergency requests for police, fire and rescue. The 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatcher determines the nature and urgency of incoming calls, prioritizes calls and dispatches the appropriate emergency respondents and equipment.
This unique and demanding position requires that you think quickly and within procedural boundaries while responding to callers who may be emotional and/or uncooperative. You must also possess the ability to multi-task, have the ability to communicate well, and react quickly in stressful situations and life-threatening emergencies.
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for the position of Communications Officer:
- Must be 18 years of age or older by date of hire
- Must be a U.S. citizen by date of hire OR a lawful U.S. resident for the past 10 consecutive years prior to date of hire
- Must posses a high school diploma or GED equivalent by date of hire
- Must be able to pass computerized typing test, CritiCall
- Must be able to work assigned shifts that may include days, evenings, midnights, weekends and holidays
No application for the position of Communications Officer will be considered if there is an indication of any of the following:
- Conviction of any felony
- Conviction of a Class 1 or Class 2 Misdemeanor (excluding traffic infractions)
- Any use, experimentation, or distribution of any Schedule I drugs (i.e. heroin, hash oil, LSD, PCP, mushrooms, ecstasy, etc.)
- Any illegal use or distribution of cocaine
- Prolonged use or recent use of Marijuana and/or hash (within 12-month period)
- Criminal activity, which is of a serious nature, reflects moral turpitude, or indicates a tendency to disregard the law
Applicants may be eliminated from further consideration, on a case by case basis, for any of the following reasons:
- Illegal use or distribution of any Schedule II to Schedule VI drugs
- Conviction of a DUI or DUI-related offense
- Continual or unexplained poor financial responsibilities
- Commission of undetected crimes of a serious or repetitive nature
- Any behavior that would bring discredit to the Henrico County Police Division
Stages of the Hiring Process
- Submit online application (Keyword: Police)
- Successfully pass CritiCall computerized typing test (free practice test)
- Background Investigation
- Staff Interview
- Psychological Evaluation
- Pre-employment Drug Screening
- Vision and Hearing Test
- Final Offer of Employment
- Hire Date
- Training Academy
The next step in your journey to becoming a Henrico County 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatcher is training. There are two primary training phases, as outlined below:
Phase 1: Basic Communications Academy
First, you will complete an intensive, 6-8 week Basic Communications Academy. The academy takes place in a classroom setting where you will learn and practice basic 9-1-1 computer functions, call types, questioning techniques and much, much more.
Phase 2: On The Job Training
Upon graduation from the Basic Communications Academy, you will then enter into the next training phase: on-the-job training. Here you will complete 880 hours training alongside a Communications Training Officer for each of the four positions in the Emergency Communications Center:
- Police Radios
- Fire/EMS Radios
Pay and Benefits
The starting salary for Communications Officer is $37,296 ($17.93 hourly). You will be paid biweekly and receive a paycheck every other Friday.
In addition, you will receive a generous benefits package that includes:
- Paid Annual Leave
- Paid Sick Leave
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts for Health and/or Child Care Expenses
- Life Insurance
- Long and Short Term Disability Insurance
- Retirement Benefits through Virginia Retirement System
- Career Development Program
- Tuition reimbursement
- Employee Assistance Program for Employee and Family Members
- Credit Union Membership
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the hours?
An Emergency Communications Center must be manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes weekends, holidays, and during inclement weather.
Communications Officers are assigned to one of three fixed (non-rotating) shifts:
- Day Shift: 8 am-4 pm; 5 days on, 2 days off
- Evening Shift: 2 pm-12 am; 4 days on, 3 days off
- Midnight Shift: 10 pm-8 am; 4 days on, 3 days off
May I choose which shift I work?
No. After your training is complete you may request a transfer to specific shift. Shift preferences are taken into consideration, but not guaranteed. Communications Officer’s must be available to work any shift they may be assigned. Shift assignments are limited to a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Police Personnel, Communications Practitioner, Teri Wootton, at (804) 501-4806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I continue to go to college or work at another part-time job?
Probationary Communications Officers who elect to take classes on their own time and at their own expense should remain mindful that they will be expected to modify their schedules to accommodate the training and operational needs of their position. Education Leave and Tuition Reimbursement will not be approved during the 12-month probationary period.
Probationary Communications Officers may engage in other employment with prior written approval.
What if I want to withdraw my application or don’t pass one of the phases of the hiring process?
If for whatever reason you would like to withdraw from the process at any time, please just let us know. This does not disqualify you from reapplying in the future. If you do not pass one of the phases of the hiring process, for example if you do not pass the CritiCall computer test, you are welcome to reapply and retake the test during the next open application process at henrico.us/jobs (Keyword: Police).
Any other questions?
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have about applying for or working as a Communications Officer. Contact Teri Wootton, Police Personnel Communications Practitioner, Teri Wootton, at (804) 501-4806 or email@example.com.
You may also call the Police Personnel Unit at (804) 501-4806, or, if you prefer, submit this short form for more information.