Public Safety Dispatcher Job Opening

This position is located in the Police Department.  The Police Department is responsible for maintaining a public safety environment which supports the University’s mission of education, research and public service, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Under the general supervision of the Records & Communications Manager, the incumbent staffs the Public Safety Dispatch Center, operating as a primary point of contact for life or property emergencies and general police, fire and Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) transit services.

Flyer for Public Safety Dispatcher position

Job Duties

80% Radio Dispatching & Emergency Services

Incumbent provides emergency and routine radio dispatching and telephone services to the campus, emergency services, TAPS transit service drivers, Disability Van Service (DVS), CHARTER Services, and Transit Supervisors. The incumbent receives and transmits information by two-way radio and phone (including 9-1-1 calls, "blue light" emergency phones, TDD, and emergency elevator phones). 

In accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations, standard public safety dispatching guidelines, Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements, and specific University and unit policies and guidelines, communicate by two-way radio with Police, Fire, Parking, Guards, Health Services, Physical Plant, Community Safety Officers, TAPS, other campus units, and allied agencies. Relay and coordinate information and provide support to all field units. 

Operate other technically advanced and complex alarm computer systems. Operate complex radio console, utilize various computerized applications, operate video display terminal, answer and handle the E911 Public Safety Answering Point.
Independently determine the level of emergency response and coordinate police, fire, ambulance and transit services as well as other resources as needed or required.

Function autonomously but under the general supervision of the Records and Communications Manager or Police Captain.  In the absence of the Records and Communications Manager or Police Captain, functional supervision is provided by the on duty police supervisor.

Operate a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system to keep detailed records of calls received, units dispatched, and agency initiated activity.  Utilize a Records Management system for the purpose of assisting the Police Department and other Public Safety agencies. Use a Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) to dispatch and track various levels of calls for service and public safety resources. Inquire into the Records Management System, and university information systems, to inquire, enter, update or modify data. Support the Police Records Unit after business hours.
Dispatches transit buses and Disability Van Service (DVS) vans.

Monitor and respond to calls on CLEMARS (California Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System), an interagency law enforcement frequency, monitor allied agencies, including but not limited to Santa Cruz City Police, Santa Cruz County Sheriff, and County Fire frequencies.

Understand and evaluates emergency/urgent situations and relays information as received to assist in coordinating a response with the Police and Fire, Transit Services Manager, Safety Manager, drivers, staff and customers to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Operate CLETS (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) terminal, using Open Query software system for inquiries to automated data bases at Department of Motor Vehicles, inquiries, entries, and updates to automated data bases of California Department of Justice, National Crime Information Center, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Following established procedures, send administrative messages to law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, including requests for mutual aid, information on subjects or vehicles, notifications to law enforcement agencies regarding persons and/or vehicles wanted by University Police, and abstracts of warrants held by University Police. Receive and distribute messages received on CLETS terminal, including: inquiries, confirmation of warrants, bulletins and notices from other agencies.

Receive all emergency calls on campus, including: medical emergencies, fires, crimes, suspicious circumstances, fire and security alarms, accidents (vehicle, bicycle and other), hazardous materials incidents (toxic or radioactive spills), stalled elevators, power outages and major disasters.

Coordinate emergency response of University units (Police, Fire, Environmental Health & Safety, Health Services, Physical Plant, college Community Safety Officers) and non-campus units (including Santa Cruz Police and Fire, Santa Cruz Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, California Division of Forestry and ambulance).

Follow prescribed University procedures and public safety dispatching procedures and exercise proper judgment in emergency situations for which established procedures may not exist.

15% Records/Files

Monitor dispatch center alarms, 9-1-1 and campus telephone system, and other equipment to assure proper functioning.  Notify appropriate technician when systems malfunction.

Utilize a  multi-channel logging recorder in regular course of duty and to assist campus Police Department with needed information.

Maintain records and files as required: Penal Code bans, court orders, CLETS/NLETS administrative messages, CLETS entry logs, equipment logs, Dispatch activity logs, Incident Reports, After Hours Non-Emergency Maintenance forms, etc.

Maintain and utilize emergency call-out and notification lists for the campus departments.
Track ridership of the Transit Operations and Disability Van Services (DVS).
Prepares reports of DVS statistics for grant reporting purposes.
Update DVS rider schedules, creating and organizing forms and client records.
General administrative functions such as data entry, filing and record keeping, assisting with processing parking citations, parking boot information, transit requests, permit requests, and other information based on the needs of the department.

5% Miscellaneous

Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.


Knowledge of two-way radio operations.

Experience with transit and/or para-transit dispatch.

General knowledge of transit polices and procedures pertaining to the institution of higher education.

Excellent communication skills.

Knowledge of a typical office computer system and video display terminals.

Ability to coordinate vehicles to ensure scheduled routes.

Ability to proficiently type on a standard computer keyboard.

Computer experience using word processing, spreadsheets, database programs, etc.

Skills to multi-task and communicate effectively with numerous interruptions and noise.

Experience in making independent and complex decisions.

Experience in documentation of information and maintaining records.

Experience or exposure to the public safety field.

Experience working under considerable pressure, caused by emergency situations.


Understand the Incident Command System (ICS)

Comprehend and disseminate information guided by laws that pertain to Federal Privacy Act, Public Records Act, California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code, California Government Code, FERPA, DOJ Policies, etc.

Provide customer service.

Understand and evaluate emergency and technical information and relay as received.

Perform several tasks simultaneously.

Work independently without direct supervision.

Make decisions with constant interruptions and changing priorities.

Maintain accurate and legible records.

Listen accurately, retrieve facts, details, derive meaning, draw conclusions.

Speak distinctly and convey information clearly.

Remain courteous and professional under routine and stressful conditions.

React quickly, efficiently, and calmly in emergency situations and adopt an effective course of action.

Exercise flexibility, good judgment and discretion.

Exercise sensitivity to the needs to customers including those with disabilities.

Apply rules, regulations and procedures to varied situations.

Work well and harmoniously with co-workers and with a diverse group of people.

Work for long periods of time without breaks.

Work in a confined area and cannot leave job site for meals.

Sit for long periods of time, viewing and operating computers.

Ability to access and disseminate information from Internet based programs or sites.

Preferred Qualification

A Bachelors degree or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Knowledge of UCSC campus locations.

Knowledge of CLETS messages and skill in understanding responses.

Certificate of completion of a POST compliant Dispatcher course.

Recent experience with police and/or fire dispatch. Experience in the operation and procedures of police and fire, emergency preparedness protocol, as well as familiarity with criminal law, civil law, university regulations, California codes and municipal ordinances.

Knowledge of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on communication by two-way radio.

Knowledge of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) standards.

Experience in the use of an E911 system; different telephone systems and multiline sets; Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).

Special Conditions of Employment

Selected candidate will be required to pass a thorough background investigation including a criminal history background check

Selected candidate must pass the POST Entry-level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery: An exception to this requirement will be given to candidates who can show evidence of successful completion of probation during previous employment as a dispatcher AND show evidence of successful completion of either the Public Safety Dispatcher's Basic Course OR the POST Basic Dispatcher Training Equivalency Examination within the last three (3) years.

Satisfactory completion of the California POST Dispatcher Certificate program and/or a current California POST Entry Level Test letter with a score of 55 or better, and Department of Justice (DOJ) California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) training within 12 months of date of hire.

Selected candidate must have completed a 120-hour POST Basic Compliant Dispatcher course OR be able to satisfactorily complete this course within12 months of hire. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed this course.

Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background investigation including criminal history, and psychological exam. Must pass a pre-placement medical exam based on POST requirements, provided by employer at no cost to applicant.

Twelve (12) month probationary period.

Alternate work schedule shift work. Must be able to work holidays, weekends and overtime on short notice. Must be able to work all shifts: Day-7am, Evening-5pm, Night-9pm. Shift assignment may rotate as needed.

Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.

Possess a valid California Driver’s License.

Have earned a valid high school diploma or equivalent

Must be a United States Citizen

Have no Felony convictions

Meet all other requirements for public safety dispatcher as established by law and POST including hearing, vision, and other physical/medical standards.

Maintain requirements as prescribed by law, policy or POST standards.

Must be able to travel to attend training, workshops or conferences away from the Santa Cruz, CA area.

Must be available to work overtime, work weekends and holidays, and work for long periods of time
without breaks. Hours of work may be on an 8, 10 or 12 hour plan.  Candidate will be on probation for  one year. Training period will depend on experience at time of hire.

Special Notations


Step 1- Minimum Required Qualifications:

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be selected to continue in the process outlined below.

Step 2- POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery:

Non-exempt applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be scheduled for this exam administered by the University Police Department. The exam assesses the following requirements: verbal, reasoning, memory and perceptual abilities shall be evaluated before hire to assure the presence of ability levels commensurate with the performance of dispatcher duties, as measured by the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery or alternative job-related tests of these abilities.

NOTE: Exemption to Step 2: Applicants who can show evidence of successful completion of probation during previous employment as a dispatcher AND can show evidence of successful completion of either the Public Safety Dispatcher's Basic Course OR the POST Basic Dispatcher Training Equivalency Examination within the last 3 years are exempt from the Step 2 requirement.

Click here for more information on POST dispatcher recruitment standards.

Step 3- Interview:

Applicants, who successfully pass Step 2 above, the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery or meet exemption for step 2, will be considered for interview.

Chief of Police Interview

Step 4- UCSC Police Department Background Investigation:

Authorized personnel at the UCSC Police Department, certified via POST as background investigators, will conduct the background investigation on applicants who successfully complete steps 1 through 3 above. Applicant information collected thus far in the selection process will be verified during this investigation.

Medical and psychological exam.

Applicants who successfully complete all four steps of the selection process may be selected for hire.

Position is open until filled; Initial Review Date: 11-28-2016


View full job description and access on-line application: - enter job number 1606857 in the search box


To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit they must be submitted electronically via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site ( on or before the initial review date.  Computers are available at the UCSC Staff Human Resources office located at 1201 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz.  For further information or to request disability accommodation call 831-459-2009.  Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service 800-735-2922.  The University of California, Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.