Public Safety Dispatcher - Lateral

  • Sunnyvale, California
  • Mar 08, 2024
Full Time Dispatch and Telecommunications Public Safety
  • Salary: $55.52 - $67.49 Hourly USD

Job Description


Regular Full Time Employment Opportunity

A complete application packet will consist of a City of Sunnyvale employment application, responses to the required supplemental questions, and a current (dated within one year of application) typing certificate verifying 35 or more net words per minute. Please note: For this recruitment, online OR in-person typing tests will be accepted. This open/continuous recruitment may close without notice, the next application review will be March 15, 2024.

For more information on how to obtain and submit a typing certificate, please contact the Human Resources front desk at (408) 730-7490 or via email to .

Under general supervision of the Senior Public Safety Dispatcher, processes emergency and non-emergency calls for service; dispatches police, fire, medical, rescue, animal control or other emergency equipment, by telephone or radio, utilizing complex technical aids, such as computer aided dispatch systems (CAD); and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The position of Public Safety Dispatcher is a fully qualified journey-level technical classification. This classification differs from the lower-level classification of Public Safety Dispatcher-In-Training in that the Public Safety Dispatcher-In-Training is the entry level classification whereby incumbents are learning to perform the duties of the classification. It is further distinguished from the higher-level classification of Senior Public Safety Dispatcher in that the Senior Public Safety Dispatcher has supervisory responsibility.

Essential Job Functions

(May include, but are not limited to, the following):
  • Answers the telephone and receives 9-1-1, emergency and non-emergency requests for assistance, evaluates the information provided and creates computer aided dispatch (CAD) system event; relays information to other jurisdictions or provides pre-arrival and post-dispatch instructions to the caller; processes and prioritizes incoming calls.
  • Dispatches fire, police, medical and animal control personnel and equipment on both routine and emergency calls utilizing a CAD system, multiple video display terminals, radio dispatching consoles and related equipment.
  • Monitors and maintains status of public safety personnel and equipment; analyzes situations accurately and takes effective action to help ensure officer safety; may participate in the reassignment of fire equipment to ensure adequate city-wide fire protection.
  • Provides operational support for police, fire, and medical operations including warrant checks and confirmations, tow requests, and facilitation of outside agency assistance and mutual aid request.
  • Provides Emergency Medical dispatch, and Emergency Fire dispatch, including pre-arrival and post-dispatch instructions.
  • Maintains familiarity with major roads, streets, areas, and industrial and public facilities within the city limits.
  • Maintains records of all calls received and prepares reports of critical incidents; performs routine clerical work associated with the assignment.
  • Monitor Text to 9-1-1.
  • May provide one-on-one dispatcher operational training.


Work is performed in a structured and often stressful work environment that includes structured breaks and lunch schedules. Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading documents and computer screens, and the ability to distinguish and interpret the meaning of colors on video display terminals. The position requires the ability to view multiple video display terminals for extended periods of time in low light. Acute hearing sufficient to distinguish and comprehend simultaneous communications from several sources is required, as is the ability to speak in a clear and distinct manner and carry on multiple conversations while distinguishing background radio communications. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper, books and documents weighing up to 10 pounds is also required. Work is performed in a confined area and incumbents wear a headset, which restricts physical movement about the work area. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodations.

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience:

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following way:

Graduation from high school or tested equivalent; AND

Two years of experience dispatching police and/or fire services for a public safety agency utilizing contemporary dispatching technical tools, including computer aided dispatching systems;


Successful completion of probation as a Public Safety Dispatcher-in-Training with the City of Sunnyvale.

Knowledge of:
  • Police, fire, medical and/or animal control call processing protocols, dispatching and emergency procedures.
  • Contemporary dispatching technical tools and equipment, including computer aided dispatching systems.
  • Primary roads, streets, highways, major buildings and public facilities within the city limits.
  • Methods and techniques for responding to calls for emergency service.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.
  • Police and fire codes, including California Penal Code, Vehicle Code and Sunnyvale Municipal Code.
  • Proper record-keeping techniques.
  • Principles of customer service.

Ability to:
  • Operate a computer-aided dispatch system with sufficient speed and accuracy to document field activity and create calls for dispatch within response criteria guidelines.
  • Analyze situations quickly and accurately and take effective action to assure officer and citizen safety.
  • Accurately enter information into the computer aided dispatch system while simultaneously receiving information by phone or radio.
  • Extract information or data from multiple video terminal displays which dynamically update.
  • Apply Department of Public Safety telephone answering techniques, policies and procedures.
  • Memorize street names and locations.
  • Type at a rate of 35 net words per minute.
  • Work in a highly structured environment where all communications and work are recorded or documented as public record.
  • Maintain composure and work effectively under pressure.
  • Carry on multiple conversations while distinguishing background radio communication.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.

Willingness to:

Work any shift, on any day, including irregular hours on short notice.

Complete Fire and Medical certification courses, approved by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, within one year of appointment or in accordance with an extended time-line as approved by management.

Wear a uniform.


Possession and continued maintenance of a valid class C California driver's license or the ability to provide alternative transportation as approved by the appointing authority and a safe driving record.

Possession of a California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Basic Dispatch certificate within one year of appointment.

Completion of Emergency Medical and Fire Dispatch certification courses, approved by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, within one year of appointment, and subsequent continued maintenance of Emergency Medical and Fire Dispatch certification.

  • Possession of Emergency Fire Dispatch and Emergency Medical Dispatch certification course at hire.
  • Possession of POST Dispatch certificate.

Application and Selection Process

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a complete City of Sunnyvale application with responses to the supplemental questions and a current (dated within one year) typing certificate verifying at least 35 net words per minute (online typing tests are accepted) to the Department of Human Resources (postmarks or faxes are not accepted). This open/continuous recruitment may close without notice, the next application review will be March 15, 2024.

Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page at , Search: 'CITY JOBS'. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position. Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the examination process, which may consist of an oral examination. (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Candidates who receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City's Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies.
Any candidate that is selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a background history check, as well as medical exam(s) administered by a City-selected physician(s) before hire. Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. Positions which are covered by the Department of Transportation regulations are required to submit to a pre-employment drug test and to random drug and alcohol testing.

Any successful candidate, selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e. original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).

Positions in this job classification are represented by the Communications Officers Association (COA).

The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion (including religious dress or grooming practice), religious creed, color, sex (includes gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding), sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality), ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, military and veteran status, marital status, family relationship, age, medical condition, genetic characteristics and/or genetic information, and physical or mental disability. Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application

Summary of Communication Officers Association Benefits COA Benefits

Notice of CFRA (California Family Rights Act) Rights and Obligations

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Base Pay


Job Address

Sunnyvale, California United States View Map