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Become A Dispatcher!

The process for a position as a Communications Dispatcher has several steps. The examination process is designed to test and select the most qualified applicants for the job. This is an overview of the examination and selection process. Applicants must pass each component to move to the next phase in the process. If you are successful in the department selection interview, a conditional job offer will be given contingent on passing the background investigation, psychological and medical evaluation.


1. Application Screening: Entry-level position – no experience necessary.
Requires: typing of 25 (net) wpm, high school diploma or equivalent. All applications are reviewed for completeness and the required typing certificate. All applicants with completed applications are invited to take the written examination.

2. POST Written Examination: This examination is designed by the State of California, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) and is specifically designed to test entry level Dispatchers and measure abilities identified in a statewide job analysis for successful performance. The written exam consists of eleven timed sections, which are conducted through a combination of audiotape and paper-pencil media. The exam is administered in a group setting and takes approximately three and half-hours to complete. Scoring is done by POST in Sacramento. The Department determines the pass point after a review of the scores. Those applicants successful in the written exam are scheduled to participate in the oral examination process.

3. Oral Examination: This component enables us to further assess the applicant’s ability to perform Dispatcher duties. The oral exam consists of role-play situations as well as hypothetical and general questions. The exam panel is comprised of three members who are knowledgeable and understand the role of a Dispatcher, typically members of law enforcement from outside the department. The panel members trained on general guidelines and procedures including how to evaluate applicants in a fair, consistent and objective manner.

Overview of the oral exam structure: The first six questions are role-play situations simulating 9-1-1 emergency calls. Applicant is placed in a room with a telephone and is given a note pad and pencils to take notes. The exam panel is in a separate room using a speakerphone. Applicants are instructed to answer the phone “Emergency Center” and play the role of a Communications Dispatcher. In each of the situations, the applicant’s job is to get enough information in order to determine what kind of help is needed and where to send that help. A maximum of one and a half minutes in each situation is allowed to obtain the necessary information. At the end of each minute and a half, the oral exam panel hangs-up the phone and continues with the next scenario. The panel’s first impression of the applicant is only through their voice over the speakerphone. The panel meets the applicant face-to-face after role play scenarios and the panel will now continue to ask a series of structured, job-related questions for the remainder of the interview.

4. Department Selection Interview: All applicants who were successful in passing the oral examination is invited to participate in the final selection interview with the department. The interview is conducted by the Human Resources Manager and the Deputy Director. This interview is more specific to the position and questions are structured and gear towards getting to know you better to determine if you are the most suited applicant for the position.

5. Mandatory Sit-A-Long: All applicants that are successful in the final selection interview are invited to a 2-hour sit-a-long. The applicant is assigned to a dispatcher and is given a headset to listen to the calls. This component gives an applicant an opportunity to have a better understanding of the job duties, the work environment, and the ability to ask questions to a “subject matter expert”.

6. Conditional Job Offer: All applicants passing all components of the examination process including
the sit-a-long is given a conditional job offer contingent on passing the background investigation, psychological and medical evaluation. An official job offer confirmed once all components are successfully completed.

You may apply online, just visit the Monterey County Jobs web site!


Background Process


For more information contact Human Resources
Phone: (831) 769-8884 Email:911jobs@co.monterey.ca.us


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