Established: 09/75
Revised: 06/79; 05/07
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 3



Under supervision, to receive calls from the public, dispatch mobile units, maintain logs and records in a central dispatch center characterized by multiple users and wide geographic scope; to operate computer devices designed to retrieve and store information; to refer a variety of telephone inquires to appropriate services or sources within the County and to provide other public service information; and to do other work as required.


The Department of Communications operates the central dispatch center for multiple public safety agencies throughout the County. The center provides 24-hour primary answering and dispatch for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services through an enhanced 9-1-1 telephone system and computer aided dispatch system.

The Communications Dispatcher series is primarily oriented to receiving a variety of messages and coordinating the dispatching of mobile units to meet routine and emergency situations. The centralized communications dispatching function provides ongoing coordination of services and appropriate personnel to help ensure or maintain the health, safety, and general welfare of the County's citizenry.

The Communications Dispatcher is the journey-level classification in the Communications Dispatcher series. Incumbents of this classification independently resolve problems from callers or align the expressed need with the appropriate service except in the most difficult situations. The more difficult inquiries or problems are referred to the shift leader. Assignments and problems encountered require a higher level of proficiency than those performed by the Communications Dispatcher Trainee classification. The next higher level in this series, Communications Shift Leader, acts as shift leader and provides training to lower level staff.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Operates and monitors two-way radio communications equipment in accordance with FCC regulations, in order to dispatch Sheriff, police, fire, EMS, and other emergency units as required.
  2. Determines priorities of calls and transmits information and assignment units in the field and determines if follow-up action is necessary.
  3. Operates a telephone system to handle requests for emergency units and provides public service information and referral as requested.
  4. Makes license and registration checks and other police checks for police units; obtains information from fire units.
  5. Maintains records and prepares reports of activities occurring during shifts.
  6. Operates the radio paging system for County agencies, and monitors other agencies’ police and fire radios to coordinate emergency services.


Working knowledge of: The techniques, procedures, and methods used in the operation of a public safety communications center; functions and responsibilities of Sheriff's Department and other user agencies; general office and record keeping procedures; FCC rules and regulations relative to the operation of two-way radio communications equipment; locations of streets, roads, highways and subdivisions in Clackamas County; teletype equipment and computer devices; the kinds of information obtainable from criminal justice data banks.

Skill to: Understand and provide information regarding laws, regulations, and departmental policies and procedures; establish and maintain effective working relationships with officials and the public; react quickly, efficiently and calmly in an emergency situation and adopt an effective course of action; follow oral and written instructions; deal tactfully and courteously with the public; determine priorities and make decisions in stress situations; speak clearly and distinctly in English; communicate effectively with persons of varying socio-economic backgrounds in emergency situations; keep records and prepare reports; perform accurate computer keyboarding.


Ability to meet Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) various preconditions for Dispatcher certification, including but not limited to education and age requirements.

Possession of or the ability to obtain within established training timelines currently set at 1300 training hours:

Must be willing to work weekends, holidays and rotating day, evening and night work schedules.

Must successfully pass an extensive background investigation including national fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.


Incumbents must successfully complete the Communications Dispatcher training program within established training timelines currently set at 1300 training hours.