Established: 9/75
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 3



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


The Emergency Communications Center is 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 Shift Leader is the highest level of working dispatcher in the central communications system and serves as lead worker of a shift of Communications Dispatchers. Communications Shift Leader differs from the Communications Operations Supervisor which plan, organize and supervise the Center’s operations and dispatch personnel. It also differs from the Communications Dispatcher which receives, refers, resolve and dispatch calls.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Leads the work of Communications Dispatchers and Trainees on a shift at the County Central Dispatch Center; assigns Dispatchers to fire, law enforcement or call taking positions; trains employees and provides technical assistance; explains policies, procedures, rules and regulations; advises assigned personnel of deviations from policies and procedures, directs corrective action(s) and notifies supervisor.
  2. 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.
  3. Determines priorities of calls and transmits information and assignments of units in the field and determines if follow-up action is necessary.
  4. Operates a telephone system to handle requests for emergency units and provides public service information and referral as requested.
  5. Maintains records and prepares reports of activities occurring during shift.
  6. Makes license and registration checks and other police checks for police units; obtains information from fire units.
  7. Trains new personnel in rules, regulations, procedures and operation of dispatch equipment.


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; deal tactfully and effectively 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; establish and maintain effective working relationships; determine priorities and make decisions in stress situations; train, lead and evaluate the work of others; 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.


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.


Positions may be filled by internal, promotional recruitment requiring minimum 12 months as Communications Dispatcher and fully trained and proficient in police, fire and medical dispatch positions as verified by performance documentation.

Edited: 9/17