As civilian employees of the Police Department, dispatchers work in the Emergency Communications Center and often serve as a citizen's first point of contact with the Department. A career as a Police Dispatcher is challenging, interesting and highly rewarding. You will have an opportunity to work with sworn police officers on a daily basis in solving crisis situations, assisting citizens and fellow Department members and ensuring that communication between citizens and officers in the field flows efficiently and effectively.
Police Dispatchers respond to requests for information or police services received through the 911 emergency calls, routine telephone calls and from citizens who come to police headquarters. These requests can range from emergency situations needing immediate police service, such as a report of a burglary in progress, to providing a citizen with directions to a local City business. The City of Fairfax utilizes a Computer Aided Dispatch System to facilitate communication, simplify reporting in the field and maintains required records. Police Dispatchers also process requests from other police departments and government agencies.
Dispatchers provide officers with a wide variety of support services such as conducting wanted person checks by computer through the state and national law enforcement computer networks, conducting drivers license and vehicle registration checks by computer with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, communicating with other area police communications centers to obtain necessary information and countless other needed and vital services.
Does this sound interesting? Here are the basic requirements to for employment as a Police Dispatcher with the City of Fairfax:
- You must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
- You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age.
- You will be required to submit written documentation from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) certifying that you can type at 30 WPM or better. You can take a typing test at any VEC office, including the Fairfax, Manassas, Alexandria, and Sterling offices. Your VEC certification must be less than one year old.
Can I do this job?
No one can be expected to walk into a job such as Police Dispatcher and immediately be knowledgeable and proficient in all aspects of the job. The Police Department has a complete training program to ensure your success as a Police Dispatcher.
During training you will be paired with an experienced Police Dispatcher who will serve as your Training Officer. Your Training Officer will help you with everything from learning the layout of the facilities to learning how to use the computer systems. As soon as an opening is available, you will be enrolled in the Emergency Police Dispatchers School at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. As with all of the other training, there is no cost to you for this training. Once you graduate from the Academy you will continue with your internal training under the supervision of your Training Officer. Once you and your Training Officer feel comfortable with your level of training and proficiency you will be fully certified and join the ranks as a regular member of the police dispatching team. After your basic certification you will also receive periodic job related training courses and you are encouraged to apply to take related courses at the police academy.
Want Some More Information?
Summary of Salary and Benefits for Police Dispatchers
The City of Fairfax strives to ensure that the salary and benefits to its employees are competitive with other local governments in the region. Below you will find information about base salaries, annual and sick leave, and health care. This information provides only a general overview and you should keep in mind that City Administrative Regulations and Ordinances are the controlling authority in these areas. If you have specific questions you should feel free to contact the City's Personnel Office by calling 703-385-7939 or by clicking on the link below.
The City uses a two-week pay period, based on 40 hours per week, with 26 biweekly pay periods each year. Your base salary does not include any overtime that may be worked. Hours worked on an overtime basis are paid at 1.5 times your normal hourly rate.
In addition, the City's pay scale provides steps above base salary levels based on years of service and positive annual performance evaluations. These pay step increases normally occur on your employment anniversary date and coincide with your Annual Employee Performance Evaluation. Steps usually result in a 5% pay increase. It normally takes 12 years to reach the top pay within any grade.
The position of Police Dispatcher is classified as Technical position and is a City Grade 13. The normal starting pay for this grade is $38,493. The current top salary for Police Dispatcher is $59,715.
Click here to view the civilian employee pay scale. Once there look for Grade 13 on the schedule.
City employees earn Annual Leave to use for personal time, vacations or for any other personal activities. Annual Leave is earned each pay period and is based on your length of service with the City.
- If you have been with the City less than 3 years you will earn 4 hours of Annual Holidays Leave each pay period.
- Once you have worked for the City for 3 years you will earn 6 hours of Annual Leave per pay period up to your 15th year of service.
- On your 15th year of service you will earn 8 hours of Annual leave per pay period.
You may use Sick Leave when sick, ill, have medical appointments during your scheduled working hours, or need to attend to the illness of an immediate family member. Employees earn 4 hours of Sick Leave per pay period with no limit on the number of hours you may accumulate.
The City observes 11.5 holidays per year. The City's holiday schedule closely follows the schedule of the federal government and State of Virginia. Unless you are an "essential employee," you will be off the day of the holiday and receive regular pay for the day. If you are an essential employee and are scheduled to work on a City holiday, you will receive your regular pay for working your shift and receive additional pay at an overtime rate for the hours you work during the holiday.
Once employed as a Police Dispatcher you will become a member of the City's retirement program. The City has two plans and you will be automatically enrolled in both. The first is a City retirement plan for General City Employees. The second plan is the Virginia Retirement System, which is managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. These plans are separate and distinct plans with their own eligibility regulations, benefits and options.
You will also be given the opportunity to participate in an Internal Revenue Service-approved deferred compensation program (457 plan). Under this program you may use a payroll deduction to set aside up to $ 14,000 each year with interest earnings being tax deferred.
As mentioned above, you will also be enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). This is a statewide retirement plan of the Commonwealth of Virginia and available to all state employees and to local governments who desire to participate. Of special importance to you is that your contributions to this plan are portable to any other Virginia State agency or local Virginia agency that participates in VRS.
The City pays its share of the cost of VRS as well as your contribution, which is 5 percent of your current base salary. You are eligible for retirement under the VRS plan based on a combination of age and total years of service. For more information about the benefits of this plan please contact the City Personnel Office. You can also find full information by clicking on the below icon that will link you with the home page of the Virginia Retirement System.
The City retirement plan also provides retirement options for both work related and non-work related disabilities.
The City offers several health and dental insurance plans. Both the City and the employee contribute to the cost of plan you select.
For more information about the various plans, please contact the City Personnel Office.