PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST II
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is developmental level work involving public safety communications in an emergency communications center. Contacts primarily include police officers, representatives of other public safety and support agencies, and the general public to receive and transmit information, coordinate mutually supporting actions among public safety units/employees, and provide field police officers with vital communications. Personal assistance is provided to citizens requesting emergency and non-emergency help via telephone calls received in the emergency communications center. Employees in this class are developing highly skilled listening ability in order to quickly and accurately ascertain from emotional, distraught individuals, the nature of assistance required.
An employee in this class is responsible for applying knowledge of the practices, methods, standards, and procedures of public safety communications in a 9-1-1- environment combined with skill in the use of various radio and telephone equipment and other integrated systems at call taking and dispatching work stations. Work is performed under the supervision of a Public Safety Communications Supervisor who provides instruction in new, unusual and/or difficult situations. Employees in this class apply judgment and discernment in responding to requests for assistance. An employee's work may be checked in progress and usually upon completion for compliance with established procedures; otherwise, employees proceed on their own to respond to calls for assistance and dispatch police officers. The work is covered by extensive written policies, guidelines, and procedures covering such areas as standards of operation and conduct, operation and maintenance of automated computer data systems, operation and maintenance of public safety communications and radio equipment, references and police codes, and procedures covering notifications/messaging. Strict adherence to available guidelines is required and employees are expected to use judgment in selecting and applying the guidelines applicable to calls and dispatches. Because of the developmental nature of the work, a supervisor frequently provides additional guidance and instruction concerning the course of action to take to resolve a situation. The complexity of this class of work is reflected by the requirement of employees to operate various types of automated communications equipment; the need for immediate response to a request for assistance whereby an employee draws upon numerous, standard procedures, rules and regulations which have been committed to memory; and the handling of one or more events and/or processes requiring the initiation/tracking of multiple actions simultaneously. The purpose of the work is to receive and provide verbal response to the public who are contacting the County's 9-1-1 emergency response systems or non-emergency police telephone number and to dispatch and provide status and other information to a large number of police officers in response to emergency calls received. The work impacts the safety of the public and of police officers. The work requires timely and appropriate responses to incoming calls from the public and to requests for police dispatches to emergency situations which may be potentially life-threatening in nature. The work requires an employee to sit for prolonged periods at a designated workstation monitoring computer screens and entering data. An employee in this class may be required to rotate shifts and days off.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Responds to telephone and wireless phone inquiries of an emergency or non-emergency nature at a call taker work station in the County's Emergency Communications Center; determines the nature and priority of assistance required (i.e., police, fire, medical); records appropriate information; determines priority of assignment; and, relays information to proper source following established SOPs of the emergency Communications Center and applicable local, state, and federal laws; as appropriate, explains limited aspects of civil law and various aspects of traffic and criminal law to the public.
Maintains radio contact with and records status of numerous police officers assigned to a geographical section of the County at a dispatcher work station; dispatches police officers to respond to calls for assistance which are of a routine or emergency nature; providing special instructions, hazard information, and additional information (i.e., license numbers, address verifications, data from police reports, directions, emergency information, etc.) as appropriate and/or as requested by the police officers or emergency personnel; enters information and confirms status of information for broadcast to law enforcement officers throughout the County (i.e., lookout information for wanted or missing persons, information concerning the welfare of officers, stolen vehicle data, etc.); reassigns incidents to other police units or assigns additional police units as priorities, needs, and conditions changes.
Makes inquiries into local, state, and national police computer data bases to obtain/record information on arrest warrants, driver history, stolen property, stolen vehicles, securities and boars, vehicles, firearms, etc.
Communicates with voice box devices for speaking impaired persons, teletype devices and the Maryland Relay Service for the hearing impaired requesting police, fire, medical or other assistance; identifies foreign speaking callers and utilizes AT&T Language translation services, as necessary to complete call processing.
Provides information concerning special community/county-wide events, large crowds, traffic congestion, etc.; processes calls to and for vehicle towing services, road maintenance crews, traffic signal light crews, etc.
May periodically perform specialized training, coaching, and mentoring tasks for assigned new employees in training/entry status.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Eighteen (18) months experience as a Public Safety Communications Specialist I.
Education: Completion of high school or High School Certificate of completion recognized in the State of Maryland.
Equivalency: An equivalent number of years of experience in an emergency communications center may be substituted. Additional education beyond that required may not be substituted for the experience requirement.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of an extensive volume of written directives, procedures, guidelines, regulations, and protocols (i.e., administrative and operational SOPs, local/state/federal police radio communications regulations, training bulletins, police codes, etc.) governing call-taking and police dispatching functions in the County Emergency Communications Center.
Knowledge of and skill in the application of the requirements, capabilities, and user techniques for multiple automated systems (e.g., computer aided dispatch system, computerized warrant system, state and national system for checking outstanding warrants and stolen vehicles, mutual aid radio system, computerized phone system, mapping systems) located at call taking and dispatcher work stations.
General knowledge of basic differences between civil, traffic, and criminal laws.
General knowledge of functional responsibilities of County Government departments and agencies.
Ability to speak clearly and distinctly.
Ability to quickly receive, comprehend, record, monitor, and relay information about routine and emergency situations.
Ability to priorities, organize, and multi-task simultaneous actions.
Ability to type at the net rate of 25 words per minute.
Ability to work rotating shift work.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office, if necessary.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam and Drug/Alcohol Screen
Class Established: May, 1980
Revised: November, 1983
December, 1994 (M)
February, 2006 (M)
Formerly Titled: Police Telecommunicator II