Public Safety Dispatcher I/II

Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto Police Department
Salary: $62,420.80-$80,683.20

Closing Date/Time: Continuous


The City of Palo Alto has an exciting opportunity for individuals interested in being a Dispatcher located in our Police Department. Our Dispatch Center is unlike other Dispatch Centers, where we dispatch to Police/Fire/Utilities/Public Works and Animal Services. The Police Technical Services Division is recruiting for multiple Public Safety Dispatcher I & II positions. Under general supervision, the Communications Public Safety Dispatcher dispatches emergency and non-emergency equipment and personnel for user agencies in response to calls-for-service including police, fire, paramedics, ambulance, utilities, public works and animal control services; provides information to the public; provides information to the user agencies.

NOTE: Please be advised from the time of posting this process has multiple phases which can take up to a year to be offered a position
NOTE: Applicants must submit a passing Critical Exam with application. You will receive your results after you have taken the exam. (see Selection Process below)

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Dispatcher 1 – This is the entry-level classification of the Public Safety Dispatcher series and receives general direction from the Lead Public Safety Dispatcher. This class is distinguished from the Public Safety Dispatcher II position in the the Public Safety Dispatcher I receives extensive training on computer-aided dispatch systems as well as policies and procedures related to emergency communications. Public Safety Dispatcher I’s are not expected to perform with the same independence of judgment and discretion as are positions allocated to the II level. This class is typically used as a training class and employees work under immediate supervision while learning job tasks.

Dispatcher II – This is the journey level classification of the Public Safety Dispatcher series and performs the full range of dispatch duties with a high degree of independence. Incumbents receive requests for assistance; evaluate criticality and type of response needed; dispatch personnel to assist with the reported situation; monitor the situation for changes and safety of personnel for the duration of the response. Work is often performed under pressure. This class is distinguished from Public Safety Dispatcher, Lead by the latter’s responsibility to plan, organize and supervise an assigned shift of the Dispatch Center.


Essential Functions

  • Receives telephone complaints concerning crimes and police emergencies and dispatches appropriate police patrol units by radio to investigate. Relays instructions and questions for field units.
  • Receives telephone information concerning fire and medical emergencies and dispatches appropriate fire and ambulance units by radio. Relays instructions and questions from field units.
  • Receives telephone complaints concerning utilities and public works emergencies and dispatches appropriate service units to make repairs. Relays instructions and questions from field units.
  • Receives telephone complaints concerning animals and dispatches appropriate animal control units to investigate. Relays instructions and questions from field units.
  • Receive and transmit the above information by operating communication consoles, two-way radio, telephone, paging, various computers including both manual and computer-aided dispatch systems, voice intercom, fire alarm and intrusion alarm equipment.
  • Maintain appropriate records, computer data base, maps, diagrams, and written procedures relating to such activities.
  • Operate conventional/automated office machines and equipment.

Related Functions:

  • Prepare special reports as may be required assigned.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.