Police Communication Operator

The primary function of a Police Telecommunicator is to receive and prioritize Emergency 9-1-1 and non-emergency telephone calls from the public. Dispatches appropriate emergency service agencies such as police, fire and emergency medical units, monitors public safety units in the field, retrieves and enters computer data for emergency response personnel within the service area, answer administrative telephone lines, enters information into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, assists the public by providing directions, information, and other aid as needed, and processes non-emergency and routine requests for police, security, and technical support services. The Police Telecommunicator also monitors closed circuit television (CCTV) during special events and for security related activities, and performs multiple tasks concurrently, while working in a fast paced environment and maintaining a professional and positive demeanor.

Typical Duties and Skills

  • Operate a police radio
  • Maintain thorough and accurate records of incoming calls for assistance; dispatch officers to situations requiring police response
  • Maintain records of all police/patrol activities
  • Monitor CCTV and alarm systems
  • Complete appropriate reports
  • Communicate with other police/fire/ambulance agencies
  • Operate various computer terminals, including computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems
  • Speak clearly and distinctly at all times
  • Read and write effectively
  • Think and act promptly in emergencies, analyze a situation quickly and accurately, and take or suggest an effective course of action
  • Maintain up-to-date security clearances, directory, room reservations, and locator files
  • Other duties as assigned by the Chief of Police or designee

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General Qualifications

An applicant seeking to be employed as a Telecommunicator must meet the minimum standards for initial licensure required by the Texas Occupations Code, Texas Administrative Code, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and the UT System Police Policies and Procedures to include the following:

  • 18 years of age on or before commissioning date
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • United States citizen
  • Meet physical, mental, and educational standards established by the Office of the Director of Police and TCOLE
  • Valid Texas driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record that meets or exceeds UT System policy and standards
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass an oral interview board
  • Pass a thorough background investigation that includes a local, state, and national criminal history check based on fingerprints, credit check, polygraph examination, medical examination and drug screening, and psychological examination

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Other Related Information

All successful candidates are required to comply with all UT System Police or departmental policies, procedures, and directives as well as the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.

Work is performed under the general supervision of the chain of command for the UT Southwestern Police Department, typically that of a Police Sergeant. Supervision is usually available in person or by radio. Work requires the ability to make frequent minor decisions and occasional decisions of some significance. Work is reviewed for completeness, accuracy and compliance with departmental policy and procedure.

The Police Telecommunicator position is essential to providing critical functions for UT Southwestern.

  • Candidates are required to be trained in and use police radio equipment, telephones, various computer equipment (data entry), and specialized camera systems.
  • Candidates are required to eventually demonstrate proficiency in all phases of duties performed.
  • Continued employment in this position is contingent upon successful completion of a Basic Telecommunicator Certification Course (1013), Crisis Communications (2120), and TCOLE Rule Overview Course (1305) prior to passing the basic licensing examination as mandated by TCOLE.
  • In addition to initial training, Police Telecommunicators must complete 20 hours of continuing education by the end of each training unit.

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Shift Assignments

Assignments are subject to change at any time depending on the needs of the Department.

  • Operators may be assigned to any one of three shifts, working days or nights, with varying days off throughout the week.
  • Operators may be required to work overtime assignments.
  • Shift assignments or overtime assignments may include working holidays or weekends.

Working Conditions

Working conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Indoor assignment – controlled office-like environment. Typically requires sitting for lengthy periods of time.
  • Performing multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Answering multi-line telephones
  • Operating police radio with occasional heavy traffic
  • Various computer operations, data entry, and record keeping
  • Monitoring CCTV for situation indicating a need for law enforcement or security response.
  • Monitoring/answering parking lot entrance/exit intercom system.

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Uniforms and Equipment

The Department issues uniforms and related equipment. The employee will be required to wear the uniform as prescribed by UT System Police and/or departmental policy, rules, regulations, or directive.

New employees must provide socks and footwear at their own expense, as prescribed by appropriate rules and regulations.

Assignment and Field Training

The new Police Telecommunicator will be assigned to a shift and a lead Telecommunicator, and will then undergo approximately 3 months of training. The lead Telecommunicator is responsible for orienting and training the new Telecommunicator on all aspects related to this position. The lead Telecommunicator also assists the new Telecommunicator with training by observing and evaluating the new Telecommunicator’s progress and performance on a daily basis.

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