Community Service Officer/Police Dispatcher (Female, Age 30) in CLAREMONT, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 30 who works as a Community Service Officer/Police Dispatcher in CLAREMONT, CA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleCommunity Service Officer/Police Dispatcher
Salary$54,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
LocationCLAREMONT, CA
Years Experience3.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
The City of Azusa police department. City has a population of approximately 48,000 residence. The department has about 4 community service officers that work in the patrol division and about 8 dispatchers.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
As a community service officer in patrol I enforce parking violations, impound abandoned vehicles and write police reports that have no suspect information. I give school tours of the department and act as a communtiy liason. When I dispatch I answer all of the phone lines into the police department including 911. I also handle radio traffic between the officers and advise them where to go.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
4-6 week vacation, 8 hrs sick leave a month, 2 floating holidays in addition to 10 paid holidays, full health coverage, city paid retirement

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
well compensated with benefit package – salary is below the average

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I am required to interact with the entire police department on a daily basis. In the field I am required to assist the police officers as needed on calls for service. In the dispatch center you work closely with another dispatcher as your partner. It is very nice in the dispatch center because the work load is heavy and having good team work makes the job easier.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
We collaborate with supervisors by training new dispatchers and also to help identify any problems the dispatch center is having. It is an absolute must for us to collaborate with co-workers in this position as the job requires you to work closely with your dispatching partner in emergency situations.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 3
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 5
Supervisors: 7
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8amLogged onto the computer systems at work. Brought all of the officers on duty. Took a few phone calls from residents who had vehicles broken into overnight. Dispatched a community service officer to these calls. Attended the morning briefing session.
8am to 9amHandled making phone calls notifying different city agencies of problems they would need to handle. These included calling the humane society out to pick up a dead animals and also calling public works to fix street lights.
9am to 10amHandled various 911 calls and alarm calls from addresses in the city. Updated the report log which keeps tracks of all the reports taken. Checked department e-mail.
10am to 11amAssisted officers by researching information from previous calls. Requested start times and names of officers who handled certain calls. Also answered multiple phone calls which required transferring to the jailer or records department.
11am to 12pmEntered stolen vehicles into the computer system. Sorted teletypes which were received from surrounding agencies notifying our department of crimes in the area. Also spoke to citizens regarding a fraud case.
12pm to 1pmLunch
1pm to 2pmReceived phone calls from area school because of parking problems. Dispatched officers on calls for service that came in. Entered a vehicle into the system that was impounded.
2pm to 3pmAssisted the detecitve bureau by looking up warrants on subjects that would be going to court.
3pm to 4pmUpdated the telephone extensions inthe telephone sytem by doing data entry in the computer.
4pm to 5pmHandled numerous calls from people who had arrived home to find crimes had occured while they were at work. Also received lots of calls from traffic accidents that occured on the commute home.
5pm to 6pmInformed the incoming night dispatchers about all of the day’s events so they can take over. Distibuted all the paperwork generated by my entries and from the sorted teletypes.
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Through the city job flyer.

What was the application process?
Filled out paper application printed from online

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Oral interview which was individual with a panel. After this interview there is also an interview with the Chief of Police.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Why do you want this position?Why would you be a good candidate? Will you be able to handle the different unique aspects of this position?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I definitely feel there was lots of opportunites to make the most of the training offered to me.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Training is done in house and it generally lasts between 6 months to a year. It is intensive training where you are doing the position with a trainer sitting next to you to help catch all of your mistakes. My department also sends you to a dispatcher training school which last for 3 weeks and prepares you to pass the state dispatcher exam.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
I do feel that attending college and getting a bachelor’s degree allowed me to handle the stress of learning so much in regards to this job. It also allowed me to see it through until the end since I was able to make it 4 years to get a degree.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
N/A

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
I would reccomend the person do a sit along with a dispatcher at agencies they are interested at working at. They can slo do some research on the internet in forums where 911 dispatchers answer questions.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Must have multi-tasking skills like being able to talk and type at the same time, ability to stay strong and calm under extreme stress, ability to work shift work and holidays. Strong organizational skills are also needed as you are responsible for keeping track of multiple phone lines and also multiple officers in the field.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
At least high school diplomas is needed and having lots of interaction with the public is reccomended.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be prepared to focus entirely on learning the job. There is a lot of information required in this position and you have to be able to handle the stress of learning it all. You must also be determined in training to not give up when it becomes tough.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
My current employment is now part of my career plan because the benefit package working for a city is really good and will become better as retirement nears.

What are your current career goals?
My current goals are to help make the dispatch and community service officer programs the best they can be. Also possibly seek advanced employment in these positions as a supervisor.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It is a great career for the right person. Once you are in the job if it becomes something you love you will be hooked. Law enforcement is like a family at times and if you become part of a great department your job will be fulfilling in many aspects. It is also a great job of you like helping people because that is what you do all day long.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Front Office Manager2 years12/hrWorked as a receptionist for a veterinary office scheduling appointments and answering the phone lines. I also filled in as a veterinary assistant assisting the doctor with basic duties as needed. I was also responsible for handling all of the patient files and also hiring and training new employees.
Prior Job 2Receptionist4 years12/hrWorked as a receptionist for a veterinary office scheduling appointments and answering the phone lines. I also filled in as a veterinary assistant assisting the doctor with basic duties as needed. I was also responsible for handling all of the patient files. As head receptionist I also trained new receptionists.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.5

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.7University of ArizonaEnglish/Creative Writing – Bachelor of Arts
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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