Patrol Dispatch Officer (Male, Age 29) in Lafayette, IN

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 29 who works as a Patrol Dispatch Officer in Lafayette, IN. 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 TitlePatrol Dispatch Officer
Salary$40,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week
Company Size(not answered)
LocationLafayette, IN
Years Experience4 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.
Police Department of a medium sized town in Indiana. Staff is about 60 officers and roughly 20 civilian employees. Town size is about 50,000 but we are a college town which adds about 45,000 people to that total, when school is in session.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Answer standard phone lines as well as 911 emergency lines, taking call information, dispatching police/fire/ems services, and general paperwork duties that goes along with that.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
Two weeks vacation per year, 12 personal holidays per year, sick time accrued, health/dental/life insurance

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
More would always be better, but feel the pay is adequate

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
In a room with 4-5 people at all times. For the most part co-workers are a great help and enjoyable to spend time with. Always a few that are annoying and disruptive, but the majority are good people.

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.
Supervisor has a minimal role, but relying on co-workers is a must in this job, including constant communication with your partner.

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: 5
Hours: 3
Co-Workers: 4
Supervisors: 6
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 7
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 8amWork 12 hours shifts from 6p to 6a, will just improvise and use this box as pm instead of am and work from there. First hour consists of logging in to workstations and getting area ready for the shift. Also passing on of information from previous shift. Taking care of any leftover paperwork that needs to be done.
8am to 9amA “pre-rush” time. Evening hours usually bring accident calls from people on their commute home from work. Sometimes traffic problems and disabled vehicles. Day of the week also has a lot to do with call volume and type of calls.
9am to 10amStart to get noise complaints from older people who are already in bed trying to sleep. Random accident here or there. Other calls from pedestrians like homeless people harassing others for money, or a suspicious person in their neighborhood.
10am to 11amMore noise complaints with the various fireworks call. Lot of domestics occur around this time. Evening hours after children are asleep I’m guessing. Start to get calls about intoxicated people walking around in the college area.
11am to 12pmIntoxicated calls increase. More domestics as well. Still an accident or two thrown in here. Lot of traffic stops, and a night shift comes on duty.
12pm to 1pmBar scene starts to pick up, especially on weekends. More public intox’s, start to get fights or unwanted guests at bars. Good hour for drunk drivers as well.
1pm to 2pmMostly drunk drivers and accidents. Occasional fight call and some traffic stops. Usually the calm before the storm. Also noise complaints, usually about music.
2pm to 3pmBars close at 3am and many people leave early. This leads to fights in the parking lot and drunk drivers heading home. Extra patrols given to the bar area.
3pm to 4pmOne of the busiest hours. Bars are closed and intoxicated people pour out into the street. Many fights, drunk drivers, and domestic issues. Still have the occasional accident or noise complaint but most people are asleep these die down tremendously.
4pm to 5pmVery quiet for the last two hours of the shift. Occasional drunk driver, but for the most part very little phone or radio traffic. Sometimes a call from a nursing home for a patient who has woken up in the night with a medical issue.
5pm to 6pmGetting any leftover work completed before next shift comes in. Also cleaning up workstations and general tidying up. Making sure officers have everything they need before logging off the computers for the night. Passing on of information to next shift.
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?
Referred by some officers I knew on the force already

What was the application process?
Written application submitted at the station

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
First step is a written test involving spelling, listening, writing skills, etc. If you pass you move on to a panel interview with 5-6 people including the dispatch supervisor and various officers from the department. Top 5 are selected and then have a one-on-one interview with the chief. He personally selects who to hire and they then have to take a polygraph and pass a credit check.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
How would you handle X call if you took it? Previous employment history/habits. Are you reliable? How well do you handle stress?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
At first no, but as I got more comfortable with the job I realized that just getting up and doing it was the best and quickest way to learn. Still not as structured as desired though.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Initial training was on the job. There are several classes to attend that most people will attend within their first year including basic medical training.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes very much so. Had 3+ years of Computer Science at a major college and this job is very computer intensive. Walking in with certain knowledge that some experienced co-workers did not have was a definite advantage.

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?
People are hired off the street with no experience frequently. Just keep an eye open in the newspapers and government webpage for details on hiring. We are always accepting applications as turnover rate tends to be high.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
An absolute must is multi-tasking and communication skills. All others need not apply. These are the most important abilities and are things you cannot teach in this job. All other details can easily be learned at the job. A pleasant demeanor also helps in dealing with the public.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
2 years of police, military, or college is required and I feel that is adequate

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Relax and do NOT allow other people to dictate how you do your job. You will have numerous people giving you a hard time and you must be able to let it roll off your back and continue on. Police work very much subscribes to the “harass the rookie” mentality and that does carry over to dispatchers as well.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, always had law enforcement aspirations, and starting in a department as a dispatcher is the best way to get your foot in the door and learn the city and department.

What are your current career goals?
Have no set career goal at this time, but eventually becoming an officer would be a possibility.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Good job that I would recommend to anyone. Also we have no outside work email that I can be contacted with hence the @hotmail.com email given. We have interdepartment email only.

Prior work history

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

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Renter1.5 years20000Cleaning cars, renting cars, general office work, answering phones
Prior Job 2Renter1 year25000Cleaning cars, renting cars, general office work, answering phones, acted as manager for a short time before leaving

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
2.5Purdue UniversityComputer Science
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
n/an/an/a

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