What is a Dispatcher?
A dispatcher is essentially a lifeline to safety - not only for the residents of Mesquite, but for our Emergency Police and Fire Personnel. Dispatchers are the crucial link that connects Emergency Personnel to those in need. Dispatchers answer all emergency (911) calls and non-emergency calls made to the police and fire departments.
It takes a very special person to be a dispatcher. Dispatchers must always stay calm in very stressful situations. They must utilize the training that they are provided to make quick, rational decisions. A dispatcher is someone who can multi-task at a very high level. Able to perform such functions as listening to a caller and obtain critical information over the phone while simultaneously typing critical information into a database, moving back and forth between computer screens all at once so that Emergency Personnel can be dispatched within seconds.
The Ideal Candidate...
Is a person who has a demonstrated work history in multitasking, heavy customer interaction (preferably over a phone) and be computer savvy with the ability to navigate software, applications and data using multiple computer screens almost simultaneously. The ideal candidate will have the ability to listen and communicate effectively over a phone; the ability to remain calm and function effectively during highly stressful, sometimes life-threating situations; the ability to successfully work in an environment with constantly changing priorities. The ideal candidate is someone with a high work ethic, a passion to succeed and who enjoys being in the middle of a challenging, stressful, possibly life-threating situation.
The ideal candidate will NOT have an arrest record and will be honest, trustworthy and someone with integrity. Candidates who provide false or misleading information or try to cover-up, or are deceptive during the hiring process will not be hired. Below is a list of disqualifiers...
Ineligibility and Disqualifiers List
A candidate will be disqualified in the hiring process when it is established that any one of the following conditions applies. These conditions are set forth in the City of Mesquite General Government Policies and Procedures, Chapter 4 (Employment Policies), Section 5 (Rejection or Discontinuance of Processing).
- Failure to meet the minimum requirements for the position applied.
- Inability to pass required examinations.
- Inability or unwillingness to work the required schedule (days, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays.)
- Any illegal use of a controlled substance other than marijuana.
- Any use of marijuana which exceeds very limited experimentation, or any use within the six months immediately prior to application for employment.
- Criminal History: Conviction, deferred adjudication, or placement on probation for a felony offense or crime other than traffic violations where such history represents a risk to the City of Mesquite or where such history is in conflict with the responsibilities and duties of the job.
- Criminal History: Conviction, deferred adjudication, or placement on probation for any Class B or higher misdemeanor within the past 10 years. These conditions are set forth in the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standard and Education (TCLEOSE), Chapter 217 (Licensing Requirements), Section 1 (Minimum Standards for Initial Licensure).
- Prior public activities which could offend community standards, or cause the public to question the motives or lose confidence in the Mesquite Police Department, including but not limited to:
- Exotic dancing, posing nude or semi-nude for publication or public display, or ownership, management or employment in a sexually-oriented business.
- Espousal of membership in or philosophy of an organization that espouses racial, religious, or ethnic hatred.
- Espousal of membership in or philosophy of an organization that espouses civil disobedience.
An applicant may be disqualified at any point in the hiring process when it is established that any one of, or combination the following conditions applies. These conditions are set forth in the City of Mesquite General Government Policies and Procedures, Chapter 4 (Employment Policies), Section 5 (Rejection or Discontinuance of Processing).
- Falsification, deception, or fraud in the employment process.
- Incomplete application, processing, or documentation.
- Failure to appear for a scheduled appointment.
- Disciplinary action at previous jobs.
- Unstable work history.
- Unsatisfactory character.
- Prior illegal activity, whether detected or undetected, whether prosecuted or not prosecuted, whether convicted or not convicted, whether completed, attempted, a conspiracy, or any other illegal activity that might reasonably cause the public to lose confidence in the department or affect the credibility of a witness in a criminal case.
- Prior civil action, whether litigated or settled, or pending or anticipated civil action against the applicant for an intentional tort relating to duties as a law enforcement officer or security officer which could reasonably be expected to influence a jury in any future tort action for a similar duty-related incident.
- Prior conviction or deferred adjudication within the past seven (7) years for License suspended, revoked, or denied or operating a motor vehicle with license suspended or revoked.
Dispatch is a 24 hour, 7 day a week operation. Since the City never shuts down we must have dispatchers working at all times to provide emergency and non-emergency support to our citizens. Therefore, a dispatcher must be able to work any shift. This includes days, evenings, deep nights, and working weekends and holidays. A newly hired Dispatcher will always be scheduled to work whatever schedule is left after the Dispatchers with more seniority have selected their preferred shift to work. Typically, that means you'll be working nights, deep nights, weekends, and holidays for quite some time. While on training, you will be assigned to whatever shift your Trainer is scheduled to work - you will have no choice. Once through with training, a dispatcher would work four, ten hour days per week, with three consecutive days off. Again, shift assignments are granted based on seniority. Dispatchers bid for a new shift, based on seniority once per year.
We have four shifts for Dispatchers. They are: 6am-4pm, 10am-8pm, 4pm-2am, and 8pm-6am. An applicant must be willing to work all shifts to be considered for this position.
How Do I Become a Dispatcher?
If you think you have what it takes to become a dispatcher, you must first submit an online application. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automatic confirmation with instructions to come to our offices (Human Resources Department - 1515 N. Galloway) to take the required tests for this position. It's your responsibility to come in and take the required tests before the position closes. You will not continue in the hiring process if you do not come in and test. Testing for this position is Monday - Friday from 8:30am - 2pm. No appointments necessary. Testing consists of a typing test (must type 35wpm or more) and CritiCall (which tests your multi-tasking abilities). Testing will take about 2 1/2 hours to complete. If you pass the required testing then you will be required to complete a very detailed Personal History Questionnaire. The Questionnaire will need to be returned to the Human Resources Department within one-week after the job closes to be considered for the position. The most qualified applicants will advance through each phase of this process. Not every applicant will move forward. An overview of the hiring process is as follows; however, an applicant can be eliminated at any point in the process:
- Submit a complete online application
- Come in for required testing (typing and CritiCall)
- If you pass testing, then complete a Personal History Questionnaire and have returned within one-week after job closes.
- If selected to continue then a polygraph is scheduled
- If selected to continue then a board interview is scheduled
- If selected to continue then a background check is scheduled
- If selected to continue then an interview with the Police Chief is scheduled
- If selected to continue then a Contingent Offer is made
- Pre-Employment Steps: Scheduled for a medical exam, drug test, and psychological exam.
- If successfully pass pre-employment steps, give a two-week notice with current employer.
- Begin working!
Please note: Applicants who try to mislead, lie, cover-up, or be deceptive during any part of the hiring process (especially the polygraph and background check) will not be hired. It is in your best interest to be 100% honest and truthful throughout the entire hiring process.
On the Job Training
Although no experience is needed to become a dispatcher with the City of Mesquite, a person still must have the skills and abilities that are listed in the "Ideal Candidate" above to be hired. If hired, we will equip you with the necessary tools and training to be a successful and effective dispatcher. Training is very intensive, as there is a lot to learn. It takes about a year and a half for a dispatcher to be fully trained. During training, a dispatcher must rotate through all the different shifts every month, in order to get accustomed to each shift.
Dispatchers will begin at $14 per hour. As you progress through training, your pay will increase with each new skill learned. In as little as 9 months, your earning potential will reach $15.75 per hour!
Contact the Human Resources Department