9-1-1 Dispatcher Program

9-1-1 Dispatchers, also known as Police Dispatcher, Public Safety Dispatcher, Communications Technician and other similar names, are typically employees of a municipal Police Department or County Sheriff’s Department. Dispatchers are civilian employees of the Department who answer 9-1-1 emergency calls for police, fire and medical assistance. Dispatchers work shift work, seven days a week including weekends and holidays. The job is extremely challenging and can be very rewarding. There is tremendous career potential for talented Dispatchers in California.

All Dispatcher training is certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Dispatchers in California must complete the Basic Dispatch Course within the first twelve months of employment. The Criminal Justice Training Center offers this course to those students interested in pursuing a career as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. Completing this course is an excellent way to explore the career and to learn more about this exciting job.

Students will learn about criminal law, professionalism and ethics, emergency telephone answering techniques, radio dispatching, radio codes, critical incidents, stress management, community policing and relations, and much more. Students are encouraged to tour local law enforcement 9-1-1 Dispatch Centers and will participate in a series of simulations in order to learn about the role of the Dispatcher in law enforcement and related emergency services.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills.
  • Summarize and discuss in written form, Issues pertinent to the dispatch profession.
  • Comprehend and retain factual and technical information related to the profession.
  • Assess problems, prioritize resources, and identify a solutions using good judgment.

This is a highly interactive class requiring full participation. The class is 136 hours scheduled over eighteen weeks. Students must attend each session of the course to receive credit and certification. Some outside reading and study is required. Graduates receive a certificate of completion.


  • Attend each class and miss no more than six hours.
  • Achieve an overall score of at least 80%
  • Participate in learning activities and a variety of simulations.

The P.O.S.T. 9-1-1 Dispatcher Course is offered three times per year. For students who are not yet hired as a Dispatcher, we recommend the evening extended format that begins each August and January. For students who are hired by a law enforcement agency and already working as a Dispatcher, we recommend the intensive format.

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