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City of Burlingame Logo

Communications Dispatcher I
Entry Level
City of Burlingame, San Francisco/Peninsula

Public Safety Dispatch

For more info contact:
(650) 558-7206
Close Date: Jul 11, 2013
Salary: $5,045.69 - $6,067.08 Monthly

The City of Burlingame Police Department is seeking an enthusiastic, flexible, and service-oriented individual to join our Communications Dispatch team.  This is a fantastic career opportunity to work in a small department and play a significant role in all aspects of Communications.


Under direction of the communications and records supervisor incumbents receives all incoming calls for emergency and non-emergency police and fire assistance and dispatches required equipment using a computer aided dispatch system as well as performing a variety of general support duties related to Communications.


ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (Include, but are not limited to the following)

  • Receive emergency calls from the public requesting police, fire ambulance, or other   emergency service.

  • Determine nature, location and priority of emergency

  • Dispatch police, fire ambulance, or other emergency units through computer aided  mobile data terminals in accordance with established procedures.

  • Answer non-emergency calls for assistance

  • Order tow trucks and public works emergency services, or contact appropriate agencies.

  • Process and maintain a variety of departmental reports, records and files

  • Index and keep accurate statistics

  • Enter, update and retrieve information relating to wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, stolen vehicles and other information

  • Coordinate emergency calls and relay information and assistance requests involving the sheriff’s department, ambulances, fire equipment and departments in other areas.

  • Provide information to the public via telephone and in person

  • Coordinate county-wide road blocks with other department during major crime incidents

  • Contact agencies outside the county regarding suspect information

  • May testify in court regarding activities leading to legal proceedings.

KNOWLEDGE/ABILITIES/SKILLS (The following are a sample of the knowledge/abilities and skills necessary for this position.)


Knowledge of: 

  • English usage including spelling, grammar and punctuation

  • Modern office procedures and methods.


Ability to: 

  • Learn to operate and use standard radio and telephone receiving and transmitting equipment

  • Learn department procedures and policies pertaining to the dispatching of city emergency equipment

  • Learn to operate a sophisticated computer aided dispatch system

  • Learn to operate, retain and use geographic features and streets within the area served Learn to effectively elicit information from irate and upset citizens; learn to follow oral and written instructions

  •  Learn, retain, and use public safety classification codes and computer commands.

  • Think clearly and use good judgment in dispatching

  • Communicate clearly and concisely with good enunciation orally and clearly in writing

  •  Exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in emergency situations

  • Stay calm in emergency situations

  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with citizens, peers, police officers, and employees in other departments

  • Flexibility of work hours and overtime to work various shifts as assigned

  • Stamina, willingness, and endurance for sedentary console operations and dispatching.

  • Reach all consoles and other equipment including teletype, phones

  • Hear alarms, radios, and phones

  • Demonstrate sufficient calm, emotional stability

  • See console screen and TV monitor

  • Sit for long periods of time, several hours at a time.

  • Reach to a height of up to six feet to retrieve reports and audio tapes.


  • Ability to type 35 net words per minute.

  • Ability to multi-task, gather and disseminate information clearly, accurately and rapidly in urgent situations.

  • Ability to calm irate and hysterical persons.

  • Ability to operate a wide variety of computers, radios and recording equipment.


QUALIFICATIONS:  (The following are minimal qualifications necessary for entry into this classification.)



High School Diploma or General Education Development certificate equivalent.  



Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way of obtaining this would be prior full-time responsible experience involving public contact, computer usage, and/or heavy telephone traffic.  Experience in public safety or dealing with stressful, multi-task oriented situations is desirable.  Telephone, dispatch, and public contact experience is desirable; CAD experience is highly desirable.



A valid typing certificate issues by an educational institution, public agency, or professional service indicating minimum typing speed of at least 35 words per minute with a maximum of 5 errors.  The typing test must be for at least five (5) minutes and must be no more than one (1) year old.  The certificate must state the gross words per minute, the number of errors, name of the agency and the test administrator’s signature.


The ability to obtain a California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Basic Dispatch Certificate prior to the completion of a one year probationary period.



Possession of or ability to obtain and maintain a valid Class C driver’s license.


Selection Process:

All applications will be reviewed for relevant education, experience, training and other job related qualifications.  Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee that a candidate will be invited to participate in the selection process.  The candidates who best match the needs of the City will be invited to  participate in an oral panel interview process.  An eligibility list for this position will be established from those who pass the oral panel interview with a score of 70% or higher.  The list will remain in effect for at least one year unless exhausted sooner.


Upon proof of honorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States, a veteran’s preference of 3% will be added to the final score of candidates who have attained a passing score. 


The department will invite the most qualified candidates from the eligibility list to a final department interview.  The Police Chief will make the final appointment.  Salaries for new employees are established at the department level interview.


Prior to appointment, candidates will be required to:

  • pass a thorough background investigation, polygraph and psychological screening. 

  • comply with The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 new employees are required to provide proof of identity and authorization to work in the United States at date of hire. 

  • present an original social security card.


All new hires are required to successfully pass a one year probationary period.


The Application Process

Applicants must submit a completed City of Burlingame application along with a resume, completed supplemental questions and typing test demonstration the applicants ability to type a minimum of 35 words per minute


Applicants are encouraged to apply on-line at  Applications submitted without completed supplemental questions and typing test, taken within the last 12 months, will be considered incomplete and will be disqualified from this recruitment process. 


Applications are also available at City of Burlingame

 Human Resources Department

 501 Primrose Road

 Burlingame, CA  94010

 Or by calling (650) 558-7206


The deadline to apply for this position is July 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM or at the receipt of first 100 qualified  applications, whichever occurs first.  





Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate will posses the following knowledge, abilities and skills as well as able to pass a thorough background investigation, polygraph and psychological screening. Be willing and able to work Day, Swing and Midnight shifts. Be willing and able to work weekends and holidays. Be willing and able to work mandatory overtime.

The City of Burlingame offers a competitive salary and benefits package. The salary range for this position is currently $5,044.69 - $6,067.08 per month.
The City provides:
  • Retirement: CalPERS 2.5% at 55 or 2.0% at 62 benefit formula depending on membership status.
  • Health Insurance: Choice of CalPERS Medical plans. City currently pays 100% of medical premium up to $1,738.44 per month for family medical coverage.
  • City pays 100% of premium for dental and vision for employee and dependents.
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance plan pays 60% of monthly salary ($3,500 max).
  • Term life insurance policy in the amount of $35,000.
  • Vacation leave of 10 days for the first 4 years and increases with years of service.
  • Fourteen paid holidays per year (includes 2 floating holidays).
  • Sick Leave: 12 days per year.
  • Deferred Compensation: City contributes $97.50 per month matching contribution to a choice of 457 plans.
  • Section 125 Flex Benefit: Un-reimbursed Medical and Child Care.
  • Reduced fee for City Recreation fitness classes
This job is closed

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