Los Altos

Communications Officer

Public Safety Dispatch
South Bay
Until filled
$85,243.00-$96,825.00 Annually


1 North San Antonio Road Los Altos, 94022


Under general supervision, the Communications Officer, as a member of the Police Department, transmits and receives information over the police and public works radio system; dispatches routine and emergency calls for service; types, records, and files information; handles emergency and non-emergency telephone calls utilizing complex technical aids, such as computer aided dispatch systems (CAD), and  performs related  work as assigned.

90% GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITIES: The following statements are intended as general illustrations of the work in this job class and are not all inclusive for specific positions.

  1. Receives emergency and non-emergency telephone calls from the public for police, fire, or other emergency services; determines the nature of the call and the resources necessary to respond.
  2. Monitors police radio communications; maintains contact with police units to track officer status and respond to need for additional resources; monitors various radio channels to keep abreast of county-wide police activities affecting the City and assist other county agencies with mutual aid.
  3. Prioritizes requests for police and other public safety services; determines availability and location of patrol units; transmits information and dispatches police personnel and equipment in response to calls; routes calls for fire and emergency medical assistance to the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
  4. Assists police personnel in the field by quickly and accurately researching and relaying criminal history information and other requested data.
  5. Communicates with callers to determine the nature of the call and provide appropriate assistance; maintains composure to ensure that complete and accurate information is transmitted to public safety and medical personnel.
  6. Screens non-emergency calls for service; provides requested information or directs callers to the proper person, department or agency.
  7. Updates and maintains electronic records and logs of data pertaining to calls and activities.
  8. Receives and coordinates requests for emergency Public Works assistance outside of the City’s normal business hours (pertaining to full municipal services in Los Altos, and sewer maintenance requests in Los Altos Hills and the surrounding unincorporated areas).


  1. Act in the place of records staff for after-hours walk-in visitors to the Police Department.
  2. May assist with the training of new communications personnel.


Knowledge of: Standard office methods, procedures, software and equipment; Geography of the local area; General public safety communications practices; Principles of customer service.

Skill and Ability To: Multi-task and prioritize; Efficiently use radio and other communications equipment; Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; Analyze situations quickly and accurately; Maintain composure and work effectively under pressure; Understand and follow oral and written direction; Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties; Establish, maintain, and promote positive working relationships with employees, other agencies, and the public; Work various shifts including nights, weekends, holidays, and intermittent shifts as needed.  


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND GENERAL WORKING CONDITIONS: This position will require the ability to work rotating shifts on an on-going basis, including irregular hours on short notice. This position will also be assigned a uniform to wearing during work hours.


Any combination of the listed experience and education requirements may lead to a qualifying application. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

  • Possession of a High School Diploma or G.E.D. equivalent is required.
  • Completion of college-level coursework is highly desirable
  • A minimum of one year of public safety dispatching and/or basic clerical experience is required.
  • Possession of Basic P.O.S.T. Dispatch Certificate is highly desirable and may be substituted for work experience

IDEAL CANDIDATE POSSESSES THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:  Is highly professional, patient, respectful, and ethical; possesses excellent problem-solving skills; ability to multi-task in stressful situations. Communicates effectively and proactively both verbally and in writing. Enjoys working in a small town atmosphere with an engaged public, including merchants, property owners and residents.


$85,243.00 – $96,825.00 annually DOE

The City of Los Altos offers a competitive benefits package.  Please visit our website to learn more about our Benefits Summary.


The recruitment will remain open until the position is filled.

The City of Los Altos has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.