How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Davenport, Iowa

The Scott Emergency Communication Center (SECC) is located in Davenport, Iowa. While a number of cities in Scott County previously had their own 911 dispatch centers, they were consolidated into one center starting in 2008.

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In addition to dispatching calls, the SECC maintains radio and fiber optic communication between the various public safety agencies, handling police, fire, and emergency medical services calls.

Follow this step-by-step guide to become a 911 dispatcher in Scott County, Iowa:

Preparing to Be a Competitive Candidate in Scott County
Complete the Scott County Application Process
Undergo On-the-Job and Academy Training and Certification



Step 1. Preparing to Be a Competitive Candidate in Scott County

Although the job description for a public safety dispatcher for the SECC only specifies having a high school education, the starting pay for this position is higher than the 2012 average salary in Iowa overall, so there is likely to be a lot of competition.

One way you can stand out from this competition is to get formal education in a field that would help you better perform the job. Part of your on the job training will involve becoming certified in police and fire protocols.  An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, communications, emergency management, or even emergency medicine would help you in learning these protocols, so you can dispatch calls to the appropriate authorities.



Step 2.  Complete the Scott County Application Process

You can only apply for positions with Scott County when they are available.  You can, however, sign up to be notified when that happens.  Here are the steps to initiate notification:

  • Go to the job description page and search for “public safety dispatcher” position.
  • Click to be e-mailed when the job becomes available
  • Fill out the “job interest card” form

When the job is available, click on the link to apply and follow the instructions.  You must apply online to be considered for a position with the county.

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Part of the application process includes a background check and a test of your vision.  You must be able to:

  • Distinguish colors
  • See up close
  • Adjust focus



Step 3.  Undergo On-the-Job and Academy Training and Certification

Once you have been hired as a 911 dispatcher in Scott County, you will be trained by a communications training officer to use the following systems:

  • Computer aided dispatch (CAD)
  • Enhanced 911
  • Geographical mapping

You will have to obtain several different types of certification, including the following:

  • IOWA (Iowa On-line Warrant and Articles) certification
  • NCIC (National Crime Information Center) certification
  • Police and fire protocol Priority Dispatch certification

Within a year of being hired, you must attend the forty-hour BASIC Telecommunications program at the IOWA Law Enforcement Academy located in Johnston.  This training also includes the following:

  • Incident Command System
  • NIMS (National Incident Management System)
  • Relay Iowa
  • Special Needs

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