Mississippi has a crime that is lower than that of the nation as a whole. But this statistic does not tell the whole story. Mississippi has a lower rate of robberies and assaults than the average for the U.S., but has a significantly higher rate of murder and burglary. Law enforcement in Mississippi relies on a combination of law enforcement strategies and prompt response by emergency services in order to ensure that victims of crime are treated quickly.
Getting the Right Education
In order to be the best candidate for an open 9-1-1 dispatch position it is strongly advised that candidates hold a college degree. Mississippi colleges and universities offering degrees in the follow coursework should be strongly considered by anyone looking to become a 9-1-1 dispatch agent in the state:
- Emergency Communications – There are various communications systems, techniques, codes, and protocols used in the daily work of a 9-1-1 dispatcher. A degree in communications would be looked upon favorably by employers.
- Pre-Med Studies – Though different colleges define “pre-med” differently, this course of study is beneficial overall to the applicant. During a medical emergency, knowledge of the human body, and the ability to instruct the caller in potentially life-saving medical techniques, could make all the difference.
- Pre-law Studies – Pre-law studies will train the applicant in procedural thinking, which will be invaluable on the job.
Major Employers of 9-1-1 Dispatchers in Mississippi
Mississippi leaves the hiring and training of 9-1-1 dispatch agents to the law enforcement agencies located in individual municipalities. Though each individual city may make its own requirements, there is much overlap. An example of the 9-1-1 dispatch requirements in Vicksburg, Mississippi are as follows:
- Must be 21
- Must have High School diploma or GED
- Must be able to work in highly stressful environment
- Problem solving skills are a must
- New hires are trained and serve 1 year probation
Note: The reported average salary for a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Vicksburg, MS is $24,926.
Top providers of 911 dispatcher jobs in Mississippi include:
- Jackson Police Department – Jackson is the largest city in the state of Mississippi. Located on the Yazoo River, Jackson has a population of about 174,000 according to the 2010 census.
- Gulfport Police Department – Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi with a population of about 70,000 residents as of the 2010 census.
- Southaven Police Department – Southaven is the third largest city in Mississippi with a population of about 29,000.
Mississippi-Based and National Professional Organizations for 911 Dispatchers
It is highly recommended that anyone interested in emergency communications, including prospective9-1-1 dispatch operators
- The Mississippi 911 Coordinators Association has a mission of strengthening Mississippi’s emergency response efforts and to ensure the safety of the state’s citizens.
- The National Emergency Number Association. The NENA works in the same way as the Mississippi E-911 Association, but on a larger scope which focuses on the whole nation.
- The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Cooperation and standardization of E-911 organization on a multinational level is the work of the IAED.