How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in St. Louis, Missouri

911 emergency dispatchers, referred to as public safety dispatchers in St Louis, Missouri, work for the St. Louis Police Department.  They dispatch all emergency personnel, whether police, fire or EMS. St. In St. Louis, public safety dispatchers are part of the system that helps make the city safer for residents in the face of a serious crime problem:

  • St Louis is only safer than 1 percent of U.S. cities
  • St. Louis has a murder rate over seven times the national average, and a rate of sexual assault more than double the national average
  • The rate of robbery and theft are more than five times the national average
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If you want to contribute to making St. Louis a better place to live by becoming a 911 dispatcher, follow these steps:

Review Education Options
Apply For The Position
Complete Additional Pre-Employment Requirements
Physical And Psychological Examinations and Appointment



Step 1. Review Education Options

In order to become a public safety dispatcher in St. Louis you must have graduated from high school or obtained a GED.  If you wish to significantly increase your competitive advantage and preparedness for the position, you should consider obtaining a college degree from any of the St. Louis area institutions of higher learning.

Some of the majors offered in the St. Louis area relevant to a career as a public safety dispatcher include:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice – Obtaining a degree in criminology and criminal justice will prepare you to communicate better with the law enforcement community you will interact with.


  • Communications – Obtaining a communications degree will prepare you to operate the many communications systems that you will encounter on the job, including computer and telephone dispatch systems. Additionally, much of the job of a safety dispatcher required superlative communication skills.


  • Information Systems – Like a degree in communications, a degree in information systems will help to prepare you to use the computer and communication technology you will encounter on the job.  Technology is now a large part of a public safety dispatcher’s job, and a degree in information systems can serve as a firm foundation.


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Step 2. Apply For The Position

The entry-level pay for a public safety dispatcher in St. Louis is $33, 529 per year. The top pay is $48, 735 per year. There are several requirements you will need to meet in order to successfully apply for the position. These requirements include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, or have a valid work permit
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must possess a valid driver’s license with no more than 5 points charged against it
  • If you are ex-military you must have been discharged with honor

To apply for a job as a public safety dispatcher in St. Louis, please go to the St. Louis County Law and Public Safety website and download the application. After completion, this application must be returned to:

St. Louis County Police Department Personnel
Services Unit 7900 Forsyth Boulevard
Room B-156, Clayton
Missouri 63105



Step 3. Complete Additional Pre-Employment Requirements

There are a number of pre-employment steps you will be required to complete in order to proceed in the employment process. These steps will be scheduled and further explained as you work your way through the employment process:

  • Clerical examination – You must be able to type at least 35 word per minute
  • Observation – You must observe a public safety dispatch work unit for an average of 2 hours
  • Testing – You will be subject to a written, an audio, and a video public safety dispatcher test
  • Pre-employment review board – You will have to go before a review board to conduct an interview
  • Final Review – The Commander, Bureau of Staff Services and the Executive Director, Division of Operational Support will review your application and make a recommendation to the Chief of Police regarding your application.

After completing all of the above the Chief may then present you with a conditional job offer.


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Step 4. Physical And Psychological Examinations and Appointment

After you are given the conditional job offer you will be required to pass a physical conducted by a physician, and a psychological exam conducted by a psychologist. If you do not pass either of these exams, the Chief may rescind the job offer.

You must demonstrate your ability to satisfactorily perform all the job functions during the first 12 months on the job, which serve as a probationary period.

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