9-1-1 Dispatch Specialists in Las Vegas are qualified, hired and receive in-service training through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). There is a significant need for qualified personnel to take these positions in the Las Vegas area, in part due to the following:
- Las Vegas is home to 589,000 people, approximately 20 percent of the population of Nevada.
- Las Vegas has a crime rate which is well above the national average. The crime in the city has made it less safe than 82 percent of American cities.
- Las Vegas has a history of gang, mafia, and cartel violence.
- Las Vegas has a very high incidence of DUI arrests. A typical year sees over 10,000 DUI arrests.
The steps to becoming a 911 Dispatcher in Las Vegas include:
|Meet Education and Job Requirements|
|Applying for a Job with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department|
|On the Job Training and Skill Development|
|Consider Joining Professional Associations such as NENA|
Step 1. Meet Education and Job Requirements
The LVMPD has set a high school diploma as the minimum educational standard for a Dispatch Specialist. However, in order be in a better position competitively and better prepared for the work you’ll perform, it is recommended that you acquire a college degree. There are many colleges and universities in the Las Vegas area that offer degree programs that will be helpful in obtaining employment as a Dispatch Specialist. Additionally, the process of obtaining one of these degrees can help prepare you for some of the challenges you will find on the job.
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Justice Studies Programs offering a wide range of industry-relevant programs
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Some areas of study that may help you in obtaining a job as a Dispatch Specialist in Las Vegas are:
- Law Enforcement – Police Sciece
- Emergency Management
- Public Safety
- Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Philosophy and Logic
- Fire Science
Some of the requirements to become a dispatch specialist with the LVMPD are best developed through an associate’s degree or undergraduate certificate program:
- Ability to type at 45 words per minute
- Good oral communication skills
- Basic knowledge of criminal and civil law
- Knowledge of geographical features and directions in the Las Vegas area
Previous law enforcement or dispatch experience is preferred, but not required.
Step 2. Apply for a 911 Dispatcher Job with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
To begin the hiring process as a 911 dispatcher with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, complete an online interest card to get more information on becoming a Dispatch Specialist Trainee. You will be notified regarding job vacancies and training opportunities.
The starting pay for a Dispatch Specialist in Las Vegas is $18.23 per hour. The maximum pay is set at $26.98 per hour.
There are a number of potential job opportunities with the LVMPD dispatch center. These include:
Dispatch Specialist II – You will be eligible to train new hires and get an 8 percent raise
- Communications Supervisor – After four years on the job you may be promoted to a communications supervisor. This position supervises between 7-15 people and handles the daily operations on the floor.
- Shift Manager – Communications Supervisors are eligible for promotion to Shift Manager. Shift Managers answer to the Bureau Director.
Step 3. On the Job Training and Skill Development
In working with the LVMPD as a 9-1-1 Dispatch Specialist you will be required have a diverse skill set. Some of the skills you must possess in order to successfully perform your job functions include:
- Type accurately and swiftly
- Exercise superior judgment while working under pressure
- Work any of a number of shifts including nights, weekends, and holidays
- Maintain strict confidentiality
The LVMPD will train you in the operations of the job including:
- Quickly and accurately identifying and processing calls. Some of these calls will be genuine life or death emergencies.
- Record information that officers give you about suspects
- Accurately maintain various manual and automated logs
- Utilize various job-specific computer and phone systems
- Utilize various job specific codes and acronyms
- Control building access and monitor camera systems
Step 4. Consider Joining Professional Associations
The National Emergency Number Association is an organization which works across the country for the standardization of emergency contact services. You should consider joining this organization and becoming active in advancement of the field of emergency communications.
In order to be best prepared to enter the field of 9-1-1 dispatch there are several professional certifications that you should consider obtaining. These certifications include:
- The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch grants the Emergency Medical Dispatch certification. This certification will help you demonstrate proficiency in procedures and technology relevant to the field.
- The Red Cross CPR certification will help you demonstrate proficiency in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. This skill is invaluable in the line of duty.
- Acquiring the Criminal Justice Information Services certification will prepare you to use many of the various law enforcement reporting databases which will be encountered on the job.