The Police Communications Department within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is responsible for handling all emergency communications between the public and emergency responders. The professional 911 dispatchers of the Department (also known as telecommunicators) answer more than 68,000 calls each month. Emergency communications are part of the Administrative Services Group, which includes communications, records, and crime reporting.
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Charlotte-Mecklenburg, which consists of Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, which together makes up the largest metropolitan area in the state, is home to about 1 million people, or about 10 percent of the population in the State of North Carolina.
If you want to learn how to become a 911 operator in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, there are a number of steps you should be prepared to take:
|Meet the Minimum Requirements for Employment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg|
|Apply for Employment and Complete Pre-Employment Requirements|
|Complete 911 Dispatcher Training Program|
Step 1. Meet the Minimum Requirements for Employment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
If you want to become a 911 dispatcher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, you must first ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment. Specifically, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Be a United States citizen or can work legally in the United States
Many individuals choose to pursue a college education, as it can prove to be quite useful for future career advancements and endeavors. Further, the skills and knowledge learned in an associate’s or bachelor’s program may help 911 dispatchers better perform their jobs.
Although there is currently no specific degree programs for emergency communications, there are a number of programs that provide a solid match for this profession, including:
- Emergency Management (Administration)
- Public Safety
- Homeland Security
- Criminal Justice
Step 2. Apply for Employment and Complete Pre-Employment Requirements
The first step when pursuing a 911 dispatcher job in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is to familiarize yourself with the City of Charlotte’s online application system. The online system, called eRecruit, allows you to create and submit an application for the position of a 911 dispatcher (telecommunicator).
If you have any questions regarding completing and submitting an online application, you may call 704-336-2285 for help (during regular business hours).
Before submitting an application, you will need to create a user name and password for the system.
If you are chosen as a candidate for a 911 dispatcher job, you must undergo a number of pre-employment tests, including a drug screen, a hearing test, a psychological skills test, and a typing test.
A background investigation is performed to verify work history, credit history, criminal history, and your driver history. Finally, you will be required to successfully complete an oral interview and a polygraph examination.
Step 3. Complete 911 Dispatcher Training Program
All new 911 dispatchers through Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) require initial training. New employees must complete a three- to four-week 911 training academy, followed by at least a month of on-the-job training to hone their skills.
Dispatch training then takes place, which involves another three to four weeks of training, followed by another 12 weeks of on-the-job training.
Employees who will be working as Division of Criminal Information (DCI) operators must complete an additional 3 to 4 weeks of on-the-job training, and they must complete additional state training to achieve state certification.