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Communications Operator

City of Forest Park

Listing Summary


The purpose of this classification is to receive/process requests for emergency/non-emergency assistance and to dispatch emergency medical, law enforcement, fire, or other agency resources. 


  • Operates and/or monitors communications equipment, multi-telephone lines, and computers associated with police, fire, E-911, and emergency medical communications, which may include telephone equipment, radio communications equipment, audio recorder, TTY/TDD machine, NCIC/GCIC computers, printers, computer aided dispatching (CAD) system, emergency alert systems, electronic mail systems, paging systems, alarm panels, power sources, weather service computer, general office equipment, or other equipment/systems.
  • Receives, screens, processes, and monitors emergency 911 calls and non-emergency calls from the public and other police/public safety agencies by radio and telephone; works to calm upset callers; evaluates, categorizes, and prioritizes calls; determines proper zone/jurisdiction of request; refers callers to other agencies as appropriate; receives routine calls for the department and records messages for department personnel.
  • Dispatches appropriate agency personnel to incident locations; determines nature of emergency, location of incident, and nearest available units; dispatches law enforcement units, ambulances, Life Flight, fire fighters, wreckers, utility crews, animal control, or other agencies as appropriate; coordinates situations requiring mutual aid with other jurisdictions/agencies.
  • Maintains communications with all parties involved in emergency situations; monitors status/location of officers and emergency units; assists emergency personnel in locating addresses; conveys information between callers and emergency personnel, general public, public safety agencies, hospitals, utilities, businesses, alarm companies, department personnel, or other individuals/agencies; provides pre-arrival medical information to callers; updates officers and emergency units with relevant information on an ongoing basis; coordinates exchange of information between officers, citizens, and other agencies; responds to requests from officers for backup, emergency units, information, or other assistance.
  • Responds to requests from law enforcement personnel or other authorized individuals for information involving license plates, driver’s license records, criminal history records, warrants, missing/wanted persons, location of individuals, stolen property, telephone numbers, or other information; obtains/provides background information as requested by authorized personnel.
  • Operates national and state criminal information computer systems (NCIC/GCIC) to retrieve/update criminal information and motor vehicle/license records; enters, removes, confirms, modifies, and/or updates entries and data as needed; enters and runs inquiries on data such as vehicle registrations, driver’s license records, criminal histories, warrants, lost/stolen property, or missing/wanted persons; receives BOLO notices and broadcasts/distributes as appropriate; sends or responds to HIT confirmations on warrants, stolen vehicles, stolen tags, stolen vehicle parts, and stolen guns; maintains records of NCIC/GCIC validations; ensures integrity/security of data and adherence to NCIC/GCIC requirements.
  • Operates a computer to enter, retrieve, review, or modify data; verifies accuracy of entered data and makes corrections; utilizes word processing, database, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), email, or other computer programs.
  • Performs basic maintenance of computer systems, communications equipment, and general office equipment; inspects equipment for proper operations; monitors equipment alarms to identify problems; performs daily backups of computer data; replaces audio tapes in voice recorder; duplicates audio tapes; clears paper jams and replaces paper, ink, or toner; coordinates service/repair activities as needed.
  • Maintains logs, computer records, and hard-copy records of calls, work activities, activities of dispatched units, and related information; enters call details into computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system; maintains daily logs of shift events/activities; maintains knowledge of current maps and geography; maintains bulletins, telephone lists, directories, procedures, and other reference materials.
  • Exchanges pertinent information with co-workers, department personnel, other departments, and outside agencies; distributes incoming information/documentation to appropriate personnel; monitors incoming faxes and teletypes; provides information/documentation to other departments and outside agencies as requested.
  • Monitors radio traffic of other departments and other law enforcement, emergency, and non-emergency agencies to respond to radio calls and to maintain an awareness of activities.
  • Monitors weather service radio for weather updates; provides emergency notification of severe weather to appropriate personnel.
  • Monitors department alarm panel; communicates with alarm companies; coordinates exchange of information between police officers, alarm companies, and keyholders/contact persons.
  • Prepares or completes various forms, reports, correspondence, logs, lists, notices, 911 inquiry forms, GCIC transaction records, BOLO forms, warrant recall sheets, hold/tracking forms, impound/repossession forms, supply requisitions, or other documents.
  • Receives various forms, reports, correspondence, logs, lists, NCIC/GCIC bulletins/reports, criminal history reports, driver history reports, BOLO notices, validations, NCIC/GCIC guides, 911 guidelines, training materials, policies, procedures, local/jurisdictional maps/charts, atlases, street guides, directories, user guides, reference materials, manuals, or other documentation; reviews, completes, processes, forwards, or retains as appropriate.
  • Communicates effectively and coherently over radio channels while initiating and responding to radio communications.
  • Communicates with supervisor, employees, other departments, callers, law enforcement personnel, fire personnel, emergency medical personnel, medical facilities, federal/state/local public safety agencies, court officials, utility companies, wrecker services, social service agencies, government agencies, other jurisdictions, the public, outside agencies, and other individuals as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, or resolve problems.
  • Monitors inventory of department forms and supplies; ensures availability of adequate materials to conduct work activities; initiates requests for new/replacement items as needed.
  • Maintains confidentiality of departmental documentation and issues; shreds confidential or obsolete documentation.
  • Maintains current knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; maintains an awareness of new procedures, trends, and advances in the profession; reads professional literature; maintains professional affiliations; attends workshops and training sessions as appropriate.
  • Performs general/clerical tasks, which may include answering telephone calls, making copies, sending/receiving faxes, and filing documentation.
  • Provides assistance to other employees or departments as needed.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Education and Experience:

Requires a High School Diploma or equivalent; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Special Qualifications:                                                            

Must possess and maintain valid Georgia P.O.S.T. Communications Officer certification and Emergency Medical Dispatcher certification. Must possess and maintain valid N.C.I.C. and G.C.I.C. Terminal Operator certification.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to determine, calculate, tabulate, and/or summarize data; ability to perform subsequent actions in relation to these computational operations.
  • Ability to apply principles of persuasion and/or influence over others in coordinating activities of a project, program, or designated area of responsibility.
  • Ability to operate, maneuver, and/or control the actions of equipment, machinery, tools, and/or materials used in performing essential functions.
  • Ability to utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, and/or advisory data and information.
  • Ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; ability to calculate decimals and percentages; ability to utilize principles of fractions; ability to interpret graphs.
  • Ability to apply principles of influence systems, such as motivation, incentive, and leadership, and to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to resolve problems.
  • Ability to exercise judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory, judgmental, or subjective criteria, as opposed to that which is clearly measurable or verifiable.


The work is sedentary which requires exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body.

  • Hearing: Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make the discrimination in sound.
  • Mental Acuity: Ability to make rational decisions through sound logic and deductive processes.
  • Repetitive Motion: Substantial movements (motions) of the wrist, hands, and/or fingers.
  • Speaking: Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word including the ability to convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately and concisely.
  • Visual Acuity: Have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; and/or extensive reading.


Work is performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.


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