Classes for aspiring dispatchers are usually part of emergency telecommunications or public safety dispatcher training programs. These programs may vary in length and usually result in a certificate of completion. Certification is required of dispatchers in several states; graduates of emergency dispatch training programs are typically eligible to sit for certification exams, which may vary from state to state.
Here are a few common concepts found in police dispatcher classes:
- Equipment operations
- 911 procedures
- Emergency situations
- Governmental agencies
List of Common Classes
Public Safety Dispatcher Course
Students learn the skills, techniques and knowledge to work as emergency dispatchers for police and fire departments. They study the basic operations of an emergency communications center, including topics such as telecommunication and computer-aided dispatch technology, call classification, stress management and legal standards. This course usually meets the dispatcher-training component for individuals undergoing Peace Office Standardized Training (POST) certification.
Communication Center Operations Course
This course introduces the communications equipment used by emergency dispatchers. Students learn how to answer and prioritize 911 calls and to accurately and efficiently enter data into a computer-aided dispatch system while following proper procedures. They also participate in an emergency communications simulator to practice operational and communication skills.
Emergency Communication Practices Course
Individuals learn the theories and practices of 911 emergency communication centers. They explore common emergency situations involving police, fire and medical personnel and how to respond in those situations. Students discuss liability for their agency of employment as well as at the individual level. They also study topics such as ethics, privacy and confidentiality laws.
Understanding Criminal Justice Course
This course reviews the processes and the agencies involved in the criminal justice system. Lessons cover the roles and goals of the police, prosecutor and public defender, the courts, corrections and legislature. They also discuss the checks and balances within the system and the problems it faces in today's society.
Law Enforcement Operations Course
Individuals discuss the various facets of a law enforcement agency. They look at the role of law enforcement in the context of social, political, racial and organizational organization. Students also examine law enforcement as a career.
Stress Management Course
Participants review the emotional, physiological and behavioral components of stress, and then discuss stress reduction techniques. They learn how to cope with stress through exercise, nutrition, time and financial planning.