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Cool heads needed for Westminster dispatch service

City presents career overview before hiring effort starts

Posted

The Westminster Police department is looking for people with calm demeanors, a reassuring speaking voice and good phone skills to fill some vacant slots at the emergency dispatch department.

“One problem we run into is that television kind of gives people a false sense of what police and dispatchers do,” said Cheri Spottke, Westminster Police public information officer. “We want people to come in so we are not wasting their time. We want them to have an idea about what this is really all about.”

The department is looking to hire four new dispatchers beginning in January 2018 but they’ve scheduled a career preview that begins promptly at 6 p.m. Dec. 14.

“It’s a formal presentation about the job duties and responsibilities, what the people would actually do,” Spottke said. “If they show up late, we won’t let them in. We don’t want anyone to miss part of it, and we don’t to be starting up and stopping for people coming late.”

The dispatch center handles emergency calls for Westminster Police, Fire and city EMS.

The job is tougher than many folks think, Spottke said.

“We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year,” Spottke said. “We don’t close. The calls are sometimes difficult. There is a lot going on, and TV makes things look more appealing and glamorous. The job is great, but it’s very raw and very real and there is a lot of multitasking and typing. It’s not what they see on TV.”

An online application will open on the city website late in January.

“We spend a lot of money and time putting people through a testing process,” she said. “And sometimes in the past, people step back and say ‘I had no idea I’d be taking calls from frantic people and things like that. We try and give them an overview of what the entire job entails.”

Newly hired dispatchers would work four ten hour shifts per week. The position is seniority based, meaning new hires would end up with the less desirable shifts.

“It’s not like they’d be working Monday through Thursday,” she said. “Its more based on need and we have certain days and certain times of the day when there are more calls and we need more people on shift.”

Westminster 911 Dispatch Career Preview

6 p.m. Dec. 14

Westminster Fire and Police, 9110 Yates St., Westminster, CO.

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