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City of Torrance
Class Code: 7100
Class Designation: Civil Service

September 2009
Unit Representation: Torrance Professional &
Supervisory Association 


Public Safety Communications Supervisor


Under direction, the Public Safety Communications Supervisor is responsible for day-to-day operations and technical support for the public safety dispatching services, the alarm enforcement program and emergency medical dispatching services, 911 operations, and the training function. Incumbents in this class work in the Public Safety Communications Center which is a twenty-four hour, seven-days-per-week operation; and performs related activities as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Public Safety Communications Supervisor provides first line supervision and oversees daily operations in the command center for emergency dispatching. This class is distinguished from Communications Supervisor-Telecommunications or Communications Supervisor-Wireless in that the incumbents in these classifications are supervising personnel involved with the installation, service and maintenance of the City's telecommunications system or wireless radio and related communications systems.  Incumbents perform a full range of complex tasks and work under direction within a framework of established procedures.  Work is judged primarily on overall results with latitude in determining work methods and assignment requirements. Work may require the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations. 
Lateral-entry Public Safety Communications Supervisor is distinguished from entry-level Public Safety Communications Supervisor in that the Lateral-entry Supervisor is required to have three (3) years of experience in emergency radio dispatching which includes at least two (2) years of supervisory experience.
Supervision Exercised/Received
Receives supervision from higher level Police or Fire staff; exercises direct supervision over Public Safety (Fire and/or Police) Communications Operators.

Examples of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Plan, coordinate, and supervise the Public Safety Communications dispatchers and 911 operators and  handling day-to-day procedural questions and problems that arise;
  • Functions as call taker or radio operator for relief or as needed during shift;
  • Research new equipment/systems/ technological issues and writing related proposals; and implementation of the new dispatch system;
  • Instructs operators on proper dispatch procedures;
  • Develop and implement formal training programs for public safety 911 operators, public safety dispatchers, and lateral dispatchers; designing and updating training curriculum;
  • Coordinate mandatory training/certifications for all communications personnel; and oversee training and quality assurance for telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD) compliance, automatic aid and mutual aid;
  • Track and log recording requests;
  • Accumulate and analyze data/statistics to determine operational effectiveness;
  • Develop and update communications procedures;
  • Coordinate work schedules;
  • Supervises staff; supervisory duties include instructing, assigning, planning and reviewing work, evaluating work performance and completing performance evaluations, coordinating activities, maintaining standards, allocating personnel, acting on employee problems, selecting new employees, implementing employee discipline, providing training, advice and assistance as needed.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    While the following tasks are necessary for the work of the unit, they are not an essential part of the purpose of this position and may also be performed by other unit members.
  • Serves as a liaison to public safety departments;
  • Serves on various committees.
  • Minimum Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of

  • Public safety communications principles, practices, methods, techniques, and equipment;
  • The principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation;
  • The techniques and methods of radio communication including Geographical Information System (GIS), Automotive Vehicle Locator (AVL), Mobile Data Computer (MDC) and Global Positioning System (GPS).;
  • Computer-aided dispatch (CAD);
  • Federal communications commission (FCC) regulations pertaining to public safety communications;
  • Federal regulations pertaining to collection, storage, and dissemination of criminal history record information;
  • Emergency medical dispatch procedures;
  • CAD formats and commands pertaining to the 911 operator, fire dispatcher, and police dispatcher;
  • City policies and procedures affecting departmental operations;
  • General City operations;
  • Local geography including main streets and their hundred blocks, city boundary limits, sector/beat areas, and police/fire response districts;
  • Dispatch procedures for air ambulance companies;
  • Principles of supervision, training and employee relations;
  • Conflict resolution techniques.
  • Ability to

  • Communicate effectively with, and respond to, a demanding and diverse public in answering questions, policies, and handling complaints;
  • Inspire confidence in subordinate personnel and new employees in training;
  • Supervise and motivate personnel in a high stress environment;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, coworkers, management, other city employees, public officials, employees from other agencies, and the general public;
  • Supervise subordinates including training, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, counseling and disciplining staff, and processing grievances;
  • Shift priorities as departmental workload demands require;
  • Operate modern office equipment, computers and software applications;
  • Operate tools and equipment for the purpose of training staff and demonstrating proper techniques;
  • Implement and adhere to City and department rules, regulations and policies that govern assigned services and operations;
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • License or Certificate

  • Requires a valid California Class C driver's license;
  • Must obtain and maintain a valid California Public Safety Dispatcher POST and Emergency Medical Dispatch certification within one (1) year of hire.
  • Lateral Entry
  • Requires a valid California Class C driver's license;
  • Must possess and maintain a valid California POST Public Safety Dispatch Certificate and Emergency Medical Dispatch Certificate.
  • Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:

    Graduation from high school or GED and three years experience in emergency radio dispatching. One year of supervisory or lead work experience is preferred. Experience with CAD is preferred.
    Lateral Entry
    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Graduation from high school or GED and three (3) years experience in emergency radio dispatching which includes at least two (2) years of supervisory experience.
    Special Requirements
    Requires the ability to sit for extended periods of time, read color coded displays; use a computer terminal for extended periods; hear sufficiently to accurately and completely obtain information from callers; communicate clearly to effectively dispatch information over the radio/communication system. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
    Incumbents are frequently required to remain in the immediate work area throughout the work shift and may be ordered to work overtime with short notice.  Will be required to work rotating shifts, weekends and holidays.