City of Los Altos, CA

Communications Officer

City of Los Altos, CA, Los Altos, California, United States, 94024

Salary :

$107,060.49 - $130,132.69 Annually

Location :

Los Altos Police Department

Job Type:

Full-Time Regular

Job Number:




Opening Date:


Closing Date:


Bargaining Unit:




The Police Communications Center is a fast-paced environment serving first responders and the community during emergency and non-emergency events. Communications Officers interact daily with the public and law enforcement personnel through phone calls, 9-1-1 events, in person and over the police radio system. We are looking for highly skilled professionals who can multi-task and react calmly during emergency situations, while making quick decisions and determining the nature and severity of service calls. If you are looking to make a difference in the City of Los Altos while working in the Communications Center, this position is for you!

This recruitment is open until filled with the first review of applications on November 20th, 2023 .

Under general supervision, the Communications Officer, as a member of the Police Department, transmits and receives information over the police and public works radio system; dispatches routine and emergency calls for service; types, records, and files information; handles emergency and non-emergency telephone calls utilizing complex technical aids, such as computer aided dispatch system (CAD) and various law enforcement telecommunication systems, and performs related work as assigned.


Is highly professional, patient, respectful, and ethical; possesses excellent problem-solving skills; ability to multi-task in stressful situations. Communicates effectively and proactively both verbally and in writing. An ideal candidate will have experience with public safety call taking, radio dispatching and utilizing clerical/office equipment.

Examples of Duties

Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.Receives emergency and non-emergency telephone calls from the public for police, fire, or other emergency services; determines the nature of the call and the resources necessary to respond.Monitors police radio communications; maintains contact with police units to track officer status and respond to need for additional resources; monitors various radio channels to keep abreast of county-wide police activities affecting the City and assist other county agencies with mutual aid.Prioritizes requests for police and other public safety services; determines availability and location of patrol units; transmits information and dispatches police personnel and equipment in response to calls; routes calls for fire and emergency medical assistance to the Santa Clara County Fire Department.Assists police personnel in the field by quickly and accurately researching and relaying criminal history information and other requested data.Receives and coordinates requests for emergency Public Works assistance outside of the City's normal business hours (pertaining to full municipal services in Los Altos, and sewer maintenance requests in Los Altos Hills and the surrounding unincorporated areas).Click here to view the full job description and duties.Minimum Qualifications


Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:


A minimum of one year of public safety radio dispatching and/or basic clerical experience is requiredEDUCATION:

Possession of a High School Diploma or G.E.D. equivalent is required.Completion of college-level coursework is highly desirableLICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS:

Proof of successful completion of either the Criticall Dispatcher test with a passing score


P.O.S.T. Entry-level Dispatcher Test with a T-score of 50 or above.

(Lateral applicants that are currently employed as a Public Safety Dispatcher (non-probationary) do not need to submit proof of test scores, however a California POST Dispatcher Academy Certificate is required.)

Possession of a typing certificate with a minimum of 50 wpm dated within one year of the application date must be included as an attachment.Possession of Basic P.O.S.T. Dispatch Certificate is highly desirable and may be substituted for work experience.


Standard office methods, procedures, software and equipment; Geography of the local area; General public safety communications practices; Principles of customer service.


Multi-task and prioritize; Efficiently use radio and other communications equipment; Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; Analyze situations quickly and accurately; Maintain composure and work effectively under pressure; Understand and follow oral and written direction; Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties; Establish, maintain, and promote positive working relationships with employees, other agencies, and the public.

Supplemental Information


This position will require the ability to work rotating shifts on an on-going basis, including irregular hours on short notice. This position will also be assigned a uniform to wear during work hours.


The City of Los Altos is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of a person's race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation. Candidates with a disability, which may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process, should advise City of Los Altos upon submittal of application. Documentation of the need for accommodation must accompany the request.


The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. All job requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees.


This recruitment is open until filled with the first review of applications on November 20th, 2023 . Prior to hire, candidates will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, including a complete background investigation. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose a conviction will result in a disqualification or termination.

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Click Here to View the City of Los Altos Benefit Summary


Do you have a High School diploma or GED equivalent?



Please indicate your years of experience in public safety radio dispatching and/or basic clerical experience.

0-1 Years of Experience1-2 Years of Experience2-3 Years of Experience3-4 Years of Experience4-5 Years of Experience5+ Years of Experience


Do you have or will you be able to possess a typing certificate with a minimum of 50 wpm dated within 1 year of the application date?

Yes, I currently have and can attach a copy of my typing certificate to my application.No, I will not be able to obtain a typing certificate.


Please indicate which required exam you've completed below:

Criticall Dispatcher test with a passing scoreP.O.S.T. Entry-level Dispatcher Test with a T-score of 50 or aboveNone of the above


Please indicate if you've completed any of the highly desirable educational achievements below

I'm a lateral applicant currently employed as a Public Safety Dispatcher (non-probationary) and have a California POST Dispatcher Academy CertificateCompleted college-level coursework relevant to public safetyNone of the above

Required Question