UCF Police is adding staff to the hub of its department—the state-of-the-art, 24-hour communications center that receives all of the campus’ 911 calls.
A UCFPD dispatcher job posting will be added to https://www.jobswithucf.com/ on Friday, March 4. The application will be open for two weeks, and UCFPD is hoping to hire two new dispatchers.
“Dispatchers are a critical lifeline both for victims and for our officers,” said UCFPD Deputy Chief Brett Meade. “Their role is valuable and crucial to achieve our mission of providing a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”
UCFPD dispatchers aren’t first responders, but they are the first point of contact for emergency callers, and they are responsible for capturing relevant information and safely dispatching officers.
Dispatcher Chris Walton has been in the role for two years, balancing work with his school. As a UCF employee, Walton is eligible for free tuition for up to six credit hours per semester in addition to his salary and full health benefits.
“I think the big appeal is that you’re helping so many people as a call-taker,” said Walton, a junior criminal justice major. “We are the first person they’ll hear, and that really resonates with somebody because we’re listening to their needs to try to understand what they’re going through.”
Calls dispatchers receive come from among the 63,000 students, 11,000 employees and thousands of visitors at UCF each year. While there’s less violent crime at UCF than in other cities with a similar population, UCF dispatchers must be ready to tackle all aspects of safety and security in a moment’s notice.
For Walton, the best part of the job is the ability to help others.
“Being a smaller agency with the 71 officers we have, it’s a close-knit environment,” said Walton. “You know the officers’ voices on the radio, and you know that they aren’t just a voice. You actually know that they have a family and they have loved ones that they want to get back to so it really resonates with me. I strive to be a better dispatcher because I want to make sure everyone goes home and everybody is being as safe and proactive as they can.”
Candidates selected for the dispatch jobs must submit to a background investigation. They will complete about a year of training once the hiring process is completed. There are three shifts for dispatchers, and shifts will be assigned once the hiring process is finished.
To learn more about the dispatcher position, visit the UCF Police Department website.