Communications Operator

Communications Operators (CO) or dispatchers provide services to the citizens, the community, and their co-workers. Communications Operators provide support on a day-to-day basis to:

  • Police Officers
  • Firefighters
  • Medical personnel
  • Animal Control Officers
  • Other City Departments

A Communications Operator must be able to answer generic phone call questions, 911 emergency calls, respond to officers and other public safety units on the radio, and be able to organize and prioritize these requests as they come in. 

A CO must be able to type accurately and be proficient with computers, frequently moving from application to application as needed. A CO must have good listening skills and be able to prioritize information received from the telephone, 911 lines, and radio transmissions, sometimes simultaneously.

  1. Duties
  2. Training
  3. Unique Capacity

Duty Shifts

The Friendswood Communications Center is manned 24 hours a day and Communications Operators (COs) work in shifts. Shifts are assigned by seniority and have set days off. Duty hours may include days, evenings or nights, holidays and weekends as well as unscheduled overtime.

Mission Critical Employees

COs are considered "mission critical" employees and are required to remain in the city and work during natural and/or man made emergencies or disasters. When activated for emergency service, the CO will report for duty and will remain on location until released. This may require the CO to eat, sleep, and stay at the Public Safety Building for an extended period of time. Compensation under emergency activation is set forth in city policy.

Essential Job Functions

A Communications Operator’s essential job functions include (but are not limited to):

  • Monitor and operate emergency and non-emergency service telephones and radio communications systems to dispatch:
    • Police Officers
    • Fire Department
    • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
    • Animal Control Officers
    • Other city personnel within the City of Friendswood
  • Operate and monitor local, state, and national crime information computer systems including TLETS/NLETS, TCIC/NCIC, OSSI, to assist public safety personnel in performing their duties
  • Verify location and seriousness of each incident and the response needed by answering telephones.
  • Taking messages, and/or answering questions from remote units
  • Coordinate police, fire, medical, and other emergency requests as appropriate
  • Provide Emergency Medical Dispatch pre-arrival instructions for Emergency Medical Service calls.
  • Data entry for all calls for service and other events, as required.
  • Data entry/information retrieval from programs to include:
    • Amber Alerts
    • Silver Alerts
    • Email
    • Excel spreadsheets
    • Word documents
    • Computer aided dispatch
    • Records management system
    • Jail management system
    • Mobile data computers
  • Monitor interior and exterior camera systems
  • Federal Signal Emergency Alert Siren system activation
  • Greater Harris County 911 Network computer system including emergency notification system (N.E.W.S.)
  • Basic file maintenance
  • Occasional use of:
    • Copier
    • Fax machine
    • Shredder
    • Scanner
    • Other office equipment
  • Work with computerized mapping systems and printed maps
  • Maintain electronic and paper logs of law enforcement related transactions
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with:
    • Police and other law enforcement personnel
    • Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical personnel
    • Animal Control Officers
    • Citizens as required
    • Other city departments
  • Regular and timely attendance at work
  • After normal business hours, respond to citizens and others in the lobby of the Public Safety Building
  • Be familiar with local municipal ordinances
  • Know operations for:
    • Police
    • Fire
    • EMS
    • Animal Control
    • Other city departments to include:
      • Water
      • Streets
      • Parks
      • Fire Marshal
      • Emergency Management, etc.
  • Assist in training new personnel as needed
  • Contribute to team effort by assisting partners and other divisions as needed