Huntsville Police Department looking to hire 9-1-1 dispatchers

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst reporting
Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 7:44 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you are in an emergency situation, the first thing most people do is pick up the phone and dial 911. The person on the other end of the call takes your information and sends first responders to you. Now, Huntsville Police are looking for more people that are ready to answer that call.

Recruiter Kevin Becatti said it’s vital to get more dispatchers on the phone and ready to help their community.

”The city is growing so much,” Becatti said. “With the city growing there’s obviously going to be more calls, there’s going to be more things that officers have to go to, more things that the dispatchers have to do so we just need more people.”

As for qualifications, you have to be 18 years or older, type 35 words per minute, pass a background check, a polygraph test, a drug test, an eye test, and a hearing test. After that, dispatchers begin their 18 weeks of training. Huntsville Police dispatcher Amy Turner said the stress of the job is all worth it because she is serving her community.

“At the end of the day we go home knowing that we helped someone,” Turner said. “Once we answer the phone and we talk to the citizen we are their first point of contact. Every call is an emergency to them and to us as well so we’re trying to get them the help that they need as fast as we can.”

In 2022, 911 dispatchers were officially named first responders in the state of Alabama. The change means higher wages and better benefits for dispatches.

Becatti said the new law that changed how dispatchers are classified has helped with recruitment, but they are still in need of more dispatchers. He said if applicants can pass the qualifications, they will take as many as they can get.

“They’re first responders, they’re answering these calls, they’re getting the same details,” Becatti said. “There is some stress that’s involved with the job but it’s good stress, they are helping their community.”

To learn more about dispatcher positions, click here.

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