Telecommunicators Honored:

On April 8, 2014, Mayor Kathy Meehan and the Melbourne City Council honored Public Safety Telecommunicators with a proclamation for the life-saving service they provide to the public. The recognition highlighted the week-long observance of Telecommunicators Week, designed to show appreciation for Public Safety Telecommunicators.

Place yourself in the role as a 911 Operator, who could be responsible for handling the following situations during one single half-hour of their shift.
Call received from an irate male whose car has been towed. The call taker determines the location of the car and refers the citizen to the tow company. Caller becomes angry and hangs up on operator.
A citizen has just returned home from work to find the front door to the residence open, does not know if a burglary has taken place, or if anyone is inside residence. Call taker obtains pertinent information, forwards call to the Police Dispatcher, keeping caller on the line and mindful of their safety.
Call received from a teenager who forgot a pan was on the stove and now the kitchen is on fire. The call taker relays call to the Fire Dispatcher, asking caller if they are still inside residence, has an evacuation been done?
Call received for a possible domestic disturbance at a neighbor's apartment. Caller can hear screaming, yelling and objects being thrown. The call taker obtains pertinent information, relays call to Police Dispatcher, and keeps caller on the phone continuing to ask questions.
Call received from a frantic mother whose 14-year-old daughter has not returned home from school. The call taker obtains pertinent information and relays call to Police Dispatcher.
Call received from a despondent female who has taken an overdose of pills. Her speech is slurred and appears to be fading. She does not want an officer or medical personnel to come to her door. Call taker keeps her on the phone; police and medical are being dispatched. The call taker tries to find out what she has taken and why.
Call received from father whose 8-month-old child has stopped breathing. Call relayed to medical; call taker remains on the line for any additional information that maybe provided. Could you handle the pressure of correctly making decisions that will affect the lives and wellbeing of others?
The Communications Center
Each and every day, the safety of Melbourne citizens and the lives of law enforcement and fire first-responders depend on the trained, professional response of our Communications Center.

The City of Melbourne Police and Fire Communications Center is the first point-of-contact for citizens who call the Police Department seeking public safety services.

The Communications Center is responsible for answering all 911 emergency and non-emergency (321) 608-6731) phone calls directed to the Police Department.

The Communications Center processes more than 230,000 calls for service each year. Public Safety Telecommunicators interact with police and fire response units.  The Communications Center receives, classifies, and prioritizes calls from the public and dispatches the calls that require police and/or fire/rescue response, and transfers and/or directs calls that do not require police response to the proper agency/unit.

The work includes performing checks of various kinds, including those involving missing persons and stolen items. Requests for material such as 911 tapes and Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADS) printouts for citizen and law enforcement personnel are processed. Also completed are FCIC/NCIC entries on missing persons and stolen autos.

The Communications Center has 31 budgeted employees including a systems analyst, 4 shift supervisors, and 24 persons who serve as certified Public Safety Telecommunicators. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

The Melbourne Police Department handles over 230,000 phone calls during the year. Public Safety Telecommunicators are responsible for handling 911 calls placed within the city limits of  Melbourne, and for calls on administration lines into the Melbourne Police Department. The Center dispatched 87,000 police calls and over 14,000 fire and rescue calls. The Melbourne Communications Center also works closely with other local agencies. The Center has the ability to communicate with any other local, state, or federal agency involved in emergency incidents.

The Communications Center is a 24-hour operation, providing service seven days a week, to include weekends and holidays. The Center utilizes multiple interacting positions including Call Takers/Teletype Operators (Communications Officer I), Fire Radio Dispatchers (Communications Officer II), and Police Radio Dispatchers (Communications Officer III). Communications employees have a “Career Path” wherein they can increase their earning potential by completing job related criteria established by the agency.

Operators answer and handle emergency and non-emergency calls and complaint lines.

Dispatchers use a radio console to dispatch routine and emergency calls to police and fire personnel.

Teletype operators assist police by making computer queries into the statewide and national databases on property items like stolen vehicles and missing/wanted persons. 

Incident Dispatch Teams – Some dispatchers are trained in the ICS (Incident Command System) to respond to incidents, set up a command post, obtain and provide information to the incident commander as needed.  Incidents that would require team assistance include DUI checkpoints, parades, and large-scale events that would need a mobile dispatch center. 

Critical Incident Stress Management – Communications officers work closely with police officers and firefighters on a daily basis.  In an effort to keep all of City's departments productive, individuals who are part of the Stress Management Team are trained to help provide assistance to fellow employees that can relieve the stress that is part of the work environment.
Dial 911 for
MPD provides 24-hour, toll-free voice and TDD telephone access for emergency calls for service.

For non-emergencies, please call (321) 608-6731 (MPD1).

Preferred candidates have extensive public contact experience, ability to multi-task, excellent oral communication skills, and a stable work history are preferred.

Qualifications include:
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • U.S. citizen or registered alien.
  • High School diploma or equivalent recognized certificate. (College credits are a plus!)
  • General office experience preferably in emergency services or equivalent combination of training and experience.
  • No felony convictions. All criminal admissions or convictions will be reviewed.
  • Ability to accomplish multiple tasks in an efficient manner.
  • Type with speed and accuracy.
  • Ability to work various schedules including evenings, nights, weekends and holidays during emergencies and other critical incidents.

  • Application screening process
  • “Criti-call” test (a call simulator test)
  • Required 2-hour job observation in the Communications Center
  • Panel interview
  • Level II background investigation
  • A medical examination (to include a drug screen)

TRAINING: Public safety telecommunications is a highly technical and demanding profession that requires extensive training. Incoming tele communicator trainees are required to attend a 232-hour telecommunicator certification course and pass the State PST exam within 1 year of hire date.

In addition to the academy, the Department provides a three-week, in-house training orientation before assigning new employees to a trainer on the shift. Each new telecommunicator is next trained and evaluated on a daily basis on both non-emergency and 911 phones as well as radio dispatch and all other facets of the job.

By the time new telecommunicators become fully functional, they will have undergone between 500 and 1200 hours of training.

SALARY RANGE: The range for a Communications Officer I is $28,510.04 to $47,885.24 annually ($13.71-$23.02 hourly).