Telecommunicator back  
Date of Record: December 8, 2010


Our Mission statement:

"To join our community in solving problems, reducing crime, and the fear of crime, and improving the quality of life." The Largo Police Department is a nationally accredited Law Enforcement Agency which takes great pride in its diverse community and work force.


The starting salary is $14.76 per hour. Any hours over 40 hours per week will be at 1 times your salary. The salary range is $14.76 per hour which is $30,700.80


Overtime is available but not guaranteed. Personnel on vacation, out sick, on maternity or military leave, and in training may necessitate overtime coverage. The supervisors determine if they need overtime on their respective shifts, and the overtime is placed on a roster. The process is based on seniority with the most senior person being the first to select overtime. The list is voluntary first and then a mandatory system is used. Mandatory overtime is assigned by reverse seniority.

Primary Function of the communications Center:

To receive administrative and emergency calls from the public and to deploy the appropriate field units or refer the citizens to the proper agency.

Brief Overview of the communications Center:

The Communications Center of the Largo Police Department is one of two sections within the Support Services Division. The center is staffed with 24 full-time civilian Telecommunicators, 3 Communication Supervisors, and 1 Emergency Communications' Manager for a total of 28 employees.

Hours of Operation:

The police department is operational 24 hours a day and 365 days per year. This necessitates a shift work type of scheduling. We currently work the following schedules (5 days a week, 8 hours a day).

Shift assignment is usually based on seniority. Management reserves the right to administratively assign an employee to any shift. Shift assignment can be changed with little notice. Currently, we bid for shifts 3 times per year. Each shift is approximately 4 months in duration. During the training process, a trainee is assigned to a shift where a trainer is available. The trainee's days off coincide with the trainer's.

CAD Computer System

We use the Sungard/OSSI software. Our CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system offers files for telephones/addresses for employees, other agencies and departments, Standard Operating Procedures, alarm companies, and our dispatch system itself.

Probationary Period

The probationary period for a telecommunicator is 9 months from the date of hire.

Qualifications for a Telecommunicator:

  • High School diploma or GED equivalent required
  • Typing Speed of a minimum of 3500 key strokes per hour
  • Ability to speak in a clear/distinct voice
  • Ability to think and act quickly and calmly in emergency, life threatening, and stressful situations
  • Ability to use active listening skills
  • Good judgment skills
  • Common sense
  • Ability to follow directions/directives
  • Excellent public relation/customer skills
  • Multitasking is a must
  • Ability to work shift work
  • Ability to do a variety of clerical tasks

Responsibilities of a Telecommunicator:
  • Answering administrative and emergency (911) phone lines
  • Dispatching and monitoring more than one radio channel
  • Obtaining information from several different computer systems
  • Using recording equipment
  • Clerical duties to include typing, filing, maintenance of logs, etc.
  • Accurately handling customers' and officers' requests for service
  • Knowing the officers locations when working the radio channel
  • Speaking clearly, calmly, and precisely, especially during crisis situations
  • Controlling telephone and radio conversations
  • Knowledge of the City of Largo and surrounding area jurisdictions
  • Provide the highest quality service to customers, officers, and co-workers

Work Environment

The Communications Center is a large room with numerous windows facing the outside of the building. The room is kept secure and only authorized personnel are admitted. The room is filled with equipment that provides confidential information. Physical activity is limited in the center; however, there is a fitness room available for all city employees to use. Due to the amount of activity, the noise level in the room can be very high at times. This can be very distracting and can cause stress. The stress level in the center varies from call to call and minute to minute. You may have very few calls for an hour and suddenly have several high stress situations.

Promotional Opportunities

Promotion is limited in the Communications Center. There are 3 Emergency Communications Supervisors and 1 Emergency Communications Manager. You may transfer to other positions within the City, if qualified. However the position of Telecommunicator is viewed as a career. You may elect to become a Communications Training Officer. This is not considered a promotion, but does have a financial incentive. Employees who are actively performing CTO duties as assigned by the Supervisors shall receive a $1.50 per hour stipend in recognition of increased duties.

Hiring Process

  • Compete Application and Personal History Form
  • Pass the Critical test with 3500 keystrokes per hour or better (Dispatch testing software). This test measures your typing ability and multitasking abilities among other things
  • Orientation
  • Sit-a-long in the Communications Center
  • Oral Board Interview/Manager Interview
  • Ability to pass an extensive background investigation

Candidates for the Telecommunicator position who are not selected for position are notified in writing within 30 days after the selection process. If not selected applicants may reapply six months from the date your file was closed.

After a contingent job offer is given, applicants must successfully complete the following:

  • Police Applicant Screening Service "PASS" Background - Administrative Interview and Extensive background completed by background investigators.
  • Polygraph
  • Psychological Evaluation - the written test is approximately 3-4 hours. Then you will have an interview with the doctor.
  • Medical Examination - This includes a general health assessment, eye and hearing examination and drug screening.

Your job offer will be contingent upon successful completion of all examinations. The process could take up to 4-5 weeks to complete. Once you are clear a sign in day will be set. This will be your official start date.



  • New Year's Day Labor Day
  • President's Day Thanksgiving Day
  • Martin Luther King's Birthday Day after Thanksgiving
  • Memorial Day Christmas Eve
  • Independence Day Christmas Day
  • Another Holiday is for anniversary dates of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years of service.


Eighty hours of vacation per year is the base, earned at a rate of 3.08 hours per pay period. You may accumulate up to a maximum of 400 hours. An employee must have at least 3 months of service in order to be entitled to any paid vacation. Upon completion of 3 months of service, the employee will be credited with vacation accrued to date.

Sick Leave

96 hours of sick leave per year is the base, earned at a rate of 3.70 hours per pay period. You may accumulate a maximum of 1440 hours. You must have 1 month of service to be eligible for sick leave.

Other Benefits

  • Shift Differential - If you are regularly scheduled to work at least 25 hours per week between 2 pm and 6 am, you will receive a shift differential incentive of $25.00 per week.
  • Leave without pay - with City Manager approval
  • Funeral Leave - 3 days
  • Military Leave - 17 days per fiscal year
  • Personal Leave Days - 4 days per year accrued hours of 1.23 hours per pay period
  • Health Insurance - 5% paid for by the employee
  • Dental Insurance - At a cost for an employee and/or family
  • Union - CWA (Communication Workers of America)
  • Life Insurance - paid by City for employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week on a regular basis in the amount of 1x the employees annual earnings with a minimum amount of 30,000. Additional types of insurances are available.
  • Retirement - 401K Plan. As a condition of employment, employees are required to contribute 5% of their salary to the plan each pay period. The City of Largo matches the contribution with an additional 5% per pay. Employees are 100% vested in the City of Largo's contribution and earnings after 5 years of credited City of Largo employment.
  • Deferred Compensation - All City of Largo employees are eligible to participate in the voluntary ICMA Retirement Corporation 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.
  • Tuition Reimbursement - The City shall reimburse CWA employees up to $1800 to $2500 per fiscal year including tuition and books, for approved courses leading to any degree in an approved course of study in an accredited community college, college, or University.

Training Program

The training program is approximately 23 weeks in length. It includes 5 phases of training. Classroom training is provided along with any training materials needed. To become proficient as a telecommunicator takes a great deal of time and dedication. There are numerous training manuals, operating procedures, and types of equipment to learn.

There are several phases of training which are listed below:

Phase 1

This phase is the classroom training portion. This is a 3-5 week block designed to teach various tasks related to the position prior to entering the Communications Center. You will learn about policies and procedures of the department, how to read a map and determine jurisdiction, learn basic civil and criminal law, and become familiar with our reference and research materials.

This training includes learning the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system. You will also be FCIC/NCIC certified during this time period. This will give you the ability to run information for officers, such as driver's license and tag information. You will have quizzes, tests, and practical exercises to test your knowledge, skills and abilities. At the conclusion of your training, you will have a comprehensive test and a practical board to demonstrate your abilities prior to continuing your training.

Phase 2

This phase is the actual hand-on call-taker training, which takes place in the Communications Center. You will be assigned to a CTO (Communications Training Officer). For 6 weeks, you will be training as a call-taker and evaluated daily on your performance using verbal/written/practical exercises. At the conclusion of your training, you will have a written test and a practical board to demonstrate your abilities prior to continuing your training.

Phase 3

This phase is the actual hands-on training at the Channel 5 position. You will be working a non-emergency radio channel with Volunteers in Policing units. For a week, you will be working with a CTO. You will be evaluated daily using written/verbal/practical exercises. At the conclusion of this phase, your CTO will recommend to the Training Coordinator your ability/inability to work the Channel.

Phase 4

This phase is the hands-on training at the teletype (information) position. You will be assigned to a CTO for 4 weeks. You will be evaluated daily and be tested with verbal and written testing. At the conclusion of your training, you will be asked to complete a practical exercise and written test prior to continuing your training.

Phase 5

This phase is the hands-on training for the primary radio position. You will be assigned to a CTO for 6 weeks. You will be evaluated daily and tested with written/verbal/practical testing. At the conclusion of your training, you will complete a practical board and written test to demonstrate your abilities prior to being released from training.

The training program will be long and you will be evaluated on your knowledge, skills and abilities to move to the next position