The Communications Division serves as a vital link between the public and delivery of law enforcement services. Often referred to as the window to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Communications Division is generally the first contact the public will have with the department. When you call the Communications Division, you will speak with a highly trained Sheriff’s dispatcher, whose mission is to provide a high level of quality service. They are trained to assist all callers and police field personnel and are responsible for the deployment and coordination of resources for both emergency and non emergency requests for assistance.
The Communications Division has the responsibility to staff and answer, on a 24-hour basis, the telephones (landline and cellular) upon which calls for service are received. This includes 911 emergency calls (police, fire, and paramedic). Communications Division handles only police related calls for the County and incorporated cities. When a 911 call for the Fire Department is received, the caller is connected with the Fire Department. Each year over 254,000 incidents are logged on the "Computer Aided Dispatch System" at the Sheriff's Communications Facility, and nearly 611,000 emergency and non-emergency telephone transactions take place.
Dispatching is a technically challenging career requiring patience, compassion, common sense, quick thinking and the ability to react under pressure, among other traits. Work is performed under the general direction of a Dispatch Supervisor. Most positions require shift, holiday, and weekend work.
The Communications Division serves as the Emergency 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point for the unincorporated areas and contract cities (McFarland and Wasco) of Kern County. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the residents and visitors of Kern County. This mission is accomplished through the reception and dissemination of information for the purpose of keeping the peace, rendering aid to the public, aiding in the apprehension of law violators and all other tasks that enable the Sheriff to fulfill his statutory and constitutional duties. In addition to Sheriff’s Office personnel, the Communications Division dispatches for Stallion Springs Police Department, Kern County Parks Department, Kern County Probation and after hours for County Animal Control.
Whether you call to report an emergency or not, we will respond to you as quickly and effectively as possible. Calls that come into the Communication Center are immediately prioritized. Life threatening calls that involve a danger to someone’s personal safety are “Priority 1” calls. When an emergency call comes to the Communication Center a call taker immediately starts gathering the information and notifies the dispatcher so that we can quickly dispatch officers to the scene. The call taker then continues to gather information to better assess the situation. This updated information is then used to coordinate officers responding to the call. It is important to know that answering questions does not delay our response. The officers receive the call simultaneously on their police radio and in-car computer.
Equipment including radios, cellular telephones, and computers enable reliable communication from every point of the county. All of the communications devices are meaningless without the abilities and talent of the Sheriff's Dispatchers and Dispatch Assistants. Their job is perhaps the most technically demanding job within the Sheriff's Department where these employees handle the Emergency 9-1-1 system and maintain radio communications with field units.
MIssion, Vision, Values
DIVISION MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Communication Division is to provide quality public safety communications service.
In keeping with our mission, the Communications Division will strive to always be a reliable and professional source of assistance and information in the eyes of the public, law enforcement officers and our peers by:
- Ensuring a positive experience with our department.
- Assisting people in crisis.
- Providing accurate, timely, vital information.
- Assuming a leadership role in the field of law enforcement communications.
To achieve our vision, the division must:
- Provide the highest quality service possible.
- Promote the professional development of our personnel.
- Work efficiently as a team.
- Optimize employee job satisfaction.
- Be sympathetic to those in crisis.
- Provide a clean, safe working environment.
- Establish a “learning environment” through continuous on the job and classroom training.
In order to maintain the environment as described above, necessary interpersonal behaviors must include:
- Maintaining focus on public service and field unit support.
- Effective communication between all individuals in the division.
- Mutual respect and trust.
- Integrity and honesty.
- Compassion, especially for people in chaos.
- Employee empowerment.
- Recognition of employee innovation and excellent performance
Join our team! Apply at (jobs-public-regular.asp)
What to expect in training:
- 4 weeks of classroom training
- 3 weeks of state mandated POST training
- 16-20 weeks of individual training on the floor
- Ride-along with a patrol unit for one or more shifts
- Sit-along with a dispatcher at an allied agency such as Fire Dept or CHP
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE
Opportunities are available to participate in other areas of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office: Tactical Dispatchers work with SWAT, Search and Rescue and are available for special assignments such as Multi-Agency task force sweeps. Dispatchers and Dispatch Assistants assist with the training of outside agencies such as Probation and Parks Department on radio procedures. Dispatchers are also members
of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. CISM provides a forum for emergency services personnel to discuss high priority events. Dispatchers participate in community events. Dispatchers are members of the Recruiting Team and travel throughout the state attending different forums of recruitment from Career Days at College/High Schools to large recruitment seminars. Link to recruitment video.
Kern County Sheriff’s Dispatchers are appreciated….link to KCDRP
WHAT IS 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is an emergency number anyone can dial on any phone in a serious or life-threatening emergency to be connected with law enforcement, fire, medical and ambulance services. A 9-1-1 call is free from all phones, including pay phones.
When you call 9-1-1, a professionally trained dispatcher answers. The dispatcher will ask for the location of your emergency, what the emergency is and will dispatch the appropriate help.
Call 9-1-1 For Serious Emergencies
Emergencies include a crime that is in progress or about to happen, and crimes that have resulted in serious physical injury, property damage or property loss. By calling 9-1-1 you will be directed to the appropriate law enforcement, fire and medical services. When reporting a crime or incident that does not justify dialing 9-1-1, call your local law enforcement agency. Within the un-incorporated areas of Kern County, dial (661)861-3110, or 1-800-861-3110.
Examples of 9-1-1 emergencies:
- In Progress fights, sexual assaults, etc.
- Burglaries and robberies
- Domestic violence
- Child/elder abuse
- Medical conditions, such as a possible heart attack, injuries from a fall, bleeding that cannot be stopped.
- A person who is missing and requires special care; needs medication, or has Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
- Sounds of gunshots, screaming, barking dogs, explosions, breaking glass, alarms, etc.
- Vandalism in progress
- Possible or actual kidnappings
- You witnessed a car being stolen
- Hit and run accidents
Examples of non-emergency calls:
- Burglaries to a home or business in which the suspect has already left the scene.
- Open or broken doors or windows to a business or residence, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away.
- Stolen checks or credit cards
- Loud parties
- Minors violating curfew
- Auto theft with no suspect information
- Runaway juveniles or missing persons who do not need special care
- Disturbing the peace, i.e., loitering, panhandling, noise making, and harassing others
- Soliciting without a license
- Suspicious subjects loitering near schools or parks, or looking into parked vehicles
- Subjects drunk in public, but not in immediate danger
- Subjects exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms, but do not appear to be a danger to themselves or others
What happens when I call?
When you dial 9-1-1 from a regular (landline) phone in California, the dispatcher will, in most cases, receive the address and phone number you are calling from on their computer. The dispatcher will ask for the location, in case you are calling from a location different than that of the emergency. The dispatcher can begin to send help while you are still answering questions, so stay on the phone and remain calm. This will help the dispatcher to best help you.
If a crime has taken place, you can help deputies by remembering what the suspects looked like. The dispatcher will ask if the suspect was male or female, and the age and race; the color and type of clothing they were wearing; whether they had any scars, tattoos or piercing; and the color, make, and model of the suspects car or truck, including the license plate number or any part of it. The dispatcher will also ask if you saw the suspect carrying or using any weapons. Let the dispatcher know of any other information you might know about the suspect that could be helpful.
Wireless / VOIP 9-1-1 calls:
When you dial 9-1-1 from a wireless phone in California, the dispatcher will not receive the exact address you are calling from. They will receive an “estimated” location based on the signal from your wireless phone. It is important to stay on the phone and tell the dispatcher where the emergency is occurring. The dispatcher may not be able to send help until an exact location is determined.
When you dial 9-1-1 from a Digital or VOIP (internet based) device, the dispatcher may receive an incorrect address, or may not receive an address at all. It is important to stay on the phone and tell the dispatcher where the emergency is occurring.
Speech or Hearing impaired
If you use a text telephone (TDD, TTY), make sure you know the correct way to dial 9-1-1 on your machine. After dialing 9-1-1, tap several letter keys (or the space bar) on the keyboard then wait several moments. Repeat this procedure until the dispatcher answers. There may be a short delay while a text telephone is added to the call. Do not hang up. When the dispatcher answers, type your address and the kind of emergency.
If you do not have access to a text telephone or no hearing person available to call, dial 9-1-1 and leave the phone off the hook. If you can talk, say your problem over and over, or make frantic sounds. In most cases, the dispatcher will see your location on the viewing screen and send help.
In California the 9-1-1 dispatcher is able to add translators who speak Cantonese, Spanish and Vietnamese to the call. In some areas of the state, translators may also be available for other languages.
If you speak limited English or none at all, tell the dispatcher that there is an emergency and which language you speak. For example, say, "Emergency. I speak Spanish." There may be a short delay while the dispatcher connects the caller with a translator. Do not hang up.
If your language is not translated, stay on the line and explain the emergency as best as you can. The dispatcher will see the address of the phone on the viewing screen and send help.
Learning how to say a few English words, such as "Emergency," "Fire," "Police," "Ambulance," "I live at [your address]" and "I speak [your native language]," could save your life or the life of someone you care about.
Teach your children to dial 9-1-1 properly:
Make sure your children understand that they should call 9-1-1 when something very serious is happening and an adult is not able to take care of the situation.
Tips to remember:
- Never say “nine eleven”. There is no eleven on a telephone keypad or dial. Always say “nine-one-one”.
- Get to a safe place before calling. If there is a fire, get out first.
- Post your address near the phone.
- 9-1-1 is never to be used for a prank or joke. You can get in trouble or keep someone who really needs help from getting it in time.
If you call 9-1-1 accidentally, stay on the line and let the dispatcher know it was a misdial. It is the policy of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to send a deputy to check a residence from which a 9-1-1 call was placed, and no contact was made with the caller.