It is recognized that dispatching is one of the most critical functions within the police department. Communications Officers play a vital role in the law enforcement/public safety system. Communications Officers are usually the first and sometimes the only point of public contact in receiving calls regarding crimes, traffic incidents, medical emergencies, safety hazards, and miscellaneous requests for service. They are responsible for facilitating an appropriate and timely field unit response, monitoring field activity, and providing information that is often times critical to the safety of both citizens and field officers. The Communications Officer acts as a 911 System Operator, dispatching required personnel via a Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) as necessary, pursuant to established procedures. Communications Officers answer non-emergency calls for assistance, disseminate information to the public and respond to inquiries, operate a variety of computer equipment, monitor other police radios, and contact county and emergency management network agencies to provide information and coordinate responses.
The Tustin Police Department has one of the most advanced and comprehensive training programs available. The City of Tustin sends new Communications Officers to a 3-week POST dispatch academy. This gives them insight on what their new career has in store for them. The training program for new dispatchers is a structured 5-phase program. These phases coincide with the positions held in the Communications Center. The trainee is assigned to a different trainer every four weeks until the end of training. This enables the new Communications Officer the opportunity to experience different shifts, call volumes, and levels of activity. The training program is designed to benefit the trainee with a structured and consistent program. The training program lasts approximately six months. Probationary dispatchers receive a review by the Communications Supervisor at the end of the training period.
After successfully completing the training program, the new Communications Officer will be assigned a shift. The schedule is comprised of day and graveyard shifts. Day shifts run from 6:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and night shifts run from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. A bi-weekly pay period is made up of three, 12 ½-hour shifts and one 5-hour shift. Due to the nature of our business, flexibility is paramount. Communications Officers may be required to work weekends and holidays. The Communications Officer's role in performing the communications function is the vital link between the public and the police.
The Crime Analyst performs a variety of complex and analytical assignments providing pertinent information relative to crime patterns, and trend correlations to assist operational and administrative personnel in the Police Department. The Crime Analyst also collects, analyzes and disseminates statistics, and performs systematic and analytical processes directed at planning the deployment of resources for preventing and suppressing criminal activities.
Records provides clerical assistance to police department staff, maintains records, types documents, and enters, files, scans, retrieves, copies and provides authorized information contained in police criminal records to authorized law enforcement personnel, court representatives and the public. A PRS verifies, enters, prints, copies and distributes arrest, traffic and miscellaneous reports to authorized staff, district attorney, courts, probation department, law enforcement agencies and other authorized parties with information necessary for prosecution purposes and other criminal management purposes.
Police Services Officers support and assist the public within the police department and/or outside the facility utilizing a radio equipped patrol vehicle and/or a crime scene mobile lab response vehicle. Depending upon the specific assignment, a Polices Services Officer may provide front desk and telephone assistance to the public, issues citations for violations of laws or ordinances; take field and/or accident reports, and investigate crime and accident scenes. The employee may also coordinate educational programs, community events, volunteer programs, and/or crime prevention programs for various community groups. Assignments vary and may include performing the functions of desk officer, case investigator, court liaison officer, crime scene investigator, field report officer, accident investigator, domestic violence investigator, fraud/check investigator, crime prevention officer and/or school program liaison officer.
The Police Fleet Coordinator plans, organizes, and executes the purchase, repair and maintenance of all police department vehicles and all technological, mechanical, and defensive equipment contained within police department vehicles, and used by police officers and support staff. The Police Fleet Coordinator is responsible for maintaining safe, reliable and technologically advanced equipment with consideration to officer safety, practicality, accessibility and efficiency of design and use; and maintains compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policy.
The Property/Evidence Technician performs support duties related to the property and evidence functions on behalf of the Police Department; receives, secures, maintains and controls police property, evidence and supplies. The Property/Evidence Technician works at the property counter and assists callers and visitors by telephone and in person by directing them to appropriate staff, answers questions and provides information within specific guidelines, and communicates with property owners, victims, vendors, court and legal representatives regarding property and evidence questions.
The Cadet program introduces young men and women, ages 18-22 to the field of law enforcement. The program is designed to develop the skills and abilities of young individuals who wish to one day pursue a career in law enforcement.
Individuals work part-time, while enrolled in college, in a variety of assignments throughout the police department, including but not limited to front desk, traffic, records, property, fleet maintenance, general investigations, community policing unit, and communications. Work hours are typically assigned around the student’s class schedule; approximately 20 hours per week during school months, and up to 40 hours per week during summer and/or school breaks.
Complete and submit a City of Tustin employment application.
Your application will be reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for the position.
A California POST written examination will be required for qualifying candidates. This test is designed to measure skills associated with reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and reading comprehension. Prior knowledge of law enforcement is NOT required to pass the examination. Please allow up to three hours to complete the examination. For testing preparation visit POST - Entry-Level Test Battery FAQs.
Applicants who pass the written examination may be invited to participate in an oral interview. This interview will last approximately 30 minutes, and will be used to evaluate the applicant's communication, interpersonal, and decision-making skills.
Applicants who are successful in the oral interview will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year. Applicants may be selected from the eligibility list and invited to participate in the background process.
Civilians are entrusted with the responsibility of preserving public safety for residents and visitors of Tustin. Applicants will be asked to complete a pre-polygraph questionnaire, and an extensive background investigation packet, including a Personal History Statement form which can be accessed from POST - Background/Hiring. The applicant will be fingerprinted, and, if it appears that the background standards have been met, the candidate will undergo an extensive background investigation.
The community of Tustin has a right to expect, and demand honesty, integrity, dependability, and truthfulness from the men and women who are to serve as police employees. The background investigation will include checks of employment, police, financial, educational, and military records. Investigators will interview family members, those with whom the applicant lives currently or in the past, co-workers, employers, supervisors, friends, and neighbors. The background takes approximately two months to complete the investigation.
As part of the background investigation, applicants will also participate in a polygraph examination (lie detector). The examiner will determine the truthfulness of the responses to questions involving application information, personal associates, previous employment, substance use, economic status, driving record, gambling habits, and criminal behavior. Before the test, the procedure will be completely explained and the applicant will have the opportunity to ask questions.
A physician hired by the city will perform a medical examination. The purpose of this examination is to make sure is capable of performing job standards.
Depending on the position, the applicant may complete a written psychological test which consists of a personality test and a life questionnaire. The results are evaluated by a psychologist hired by the City. The psychologist will interview each applicant and evaluate the written tests.