Vital role played by dispatchers recognized during special week

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) are recognizing dispatchers who daily answer the call to provide assistance and assurance to citizens of the commonwealth.

“Often called the ‘heroes behind the headsets,’ Kentucky telecommunicators provide a lifeline to both citizens in need and law enforcement officers in the field,” said Gov. Behsesar. “They serve as an unseen, but vital link in keeping law enforcement officers and Kentuckians safe at all times, day or night.”

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The Governor thanked the commonwealth’s dispatchers during a video message, which can be found here.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was established in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California. Each year, the second week of April is set aside to acknowledge those serving as telecommunicators across the country.

“Answering countless 911 calls from Kentuckians who are afraid and worried, is not a service that should be seen as regular, but should be recognized as extraordinary,” said Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary C. Noble. “All of you are essential front-line workers who are faced with unique challenges daily, and you serve the commonwealth with the utmost integrity, skill and dedication.”

Through DOCJT, Kentucky offers elite training to new dispatchers in a highly structured and comprehensive curriculum. The four weeks of training consist of 164 hours of academy instruction to satisfy mandated training requirements.

Major training areas included identifying the role and responsibilities of the dispatcher, correct phone and radio procedures, handling emergency and non-emergency calls for service, emergency medical dispatch protocols and use of the state and national criminal databases. In addition, dispatchers are required to complete eight hours of in-service training annually.

“Dispatchers truly are at the front of our public safety line of defense,” said Nicolai Jilek, commissioner of DOCJT.  “We thank you for your steady patience and steadfast dedication. You deserve more than a just a week’s recognition.”

DOCJT is Kentucky’s state-of-the-art facility providing basic and advanced training for law enforcement officers and telecommunicators across the commonwealth. The Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy provides basic training for peace officer recruits throughout the state, only excluding Louisville Metro Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Bowling Green Police Department and the Kentucky State Police, which each have independent academies.

Nationwide, more than 200,000 people work as dispatcher.

KSP employs 185 telecommunicators at 16 posts located throughout the state.

“Our telecommunicators are challenged on a daily basis dealing with stressful situations, many that involve life and death, and they handle these situations with compassion, empathy and professionalism,” says KSP Commissioner Phillip J. Burnett Jr.

KSP telecommunicators handle dispatch duties for Kentucky State Troopers, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers, Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers and other emergency service agencies.

Each year, KSP telecommunicators answer more than two million calls for service.

“Answering countless 911 calls from Kentuckians who are afraid and worried, is not a service that should be seen as regular, but should be recognized as extraordinary,” said Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary C. Noble. “All of you are essential front-line workers who are faced with unique challenges daily, and you serve the commonwealth with the utmost integrity, skill and dedication.”

During National Telecommunicator’s Appreciation Week, KSP plans to honor their dispatchers by highlighting stories and sharing photos on the agency’s social media platforms.

The agency is currently hiring telecommunicators at local posts across the state.

“Starting a job as a telecommunicator gives you the opportunity to observe different career options within the agency and helps you establish a solid foundation for whatever path you take,” said Commissioner Burnett.

KSP is seeking individuals for this vital role who:

  • Has excellent communication skills;
  • Has the ability to handle extremely stressful and challenging conditions;
  • Can handle flexible work schedules, including nights, weekends and holidays;
  • Has the ability to learn and adapt, especially in areas of technology.

To apply, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a High School Graduate
  • Must obtain certification as a Telecommunicator by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) and LINK/NCIC Operator within twelve months of employment.
  • Shall not have been convicted of a felony or other crimes pursuant to KRS 15.540.

For more information or to apply for a telecommunication position with KSP, log on to the state personnel website at https://careers.ky.gov