Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

911 Bureau of Emergency Communications

Partners in Public Safety. Call 911: Save a Life, Report a Fire, Stop a Crime.

Emergency & Text: 9-1-1

emergency: 503-760-6911

Non-emergency: 503-823-3333

Emergency Communications Dispatcher and Lateral Police Dispatcher


LATERAL POLICE DISPATCHER - Current Police Dispatch Experience Required


  • Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent 
  • Be at least 18 years old at time of hire.
  • Proof of typing speed (a link to an online test will be provided) of at least 40 Net Words Per Minutes (WPM). 
  • Meet all the requirements indicated in the Supplemental Questions 1-6.  Your responses must fully and clearly demonstrate your qualifications.  These questions will be a basis for your evaluation.  Incomplete or inappropriate responses may result in disqualification.  A cover letter or resume is not required and will not be used during our evaluation process.  Your responses to the questions are sufficient.
  • Pass a comprehensive background investigation.

Additional Qualifications - Lateral Police Dispatcher

  • Have knowledge of the proper application of radio communications codes and terms and the use of radio equipment.
  • Have skill in dispatching police and emergency units.
  • Have skill in operating computer terminals and a keyboard to transcribe simultaneous oral communications and/or handwritten copy.
  • Have skill in using street maps and computer mapping systems to locate addresses, streets, block numbers, etc.
  • Have the ability to remember and accurately transcribe spoken information including names, addresses, sequences of letters and numbers, descriptions and directions.
  • Currently hold, or have held State of Oregon DPSST (Department of Public Safety Standards and Training) certification in Telecommunications and Emergency Medical Dispatch (or equivalent certification from another state) within the last year.


  • Complete Application Form
  • Complete Supplemental Questions - The process will consist of a Pass/Fail review of the Supplemental Questions.

Only those applicants meeting the minimum qualifications, listed in the "To qualify" section will be placed on an equally ranked eligible list, which will be forwarded to the bureau for hiring purposes.  Upon passing the application form and supplemental questions, your name will be placed on an equally ranked eligibility list.

Veteran's Preference

If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214, DD215, and/or Veteran's Administration Letter stating your disability to your profile, as well as checking the box identifying yourself as a Veteran.  You must request Veteran's Preference AND include a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for.

CritiCall Testing

  • Candidates placed on the eligible list will be invited to a Pass/Fail CritiCall Test.  Criticall is an innovative software to test dispatcher and calltaker job applicants in job-related skills such as data entry, multi-tasking, decision making, map reading, prioritization, reading comprehension, position locating, spelling, and more.  CritiCall is used by over 1,800 agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

1st Interview 

  • Candidates that pass the CritiCall Testing will be invited to a Pass/Fail Oral Interview.  The 1st Interview typically consists of the Training & Development Manager, one or more Operations / Training Supervisor(s), and one or more Operations Calltaker(s) or Dispatcher(s). 

2nd Interview

  • Candidates that pass the 1st Interview may be invited for a 2nd Interview with the Training & Development Manager.

Conditional Offer of Employment

  • An offer of employment is subject to the results of a background investigation, psychological assessment, a drug screen, and a vision/hearing test.

Personal History Statement / Background Investigation

As you move forward in the selection process, you will be asked to provide information to do a reference and background check.  A form will be provided to those who pass the first round of interviews.  The information may take time to collect so we encourage applicants who pass CritiCall to begin gathering the following information:

Personal References - Names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email for:

  • Five to eight people who know you well - not including relatives, housemates, or employers
  • Five of the eight must know you for at least three years

Professional References -Names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email for:

  • Current employee and supervisor information
  • Previous organizations where you've worked within the last 10 years, including part-time, temporary, and volunteer - including supervisor's information

Relatives - Names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email for:

  • Spouse/Domestic Partner
  • Former Spouse/Domestic Partner
  • Parent/Guardian - including Step Parents and In-Laws
  • Siblings - including half-brother/sister
  • Children - including biological, adopted, step, and all children who currently reside with you

Residence History:

  • All states where you've held a driver's license in the past 10 years
  • All street addresses (not PO Boxes) where you've resided during the past 5 years
  • List of housemates with whom you've resided during the last 10 years - including their date of birth

Motor Vehicle Information:

  • Traffic Citations - excluding parking tickets
  • All registered vehicles at your primary residence

The reason for the investigation is to determine whether the applicant is both eligible and suited for the position.  Briefly note the reason why the information wasn't included for any question you cannot answer.  You will have a chance to explain any answers or missing information, but you will be excluded if you omit or falsity information. 

Psychological Assessment

  • The following video was put together by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) for potential applicants.  While it was put together for police officer new hires, we found it to be very relevant to what we do here at the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).  We encourage you to watch the video.  Please understand that any reference to the Portland Police Bureau evaluating the results would actually be handled by the BOEC instead.  The PPB is not involved in our bureau's psychological assessment process.

Drug Screen

  • Pass / Fail

Vision / Hearing Test

  • A vision/hearing test will be performed on each candidate, after an offer of employment has been made and prior to the commencement duties of applicants, in order to detect any physical or medical condition that could adversely affect the candidate's ability to safely perform all essential job tasks.  Any medical evaluation, including audiometric testing, shall be provided at no cost to the applicant. 
  • Calltakers must quickly and accurately receive and process auditory information in an environment that includes various background noises, such as telephones ringing, multiple frequency radio traffic, and general conversation.  Generally, the noise level is moderate, but requires Calltakers to differentiate various verbal and non-verbal auditory cues at variable intensities. 
  • The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment.  It prohibits discrimination in recruiting, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.  Public entities are required to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, procedures, and equipment where necessary to avoid discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity being provided.  Examples of reasonable accommodation include: headsets with built in amplification, hearing aids, Cochlear Implants, etc.