911 Communications Centre

We hire in the Spring and Fall of every year!

The Ottawa Police Service 9-1-1 Communications Centre is located at Headquarters, 474 Elgin Street, and responsible for handling calls for service throughout Ottawa.

Communicators respond to incoming 9-1-1 emergency calls, police emergency and administrative calls. Communication Clerks serve the general public, other emergency agencies, alarm companies, tow companies, utilities and other commercial agencies. In addition, they dispatch Ottawa Police front Comm Centre employeeline members to all calls for service.

During the course of 11-hour shifts Communication Clerks rotate between duties of 9-1-1 Operator, Call Taker and Dispatcher.

What does a Communications Clerk do?

A typical day may start with routine requests by officers for computer data relating to driver's license and vehicle registrations. You will receive calls from citizens and other agencies requesting information, reporting emergency and non-emergency incidents. You will initiate the response of Police, Fire, EMS, and/or other City services to routine or emergency incidents. In addition, you will conduct a variety of computer system transactions, which gather or distribute critical information to other employees and other agencies across the Region.

Calls for service received may range from but are not limited to:

  • Next of kin notification
  • Officer log on/off
  • Collisions
  • Robbery
  • Attempted homicide
  • Internet harassment

Comm centre employeeThe Ottawa Police Communications Clerk position involves mandatory training in all three positions: 9-1-1, Call Taker and Dispatch. The successful candidate will remain through the training process and complete all three positions successfully.

A Dispatcher is responsible for public safety dispatch functions on a twenty-four-hour basis, 365 days per year. The number and type of phone and/or radio calls received at any given time cannot be adequately predicted. The job requires simultaneous activation of several response procedures including monitoring and recording multiple response unit activities at single or multiple locations.

Find out more about becoming a Communications Centre Clerk

Remaining calm and making quick, sound judgments in emergency situations are vital in performing well in emergency response situations.

Communications Clerks are a critical element in the civilian team that brings law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical care, and City services to the community - they are the heart of the 9-1-1 system in Ottawa.

Communications Clerks must work with a high degree of judgment and independence, and also be able to evaluate emergency situations and make split-second decisions regarding the type of response appropriate for the circumstances. The work can be very intense, but very rewarding!

This job is not for everyone!

Many different things are occurring simultaneously that you must keep track of, and at any time, an emergency call will require your full and immediate attention and quick response. While responding to 9-1-1 calls for service, often, it is required to listen to French dialogue, speak in French and simultaneously type in English. This position requires shift work, meaning you will be required to work a variety of day, evening, and overnight shifts, including weekends and holidays.

Job Demands
  • Do you want work that is exciting and never the same?
  • Are you fluent in French and English; are you able to read in French and English and type in English?
  • Can you type 45 words per minute?
  • Can you keep track of several things going on at the same time without getting flustered?
  • Can you read and listen well, remember facts quickly and accurately, compare details and draw logical conclusions from what you've read or heard?
  • Can you speak clearly and communicate your ideas well to others?
  • Do you want earn a good wage with great benefits?

If you can honestly answer "yes" to all of the above questions, you may be an excellent candidate for a position as a Communications Clerk with the Ottawa Police Service.

There are a number of distinctive features of this career that place special demands on the Communications Clerk. Check out the POST: California Peace Officers Standards and Training Psychological Assessment for Dispatchers for information.

Job Requirements

Mandatory Requirements:

  • Grade 12 education, or equivalent, plus one year post-secondary
  • Fully bilingual, English written and oral - French oral and reading
  • Keyboarding skills, minimum 45 WPM
  • Computer literacy
  • Ability to work shift work - days, afternoons and over nights

Special consideration will be given to candidates who possess the following additional skills:

  • Post-Secondary education
  • Additional languages
  • Prior experience in a police environment
  • Prior public safety dispatch experience
  • Experience working with the public in a social work environment (e.g. CAS, Harvest house)
  • Previous customer service experience

All work is performed in an environment which requires the application of speed and accuracy in urgent and, in some cases, life-threatening situations which may be negatively impacted by errors on the part of the incumbent. Persons hired for this position will be expected to perform seemingly incompatible operations concurrently and calmly on a routine basis.

Ability to:

  • Understand and carry out oral/written instructions and procedures
  • Think, speak, multitask, and act clearly and efficiently in emergency situations
  • Adequately hear verbal communications at normal sound levels
  • Learn standard broadcast procedures of a public safety telecommunications system and Ottawa Police Service general Policies and Procedures
  • Operate standard office equipment
  • Calmly and effectively deal with irate persons
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Ottawa Police has six platoons, one Supervisor and one Shift Manager per platoon

The hours of work are as follows:

  • Days 0700-1700hrs
  • Afternoons 0900-2000hrs
  • Afternoons 1700-0400hrs
  • Nights 2000-0700hrs
  • Fixed days 0900-2000hrs
  • Fixed afternoons 1700-0400hrs

The rotation of the shift is two on, two off - three on, two off - two on, three off (Day shift example: DD off off DDD off off DD off off off)

Emergency Communicator Course

You may wish to consider putting yourself through an Emergency Communicator Course. The course is not mandatory for application to the Ottawa Police Service. The following colleges offer the course:

For more information, you may wish to check out the Associated Public Services Communications Officials (APCO) Canada and USA sites.

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