911 Dispatch Position

King County Sheriff's Office - 911 Communications Specialist



The information herein is provided by the respective agency and is only as accurate and as up-to-date as the agency representative(s) update this information. PST is not responsible for the veracity of this data as it is provided directly from the agency. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to verify any information about the agency with the agency.

King County Sheriff's Office - 911 Communications Specialist

Last updated on June 03, 2024
PST Partner Agency since April 29, 2024

Vacancies: 12

Important Information

The King County Sheriff’s Office requires candidates to complete the following steps to be considered:

Step 1- Submit Application

Submit an application at 

Step 2- Complete Technical Exam

The technical exam is administered by Public Safety Testing (PST). Candidates will need to complete the technical exam, or add KCSO as an agency, through PST within 15 days of application. This is a scored component of the examination process.

Step 3- Oral Board Exam (Interview)

Candidates who pass the technical exam will be invited to an oral board exam (interview). This is a scored component of the examination process.

Step 4- Eligibility List & Background Investigation

Candidates who pass both the technical and oral board examination will be placed on an eligibility list. Eligible candidates will proceed with the background investigation process in order of their rank on the list. The background investigation process may take up to 8 weeks to complete.

Recruitment Timeline:

Accepting applications: May 1 – May 20, 2024

Technical Testing: Throughout May – Early June 2024

Oral Board Interview: End of May – Mid June 2024

Anticipated Start Date: Beginning of August 2024

Community Information

The King County Sheriff's Office is located in the Pacific Northwest. King County is the 14th largest (by population) county in the country, and includes the cities of Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond, as well as many suburban communities and rural areas. The area offers a wide variety of employment opportunities, year-round recreation, award-winning school districts, and great quality of life. And contrary to popular belief, there are sunny days. Lots of them.

As you review this page, please note that many of the links will take you to external sites (marked with an asterisk*).

Cost of Living

Cost of living varies by region. You can run your own estimates at the CNN web site.*


If you have family members that work, they will have plenty of employment opportunities in the area. Many large companies and non-profits are headquartered here, as well as smaller organizations.


For the kids, the school districts are exceptional and there are numerous extra-curricular activities through the schools and community groups. For the littlest ones, there are many child care options, as well as organized groups for kids and parents.

The school districts in King County include: Shoreline, Northshore, Seattle, Bellevue, Lake Washington, Kent, Highline, Auburn, Federal Way, Tahoma, Renton, Issaquah, Riverview, Snoqualmie Valley, Enumclaw, Tukwila, and Maple Valley. You can learn more about the schools at:

Washington State Superintendent*


Higher Education

There are many colleges, universities, technical schools, and community colleges in and around King County. You can learn more at this Washington State web site*.


There are opportunities for just about anything.

Like to hike? The Cascade Range and Olympics offer easy day hikes as well as challenging overnight trips, and they are within a short drive. And of course, the serious mountaineers will enjoy Mount Rainier.

Prefer the water? There are two major lakes, numerous smaller lakes, and many, many beaches. Swimming, boating, and fishing are all possible.

Enjoy music and culture? Seattle and the surrounding communities offer symphonies, museums, opera, theaters, local bands, jazz clubs, and even an amphitheater that attracts major concerts and performances.

Need something to do with the kids? There are sporting events featuring amateur and professional teams, multiple city, county, and state parks, local fairs and festivals (including SeaFair August), as well as kid-friendly museums, aquariums, zoos, and amusement parks.

Department Information

Apply to the KCSO Entry-level 911 Communications Specialist via Governmentjobs.com

Ensuring the safety of people in King County is our top priority. We aim to do this in a respectful manner based on our core values of leadership, integrity, service, and teamwork. Every employee is expected to provide the best customer service by working with you to address your concerns. KCSO’s Communications Center is one of 12 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the county, handling unincorporated King County, twelve contract cites, the Muckleshoot Reservation, the King County Airport and Metro and Sound Transit Police.

Job Description

As a Communications Specialist, you will:

Use telephones and radios to provide critical information and communicate directly with callers and Deputies in the field. As a King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) Communications Specialist, you will handle law enforcement calls only. Requests for fire or EMS assistance are immediately transferred to other agencies.

General job duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Receive, prioritize, and route emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and other agencies.
  • Gather information from calling parties and enter the type, location, and all required information for emergency calls into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System. Route calls for service to correct Dispatcher or appropriate emergency agency.
  • Assign response priority by determining whether immediate response could save lives or prevent crimes. Relay pertinent information via radio.
  • Retrieve information from State and National computer networks regarding wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, stolen vehicles, restraining orders, and criminal histories. Relay information to Deputies via radio.
  • Record information and maintain required logs and event cards.
  • Manage multiple radio frequencies and radio communications simultaneously.
  • Communicate effectively with confused, upset, hostile, or distraught people by phone, while gathering the information necessary to send the correct responders and equipment to the scene.
  • Communication center employees may hear and need to respond to graphic descriptions of violence and/or injury.

In this role, incumbents must have the ability to:

  • Manage uncertainty and be adaptable. Simultaneously receive emergency calls, take charge of the conversation, and gather critical information. Demonstrate the ability to act calmly, quickly, and with accuracy in a variety of emergency situations. Multi-task complex situations that may be fluctuating within a short time period.
  • Be a quick learner. Comprehend basic principles and terminology applied to law enforcement and emergency management as applied to the operation of the communications center.
  • Make quality decisions. Follow moderately complex oral and written instructions and use knowledge and judgement to make quality decisions. Have the ability to evaluate problems and apply sound judgment in a high stress, critical incident management environment.
  • Instill trust within the organization and community. Interact with the public pleasantly and courteously, often under stressful conditions. Demonstrate Sheriff’s core values, including integrity, in all aspects of work.
  • Communicate effectively. Exhibit patience and remain calm and professional while questioning callers for whom may have limited English proficiency, or with callers who may be verbally abusive, emotionally upset, uncooperative or frightened.
  • Be interpersonally savvy. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, law enforcement personnel, and the public.
  • Be resilient. Exhibit composure during high pressure situations that may occur. Demonstrate the ability to maintain personal well-being and resiliency, including the ability to manage stress.
  • Work in a center that is 24/7 and be available to work unusual hours and on weekends and holidays.
  • Work overtime on regularly scheduled workdays, as required by agency needs.

Area Information

County: King County
Population: 1.6 million
# of Staff: Sheriff's Office: 1180 total FTEs Communications Center: 68 FTEs

Hiring Status

King County Sheriff's Office - 911 Communications Specialist has 12 vacancies.

The current recruitment will close on April 28, 2024. We will recruit for this position again in July 2024. 

Number of Current Vacancies: 9 - filled by both entry and laterals.

Salary Information

The 2024 salary range for Communications Specialist is $65,603.20 - $93,662.40 annually based on a five-step system, within two job classifications (Call Receiver and Dispatcher).

New hires start as a Call Receiver and after 18 months are eligible to go through training to become a Dispatcher. Below are the salary breakdowns for both classifications:

Call Receiver: $31.54 - $38.14 hourly, $65,603.20 - $79,331.20 annually

Dispatcher: $40.95 - $45.03 hourly, $85,176.00 - $93,662.40 annually

Benefit Information

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being. Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

· Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members

· Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents

· Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan

· Transportation program and ORCA transit pass

· Generous vacation and paid sick leave

· Paid parental, family and medical, and volunteer leaves Flexible Spending Account

· Wellness programs Onsite activity centers Employee Giving Program

· Employee assistance programs

· Paid academy training

For additional information about employee benefits, visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

King County Sheriff's Office - 911 Communications Specialist Requirements

Category Requirement Required at time of...
    Test Hire
Written Examination Yes, required
Typing Test Yes, required

The typing test is a critical component of your written test score and you are required to complete the online typing test within 90 days (before or after) your written exam. You will be allowed four (4) attempts at the typing test every seven (7) days and are responsible for selecting the score that you want PST to forward to the agencies you have applied with.

35 WPM; 90% Accuracy

Minimum Age 18
Citizenship US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
High School Grad/ GED Yes
Ability to Read & Write the English Language

You must have the ability to read, speak and write the English language fluently.

College Requirement No
Prior Experience Requirement No
Current Hiring Status

We are hiring for multiple positions!


King County Sheriff's Office requires their candidates to successfully pass a complete background investigation to include a polygraph exam, psychological evaluation and a medical exam.

Contact Information

King County Sheriff's Office - 911 Communications Specialist

3511 NE 2nd St
Renton, WA 98506 King County County


Contact a Recruiter
Agency Test Requirements
Written Examination: Yes, required
Typing Test: Yes, required

Other King County Sheriff's Office positions

Deputy Sheriff