SACRAMENTO – Public safety dispatchers, often the first assistance people reach in an emergency, provide a crucial link between the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the public. In recognition of their service, the CHP joins other law enforcement agencies to recognize National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week on April 11-17, 2021.
California legislation enacted in 2020 reclassified public safety dispatchers as “first responders.” The new classification acknowledges their vital role in the state’s emergency response chain.
“As recognized first responders in California, our CHP public safety dispatchers and operators remain resilient in times of crisis,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “They are devoted professionals who provide the timely handling of all calls for services and are the lifeline between the public and emergency services.”
The CHP employs more than 700 dispatchers who provide critical services to communities throughout California. In 2020, these dispatchers who work out of one of the 24 CHP communications centers statewide handled more than 4.9 million 9-1-1 calls from the public.
In emergency situations, dispatchers must instantly determine the correct response to ensure the safety of all parties involved. They are also in constant communication with patrol officers, looking up license plates, driver license numbers, and running criminal record checks on wanted subjects.
Those interested in a rewarding career as a CHP public safety dispatcher are encouraged to apply for one of the more than 175 positions available statewide. Details are available at www.chp.ca.gov/chp-careers.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.