MPD hiring public safety dispatchers

Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile Police Department is in dire need of public safety dispatchers.

This week, MPD posted a flyer inviting folks to apply.

Dispatchers answer almost every 911 call, and if there aren’t enough people answering those calls, that could lead to slower response times.

The good news is, since MPD posted the flyer, they say they’ve seen a growing interest in the position.

“We hear about the police officer shortage, but we don’t hear about the dispatcher shortage just because we are in the background. They don’t see us- they hear us, but they never see us. We are on the face of the department, but we are a part of the department,” said Lieutenant Louis Screws.

Lt. Screws says MPD is grappling with the shortage.

“We are in desperate need of dispatchers with the Mobile Police Department. Currently, we are at about fifty percent of our allowed strength, so that keeps us very, very busy,” he said.

For some curious applicants, it may be time to answer the call.

MPD in need of Public Safety Dispatchers
MPD in need of Public Safety Dispatchers(Mobile Police Department)

“If you’re not inclined to be a law enforcement officer, but you still want to help, this is because you deal with us, you deal with law enforcement, you deal with the public, and it’s a good way to give back to your community, be it your city, state or county,” explained Lt. Screws.

According to the National Emergency Number Association, approximately 240 million emergency calls are made each year.

Imagine the consequences of not having an adequately-staffed team.

“The ladies and gentleman I have on the floor are constantly on the phone answering calls, patching channels, so they’re constantly having to work overtime just to make sure we dispatch the calls properly to our field officers,” said Lt. Screws.

Public Safety Dispatcher Heather Sterrett says she’s found her calling through this position.

“I like to help people over the phone, talk to them, get officers home safely every night.”

Sterrett says the job isn’t for everyone, but it’s rewarding.

“Just be prepared to work long hours and be prepared to be away from your family for awhile,” said Sterrett. “We all have to work as a team- so you have to trust who you’re working with and work together when something comes up.”

To apply, click here.