Recruitment #1801-6304-001


Public Safety Service Operators (PSSO) will be trained to answer 911 calls and serve as the first line of communication between the Tucson community and our Police and Fire services.  PSSOs will be responsible for receiving both emergency and non-emergency requests for assistance from the public, passing critical information to our Police and Fire dispatchers.  Dispatchers then ensure appropriate response from our public safety professionals across the City. 

This entry-level position promises opportunities for advancement within our future Police and Fire consolidated City Communications Department.   All selected candidates will initially be hired for Police or Fire, and it is expected that all will be cross-trained which will result in a promotional opportunity to the Public Safety Communications Specialist I classification.

General Description

Answers and assesses emergency 911 and non-emergency calls for service in a timely and efficient manner.  Uses a computer aided dispatch system to enter all pertinent information.

Essential Functions

Handles emergency and non-emergency calls by answering all calls; interviews callers; determines the nature of the reported incident; assists callers in remaining calm and elicits necessary information; inputs relevant information for each call into a computer aided dispatch system; and determines the priority of calls by researching various sources of information.

Works in concert with dispatch personnel; performs routine requests from field personnel; facilitates requests and calls for service for external public safety and non-public safety entities.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Education Level & Type: 6 months post High School

Minimum Experience Qualifications: Under 1 year of experience answering telephone calls in a timely manner and assessing their level of importance

Special Job Requirements

Ability to type 35 Net Words Per Minute (NWPM)

No felony convictions or drug abuse

This position also requires the following:

  • An intensive training period requires study of written procedures as well as hands-on training experience.  Probationary period is 18 months.
  • The ability to evaluate verbal and written data quickly and respond calmly to stressful situations
  • Rotating work schedules are required.  Four 10-hour shifts per week, with 3 days off.  Overtime work will be required as necessary.  Other alternate work schedules may be implemented based on operational need. 
  • Shift examples are 7AM to 5PM, 5PM to 3AM, and 9PM to 7AM.  Shift work is based on seniority and includes evenings, nights, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • Stressful and fast-paced work which requires the ability to adjust quickly and to maintain confidentiality

Preferred Qualifications

Experience working as an emergency 911 operator or dispatcher

Pre-Screen Questionnaire Instructions

The Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire (CLICK HERE) is a six-page document with a January 2018 revision date on the bottom right corner of the form.  No previous versions will be accepted, and no other document, including a resume, will be accepted in its place.  The questionnaire is a fillable PDF document accessed by clicking on the highlighted link or by copying and pasting the link below onto your browser. In order to properly access the form, you must use Adobe Reader 8 or above. MAC users DO NOT use Preview mode when completing the form. Use of Adobe Acrobat is required.

You must first download and save the blank form to your computer/document files, before you type your responses onto the PDF document. Please ensure you complete all the questions.  It is highly recommended you utilize the "Save As" function and rename it to save a copy to your local disk, prior to uploading the completed form. Do not worry about signing it prior to submitting.

The completed Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire must be uploaded to your Tucson Police Officer Recruit application on this online employment application system or your application will be incomplete.  No other form of delivery will be accepted.  Please allow a few seconds for the file to download:

You will not be able to submit this application until you upload the completed questionnaire to your Tucson Police Officer Recruit application on the City of Tucson Online Employment Center website when prompted to do so.

Failure to properly complete an application with the uploaded completed questionnaire by the established deadline will result in your removal from this recruitment process. Preliminary Applicant Questionnaires received from applicants who did not properly apply online or who do not meet the minimum qualifications will not be considered.

One of the fundamental requirements of working in law enforcement is the ability of an individual to adhere to and demonstrate the highest legal and ethical standards. Unfortunately, it is our experience that a number of applicants in each hiring process will fail due to material omissions or untruthfulness when completing the prescreen questionnaire and subsequent background information. If you are untruthful, dishonest, knowingly omit, falsify, conceal or obscure required information during any part of the application and hiring process, you will be PERMANENTLY DISQUALIFIED from ever being employed by the Tucson Police Department in ANY capacity. 

Selection Plan

You are highly encouraged to print this bulletin because it contains important testing dates and information that you will need to refer to later, and it will not be available after the closing date.

Applicants who submit a complete application, meet the minimum qualifications, and successfully complete and pass the Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire will receive an email notification on February 20, 2018 by the close of business with and the results and given a formal invitation to the practical assessment. 

Practical Assessment

The practical assessment will take place the week of March 5, 2018.  This assessment will consist of two parts performed on the same day. Part I is a typing test which measures typing speed.  Part II utilizes computer software to simulate a public safety communications environment.  Applicants must successfully pass Part I with a typing speed of 35 WPMN or greater in order to continue with Part II.  Applicants will be notified of their scores, pass or fail, after the completion of testing that day.  Applicants that receive a passing score will be scheduled for oral board interviews.

Oral Board interviews

Applicants who pass the practical assessment will be scheduled for oral board interviews and will receive their time slot following the completion of their practical assessment.  Interviews are scheduled for the week of March 12, 2018.  Applicants passing the Oral Board interview will be placed on a Civil Service Employment List for consideration by the Tucson Police Department Communications, Tucson Fire Department Communications, or the future consolidated City Communications Department.  A candidate's ranking on the Employment List will be based on their final score which will be calculated as 5% of the rating for Training and Experience (Supplemental Questionnaire responses), 55% of the rating for the Practical Assessment, and 40% of the rating for the Oral Board interview. 


Candidates placed on the Employment List will be subject to the following:

• An extensive background investigation, including local, state, and national criminal and fingerprint checks.
• A polygraph examination to verify information you have supplied in the background questionnaire.
• Selected candidates will receive a conditional job offer and must successfully pass pre-employment medical and psychological evaluations.

All probationary employees in this classification are subject to random drug screening during their EIGHTEEN MONTH PROBATIONARY PERIOD with the Tucson Police Department, Tucson Fire Department, or the future consolidated City Communications Department.

Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the achieved score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List. If you qualify for Veteran or Native American preference points as outlined in your Employment Profile, you must submit your documentation at the time of the Written Examination. Copies of DD 214s must reflect a characterization of HONORABLE.

Applicants requiring an accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for any of the applicant evaluations must email the contacts listed below at least 48 hours prior to the particular evaluation.

Communications throughout this process will be sent via email exclusively so please ensure your browser accepts emails from and check your email account regularly. Failure to respond or follow instructions will result in disqualification.

All email inquiries should be directed to the individuals listed below.

Adaliz Cruz, 520.837.4307 or email:

Jocelyn D. Maez, 520.837.4176 or email: 

Pre-employment Medical Testing Requirements

Long Audio Test

Non-NIDA Drug Test

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To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.