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Police Communications Specialist

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Washington D.C
Closing date
Oct 7, 2022

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Job Details

The Police Communications Specialist position plays a critical role in the success of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA's) Metro Transit Police Department. Police Communication Specialists are responsible for answering and dispatching the appropriate Police, Fire, or Emergency Medical Services personnel for calls received by Metro customers and employees. The Police Communications Unit operates 365 days per year to ensure the safety of our riders. Metro is seeking dependable professionals with a background in emergency services dispatching or experience as a sworn police officer to fill several open positions. This position offers a annual salary range of $55,037 to $83,124. WMATA offers a rich benefit package to include health, dental, group life insurance, paid holidays, annual and sick leave, 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and 401A Retirement Plan as well as tuition reimbursement, flexible spending accounts, and free transportation on Metrobus and rail.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Graduation from high school or possession of a general equivalency diploma (GED).

  • One (1) year of public safety dispatching, to include 6 months of call taking experience in a public safety environment,
  • Or Two (2) recent, consecutive years of call taking experience in a public safety environment will be considered.
  • Or FIve (5) years of law enforcement experience as a sworn officer may be considered.

  • Must attend training to attain and maintain certifications from Maryland and Washington, DC which allows incumbent access to criminal justice databases, used daily while on duty (WALES and METERS). A passing score on the test(s) issued by each state/jurisdiction is required to obtain the initial certification, as well as bi-annual recertification to remain a valid user of the system.

Other Requirements
  • Candidate must have never been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
  • Candidate must pass an extensive background check.
  • May be required to work variable shifts as needed, at times during inclement weather and when necessary, work extended tours of duty without notice.

Medical Group:

Satisfactorily complete the medical examination for this position, if required. The incumbent must be able to perform the essential functions of this position either with or without reasonable accommodations.

Mission Essential Designation
  • In accordance with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) this job has been identified as critical to mission essential functions. Incumbents in this role may be required to report to or continue to work in the event of authorized office closings or service suspensions due to severe weather, natural disaster, fire, operational emergencies or related events.


This is full time technical and administrative public safety communications work in an emergency communications call center. Incumbent is responsible for receiving and processing all calls for service to the Metro Transit Police Department, coordinating with jurisdictional police and fire departments, making appropriate notifications, and providing support services to the unit and other Department divisions. Incumbent is responsible for making appropriate decisions during periods of stress and has latitude for independent judgement and action, within established guidelines.

The Communications Division is the primary point of contact for all calls for public safety and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, including special events, holidays and during weather/public safety emergencies.

Essential Functions
  • Answers emergency and non-emergency calls for service; determines the appropriate police, fire, emergency services or other WMATA department response; queries the caller to ascertain specific and vital details of a situation in a timely manner; maintains contact with the caller or appropriate jurisdictional police agency as needed and relays the information received from the caller.
  • Operates communications console equipment, computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, telephones, and corporate PC to expedite a variety of emergency, non-emergency and complaint calls from the public for assistance. Incumbent utilizes a variety of communication services, wired, wireless and text, to impart or receive police information.
  • Conducts police computerized information systems queries, hit confirmations, entries and performs administrative message switching between other agencies utilizing systems such as the Washington Area Law Enforcement System (WALES), the Maryland Electronic Telecommunications Enforcement Resource System (METERS), and the Virginia Criminal Interstate Network (VCIN) and their associated local systems, as well as WMATA in house systems.
  • Provides callers with customer support and acknowledges WMATA customer complaints, inquiries and recommendations for WMATA during non-business hours, which may or may not be police related.
  • Researches historical call data or locates information for internal and external customers.
  • Utilizes the voice, radio and call recording system to review calls and produce recordings for court purposes.
  • Sends notifications as required, to various WMATA management and external government recipients, reference police or public safety emergencies.
  • Dispatches police officers, officials and emergency management personnel to calls for service. Monitors, controls and coordinates the response and ensures the safety and accountability of all MTPD personnel in the field, by tracking location and status and frequently checking their welfare. Updates the CAD with pertinent information pertaining to all calls for service until the call is closed and files it for historical purposes.
  • Determines what type of response by police officers and resources is warranted, based on the call type and information gathered during the interview process of calluses requesting assistance.
  • Determines the number of police officers that will be needed to handle a particular call for service based on the most current information available.
  • Evaluates the closest and the safest location to intercept moving trains and buses when an emergency call has been received and arranges for appropriate police and/or EMS resources to be in place to intercept.
  • Answers radio requests from officers on patrol for criminal, motor vehicle and civil offenses.
  • Monitors emergency activations of police radios to identify which officer has activated the emergency button and determine if an emergency exists and send appropriate assistance when needed.
  • Reports radio malfunctions to WMATA's radio maintenance department. Keeps accurate and updated records of malfunctions to include specific locations, exact problem, and corrective actions being taken by WMATA radio maintenance personnel.
  • Utilizes available mapping services to assist officers in locating addresses outside of the metro stations for calls for service.
  • Utilizes bus tracking application to track the movement of buses to determine their location and nearest and safest location to intercept a bus for police and/or fire/medical emergencies.
  • Utilizes the Rail Operations Computer System (ROCS) live map application to track the movement of trains to determine their location and nearest and safest location to intercept a train for police and/or fire/medical emergencies.
  • Monitors and communicates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via a dedicated telephone system. The telephone is utilized to notify federal, state and local law enforcement or other first responders of important information regarding the Washington Metropolitan Area infrastructure or severe weather conditions that may affect WMATA operations.

  • Monitors radio traffic and maintains additional radio talkgroups during major criminal and WMATA rail or bus emergencies.

Evaluation Criteria

Consideration will be given to applicants whose resumes demonstrate the required education and experience. Applicants should include all relevant education and work experience.

Evaluation criteria may include one or more of the following:
  • Skills and/or behavioral assessment
  • Personal interview
  • Verification of education and experience (including certifications and licenses)
  • Criminal Background Check (a criminal conviction is not an automatic bar to employment)
  • Medical examination including a drug and alcohol screening (for safety sensitive positions)
  • Review of a current motor vehicle report


WMATA is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by applicable federal law.

This posting is an announcement of a vacant position under recruitment. It is not intended to replace the official job description. Job descriptions are available upon confirmation of an interview.


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority operates the second largest rail transit system and the fifth largest bus network in the United States. Safe, clean and reliable, "America's Transit System" transports more than a third of the federal government to work and millions of tourists to the landmarks in the Nation's Capital.

Metro has earned a worldwide reputation for security and architectural beauty. WMATA is clearly the employer of choice for over 10,000 area residents. The Authority was created in 1967 by an interstate compact to plan, develop, build, finance and operate a balanced regional transportation system in the National Capital area. Construction of the Metrorail system began in 1969. Four area bus systems were acquired in 1973. The first phase of Metrorail began operation in 1976. The final leg of the original 103-mile rail network was completed in early 2001. Metrorail now operates 83 stations. One line extension and three new stations are now under construction.

Metrorail and Metrobus serve a population of 3.4 million within a 1,500-square-mile area. The transit zone consists of the District of Columbia, the suburban Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's and the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Overall, about 40 percent of the region's residents commute to work on Metro.

Metro and the federal government are partners in transportation. Half of the 83 Metrorail stations serve federal facilities and 36 percent of the local federal workforce uses Metro. We are committed to being an integral part of the Washington metropolitan area by ensuring the best in safe, reliable, cost-effective and responsive transit services, by promoting regional mobility and by contributing toward the social, economic and environmental well-being of our community. Employees are Metro.; We are committed to providing a working environment that fosters a high standard of performance, recognition for contributions and innovations, mutual respect and a healthy quality of life.

We are committed to developing ourselves through technology, training and education. We recognize our diversity as a source of strength that enables us to attain individual and Authority goals. In addition to competitive salaries, Metro employees enjoy a number of attractive benefits. These benefits include paid time off in the form of vacations, holidays and sick leave; medical, dental, life insurances as well as long term disability. Retirement is planned for through a defined contribution plan and a deferred compensation plan. Alternative work schedules, teleworking and free transportation on Metrorail and Metrobus make for an great benefits package for WMATA employees.Jump to our website to apply online for current openings and save the link for future vacancies as they occur.



Company info
600 Fifth St. NW

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