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Dispatcher (Police Department)

Posted On: 
November 7, 2019

About this position.

  • Position: 
  • Salary: 
    $35,909.00 full-time
  • Department: 
    Police Department

The Amsterdam CivilService Commission announces the Open-Competitiveexam for:


(Police Department)

                               OpenCompetitive Exam # 61-785                             CityAmsterdam Police Department

                                                               Dateof Examination:      January 11, 2020

                                                               LastFiling Date:                 November 27,2019

Read this entireannouncement before completing your application.  YOU MUST MEET THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS TOBE ACCEPTED.

EmploymentOpportunities:      At the presenttime, there is One (1) part time vacancy in the Amsterdam Police Department.

Salary:  $35,909.00 full-time

General Statement ofDuties:    This work involves responsibility for staffing thePolice Department telecommunications console on an assigned shift.  The Incumbent receives and transmits messagesand requested information to the Police, Law enforcement agencies and performsrelated communications activities involving operation of telephones, NYSPINcomputer, and short wave radio. Incumbents in this class must be able to function calmly in emergenciesand take appropriate action in an efficient manner.  Work is performed under the generalsupervision of a higher-ranking officer with leeway allowed for the exercise ofindependent judgment in carrying out the details of the work.  Does related work as required.


1.      Graduation from a regionally accredited or NYSregistered college with an Associate’s Degree with a degree in CriminalJustice/Communications.


2.      Graduation from high school or possession of ahigh school equivalence diploma and two (2) years of dispatching experience ina law enforcement agency.


3.       Anequivalent combination of training and experience as defined by limits of (1)and (2).


Subject ofExamination:

A written test designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and/or abilities in the following areas:

1. Coding/decoding information

These questions test for the abilityto follow a set of coding rules. Some questions will require you to codeinformation by converting certain information into letters or numbers. Otherquestions will require you to decode information by determining if theinformation that has already been converted into letters or numbers is correct.Complete directions will be provided; no previous knowledge of or training inany coding system is required.

2. Following directions (maps)

These questions test your ability tofollow physical/geographic directions using street maps or building maps. Youwill have to read and understand a set of directions and then use them on asimple map.

3. Retaining and comprehendingspoken information from calls for emergency services

These questions test for yourability to retain specific information that is heard in calls for emergencyservice, such as a street address, or to comprehend spoken information fromemergency service calls, such as determining the location of a site in relationto landmarks. Simulated 911 calls will be played on audio CD. Immediatelyfollowing each call, candidates are given audio instructions identifying whichquestions they are to answer within the test booklet. The questions thatcandidates are directed to answer for each simulated call will not be insequential order. Candidates will need to retain and comprehend the informationand instruction provided in this portion of the test to respond appropriatelyto the questions asked and to determine which questions to answer. The timeallotted to answer these questions will be limited. At the end of each answerperiod, the CD will automatically play the next call. Note paper will beprovided. Candidates will be permitted to take notes and to refer to them whenanswering the questions.

4. Radio operations and dispatchingprocedures

These questions test for knowledgeof two-way radio systems and operations, and may cover dispatching procedureswhen appropriate.

5. Understanding and interpretingwritten material

These questions test how well youcomprehend written material. You will be presented with brief reading passagesand will be asked questions about the passages. You should base your answers to the questions only on what is presented in the passages and not on what you mayhappen to know about the topic.

The New York State Department ofCivil Service has not prepared a test guide for this examination. However, candidatesmay find information in the publication "How to take a written test"helpful in preparing for this test. This publication is available on line at:

Use of calculators is allowed.  Candidates are permitted to use quiet,hand-held solar or battery powered calculators or slide rules.  Devices with typewriter keyboards, spellcheckers, personal digital assistants, address books, language translators,dictionaries, or any similar devices are prohibited.

Performance Test:  A performance test will also be held at alater date, to be announced.  The writtentest will be a ranking test and the performance test will be a qualifying(pass/fail) test.  You must pass both thewritten and performance tests to be considered for appointment.  You will not be called to the performancetest unless you have passed the written test. Since the performance test is qualifying (pass/fail), if you pass theperformance test your final score for the examination will be the score thatyou achieve on the written test.

Candidates may be invited to the performance test in the order of thescores they achieve on the written test. The City of Amsterdam reserves the right to give the performance test toonly as many candidates as are needed to fill available vacancies.

The test will be administered on a conventional personal computer(PC).  You will be using a conventionalPC keyboard, but you will not be using a mouse.

Subject:  The test consists of three parts, eachpreceded by a separate practice session. It will test your ability to enter the kinds of information thatdispatchers and related personnel must process for fire, police, and emergencymedical services.  You will not need anyspecific information prior to the test; rather, complete on-screen instructionswill tell you all that you need to know in order to take the test.  In order to pass, you must enter the data ata rate of at least 6,000 keystrokes per hour (which is equal to typingapproximately 20 words per minute), with an accuracy rate of at least 97.5%.

               Retest Policy:    Candidates who fail the performance testwill be permitted a retest which will be given on the same day as the originalperformance test.

               Waivers:              If you have passed a 911keyboarding performance test administered by a local jurisdiction in New YorkState within the last two (2) years of the written test, the performance testmay be waived.  If you request a waiver,you must submit verifiable evidence of qualifying.  Information submitted must contain the title,location, and date of the performance test taken, as well as proof of passing.



Application:   Applications may be obtained atthe Civil Service Office in Amsterdam City Hall or by sending a stampedself-addressed legal envelope to:

           Amsterdam Civil Service Commission, City Hall 61 ChurchSt. Amsterdam NY  12010

Applications receivedpost-marked after the filing date deadline willnot be accepted.  The applicantshould make sure every question on the application is answered and that theapplication is complete in all respects. All statements made by candidates in their application are subject toverification.  This department does notacknowledge receipt of the applications. Candidates will be notified of the disposition of theirapplication.  Candidates will be notifiedby letter, of when and where to appear to take the written test.  If candidates have not received a notice toappear for the written test three (3) days prior to the exam date, they shouldcall our office at (518)841-4341.


Application Fees:       A $15.00non-refundable application fee is required for each separately numberedexamination for which you apply.  Therequired fee must accompany your application. Send a check or money order payable to City of Amsterdam.  Write the examination number(s) and theapplicant’s name on the check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH.  If your application is disapproved, the feewill not be refunded.  You shouldcarefully review the announced minimum qualifications and any residencerequirements and apply only for those examinations for which you clearlyqualify.


Religious Observer/Disabled Candidates/MilitaryMembers:       Applicants whose religious beliefs or military service preventtheir taking examinations on the scheduled date and disabled candidates whorequire special accommodations to take the test should indicate the need forspecial arrangements.  Military ServiceMembers: If you apply for an examination during the filing period but are onactive military duty on the date of examination is scheduled, you may request amilitary makeup examination.  ContactAmsterdam Civil Service for more information. If you are on active duty or discharged after the filing period hasbegun, you may apply for the examination up to ten days before the test date.


Section 23.2 Statement:       Thisexamination will be prepared and rated in accordance with Section 23.2 of theCivil Service Law.  The provisions of NewYork State Civil Service Law, rules and regulations dealing with thepreparation and rating of examinations will apply to this examination.


Multiple Exam Takers:           If youhave applied for both State and local government examinations, you must notifyAmsterdam Civil Service of your intent to take both a State and a localgovernment examination.  When taking botha State and a local government examination you will be required to take allyour examinations at a State examination center.  You will be advised by letter when and whereto report for your examination.

If you have applied forother local examinations examination, call or write to each Civil ServiceAgency to make arrangements no later than two weeks before the date ofexamination, as to which test site you will be taking the examination.


Veteran’s Credit:                   Veteransor disabled veterans who are eligible for additional credit must submit anapplication for veteran’s credit with their application for examination or atany time between the dates of their application for examination and the date ofestablishment of the resulting eligible list. Applications for veteran’s creditare available from this office.  Veteran’s credits can only be added to apassing score on the examination.


Effective January 1, 1998,the State Constitution was amended to permit a candidate currently in the armedforces to apply for and be conditionally granted veteran’s credit inexaminations.  Any candidate who appliesfor such credit must provide proof of military status to receive theconditional credit.  No credit may be granted after the establishment of the list.  It is the responsibility of the candidateto provide appropriate documentary proof indicating the service was in time ofwar, as defined in Section 85 of Civil Service Law, and that the candidatereceived an honorable discharge or was released under honorable conditions inorder to be certified at a score including veteran’s credits.


Change of Address:   It is theresponsibility of the candidate to notify the Amsterdam Civil Service of anychange in name or address for the duration of the eligible list.  No attempt will be made to locate candidateswho have moved.


If any emergency preventsyou from appearing for the examination, please notify this office (518)841-4341no later than 9:00AM on the Monday following the test date, (Tuesday if Mondayis a legal holiday) providing verifiable documentation of the reason.  A determination will be made as to if youwill be scheduled for an alternate test date.


Application Fee Waiver:       A waiverof application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarilyresponsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if youdetermined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security IncomePayments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/ FamilyAssistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training PartnershipAct/Workforce Investment Acteligible through a State or Local Social Service Agency.  All claims for application fee waiver aresubject to verification.  If you canverify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request forApplication Fee Waiver and Certification” form and submit it with yourapplication by the close of business on the application deadline as listed onthe examination announcement.


Children of Firefighters and Police Officers killed inthe line of duty:     In conformance with section 85-a of theCivil Service Law, children of firefighters and police officers killed in theline of duty shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in acompetitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality inwhich his or her parent has served.  Ifyou are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of afirefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality,please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application forexamination.  A candidate claiming suchcredit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide thenecessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility.  However, no credit may be added after theeligible list has been established.



City ofAmsterdam/An Equal Opportunity Employer


Civil Service Commission:                             Gary McNeil, Chairman

                                                                       JohnMancini, Commissioner

                                                                       LynnKot, Commissioner




How do I apply?

You can apply for this job by either contacting the person below or downloading the application (if available).

  • Contact: 
    Barb Partyka
  • Phone: 
    (518) 841-4341
Job Description