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What Does a Security Dispatcher Do?

Individuals on patrol must check in with the security dispatcher.
A security dispatcher may be called if an individual's home alarm system goes off.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2014
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A security dispatcher handles administration tasks and coordination for a security company. This may be a firm offering security services to multiple clients, including people with private homes as well as businesses, or an internal security group for an organization, staffed with its own personnel rather than by an agency. Dispatchers facilitate communication between officers in the field, clients, and other personnel. They can also call emergency services for assistance in escalating situations.

One part of the job involves scheduling. The security dispatcher is aware of the scheduled work shifts and locations of all personnel on the job, and regularly checks in with people in stationary guard posts as well as on patrol. If people don’t report in, or indicate there is a problem, the security dispatcher may call for backup or ask for law enforcement assistance. Clients also work with the security dispatcher to schedule installation, maintenance, and audit appointments.

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When a security alarm is triggered or someone picks up a phone that dials the security office, the dispatcher handles the situation. This person determines whether an emergency is occurring and calls for assistance if necessary. For example, someone who fails to turn off a home alarm in time might give a code over the phone to indicate that the situation is okay. Conversely, if no one answers when a security dispatcher calls a home, responders can be sent over to evaluate and check for anything of concern, like someone trying to break in or homeowners in trouble.

Data entry can be part of the work. When new clients enroll, the security dispatcher may enter their information and update it as needed. Reports can also be entered in the computer by the dispatcher, using resources provided by guards. This frees up personnel for tasks like patrolling or responding to new calls, and allows for more efficient bulk data entry by skilled dispatchers who may be familiar with the system, the codes used, and other issues. At a facility like a corporate or college campus, security dispatchers may be tasked with issuing parking permits and security cards as well, depending on how the department is structured.

Usually a high school degree or equivalent is required to become a security dispatcher. No special training is required, although it can help to have administrative experience and to be skilled at thinking quickly and handling chaotic situations. Once hired, dispatchers receive training in how to operate the system, handle calls, and work with people in emergencies. Refresher training may be required periodically to test knowledge of emergency plans and make sure all personnel are familiar with company protocols.

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