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Feb 24, 2013 10:04 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Pima County hiring dispatchers

TUCSON - The Pima County Sheriff's Department is hiring 911 dispatchers.

They are hiring 6 people for a training academy that starts in July. Later, they will hire 6 more for a September academy. PCSD currently has 30 dispatchers, with 8 in training.

Kimberly Boyce is training. She comes from a family of law enforcement.

"I can't be a deputy. I don't want to be a deputy, but I still want to do my share and help out the community," Boyce said. "We're making sure our deputies come home, so I'm helping family."

Dispatchers make about $17 to $24 per hour, according to the county's website.

The department wants to make sure the right people are applying for the stressful position.

Talia Carey is an administrator in the communications department.

"Turnover in our industry is a natural issue that we have to deal with," she said, "and not just our department but nationwide."

They have increased the academy from 5 weeks to 8 weeks, and it is more hands-on. It takes a total of about 6 months to train a dispatcher.

Johanna Rankin is a trainer. She has been working in dispatch for 18 years.

"People come into this job that really don't understand what it involves," she said. "When somebody really gets it and does well on it, it makes me really proud."

Shauna Gaiter is also in training. She started the academy after her company left Tucson. She says it is hard not to take her work home with her.

"You hear new things every day," Gaiter said. "The public can count on us. They can trust us to care when they need help."

PCSD will chat live on Facebook with people who might be interested in the position. That will be Tuesday, February 26 at 9 a.m. Click here for the Facebook link.

More information on the position is on the county web site.

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