Become a Public Safety Telecommunicator

It takes a highly motivated, multi-tasking, and dedicated individual to meet our day-to-day challenges when it comes to serving anyone within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city of Norfolk.

Being the link between Public Safety personnel and our callers in need can be very exciting and rewarding to the right individual who is striving to take that one extra step in making a difference in the City of Norfolk.

Basic Requirements

The following must be attached and turned in with your application:

  • DD-214 Long form (If military)
  • Photocopy of a birth certificate that shows you are 18 YOA (That's dispatcher talk for "year of age")
  • Photocopy of High School Diploma or GED
  • United States Citizen - VCIN (Virginia Criminal Information Network) certification requires you to be a citizen of the United States or have lived in the United States for ten consecutive years.

Automatic Disqualifications

(If none of these items apply to you, please submit your application.)

Criminal Convictions

  • Any Felony, Class 1, or Class 2 Misdemeanor conviction
    • With the exception of the first offense Driving under the Influence and some traffic offenses.

Drug Usage

  • Any use of any opiates (heroin, morphine, methadone, etc.) or any illegal hallucinogen (e.g. LSD, MDMA, etc.
  • Any substantiated illegal act, including the possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of any narcotic, controlled substance, or dangerous drug, as defined by the state, or federal law, except the use of marijuana, which is evaluated on the frequency of use.
  • Excessive use of marijuana e.g, more than ten times within one year.
  • Any use of marijuana or hashish or illegal steroids within the six months before submitting an application or any time thereafter.
  • The use of illegal steroids or cocaine will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


  • Bad conduct discharge from the military
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military

Note: Other disqualifiers may also apply. Call Human Resources at 757-664-4486 for a complete description


You must successfully complete and/or pass the following steps:

  • Criticall- A computerized dispatch test used to measure underlying skills and abilities. The Practice Test website offers numerous practice tests related to the Criticall test.  
    • Typing 30 words per minute is required to become  Public Safety Telecommunicator. Check your speed and accuracy here
  • Background Investigation - This entails obtaining and verifying information in regard to prior employment, other public safety agencies you have applied to, drug use, personal references, and criminal records. 
  • Online Application - You must have a completed Online Application on file (with all relevant documents attached) before you can proceed with the application process, please be thorough and accurate when completing your application.
  • Oral Review Board - Candidates are interviewed by a panel of department personnel to determine their qualifications based on questions about their desire to become a Telecommunicator and clarification of responses given on their applications.

Conditional Employment Screening

(Meaning you will be offered the job contingent on passing the following:)

  • Drug screening
  • Hearing examination


Visit our After You Are Hired page for more information.