‘Desperate Need': Plainfield Police Hiring Part-Time Dispatchers

Plainfield Police Department lost 75% of its part-time dispatchers this year.

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The Plainfield Police Department is hiring part-time dispatchers. In the last year, the department lost 75% of their part-time staff, going from six part-time dispatchers to one.

"Over the years we have had our ups and downs, but currently there is a more desperate need. There are not many applicants coming in and some of the applicants are not qualified for the position," said Deputy Chief William Wolfburg. "We are really between a rock and a hard place right now."

The Plainfield Police Department is fully staffed with three full-time dispatchers. They stress that their need to hire part-time dispatchers does not directly affect the community.

"Obviously if there is an emergency, our officers will be on the road. We will find a dispatcher to be in here," Wolfburg said.

But with five open part-time positions, the need to hire is impacting scheduling and the department's overtime budget.

“Due to the welfare of our dispatchers we want to make sure they get their rest in, a break and that they are able to enjoy their days off and their time with their family," Wolfburg said.

Wolfburg said that dispatchers are their lifeline and one of the most difficult jobs at the department. An ideal candidate could be someone looking to get into law enforcement or someone who is retired from law enforcement.

"But, realistically, you don't have to have any experience. You just have to have an interest and know how serious the job is," Wolfburg said.

The police department trains dispatchers. Starting pay for a trainee is $15 an hour. Once on the desk as a part-time dispatcher, starting pay is just shy of $20 an hour.

Dispatcher Nicholas Misale started as a part-time dispatcher. He is now a full-time dispatcher at the department. He is hoping to become a probation officer one day and says the job gives him great experience.

"I love this job. It’s very fulfilling. You can come in and be the calm line on the other end of the phone for people that are in distress or in need," Misale said. “Take that stride because this job is definitely a rewarding job.”

To learn more about becoming a part-time dispatcher, call the department at (860) 564-0804.

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