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911 Communications Unit

"The most important people you will never see."

The Communications Unit is made up of Call Takers and Dispatchers and are the nerve centre of the Kingston Police. They are the eyes and ears for every call coming in from the public and going out to the Officers. Call Takers are the first point of contact for all emergency and non-emergency calls, while Dispatchers send Officers to attend these calls.

The primary difference between Call Takers and Dispatchers is that Call Takers mostly interact with the public, while Dispatchers directly assist Police Officers.

Call Takers

Kingston Police Call Takers are the first point of contact for all 9-1-1 calls, not just for Kingston Police, but also for local Paramedics, Kingston Fire Rescue, and the Ontario Provincial Police whose jurisdictions border the City of Kingston. When calls for these external agencies are received, they are transferred to those respective organizations for their Call Takers and Dispatchers to address. Kingston Police Call Takers also receive calls for service that are not emergencies, but that still require an Officer to attend. Our Dispatchers dispatch Kingston Police Officers as well as local Bylaw Officers.  

Call Takers further conduct basic investigations with the caller while Officers are en route to the incident.  Call Takers will learn the who, what, where, and when of an incident, as well as whether there are any weapons present. Call Takers can also work to de-escalate a call, creating a safer environment for Officers when they arrive on scene.


Dispatchers are also the main point of contact for any on-duty Officers who require additional information or resources on their calls. Dispatchers are in constant contact with Officers whether by the computers in each cruiser, or by radio. Dispatchers can run background checks on suspects at calls to provide a background for the Officers, and they can request probation orders and confirm warrants. This is all done to promote the safety of the Officer at scene, but also to assist Officers in determining how best to resolve a call.

Dispatchers are empowered to divert calls to other agencies where appropriate, thereby relieving the need for an Officer to attend, and providing the caller with perhaps a more suitable solution. This also keeps Officers from being tied up on a call when they might be more urgently needed elsewhere.

Call Takers and Dispatchers work as a unit and are attached to a platoon of Patrol Officers. They follow the same schedule as their platoon, working 12 hour shifts, with two day shifts, followed by two night shifts, and then 4 days off. Call Takers and Dispatchers are cross-trained to know each other’s skill set and will rotate between each position on a daily basis. Their 8-day rotation occurs 365 days a year, including holidays, because Kingston Police never closes.

Do you have what it takes?

Every day in the Communications Unit is unique, as is every call. It can be an extremely fast-paced environment with a high degree of multi-tasking. Dispatchers and Call Takers are directly involved in helping members of the community who are in crisis. 

Working in the Communications Unit does not require a specific educational background; however, there are several qualities that are useful or necessary to succeed in this role. Successful applicants must possess demonstrated common sense, and excellent communication skills. They must be empathetic and compassionate because people who call police usually don't call when they are having a good day.

Successful candidates are quick, logical thinkers, who are able to build rapport with a caller quickly and are able to work both independently and as part of a team.

Interested in this job? Visit and learn more about exciting and rewarding career opportunities at Kingston Police.

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