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On Call Public Safety Communications Officer

Job Details

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

Who We Are:

Public Safety’s mission is to provide a safe and secure learning, living, and working environment. The department endeavors to provide a prompt, professional presence while also instilling personal responsibility and accountability for the rules and regulations of the College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We believe safety is a shared responsibility. We strive to meet and surpass our guiding principles that can be found here .

The Department of Public Safety is currently accepting applications for the position of Community Resource Officer (CRO) Patrol/Communication.

The opportunity:

The On-Call Public Safety Communication Officer (PSCO) is a key role in Department's responsibility for the safety and well-being of Swarthmore College students, campus property, community members, and visitors. The Communication Officer will be responsible for courteous and active engagement with the community, through effective communication verbally and in writing. As a Communication Officer, you are the first contact for internal and external interactions and incidents involving the College and provide a service for routine and emergency calls to the College. You will receive initial information and take appropriate action to resolve or address the situation. You will manage the functions of the communication center as well as respond to radio transmissions and in person requests for assistance. You will also need to be able to have clear communication, verbally and written, for making reports on incidents and investigations.

In this role, the primary duties of the PSCO are to assure continuity of practices and effective communication service to/for the Swarthmore College Department of Public Safety Communications Center (SCDPSCC), the College community, and local law enforcement agencies. This position requires a high degree of community engagement, cultural competency, and ability to navigate complex protocols for effective decision making based upon Department and College guidelines. The ability to provide clear communication, often under pressure, in a multifaceted communication center and navigate a variety of technology. Personnel in this position are considered “essential” in that they support a 24 hour, 7 day per week communication center operation.

Essential Responsibilities

The PSCO provides information and assistance by telephone, radio or in person to faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The dispatch of internal communications, monitoring of CCTV, Access Control, and both fire and intrusion alarms, as well as key control of organizations’ keys are all integral functions of the position. Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Receives both non-emergency and emergency requests (including 911 calls) for police/fire protection, medical, or emergency services; obtains relevant information, evaluates and prioritizes calls for service and dispatches appropriate personnel and equipment, and documents thoroughly.
  • Using a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, monitors and updates public safety and, when applicable, police unit location and status in order to coordinate emergency field operations; documents and provides backup support and information, as necessary, by operating a two-way radio; requests additional assistance from other agencies as necessary; and obtains computerized campus information as well as applicable law enforcement information from local, state, and federal data banks through telecommunications terminal.
  • Performs data entry, maintains files and reference manuals; and performs other clerical duties. Attention to detail and continuity of documentation as a critical aspect of this role.
  • Monitor and operate emergency alarms, CCTV, access control and security systems (received via various means), making immediate contact with the appropriate agency/personnel to address noted concerns.
  • Provide liaison service to the Swarthmore College campus partners as well as relevant communication with area communities and other public service agencies to support effective response.
  • Assists with interdepartmental communications such as facilities or access control requests or maintenance needs. Monitors and arranges for maintenance of all Dispatch Center equipment, including all radios and related technology.
Who you are:
  • Excellent communication skills required. Candidates must have the ability to speak, listen, and write in a professional manner.
  • Ability to demonstrate calm, consistent communication when presented with emotions in stressful and/or emergency situations. Attention to trauma informed practices and unique needs of a diverse, supportive residential education setting.
  • Ability to engage in effective perspective taking, across differences and roles in an educational living and learning environment. Demonstrated understanding of the value of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and open to continued development of cultural competence in the ever changing landscape of higher education.
  • Demonstrated experience in navigating and prioritizing multiple tasks simultaneously. This includes the ability to effectively communicate to manage expectations related to the nature and timeliness of response based upon the urgency of circumstances and competing priorities.
  • Commitment to collaborative service and community engagement in alignment with Department and College guidance related to safety and security of campus.
  • Exercise sound judgment in handling sensitive, private, and/or confidential information. All candidates must sign a confidentiality statement relating to the disclosure / safekeeping of sensitive College information, student records, faculty records, staff records and all information deemed confidential by the Department of Public Safety and Swarthmore College.
What you bring:

Required Qualifications
  • High school diploma required, College Education preferred.
  • 6 months experience working as a Public Safety Communication Officer or an equivalent combination of education and experience; skills, knowledge, and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.
  • Document complete and accurate reports concerning incidents and calls for service. The use of a computer and software is required for call response and incident documentation.
  • Conduct intake and initial interviews to ensure a thorough response to concerns of safety, risks, interpersonal conflict or potential criminal action, vehicle and pedestrian accidents, complaints from community members, injured persons, and suspicious circumstances or activity. Conduct records and information searches relevant to calls.
  • Comfort with the use of technology and learning new electronic systems. Familiar with Microsoft Windows applications.
  • The ability to work shift work, holidays, and the potential to work mandated overtime when required. This position supports 24/7 operations.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear to listen to words and alert signals and convey information. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include color vision.
Preferred Qualifications
  • APCO PST1, or the ability to successfully complete APCO PST1 within the first year of employment.
Physical Demands
  • Prolonged periods of sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Bending at the waist, kneeling, or crouching.
  • See objects in detail under various conditions (i.e., at night, up close, far away, and peripherally).
Working Conditions
  • On call at any time during the week (24/7 operation).
  • Shift priorities are 2:30 pm - 10:30 pm, Sunday through Saturday, and 10:30 pm - 6:30 am Friday and Saturday. Shifts also include days, evenings, nights, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • Must adapt to changes in shift schedules.
  • Required to be available to work during inclement weather or other emergency situations, even if the campus has otherwise canceled operations, in order to ensure continuous protection of the college community.
  • Must report for duty in a dependable and timely fashion.
What You Will Get:

You’ll work at one of the world's most renowned liberal arts Colleges, with incredible benefits, a stunning 420-acre campus, and a collaborative work environment. Join a team of passionate, creative people who work hard and have fun supporting the College students, faculty, and staff.

We want to hear from you if you are excited about this role!

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Act 153 Required by Position

This position may regularly interact with minors. Under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, (23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§6301, et seq.) employees who have direct contact with minors are required to obtain the following background clearances prior to the start of employment:
  • Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) through the Pennsylvania State Police
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (PACA) through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • FBI Criminal History Background Check (FBI Fingerprint).
Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Advertised: Mar 13 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:


Swarthmore College

Since its founding in 1864 by the Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers), Swarthmore College has given students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to become leaders for the common good.

With a curriculum unmatched among liberal arts colleges of its size, Swarthmore offers more than 600 courses and undergraduate research opportunities—from the humanities and performing arts to the social and natural sciences and engineering.

Swarthmore’s idyllic, 425-acre arboretum campus features rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails. It is located just 11 miles from Philadelphia.

The diversity of perspectives represented by Swarthmore students, faculty, and staff—including different viewpoints, identities, and histories—contributes to the community’s strong sense of open dialogue and engagement with ideas and issues.

Thank you for your interest in Swarthmore College. Swarthmore welcomes people who are not just looking for a job, but seeking a meaningful opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. Our highly selective liberal arts college is situated on a scenic suburban Philadelphia campus. Our mission focuses on providing students with the knowledge, insight, and experience they need to become leaders and agents of change on behalf of the common good.

As an employer, Swarthmore is committed to providing full opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, or disability. We welcome, and seek applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds, including those with intercultural experience and demonstrated commitments to an inclusive workplace and world.

We recognize that attracting and retaining outstanding faculty and staff is critical to maintaining our academic standard of excellence. And so, in addition to competitive salaries, we offer a high quality, comprehensive employee benefits program.

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