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Call Taker

Cook County Sheriff's Office

Human Resources Department


Contact Information


Cook County Sheriff's Office
Attn: Human Resources Department
3026 S. California
Building #2
Chicago, IL 60608


  • 773-674-8427

Position Information

Application Deadline:

  • 06/30/23


  • Starting: $53,000


    • Health Insurance Program – Health insurance coverage includes medical, dental and vision care and is available for an employee and his/her eligible dependents
    • Holidays – Twelve (12) Holidays are granted in each Fiscal Year
    • Sick Leave – Granted sick leave is earned and accrued at the rate of one (1) day for each month of service and may be accumulated up to one hundred and seventy-five (175) working days
    • Vacation Leave – Granted Vacation leave is earned and accrued, with employees having the opportunity to accrue ten (10) days within the Fiscal Year; Vacation leave accruals increase based on an employee’s anniversary date of employment
    • Personal Days – Employees earn and accrue one (1) personal day per quarter, up to a total of four (4) Personal Days per Fiscal Year
    • Life Insurance – Basic term life insurance, equal to one (1) times the employee’s annual salary, is offered to every employee at no cost and the employee may elect to purchase supplemental coverage
    • Pension Plan – Employees contribute into the Cook County Pension Fund and earn a prescribed percentage for each year of service; employees may be eligible for an annual annuity after ten (10) years of service and upon reaching a certain age based on when the employee started employment
    • Deferred Compensation Program – Employees may elect to enroll in a deferred compensation plan, a tax deferred plan which may be used as a supplemental retirement option


  • 6,700


  • 275,000

Position Details

Posting Number:


Location of Position:

Sheriff’s Police Department

Emergency Communications Center

9511 W. Harrison

Des Plaines, IL 60016

Application Deadline:

June 30, 2023

Documentation Deadline:

If contacted for an interview, you will be required to present a copy of your high school diploma or G.E.D. and driver’s license.

If interested in this position, please apply online at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office website:

Please note that you can only apply for this position online and you must have a valid e-mail address to apply.

For more information on this Notice of Job Opportunity, please contact:

Cook County Sheriff’s Office Human Resources Department

3026 S. California, Building #2

Chicago, IL 60608


Office Hours:

Monday through Friday

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Characteristics of the Position: 

General Overview:

The Cook County Sheriff's Police Department Emergency Communications Center, located in Des Plaines, Illinois is seeking applicants for the position of Call Taker.

The center continues to rapidly grow as additional agencies are consolidated into the Cook County ETSB. The service population is 275,000 residents.

The Emergency Communications Center is multi-jurisdictional operation that receives and dispatches police only for service in Cook County, as well as Metra rail lines located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kenosha (WI), Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The center is a high activity environment that processes over 1,700 phone calls a day. The call taker position supports a twenty-four (24) hour, seven (7) days a week operation where applicants must have the ability to work rotating shifts that include weekends and holidays.

Call takers are responsible for answering Emergency 911 and non-emergency calls for all unincorporated areas of Cook County, as well as assisting those jurisdictions that do not have Emergency 911 systems or contract dispatch agencies. Call takers enter all emergency data into the Premier One Computer Aided Dispatch (P1 CAD) system. The call taker, from the information received, determines the nature of the call (police, fire, EMS, or other emergency) and assigns its priority using designated codes in P1 CAD. Call takers are responsible for entering, retrieving and accurately interpreting information contained in the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (L.E.A.D.S.) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system and for responding to public works, utilities, and community service calls for assistance and/or repair.

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Enters all emergency data into a Premier One Computer Aided Dispatch (P1 CAD) system.
  • Assists with the maintenance of records, maps and all communications equipment and performs administrative, clerical tasks and data entry and retrieval essential to the efficient operation of the communications center.
  • Cancels, Confirms, Enters, Locates, Modifies and Validates records into the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) and/or the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. Responsible for adhering to LEADS policies.
  • May assist in the on-the-job training of new Telecommunicators personnel, and/or assist or relieve other Telecommunicators, as required.
  • Keeps informed of County ordinances, Department Policies, State Statutes, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other law enforcement related information/documents.
  • Maintains and cares for communications console station and related equipment.
  • May be required to review transcripts and/or tape recordings related to the investigation of complaints/calls for service and may be required to testify in court. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Actively listens to others and understands their needs and situations; writes and speaks English in an understandable manner; assertively controls conversations in order to quickly and accurately gather pertinent information and communicates this information professionally and precisely to the proper recipient.
  • Reads and understands correspondence, directives and General Orders; willingness to support and carry out directive and the mission of the agency.
  • Acts in a decisive manner, using good judgment; assesses problems and situations; anticipates needs and evaluates alternatives; deals professionally with emergency and stressful situations to avoid over-reaction; maintains flexibility in adjusting to situations and procedures.
  • Deals with people with a high degree of personal integrity; sensitive to other's problems without direct involvement; excludes personal biases from work performance; has ability to accept criticism and/or discipline; has tact and diplomacy; strives to promote a cooperative atmosphere in the Communications Center and maintains a positive attitude.
  • Must have emotional stability, self-motivation, loyalty and commitment to the organization, to include the County, as well as agencies the 9-1-1 Center serves; willingness to take the initiative; be dependable; display maturity in relationships with others; have good personal appearance and self-confidence.
  • Ability to represent the organization to other agencies and citizens with a courteous, helpful, accurate and business-like attitude in all radio, telephone, computer and personal contract.
  • Detects and corrects errors; performs multiple tasks simultaneously; coordinates heavy workloads to maintain organization and utilizes work time properly and productively.
  • Successfully acquires working knowledge of radio equipment, telephone and computer functions during probationary period; updates and maintains such knowledge on a continuous basis; acquires and applies knowledge of equipment limitations and alternatives.
  • Possess knowledge of the service area, surrounding area and cooperating agency procedures and resources.
  • Possess the ability to quickly learn new information and initiate improvements in both technical and procedural areas.
  • Ability to work up to twelve (12) hours at a time, continuously wearing a communications headset that will cover one (1) ear or fit within the ear canal of an ear, while retaining the ability to hear and understand other outside sound sources not coming to this ear piece; ability to read and discern visual images on a variety of media; ability to remain seated at the same workstation for up to twelve (12) hours at a time, while maintaining the ability to type accurately on a computer keyboard, all while conversing with callers.
  • Must be able to work any and all shifts of a twenty-four (24) hour, per day period.
  • Must be able to report for mandatory overtime, four (4) hours before the start of your scheduled shift OR four (4) hours after your scheduled shift.
  • Must be able to speak and express oneself in a clear and articulate manner.
  • Possess knowledge of techniques and procedures used in operating emergency communications equipment. 
  • Possess knowledge of customer service standards and best practices.
  • Possess knowledge of applicable Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS)/National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system and guidelines.
  • Possess skills in empathetic listening techniques. 

Miscellaneous Requirements: WORKING CONDITIONS

This position is in a call center environment, with exposure to multiple computer screens and requires work under stressful conditions. Essential and marginal functions may require maintaining physical condition necessary for sitting for prolonged periods of time and continuously wearing a headset which restricts movement in the work area.

The hours of operation are twenty-four (24) hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five (365) days a year.

The employee is primarily scheduled for shift work hours and work periods may have permanent or rotating days off, frequently requiring the employee to work holidays, weekends, evenings and nights.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Possession of a High School Diploma or General Education Development (G.E.D.) test certificate.
  • As of the date of application, candidates must have reached their 19th birthday.
  • Possession of a valid Driver's License. (The Sheriff's Police Department Emergency Communication Center is in Des Plaines, Illinois; the location has limited access to public transportation).
  • Must be capable of working up to twelve (12) hours at a time, continuously wearing a communications headset that will cover one (1) ear or fit within the ear canal of an ear, while retaining the ability to hear and understand other outside sound sources not coming to this ear piece; ability to read and discern visual images on a variety of media; ability to remain seated at the same workstation for up to twelve (12) hours at a time, while maintaining the ability to type accurately on a computer keyboard, all while conversing with callers.
  • Typing skills (30 w.p.m. with 90% accuracy), familiarity with computer keyboards and data inputting, clearly legible handwriting and proficiency in spelling.
  • Must successfully pass written examination(s).
  • Must successfully pass an oral interview panel.
  • Must successfully pass a hearing and vision test.
  • Must successfully pass background investigation(s).
  • Must meet all unit requirements to the satisfaction of the Director of Communications within the contracted three hundred and sixty-five (365) day probationary period.
  • Must possess the ability and willingness to work any or all assigned shifts of a twenty-four (24) hour day period and be available to emergency call-in; overlapping of shifts and/or overtime may be required.
  • Must successfully obtain certification from the State of Illinois as a Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) Operator within ninety (90) days of hire and maintain current certification throughout course of employment.
  • In addition to fully completing an application and meeting all noted minimum requirements, all applicants MUST successfully complete testing offered. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • One (1) or more years of professional, full time work experience as a 9-1-1 police dispatcher or call taker in the last 3 years.
  • One (1) or more years of professional work experience in the use of the Premier One Computer-Aided Dispatch (P1 CAD) system.
  • Possession of a current Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) certification.
  • One (1) or more years of professional, full time work experience in a multijurisdictional 9-1-1 Center.
  • Completion or current enrollment in a Public Safety Communications course resulting in obtaining a vocational training certificate. 

The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee’s normal line of work.

Please note that there are no remote job opportunities, all positions are located onsite.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office prohibits all unlawful discrimination in its hiring and promotional process.

All Cook County Sheriff’s Office employees must apply on the internal employment page to be considered; the application may be accessed via the SheriffNet site.

*Note: All Internal Applicants are subject to Cook County Promotional salary rules if selected.

**Article EE, Civilian Recruitment and Selection Process, of the Sheriff’s Employment Action Manual, applies to this employment process and can be found at the following link:

EEO Statement:

At the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, we value and embrace you. It’s our belief that diversity and inclusion is an essential component to our success as an international business. Accordingly, we are committed to provide a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office policy applies throughout the employment relationship—including recruitment, hiring, training, advancement, separation, and day-to-day practices. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office employment decisions will not be based on race, color and ancestry, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, family or parental status, disability, medical history, genetic information, or any basis prohibited by applicable law. Employment decisions will be based on an applicant’s merit and qualifications, the position requirements, and our business needs.


We welcome you—the whole you. Your background, your culture, your ethnicity, your unique experiences, your way of looking at the world. We truly believe that your individuality helps us create a diverse, inclusive, and inspired workplace in which every ethnicity, nationality, religion, elder status, family structure and gender identity is embraced and valued. We also welcome your passion for making the lives of children, your co-workers, and our organization better. Because as different as we are, that’s the common theme that will always keep us moving forward together. *Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship. *This position requires successful completion of post-offer tests, which may include a background check, drug screen and/or medical examination. Falsification of any information in the application process will result in disqualification, dismissal after hire, and/or placement on the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Ineligible for Rehire List for a period of two (2) or five (5) years. For current Cook County Sheriff’s employees, such falsification may result in discipline, up to and including termination, and placement on the County’s Ineligible for Rehire List for a period of two (2) or five (5) years. See Cook County Code of Ordinances, Article II, Sections 44-54 Unlawful Practices Relating to Employees and Employment - Penalty, 44-56 Political Discrimination; Cook County Employment Plan, Section V.N. Pre-Interview License and Certification Verification; Supplemental Policy No. 2014-2.13 Ineligible for Rehire List; and Cook County Personnel Rules 3.3(b) (7) (8) (18).

The Cook County Sheriff's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer Note:

As an internal candidate, should you be offered the position, salary allocations shall abide by the Cook County Personnel Rules. “The Cook County Sheriff’s Office hiring process is governed by the Sheriffs Employment Action Manual (SEAM) which prohibits employment actions from being influenced by any Political Reasons or Factors for Non-Exempt Positions. The advertisement of this position by any individual does not constitute an offer or promise of employment, promotion, or any other employment action and shall not influence the Cook County Sheriff’s Office hiring decision. Cook County Sheriff’s officials and employees who become aware of or receive a complaint that involves an allegation of Political Reasons or Factors being considered in the hiring process of Non-Exempt positions are obligated to refer the complaint to the Cook County Compliance Officer. If the Cook County Compliance Officer sustains allegations of Political Reasons or Factors being considered, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office will disqualify the Applicant or Candidate from consideration for employment and disciplinary action will be imposed on any involved Cook County employees, if applicable.”

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy:

In accordance with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace reasonably free from known or recognized hazards, it adopts this mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy to better safeguard the health of Sheriff’s Office members and their families, visitors who spend time in Sheriff’s Office facilities, and the community at large from the risks associated with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). This policy complies with applicable state and federal laws and is based on relevant public health guidance. All Sheriff’s Office members, both existing and new, shall be required to be immunized against COVID19.

The Cook County Sheriff Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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