Yuma, Arizona - The first set of students to go through the new Arizona Western College Public Safety Dispatcher Academy have already been hired or are in the hiring process for dispatcher jobs, just days after graduation.

The graduation ceremony for the inaugural program was held Saturday, June 9, in the Frances Morris Boardroom on the AWC Yuma Campus with remarks by SLPD Acting Chief of Police Richard Jessup. The Administration of Justice Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from Yuma and La Paz counties, were integral in the development and support of the program.

The Public Safety Dispatcher Academy began in March as a way to introduce students to the skills and knowledge necessary to work in a law enforcement communications center in a productive and professional manner. Graduates earn a basic telecommunicator certification and an emergency medical dispatcher certification to prepare for an entry level public safety dispatcher job. Effective initial training is critical for public safety dispatchers to acquire the abilities needed to provide quality service for the public and the agencies they serve.

“The public safety dispatcher position can be demanding and requires extensive training, including training with multiple forms of technology,” said AWC Professor of Administration of Justice and Homeland Security Bertha Avila.

Students took courses for eight consecutive weekends to earn their certifications.

To learn more about the program, visit www.azwestern.edu/career-and-technical-education/public-safety/basic-public-safety-dispatch or contact AWC Professor of Administration of Justice and Homeland Security Bertha Avila at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (928) 344-7664.