Longview public safety organizations are hoping to fill open positions through a hiring event Thursday at the Longview Convention Complex.

The event will be hosted by the Longview Public Safety Communications Division, Longview Police Department and Longview Fire Department. Dispatchers are needed, according to representatives.

Longview police spokesman Brandon Thornton said the city is looking to fill 11 dispatcher positions.

“Our 911 dispatch operators are often the first point of communication between residents and Longview public safety operations,” Public Safety Communications Manager Matt Ainsworth said in a statement. “Dispatchers provide coordination and support for police, fire, and EMS operations. Applicants don’t need prior 911 dispatch experience to apply, and if hired, they will receive paid, on-the-job training.”

Thornton said the police department is allotted 175 sworn officers and currently employs 160.

“All agencies in our area and across Texas are struggling to find qualified candidates for the job,” Thornton said. “These are stressful jobs and require an extensive background check along with working shift work.”

In addition to officers and dispatchers, departments also employ administrative assistants, records and evidence technicians as well as crime analyst personnel.

Longview Fire Marshal Kevin May said the department has two openings for firefighter/paramedic.

“Public Safety departments across the state are struggling to hire and retain employees,” May said.

May said the department’s specialty teams offer unique opportunities.

“We have different teams like the high-angle rope rescue team, Hazardous Material Response team, Water Rescue team and the Wildland Firefighter team are just a few,” May said.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Longview Convention Complex, 100 Grand Blvd.

Attendees will be able to meet with recruiters, receive information about the hiring process and about the available job positions.

Thornton said there will be computers available for applicants to apply for the jobs. Representatives from the departments and human resources will conduct preliminary interviews with applicants.

Current City of Longview job opportunities can be found at LongviewTexas.gov/Jobs.

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Courtney Stern is a public safety reporter covering a wide range of topics. She grew up in Baltimore and later earned a journalism degree from the University of Miami. Stern moved to East Texas from Iowa with her husband and two dogs, Pebbles and Bam Bam.