Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Criminal Justice Services Board
Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers [6 VAC 20 ‑ 60]
Action Comprehensive Review of Dispatch Regulations
Comment Period Ends 7/27/2016
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7/27/16  1:32 pm
Commenter: Nicola Tidey- President VA APCO

Comments on CEU's DCJS Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers


Virginia APCO is advocating for required training hours that are both reasonable in number and achievable by small and large agencies and departments alike. In-service training should be offered and allowed by sanctioned satellite DCJS Academies, as well as available online, thus meeting the professional need while limiting travel and cost, though some justified cost is always part of a new undertaking.


Virginia APCO is advocating that Public Safety Communications Officers receive no less than 16 hours of Continuing Education Hours (In-service) in a 24 month period.  At least 2 hours should be specific to legal training and 2 hours should focus on cultural diversity. 


The knowledge of this industry is ever-changing to keep up with technology and community requirements. The applications used and protocols applied as a result are constantly challenging the professional to keep up to support the public safety response.


New and current technologies are changing the face of public safety communications and will challenge telecommunicators to think and operate in new and complex ways to synthesize and manage multiple streams of incoming and outgoing information.


Whether a new dispatcher or a seasoned professional, complacency can create the worst outcomes. Refreshing the basics is as critical in this profession as any other within public safety. 


Complacency has proven to have devastating consequences, many of which make the front page of the national news.


In-service/ongoing training can be completed in-house, thereby minimizing the cost to the agency. Reduced travel keeps telecommunicators in their home agencies and ready to work.


The APCO ANSI standard requires continuing education, most of which is not cost prohibitive (e.g. read professional publications, utilize developed review articles with associated quizzes, reviewing in-house policies, procedures, and protocols, etc.)