Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers [6 VAC 20 ‑ 60]
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2/17/16  2:48 pm
Commenter: Fauquier County Sheiff's Office

DCJS Communications Curriculum

My comments echo those of the APCO board and the PSAP communities.  The curriculum needs to be consistent across the Commonwealth and it needs to be reviewed annually as emerging technologies are changing the scope of the emergency communications officers.  Academies offer communications basic classes several times a year; however, many times a communications officer has been working behind a radio for up to two years before they have an opportunity to attend an academy.  Some centers are able to provide in house training utilizing training programs such as APCO which offer more in-depth training then currently provided by DCJS.  These in house programs are augmented with agency specific training as well as hands on training of the equipment they will be utilizing.  I support the APCO board’s recommendation to allow these agencies an avenue for training curriculum approval and DCJS credit. 

In service and continuing education is another area lacking for communications officers.  Again, technology, social and political changes, and other job requirements are ever changing and communications officers should be required to receive a certain number of continuing education credits per year.  The continuing education courses at many academies are limited to general instructor.  DCJS requirements would encourage the academies to provide the training.  In this area, smaller agencies are reluctant to send staff to training focusing on the overtime for back filling seats.  DCJS could also consider other training avenues as in service credits.  DCJS requirements would encourage agencies reluctant to offer such training to communications officers.  It is important that communications officers stay abreast of current technologies and issues.

CommentID: 49631