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  7:38 pm
Commenter: Cheryl F. Buchanan, Hanover County Public Safety Communications

Training Standards for Communications Officers

The Compulsory Training Standards for Dispatchers could be improved.   Overall it is not the standard that is problematic but the manner in which the materials are delivered.  There is not one set timeline; if all standards can be completed in an 8 hour period then that is okay; but certainly not effective.  Due to the variation in agencies the standards are a challenge to present DCJS gears the majority of their program to Law Enforcement with a hint of Fire/EMS.  Each training academy sets up their curriculum as they see fit and with that their consumer’s needs will be taken into consideration verses the importance of the materials being provided to each respective student, i.e. a small locality that does not dispatch Fire/EMS does not want their Communications Officer in a classroom for the two extra days that may be dedicated to Fire/EMS education.  Knowledge is power; the more vast the information the more of an educated decision a Communications Officers can make.  Standards to include; training materials, i.e. universal power points, instructor lesson plans, textbooks, and universal audio visual aids would be a tremendous asset to the student and the teacher.  There are many vendors that have put together programs for the front line Telecommunicator; these programs show it can be done.  If DCJS does not wish to endorse one vendor over another then provide all of them upon review of their materials to ensure they meet VAC/DCJS Compulsory Standards.

Training beyond the basic school is also important.  Someone who came into this career field 20 years ago attended a basic school that is nothing like those of today in most cases.  There should be some accountability for maintaining those skills; through in-service requirements.  These requirements can include a basic re-certification or enhanced training such as Haz Mat Awareness or Domestic Violence Training and those are just a few.

It think that VA APCO wants to be an active part of the process as they understand the importance of training and to ensure that we are all receiving the same information is imperative and the only way to do that is through standardized curriculum.




CommentID: 49635