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Preventing the Haunting Silence: Emergency Communications Operator Training Keeps Dispatchers From Freezing up When They're Needed the Most

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 35 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2008 Pages: 20,22,29
Michelle Perin
Date Published
July 2008
9 pages
This article discusses the essentials in emergency communications operator training with the end-result, a well-trained operator/dispatcher.
Good emergency communications operator training results in successful performance in operator service delivery. The most common hurdles to good training are funding and staffing. Emergency communications operator training should consist of three stages: classroom, on-the-job training (OJT), and continuing education. Agencies can do many things to improve training, such as encourage cooperation, seek best practices from professional associations, incorporate a quality assurance program, have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), require consistent and accurate documentation, and recognize and compensate trainers. On the whole, a well-trained operator makes a positive impact on the officers relying on them. Good training is a prerequisite. It is essential to successful performance and to developing the confidence in the field.