Training & Recruiting
The training section of Communications Services is responsible for formal classroom training. The formal training takes place at the Communications Services backup/training site and the Toronto Police College. The duration of formal Calltaker training for a Communications Operator is sixteen weeks. Generally six weeks are spent in class, then five shifts one on one with an on-desk trainer and one shift of solo work while being monitored regularly by a supervisor.
During the six weeks of in-class training, the communications operator in-training receives classroom instruction, practical exercises, guest lectures, and exposure to the operational floor to give the student an opportunity to apply what they have just addressed in a training environment. The on-desk portion of training requires an on-desk trainer at all times. It begins with the communications operator in-training just listening to calls and depending on their ability, may progress to processing the calls.
Written and practical exams are regularly administered. A communications operator in-training must successfully pass all the tests and the final exam before proceeding to the five shift portion of the program known as, "on-desk training".
After successful completion of the classroom training, the communications operator in-training is assigned to a platoon and then begins working on the compressed work week schedule, with their platoon. The next five shifts are spent with their on-desk trainer. on-desk trainers are experienced Communications Operators who volunteer for the opportunity and receive the Coaching and Mentoring training. They are responsible for the development and application of the skills that have been acquired by the communications operator in-training in the preceeding six week period. They begin rounding out the student's practical training by helping them with every call. The student demonstrates how their newfound knowledge is applied in real life situations. The on-desk trainer will begin to sit back to allow the student the opportunity to build up their experience and confidence on their own. The communications operator in-training is evaluated each shift by the on-desk trainer. They are encouraged to overcome their weak areas so they become competent and successful, which will allow the student to perform solo duties.
Communications operators in-training will be scheduled into a Dispatch training class only after successful completion of Calltaker training.
Dispatch training is similar to the Calltaker training program in that the initial five weeks consists of formal classroom instruction. This is followed by a return to their platoon to begin the five shifts of on-desk training and one shift of solo desk time monitored regularly by a supervisor.