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 call taker training for a Communications Operator is seventeen weeks. Generally seven weeks are spent in class, then eight weeks one on one with an on-desk trainer and two weeks of solo work while being monitored regularly by a supervisor.
During the seven 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, then, depending on their ability, they 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 eight week 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 begins working on the compressed work week schedule. The next eight weeks are spent with their on-desk trainer. On-desk trainers are experienced communications operators whyo have received the Coaching and Mentoring training and have voluntered for the opportunity to train. They are responsible for the development and application of the skills that have been acquired by the communications operator-in-training in the preceding seven week period. They begin rounding out the student's practical training by helping them with each call and demonstrating 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. In addition to monitoring, the student 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 them to perform solo duties.
Communication operators-in-training will be scheduled into a dispatch training class only after successful completion of call taker training.
Dispatch training is similar to the call taker 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 eight weeks of on-desk training and two weeks of solo desk time monitored regularly by a supervisor.
There are two rotating shift schedules: 12-hour shifts and 8-hour modified shifts. All new members will be placed on platoons based on staffing requirements.