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News Room – Inside the Winnipeg Police Service


Communication Centre training recognized once again

Make it two-for-two for the Winnipeg Police Service Communications Division.

For the second time in as many evaluations, the WPS has received Agency Training Program Certification from the Association of Public-Safety Communication Officials (APCO) International. The WPS previously achieved this recognition in their only other evaluation back in 2013.

What this means is when the public calls the WPS 911 line, or the non-emergency line, they are speaking to call takers and dispatchers who have been trained using a program that is certified as meeting APCO American National Standards.

The WPS recently submitted its training curriculum for APCO International's Agency Training Program Certification, and this September were informed that once again they had met all the for APCO certification.

Under the direction of Training Coordinator Leigh Robb, the WPS puts their call takers and dispatchers through a rigorous training program to ensure the public receives the utmost quality when calling for help. This includes five weeks of classroom training and 450 hours of coaching for call takers, and an additional three weeks of classroom time and 150 hours of coaching for dispatchers.

"Effective initial training, as well as meaningful and timely continuing education are paramount for public safety communicators," said APCO International President Martha Carter. "Successfully attaining APCO's Agency Training Program Certification clearly demonstrates an agency's commitment to the citizens and public safety responders they serve."

Winnipeg Police Service Staff Sergeant Phil Trudeau says this recognition is a reflection of the attention to fine detail which goes into the training of all new Communications Centre staff.

“Our training program is the building block that helps us achieve our division’s vision and fulfill our mission,"said Trudeau. "Effective training is paramount in managing complex emergencies efficiently, especially with communication technologies constantly evolving."

The Winnipeg Police Service has also shown they are forward-thinking in striving to achieve APCO certification. Four years ago when they initially earned this recognition, they were one of only 33 policing agencies to achieve this level. Following their recertification this year, the WPS joins a list of certified agencies which has more than doubled to 67.

"Having our training program recognized by APCO provides an independent review and a level of accountability to the citizens of Winnipeg," added Trudeau.  "It shows that that we are committed to excellence.”

APCO International is the world's oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals, and they aim to serve the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide. For more information on this organization and their auditing process, visit their website at www.apcointl.org.

 

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