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Washtenaw Metro Dispatch Training Program

The Washtenaw Metro Dispatch Training Program was completely restructured in early 2012 in order to accommodate the ever-changing needs of our Dispatch Center along with catering to the different adult learning styles of our recruit operators. Each year since 2012, we have continually updated our training model as our Dispatch Center continues to grow and as we implement the latest technologies in our effort to provide world-class customer service to the citizens and the multiple agencies that we loyally serve.

We take pride in maintaining recruit success by starting at a very basic level and gradually building their knowledge base in each step of the training program to ensure a solid educational foundation. The Washtenaw Metro Dispatch Training Program begins with classroom lecture combined with critical thinking exercises that can be taught in a group or individual setting instructed by either one of our Dispatch Operations Coordinators or a veteran operator Communications Training Officer (CTO). The classroom based lesson plans include: Introduction to the Training Program, Introduction to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), Station 1 Tour, Professional Standards, Introduction to Courts, Classroom Geography, Geography Ride-Along,  An Overview of Public Safety, Telecommunicator Roles and Responsibilities, Stress Management, Public Safety Technologies, Interpersonal Communications, Call Classification, Legal Aspects of Dispatch, Telephone Techniques, Radio Communications, Scheduling, Call Intake Protocol, Contractual Service Nuances, Call Taking Scenarios, Basic LEIN and Certification, Advanced LEIN, and Radio Dispatch Operations.

Once all lesson plans that apply to the specific roles of either Part-Time Call Taker or Communications Operator have been completed, the recruit will then be assigned to a CTO and begin On-The-Job (OJT) training consisting of the Phones position for the Part-Time Call Takers; and Phones, LEIN, and Radio positions for Communications Operators. When a recruit operator is training with a CTO, a daily debriefing session will be conducted in a secure environment where the CTO and recruit operator will discuss key topics learned throughout the shift, training goals, and any topics of concern. The CTO will also complete a Weekly Observation Report (WOR) detailing the recruit operator’s performance and documentation of the training that has occurred. These reports will then be forwarded to the Dispatch Operations Coordinator in charge of the training program for review.

The OJT at each position starts with heavy CTO instruction and demonstration. As the recruit operator builds independence from the CTO by increasingly handling more tasks on an individual level the CTO will then recommend a transition into Evaluation Phase. In this phase, the recruit operator will be assigned one work week to demonstrate proficiency in the position. The CTO will then transition from being an instructor to an evaluator to ensure the recruit operator is performing all tasks according to policy and procedure. Upon successful completion of Evaluation Phase, the recruit operator will then be assigned to that specific position for 30 days before beginning training on the next position (if applicable).

Our training program was designed with no specific time frame as we understand that our recruits will have varying levels of experience and skills. In order for the recruit operator to continue through the training program they will simply need to demonstrate consistent and continued improvement.

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