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Publication Communications Center Staff - A Review of Current Training and Employment Practices, With Recommendation for Improvement

W.W. Beaman, T.I. Dayharsh

September 1, 1980    NCJ 86956

The study involved identifying the functions performed by communications staff members and the training requirements indicated by those functions. Screening processes, functional job specifications, and training approaches used by representative agencies were documented and examined. Present training approaches were found to use on-the-job methods with trainee and instructor on the agency payroll. A high percentage of trainees do not become successful staff members, becoming lost investments to the agency. The on-the-job training methods involve using trainees to handle emergency communications for the public, although under close supervision. To train emergency communications center staff members at greatly reduced cost, establishment of a formal educational course is recommended. This report outlines a general training course, to be made available through trade schools or colleges. The proposed course would train personnel at their own expense in all typical functions of communications centers. An alternative volunteer arrangement also is discussed and recommended for development in rural areas which could not justify a more formal training course. Charts and a 10-item bibliography are provided. (Author abstract modified)

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