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Telecommunications Centre

The Saanich Police Telecommunications Centre operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  The centre is a critical component of the Saanich Police, responsible for fielding questions and complaints, and deploying police resources to emergency (9-1-1) and non-emergency calls for service.  The telecommunications centre is responsible for answering all 9-1-1 emergency calls for service for police, fire, and ambulance within Saanich and Oak Bay.

Emergency calls requiring fire or ambulance are immediately routed to those emergency services dispatch centres while 9-1-1 calls requiring police resources are processed by telecommunications centre staff directly.

Because of the diverse nature of the job, which includes managing highly charged emergency life and death situations, telecommunications centre personnel must be extremely well trained, highly competent, and capable of handling a stressful work environment and shift work.

Telecommunications Centre personnel perform two major but distinct job functions, including radio dispatching and call taking.  Dispatchers are primarily responsible for sending officers on emergency and non-emergency calls for service, assisting with scene coordination and containment, and ensuring the safe, efficient, and effective deployment of resources.  Call takers are primarily responsible for answering emergency (9-1-1) and non-emergency calls for service, prioritizing those calls, generating files on PRIME, and responding to enquiries from the general public.  Although each position has distinct responsibilities, both require a specific skill set and each job is equally important to the efficient and effective operation of the telecommunications centre and the police department.

As a result, prospective telecommunications centre employees require specific training prior to operational deployment.  Independence of judgment and action is exercised in screening calls, obtaining all pertinent details, and communicating with speed and accuracy those incidents requiring attendance of a police unit and advising the public and others of actions to be taken. An employee of this class works with little direct supervision, but supervisors are available to handle questions of a more complex or unusual nature. Work is monitored to ensure prompt and efficient handling of calls and accurate completion of forms and reports. This work is evaluated by a supervisor in terms of services rendered and for the exercise of sound judgment.


  • Dispatcher:  Assigns complaints; ensures all necessary procedures are set in place to assure safety of officers; maintains status of all police vehicles, monitors progress through computer systems and provides information to support agencies as required. Assists police members in the field by accessing computer data bases in response to their requests and keeps them informed of new developments. In emergency situations assists in coordinating and controls the movement of emergency vehicles to ensure optimum operating effectiveness. Records all communications by tape and electronically; enters complaints on computer systems; assists in preparation of reports; enters and collates operational statistics. Performs various administrative duties; receives routine telephone calls, takes messages and routes these to the appropriate personnel.
  • Call Taker: Deals with clients by telephone, determines nature of the call and the urgency of the response required; maintains contact with the client and obtains critical information during emergency incidents; determines type of emergency, confirms location of emergency and connects caller to appropriate agency, monitoring call to ensure proper connection. Screens subsequent 9-1-1 calls to avoid duplication of response. Conducts follow-up procedures on abandoned 9-1-1 calls to verify if an emergency exists and initiates appropriate action.


  • Thorough knowledge of current police communications practices, policies and procedures.
  • A working knowledge of the geographical and current operational conditions, and familiarity with agencies and resources, of the Capital Regional District.
  • Basic knowledge of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Motor Vehicle Act, Saanich and Oak Bay Municipal Bylaws, and Provincial and Federal Statutes.
  • General knowledge of the Saanich Police and Oak Bay Police policies and procedures, codes, and various information retention systems.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and concise fashion, including effective listening and questioning skills, and effective control of conversation.
  • Ability to use sound judgment and make effective decisions.
  • Ability to detect and to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant and distracting sounds, messages received over police radio, telephone and in person; accurately relaying pertinent information to the appropriate resource.
  • Ability to shift back and forth efficiently between two or more activities or sources of information (multitask).
  • Ability to cope with a large volume of enquiries and to exercise sound judgment in making quick and accurate decisions (prioritize).Ability to process information quickly.
  • Ability to learn the administrative and operational policies and techniques of the Saanich Police; abide by rules and regulations.
  • Ability to operate a wide variety of communications equipment ranging from multi-channel radio systems with repeaters, CPIC/PIRS on-line terminals, PRIME (CAD, RMS, DRE), and networked computer terminals; with speed and accuracy.
  • Ability to engage in activities and behaviours that promote officer and public safety.


  • Completion of grade 12 supplemented by courses in a related field, or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
  • Computer training and Windows environment experience is essential.
  • Fast and accurate typing skills (min. typing speed of 40 words per minute).
  • A recognized public safety communications course would be an asset.
  • Take and adhere to Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office as provided in the Police Act of B.C.
  • Acceptable under the requirements for appointment to Special Constable.
  • Clean criminal record check.


  • Support and uphold the established policies and objectives of the Saanich Police and Oak Bay Police.
  • Will not release or discuss non-routine municipal or departmental business without prior authorization.
  • Adherence to policies, standard operating procedures, and departmental rules and regulations of the Saanich Police and Oak Bay.
  • Maintain the performance levels set by the Administration Division in the execution of all duties and responsibilities.
  • Maintain a cooperative working relationship with employees, management, Council and the public.
  • Maintain regular communication with the supervisors, keeping them fullyinformed of all non-routine, urgent and/or controversial matters.
  • Shall not receive or solicit a subscription, gratuity, or fee for or in conjunction with any service or presumed service performed by him/her as an employee.
  • Must be respectful toward others and be a team player.

If you have excellent typing and computer skills, can multi task, stay calm under pressure and communicate effectively, you may be a good candidate for our Telecoms Section.

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