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Brian Cain

Brian Cain

Brian Cain is a sergeant with the Holly Springs (Ga.) Police Department, and is known as the "Millennial cop" on Twitter. He has been in law enforcement since 2000. He hosts and produces a podcast for Millennials in law enforcement.

Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Michael Bostic

Michael Bostic

Mike Bostic, of Raytheon Corp.'s Civil Communication Solutions group, specializes in open architecture, systems integration of communications and data programs. Mike spent 34 years with the LAPD. He managed IT and facility development, as well as the SWAT Board of Inquiry, which developed new command-and-control systems.

A Case for Communications Training

Before you write it off as a waste of time, consider the importance of communication during tactical operations and large-scale incidents.

August 27, 2010  |  by Robert Sisley - Also by this author

Most law enforcement agencies require annual training in firearms, defensive tactics, CPR and first aid, as well as updates in criminal law and procedure.

Should regular training be required on communications equipment and the procedures for using it? Here are a few topics that could be covered in such training:

  1. An examination of the radio equipment to ensure that components such as the antenna, batteries and shoulder microphones are in working order. Are you using accessories that aren't approved and might negatively affect your radio transmissions/reception?
  2. Which software and programming updates are needed to keep the radio equipment current?
  3. A review of communication nomenclature. Most officers only use a few channels on their radios. Do you know what the others are for? Do you know where the local and national mutual-aid channels are located on your radio? A simple overview of the channels would resolve these questions.
  4. A review of communications procedures. You suddenly find yourself outside of your agency's radio footprint. Do you know how to request a mutual aid channel from the jurisdiction you're in? The radio system takes a direct hit from a lighting strike. Do you know what to do in a communications-related outage?

Many officers would argue that annual training addressing these areas would be a waste of time, but how much do you remember from your initial training? Did you even receive formal training in the use of your communications equipment?

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

gblackburn @ 9/1/2010 12:38 PM

As a former radio tech and trainer in radio proceedures I have noticed a significant lack of knowledge regarding use of our service's radio system. Initial training is just adequate and familiarity with most of the features of our system are never taught, just picked up along the way if you are lucky enough to have a FTO or partner that knows.
I am also ex-military (British) and have noticed a terrible lack of radio-discipline within the law enforcement community. I agree that on-going training should be done and, a quick reminder that the media has scannes and can hear every word you say would be a step in the right direction.

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