Communications Training Leader

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. January 14, 2016
Updated: 10:37 a.m. January 14, 2016

Just five months after assuming the role of acting coordinator in the Communications training & recruitment section, Susan Sharp was promoted to the position of training co-ordinator in November 2014.

A woman smiling standing in front of a white wall that has some text on it
Susan Sharp was recognized as Trainer of the Year by the Association of Public Safety in 2015.

With several retirements at around the same time that required a staffing reshuffle, Sharp also continued with her recruitment duties, while assuming the coordinator’s role, interviewing and training new lateral staff and keeping training schedules intact.

Her hard work and commitment didn’t go unnoticed.

Sharp was recognized as Trainer of the Year by the Association of Public Safety Officials (APCO) Canada.

“Sometimes, our people are under-appreciated and I felt that Susan deserved to be recognized publicly,” said Tracy Finn, the 9-1-1 voice service emergency co-ordinator who nominated Sharp. “I have known her for 23 years and she’s hard working, very passionate, dedicated and caring.”

In accepting the award, Sharp said she stands on the shoulders of her team members.
“Although I was nominated as an individual, I represent the unit,” she noted. “Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position to receive this accolade.”

Two woman shaking hands, behind them is a sign that reads "communications"
Susan Sharp with Tracy Finn who nominated her for the Award.

Sharp joined the Service 27 years ago.

“This was my first full-time job and I have enjoyed every moment,” she noted. “We are the first point of contact with citizens at their lowest point.”

Sharp said the role of operators has changed drastically in the last three decades.

“When I joined, we did two weeks each of call training and dispatch-taking training and there was no on-desk training evaluation,” she said, noting the number of calls has risen significantly. “Now the training for dispatch training and call taking is 16 weeks in total, with an additional 15 weeks for in class and on desk training," said Sharp.  There are also mentors that sit with new recruits and evaluate them as they go along, she added.

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