Presentation on theme: "Texas Commission on Law Enforcement www.tcole.texas.gov 512-936-7700."— Presentation transcript:
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement www.tcole.texas.gov 512-936-7700
This Presentation is designed to help Law Enforcement Agencies to understand the recent changes made to Telecommunicator Licensing. Any agency specific questions should be directed to that agency’s Legal Advisor
Huge changes are now in effect that change the hiring, appointment, and training of Telecommunicators. The changes began in the 82 nd Legislative Session, with HB 3823, and continued with the 83 rd Legislation in HB 1951. To best understand the changes, we will start with HB 3823 and follow with HB 1951
HB 3823 made changes to the eligibility and training requirements for Telecommunicators, but for many agencies, perhaps the most devastating change was to the definition of a Telecommunicator- Chapter 1701.001, Telecommunicator- a person acknowledged by the commission and employed by or serving a law enforcement agency that performs law enforcement services on a 24-hour basis who receives, processes, and transmits public safety information and criminal justice data for the agency by using a base radio station on a public safety frequency regulated by the FCC or by any other method of communication.
In addition, HB 3823 did away with an exemption that allowed agencies with less than 20 employees to be exempt from the requirement of appointing/certifying Telecommunicators
HB 3823 added the following eligibility requirements to appointing a Telecommunicator: The appointee must be at least 18 years of age (217.2a2) The appointee must have a high school diploma or GED (217.2a1)
HB 3823 then added training that must be completed before a Telecommunicator Certification could be awarded. In addition to the existing requirement of Basic Telecommunicator Training (40hrs, Course 1013, 217.2a12), the appointee must now compete Crisis Communication (24hrs, Course 2120, 217.2a12). Note- these requirements are in addition to any requirements DPS may have for operating a TLETS Terminal
HB 1951 furthered the changes started by HB 3823 by elevating Telecommunicator Certification to Telecommunicator Licensing. This means that Telecommunicators must now meet all of the eligibility standards as Peace Officers/Jailers.
Eligibility Standards Age- at least 18 years of age (217.2a2) Education- high school diploma or GED (217.2a1) Citizenship- must be a U.S. Citizen (217.2a14) Criminal History- must not have been convicted of a Class A or higher Misdemeanor, ever, or a Class B Misdemeanor for the last 10 years (217.2a4A/B, 217.2a6A/B) Military- has not been subject to a Dishonorable Discharge or Bad Conduct Discharge (217.2a9)
Eligibility Standards (cont.) Medical- must have been examined and found suitable by a Physician. This may consist of a Drug Screen only. (217.1a11) Psychological- must have been examined and found suitable by a Psychologist/Psychiatrist (217.1a12) Family Violence- no Family Violence convictions (217.2a7) Training Testing- must complete required training and take a State Licensing Exam
HB 1951 also added a continuing education requirement for Telecommunicators. They must complete 20 hours of training each Training Unit (OC 1701.352i)
How did all of this affect persons who may have already been Certified, a Temporary Telecommunicator, or an unappointed Telecommunicator on January 1, 2014?
A person who was already Certified as a Telecommunicator and was appointed to an agency on 01/01/2014 was automatically awarded a Telecommunicator License
A person who had a Temporary Telecommunicator Appointment and was appointed to an agency on 01/01/14, does not need to meet the newest eligibility requirements (Psychological/Medical), but does need to meet all training requirements and must take the State Licensing Exam to be issued a License.
A person who was certified as a Telecommunicator but was not appointed to an agency on 01/01/14, must take the State Licensing Exam and must meet the new eligibility requirements (including Psychological/Medical)
Miscellaneous Before getting a State Licensing Exam endorsement an appointee must complete the TCOLE Rule Overview Course (1305) on the TCOLE website and pass with 100%- don’t panic, the exam is open book and can be taken as many times as is necessary to get the 100% As the Basic Telecommunicator Course is now a Licensing Course, it may only be taught by Academies.
Miscellaneous (cont.) Telecommunicators are now eligible for License Suspension, Revocation, etc, just as with other Licensees It is an offense to fail to appoint a Telecommunicator when required (OC 1701.301), punishable by a fine of up to $1000 per day. There is still a Temporary Certification that allows one year to meet the training- but all hiring standards must be met prior to the Temporary Appointment (217.27a)