Basic CommunicationNew communications officers of local governmental agencies – who receive, process, and transmit public safety information to dispatch law enforcement, firefighters, medical, or emergency management personnel – are mandated by Georgia law to successfully complete a 40-hour training program within the first 6 months of employment (both part-time and full-time) to obtain a certification as a Communications Officers through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). GPSTC’s Basic Communications Officer Training program satisfies this requirement and is designed especially for newly hired Communications Officers.

To attend the course, you must be currently employed by a local governmental agency and have an approved application for certification on file with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Candidates who are currently employed by a public safety agency should immediately begin to complete a POST application. This can be done online at any time. After the POST application is complete, the agency’s training officer should enroll the student in the Basic Communications Officer Training program. The POST application does not have to be approved before enrolling the Communications Officer in the course. However, students will not be accepted into the program unless POST has approved the application at least 30 days before the course. Since the course must be completed within the candidates first six months of employment, admission priority is given to employees of local governmental agencies who are still within the six-month deadline.

Training Program Highlights

Length of Program: 40 Hours (1 week)

Tuition: FREE for new Public Safety Communications Officers/Telecommunicators employed by a local governmental agency in Georgia; $600 for those who have been employed longer than six months

Special considerations:  This is a high demand course that always has a waiting list. Registration for each course opens up to 90 days prior to the start date. Once a student has been registered for a class, they will automatically be placed on the “waiting list,” and will continue to show a “waiting list” status until student selection is conducted by the course coordinator. Student selection for each course offering is completed six (6) weeks prior to the start date of the class.

Dates Offered: View dates the program is offered

Locations offered: GPSTC Forsyth 


GPSTC’s Basic Communications Officer Training program consists of 40 course hours and takes one week to complete. Some outside independent study is required.

Basic Communications Officer Topics Course Hours
Registration and Pre-testing 1
Role of the Communications Officer 1
Communications Officer Liability 2
Telephone Techniques 4
Communications Impaired Callers 4
Crisis Intervention 4
Radio Broadcast Techniques 4
Law Enforcement Dispatch 4
Fire and Hazardous Materials Dispatch 3
Medical Dispatch 2
Terrorism and WMD 3
Emergency Management Independent Study
Stress Management Independent Study
Cognitive and Performance Testing 8


Tuition and Fees: Tuition and lodging are free for Basic Communications Officer applicants who have been employed for six months or less. Applicants who have been employed more than six months must pay $600 tuition. Tuition is due no later than the first day of class and may be paid by check, invoice, or credit card. Contact Registration at 479-993-4430 to pay by credit card or invoice.

Course Materials: During class, students should be prepared to take notes. Therefore, students should report with a pen or pencil and paper. It is extremely beneficial if the agency provides each student with a color copy of the maps utilized in class. About two (2) weeks prior to the course, it is also beneficial for the student to receive the Basic Communications Officer Reference Text and welcome letter to have ample time to complete four (4) independent study assignments prior to the first day of class. All other materials will be provided in class. If students would like to purchase a personal copy of the Communications Officer Reference Text used in class, they should contact the Course Coordinator.

Course Hours: The course lasts from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on the dates scheduled. Students should not expect to be released from class before 5:00PM on Friday. Due to testing, it is possible that class will extend beyond normal business hours on Friday. Please make any necessary arrangements to accommodate the course schedule.

Lodging: Students who are attending basic certification are not charged for standard, double occupancy barrack rooms. Basic students must lodge in a double occupancy capacity, and do not have the option for private or premium rooms.

Dress Code: Professional dress is expected of students at all times. If the agency requires uniforms, students should wear this uniform throughout the course.
Prohibitions include:

• Facial piercings
• Unnatural hair colors
• Open-toed shoes
• Jeans
• Capri pants
• Shorts
• T-shirts
• Hats
• Mini-skirts
• Sweat suits
• Warm-up suits
• Yoga pants
• Leggings
• Any clothing that fails to cover undergarments

Students who report to class dressed inappropriately will be asked to change and will be charged with an unexcused absence.


Laloni Smith, Coordinator
[email protected]
(478) 993-4624

Not in Georgia

For resources on becoming a 911 Telecommunicator in other states, please visit the How to Become a 911 Dispatcher national website.