The Communications Unit is the largest Civilian unit within the Niagara Regional Police Service.  The Communications Unit operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When a citizen calls 911 or the police administrative phone numbers in Niagara, the first person they speak to is a Communicator.  Our role as Communicators is two-fold:

  • We serve the public by answering emergency and non-emergency calls
  • We also provide the Police Service with a centralized control of personnel and facilitate field operations through the rapid dissemination of critical information by radio and telephone.

“Niagara Emergency, do you require Police, Fire or Ambulance?”

Niagara Regional Police Service is the Primary Public Safety Answering Point (PPSAP) for the Region of Niagara. As previously mentioned, the Communications Unit is responsible for the initial answering of all 911 emergency calls.

In 2021, NRPS Communications Unit answered a total of 194,825 9-1-1 calls, and of that, 120,614 calls were for police assistance.

Communicator at their station

The Communications Unit also receives and processes all non-emergency calls for service received from the public, as well as monitoring patrol units using voice and data transmissions. Police respond to an average of 150,000 calls for service per year.

What is an Emergency?

An emergency is any situation where the safety of a person or property is at risk. An emergency could be a fire, a medical situation, or a crime in progress, or an unknown situation when someone asks you to call 9 1 1 for them.

Examples of non-emergency type calls would be belated accidents, parking complaints, found property or any other information about general policing.

Help Us Help You

In the event of an emergency, try to remain calm. Dial 9-1-1 and be prepared to answer a few questions. At very least, provide your location. This is especially important when you are calling from a cellular phone or VoIP phones. You will also be asked to confirm your telephone number and what the situation is. You may be given instructions or asked to stay on the line to provide further details to the call-taker. Because of the different positions in the Communications Unit, a call-taker can stay on the line with the caller, while another person is able to send assistance and handle the dispatch requirements.

For more information on 9-1-1 and other Emergency and non-emergency numbers see our When to Call 911 page.

Join Our Team

We are always looking for qualified candidates. Please visit our Communications Unit Opportunities page to learn more. 

Temporary Communicator FAQ


One of the most frequent questions asked about the role is what exactly does temporary mean?

  • Temporary Communicators provide support to the Communications Unit by filling in for full-time Communicators during periods of temporary absence (i.e., vacation, illness, etc.).
  • Whereas full-time Communicators are assigned to a Platoon and work a 4 day x 12 hour shift work schedule, Temporary Communicators are assigned shifts and hours as needed to cover Unit vacancies.  

Is this a contract position? For example, renewed every 6 months?

  • No, this is not a contract position.  As long as you are meeting training benchmarks, Service expectations, remain available, and perform well, in the role, you will continue to receive hours.

How many hours will you receive as a Temporary Communicator?

  • The Service puts a great deal of resources into Communications trainees – approximately 3 months of training initially (one month in class and 2 months live training on the floor) followed by another 3-4 months of dispatch training after at least 6 months of call taking. 
  • After making a significant training investment, the goal is to ensure that your skill set is maintained, by providing you with sufficient hours to ensure you do that.
  • Although hours are not guaranteed, most Temporary Communicators work at least 24 hours per week and increase to 44 hours per week during peak vacation times (May – September and December).

Is there ever any chance to work overtime?

  • There are at times opportunities for overtime – particularly in the summer months.

 How long does it take to attain a full-time position?

  • Temporary Communicators are eligible to apply for any posted full-time civilian position from their first day of employment with the Service.
  • Attaining full-time employment varies as it is subject to vacancies within the Unit/Service and   ensuring that NRPS internal job posting policies and procedures are followed.