Subsidiary 3 Benchmark
Job Description - 032SH04

Identification Section

Working Title: Communications Officer
Department: Sheriff's Branch
Division, Branch/Unit: Justice and Solicitor General
Reports To: Manager
Levels to D.M.: 5

back to top


(Brief summary of the job, covering the main responsibilities, the framework within which the job has to operate and the main contribution to the organization.)

The Sheriff Branch is responsible for several areas that directly support law enforcement agencies, provincial enforcement agencies, and integrated law enforcement agencies in Alberta and plays a lead role in the Ministry’s commitment to promote safe and secure communities throughout the province. These areas include: traffic safety patrols and enforcement on provincial highways, warrant apprehension services, investigations, surveillance services, providing courthouse and “identified or designated provincial critical infrastructure” facilities security, prisoner management and transport services, and executive and judiciary security services. The Branch also offers security consultation for provincial facilities and maintains a 24-hour security control centre at Government Centre.

The Communications Officer operates a complex 24-hour security control room where the status of alarm systems throughout the province are monitored and coordinates activities of contracted security personnel. The Communication Officer monitors local and off-site security surveillance equipment, advises response agencies and personnel of emergencies, monitors equipment status, organizes remedial actions, and maintains records and incident reports. The position is also responsible for radio dispatch functions, including monitoring and responding to all radio activity, documenting locations and activities of Sheriffs, broadcasting special events and notifications, researching and delivering information, and linking communications for all Sheriffs. The position also responds to alarms at Government Centre or other sites (i.e. the Edmonton Law Courts and the Lieutenant Governor’s residence) and takes action as necessary.

Reporting to a Sergeant, this position works within applicable legislation, policies & procedures, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and all provincial and federal statutes. The position exercises its authority as a Sheriff with Peace Officer status under the Alberta Peace Officer Act.

back to top

Responsibilities and Activities

(Purpose of the job can be broken down in different responsibilities and end results.  Each end result shows what the job is accountable for, within what framework, and what the added value is.)

1. The safety and security of designated Government buildings and facilities throughout the province are maintained.


  • Responds to local and off-site alarms for buildings throughout the province (i.e. Government Centre, Edmonton Law Courts, Lieutenant Governor’s residence) and individual panic alarms, dispatching emergency, client, and security personnel as required and maintaining related records and incident reports.
  • Maintains the safety and security of Government facilities by operating a 24-hour security control room and responding to alarms by dispatching and coordinating the activities of security personnel.
  • Ensures the effective operation of the Security Control Centre by monitoring complex security surveillance equipment and identifying and resolving problems with equipment as required.
  • Ensures adequate levels of safety and security through the use of contracted security personnel, providing compliance audit function with respect to the day-to-day operations of contracted security personnel.
  • Maintains working knowledge of geographic layout of designated Government buildings and courthouses to efficiently and effectively respond to all alarms (panic and/or fire).
  • Assists employees of and visitors to Government Centre and other designated Government buildings by giving directions and information, liaising with clients, assisting with security and safety matters, and acting on complaints of criminal acts and parking violations; acts as Ambassador for Government Centre.
  • Assists with security at special events by coordinating traffic and providing crowd and parking control.
  • Provides a 24 hour contact service for Government members (MLAs) requiring assistance.
2. The safety and security of Sheriffs across the province are maintained.


  • Monitors and responds to radio activity, performs status checks, monitors global positioning system (GPS) locations, and documents all locations and activities of Sheriffs to ensure the safety of officers.
  • Patches radio channels to ensure effective communication of all Sheriffs across the province.
  • Coordinates a regular and on-going link to emergency and non-emergency organizations to assist Sheriffs in responding to situations across the province.
  • Researches and provides relevant information, such as background checks, to assist Sheriffs in taking appropriate action.
  • Broadcasts special events and other notifications to ensure consistent and up-to-date information is provided to Sheriffs across the province.
  • Liaises with other law enforcement, public safety and correctional agencies to research, retrieve, and exchange information and ensures the information is shared with Sheriffs.
3. Interviews, reports, and legal documents are completed in accordance with established policies and standards.


  • Completes reports and legal documents in preparation for prosecution.
  • Conducts interviews and takes statements from Sheriffs, complainants, witnesses, suspects, etc.

back to top


(Illustrates what internal or external areas the job impacts, and the diversity, complexity, and creativity of the job.)

The Communications Officer is relied on to represent the Branch, Ministry, and Government in a highly professional manner when interacting with Government employees, elected officials, the judiciary, visitors to Government buildings and facilities, and the public.

This position is responsible for operating a security control room with a province-wide alarm reporting system ranging from Government buildings, individual panic alarms, and the private homes of government officials with recognized threats against them. The position monitors local security equipment and dispatches security personnel in the event of an alarm or situation at Government Centre and coordinates contracted security personnel to ensure adequate security levels of security and safety.

The position also performs a radio dispatch function that includes monitoring and responding to all radio activity, documenting locations and activities of all Sheriffs, broadcasting special events and notifications, researching and delivering information to Sheriffs. The position coordinates ongoing communication and is the communication link for all Sheriffs across the province.

The impacts of action or inaction by the position are significant and can result in physical injury or danger to Sheriffs in the field and other individuals within designated Government buildings and facilities, including Government Centre, Edmonton Law Courts, and the Lieutenant Governor’s residence. Other consequences of action or inaction by this position can include political embarrassment, financial loss, property damage, civil lawsuits, grievous bodily harm, or death.

back to top

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

(Most important knowledge factors, skills and abilities including knowledge about practical procedures, specialized techniques, etc.; analytical and conceptual skills and abilities; and skills needed for direct interaction with others not only diplomas and degrees. Specific training if it is an occupational certification/registration required for the job.)

Post secondary certificate in law enforcement, police science or social sciences is required along with one year of related experience. The position must successfully complete a two-week training program at the Solicitor General and Public Security Staff College. In addition, the position is required to complete a one week on-site orientation; training in the identification of prohibited and restricted weapons and items; and specialized training relating to the area of assignment (i.e. operation of security surveillance equipment).

The position must be competent in all aspects of the duties of a Sheriff with Peace Officer authority, including the use and application of the Alberta Peace Officer Act, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other provincial and federal statutes. In addition to well developed and demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills, the position develops recommendations for management with respect to resolving technical problems, upgrading equipment, and other operational issues.

The position also requires working knowledge of:

  • applicable Ministry policies, Branch policies and procedures, and legislation and regulations (i.e. Public Works, Supply and Services Act; Crown Property Regulations; Petty Trespass Act; Trespass to Premises Act; Motor Vehicle Act; Edmonton Parking Bylaw; and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • cultural diversity and the Positive Workplace program.

The position also requires:

  • extensive knowledge and expertise in the operation of security systems, including control computers, closed circuit television, electronic security, and radio communication systems. A complex computer-based electronic security monitoring and access control system is used with a sophisticated province-wide alarm reporting system, fire alarm reporting system, premise access door control system with over 4000 active card holders, and closed circuit television system including videotape recording equipment. As a greater percentage of alarms monitored are off-site, this position must be able to assess a situation through analyzing the computer monitoring system. Alarms are monitored on a 24-hours a day, 365-days a year basis; therefore, this position must be able to work with little or no direct supervision and is expected to act on own initiative within Ministry guidelines and contracts;
  • ability to monitor the performance of and direct contracted personnel;
  • knowledge of the contracts between the Government of Alberta and the private sector security companies.

The position must qualify and maintain:

  • a minimum Emergency Level First Aid and Level A CPR.

Key tools provided to the position include:

  • Peace Officer designation pursuant to the Alberta Peace Officer Act.

The position must maintain a degree of physical fitness and demonstrate basic computer skills.
A valid Alberta Class V or better operator’s license is required.

back to top


(Main contacts of this position and the purpose of those contacts.)

Main contacts for the position include:

  • employees of Government ministries, Ministers, other Government officials, and representatives of constituency offices;
  • Provincial Sheriffs;
  • contracted security personnel;
  • representatives of law enforcement agencies and first responders;
  • representatives of Sergeant at Arms’ office and Legislature Security;
  • representatives of ADT and various alarm companies;
  • general public.

The purpose of these contacts is to coordinate activities, exchange information; assess risks and/or threats; resolve conflicts or problems; and discuss issues.

back to top


(Working titles of positions reporting directly to this position.)

Position has no formal supervisory responsibility, but does monitor the performance of contracted security personnel and provide functional audits to ensure service delivery in accordance with the contract.

back to top

Organization Chart

back to top

Last Review / Update: 2016-03-11

Text only Text Only