TPS Takes Preventative Measures Against H1N1

Toronto Police Service is making a preemptive strike on the H1N1 virus. Understanding the potential impact of this pandemic event could have at individual, organizational, and municipal levels, all sworn TPS officers and civilian staff have been directed to participate in an online information event for Infectious Disease and Pandemic Preparedness.

"We take the H1N1 threat very seriously," says Inspector Bill Neadles of the Toronto Police Public Safety & Emergency Management. "For the safety of our staff and for the public at large, we are taking all possible measures to prevent and control the spread of this forecasted outbreak."

As the next wave of the H1N1 flu approaches, more than 5,700 TPS officers and 2,000 civilian staff have been recently enrolled in Infectious Disease and Pandemic Preparedness, an online training course offered through CPKN. Each person can access the course through TPS's designated portal on the CPKN Learning Management System and is provided with time during working hours to complete the 30 minute course. Designed to increase awareness about pandemic events and instruct learners on protecting themselves against infectious disease, this course is a mandatory training initiative for all TPS employees.

"In this case, an online approach is the most effective means of communicating essential information in our organization," says Insp. Neadles. "Under tight timelines, it bypasses the expense and scheduling conflicts associated with in-person information sessions, but still allows us to reach every person in every unit throughout the city."

During severe outbreaks, a pandemic event not only puts the health of people at risk, but can also have serious consequences for public services. In the event of widespread infection, there is potential for the disruption in services due to shortages of staff and decreased capacity. As an essential service, it is particularly important that police operations are maintained at optimal levels.

"At this point, information is our best defense," says Insp. Neadles. "While this initiative will not completely shield our organization against the effects of the H1N1 virus, it is expected to significantly reduce its impact on the health of staff and day-to-day services."