Thursday, September 1, 2016

CCSO Communications Center Earns First CALEA Accreditation

The CCSO Communications Bureau has earned its first accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Pictured from left, CALEA Executive Director Craig Hartley, Communications Bureau Manager Nicholas McFadden, Communications Bureau Director Chris Gonzalez, Sgt. Nicole Minick, Communications Bureau Technical Manager Bob Finney III, Communications Bureau Supervisor Melanie McFadden, and CALEA Commissioner Richard Myers.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office Communications Bureau has been awarded its first Public Safety Communications Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA).

In order to achieve accreditation _ a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence, the CCSO Communications Bureau was required to demonstrate full compliance with 212 state-of-the-art performance standards. Compliance with the performance standards was verified through a file review and on-site assessment by a CALEA-certified public safety practitioner in April. The public was invited to offer comments in writing or by telephone about CCSO’s ability to meet the standards.

Communications Director Chris Gonzalez noted that while the Communications Bureau was preparing for the accreditation process, telecommunicators were simultaneously transitioning to a new computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. The Bureau also had recently completed the conversion to a new 911 system.

“This required a significant amount of training and patience,” Director Gonzalez said. “This is an incredible feat and a true testament to the dedication and professionalism of the hardworking men and women of the Communications Bureau.”

The CALEA accreditation performance standards focused on four areas of responsibility: policy and procedures; administration; operations; and support services.
CALEA accreditation requires a communications enter to develop a comprehensive and well thought out uniform set of written directives. It also requires a preparedness program be put in place, so a communications center is ready to address natural or manmade unusual occurrences.

Accreditation is for three years, during which the Sheriff’s Office must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with those standards under which it was reaccredited.

Since the first CALEA Communications Accreditation Award was granted in 1999, the program has become the primary method for a communications agency to voluntarily demonstrate its commitment to excellence.

The Public Safety Communications Accreditation is one of five accreditations currently held by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The CCSO also is accredited by:

* Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) – Law Enforcement

* Commission on Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation

* Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission

* National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch