Delaware County’s 9-1-1 Center has earned national accreditation, making them one of the few emergency communications centers in the U.S. to achieve this honor.
At the Nov. 15 meeting of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in Covington, Ky., representatives from Delaware County underwent a final round of questioning and later were awarded their official accreditation, completing a nearly two-year process. The Delaware County agency is now one of 112 Public Safety Answering Points — an industry term for emergency communication agencies — out of 6,296 in the U.S. to become a CALEA Accredited Agency. It is the seventh agency out of 320 in the state of Ohio to earn this accreditation, which is a voluntary process.
“I want to thank the dedicated staff of the 9-1-1 Center for everyone’s help,” said Patrick Brandt, Director of the Delaware County Emergency Communications Department. “Without the buy-in from the staff, being successful in a project of this magnitude would have been very hard and much of the credit goes to Matthew Fletcher on our team for overseeing this effort.”
Fletcher, a Public Safety Systems Specialist with Delaware County, served as the accreditation manager for the CALEA project. Brandt also credited the county’s first-responder agencies who helped by validating dispatch and response information. The process also included rigorous onsite reviews.
“During our onsite review,” Brandt explained, “the CALEA review team had the ability to meet with any of our staff. The review team would go into the center at random times and sit with several of the on-duty staff and start asking questions. We had to prove that everyone on our staff was aware of the correct processes and had a working knowledge of the policies.”
Delaware County Commissioner Gary Merrell, who serves on the 9-1-1 Board of Directors for the county, said this was a process worth undergoing.
“This reinforces that the county provides a superior level of 9-1-1 service to the benefit of all Delaware County residents and visitors,” Merrell said. “It also provides us with a mechanism to ensure we continue to meet these high standards.”
In order to maintain accreditation, every agency is subject to an annual review of its policies.
“The process never stops,” Brandt said. “The CALEA review team will review 33 percent of our policies each year and then visit the center once every four years. We will not know which policies will be subject to review until 30 days before the review date. By limiting this information to the agencies, it ensures you will need to keep up with the requirements.”
Earning the initial accreditation cost $13,634.18 over the last two years. The ongoing cost to maintain it will be $3,235 per year.
For more information about the Delaware County 9-1-1 Center, visit their website at: https://emergencycomms.co.delaware.oh.us/.