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CALEA

COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES COMMUNICATION STANDARDS

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations.

The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.

The CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program provides a communications center, or the communications unit of a public safety agency, with a process to systemically review and internally assess their operations and procedures. Since the first CALEA Communication Accreditation Award was granted in 1999, the program has become the primary method for a communications agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence. The standards upon which the Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program is based reflect the current thinking and experience of public safety communications executives and accreditation experts. APCO International (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International, Inc.), the leading communications membership association, was a partner in the development of CALEA’s Standards for Public Safety Communications Agencies© and its Accreditation Program. This relationship continues today as APCO recognizes the achievements of CALEA Accredited Public Safety Communications agencies and supports accreditation.

  • CALEA Accreditation requires the communications center or unit to develop a comprehensive, well thought out uniform set of written directives. This is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.

  • CALEA Accreditation standards provide the necessary reports and analyses a CEO needs to make fact-based, informed management decisions.

  • CALEA Accreditation requires a preparedness program be put in place – so a communications center is ready to address natural or man-made unusual occurrences.

  • CALEA Accreditation is a means for developing or improving upon a communications center’s relationship with the community or the agencies it services.

  • CALEA Accreditation strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibilities.

  • Being CALEA Accredited can limit a communications center’s liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that internationally recognized standards for public safety communications have been met, as verified by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.

  • CALEA Accreditation facilitates an agency’s pursuit of professional excellence.

The City of Arlington Dispatch Services was awarded its initial accreditation in July 2004 from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). There are 218 mandatory and other-than-mandatory standards. Agencies must comply with all mandatory standards and 80% of the other-than-mandatory standards and must reaccredit every three years.

If you would like to find out more on CALEA, visit their website at http://www.calea.org/