The accreditation program for public safety communications agencies is a joint effort of CALEA and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO).
The City of Reno’s Emergency Communications Center (ECOMM) has been busy preparing for the final stages of the process of achieving re-accreditation that begins Saturday with the arrival of a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
The CALEA team will be on-site beginning Saturday, November 17 through Tuesday to conduct a review of Reno ECOMM’s policy and procedures, management, operations and support services. The center, which provides emergency communications and dispatch services for local law enforcement and fire-rescue services, has been voluntarily involved in an accreditation program through CALEA since 2004, and became the first agency in Nevada to receive the CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation which occurred in November 2006.
As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments to the assessment team by telephone between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, November 19 by calling (775) 348-3906. Telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the Emergency Communications Center’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards. A copy of the standards is available for review at the Emergency Communications Center at 5195 Spectrum Blvd., or by contacting Accreditation Manager Dena Avansino at (775) 334-2370.
The Commission began as a fire service based organization that expanded to CALEA, which was created in 1979 through the efforts of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black law Enforcement Officials, the National Sheriffs’ Association. The organization has established 218 professional communications standards to achieve accreditation.
In addition to meeting the 212 CALEA standards required for accreditation, the re-accreditation process undertaken by Reno ECOMM staff will ensure that it has been operating with the most current policies and practices used in public safety dispatching for the past three (3) years, since first achieving their initial accreditation.
A mock assessment was held in April to prepare the communications center for Saturday’s on-site CALEA review. During the mock assessment, personnel from other accredited agencies were on hand to preview the Reno center’s completed standards and assure they are in compliance with the CALEA standards.
In addition to serving the Reno Fire Department and Reno Police Department, and serving as a 9-1-1 emergency call center, the Regional Emergency Communications Center is also responsible for communications for emergency response for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office North Command, University of Nevada Reno Police Department, Truckee Meadows Community College Police Department, and the Reno Marshals Office.