Kingman 911 Communications Center Awarded National Public Safety Communications Accreditation by CALEA
The Kingman 911 Communications Center is one of only two accredited centers in Arizona, and only the second fire-managed center in the nation to achieve CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation.
Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, Kingman Fire Chief, Jake Rhoades and Communications Center and Accreditation Manager, Deann MacLeod attended the CALEA virtual conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual CALEA conference, where agencies are formally reviewed and awarded in person, was taken online to a virtual format.
On Friday November 13, 2020, the CALEA Commission voted to approve accreditation of the Kingman 911 Communications Center signifying excellence in public safety and commitment to community. This is Kingman 911’s first award of national accreditation. The agency now moves into CALEA’s four-year accreditation cycle that includes four annual remote, web-based file reviews and a site-based assessment in the fourth year.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the 911 Communications Center as well as the city of Kingman,” said Fire Chief Jake Rhoades. “We are one of the few agencies in the country that is structured with dispatch managed by the fire department as providing dispatch services to law enforcement, EMS, and other fire agencies.”
Kingman Police Chief Rusty Cooper added, “To the entire dispatch and accreditation team, very proud of what you have accomplished. Your commitment to excellence is obvious to me and now formally recognized by this accreditation. Congratulations and well done.
The demanding accreditation process started in the summer of 2018 and was a total team effort by the members of the 911 Communications Center. However, Communications Center Manager Deann Macleod, who served as the Accreditation Manager, and Communications Center Supervisor Amy Kennedy, who served as the Assistant Accreditation Manager, deserve special attention in this achievement. “This is an arduous process that has taken nearly 2 ½ years to accomplish,” stated Rhoades. “The two have taken on this project over and above their normal duties which really embody the values of the city of Kingman and the philosophy of continued improvement that the Kingman Fire Department and 911 Communications Center has institutionalized.”
“The accreditation process has been a difficult journey of introspection and asking ourselves tough questions about how and why we do what we do,” said Communications Center Manager, Deann MacLeod. “It is not enough to have standards in place. We must put policies into action, continuously improve, and continuously comply with industry standards and practices in order to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our community and the agencies we serve.”
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 accreditation process is a proven modern management model; once implemented, it presents the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), on a continuing basis, with a blueprint that promotes the efficient use of resources and improves service delivery—regardless of the size, geographic location, or functional responsibilities of the agency.
Benefits of Accreditation
Controlled Liability Insurance Costs – Accredited status makes it easier for agencies to purchase liability insurance; allows agencies to increase the limit of their insurance coverage more easily; and, in many cases, results in lower premiums.
Stronger Defense Against Lawsuits and Citizen Complaints – Accredited agencies are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints. Many agencies report a decline in legal actions against them once they become accredited.
Greater Accountability Within the Agency – Accreditation standards give the Chief Executive Officer a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.
Staunch Support from Government Officials – Accreditation provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service-delivery. Thus, government officials are more confident in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs.
Increases Community Advocacy – Accreditation embodies the precepts of community-oriented policing. It creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control crime. This partnership helps citizens understand the challenges confronting law enforcement and gives law enforcement clear direction about community expectations.
Improved Employee Morale – Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. It requires written directives and training to inform employees about policies and practices; facilities and equipment to ensure employee safety; and processes to safeguard employee rights. Employees take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in public safety.