Public Safety Communications Accreditation
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 its 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 its 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.
The Public Safety Communications Standards Manual contains standards organized into seven chapters or topic areas: 1) Organization; 2) Direction and Supervision; 3) Human Resources; 4) Recruitment, Selection, and Promotion; 5) Training; 6) Operations; and 7) Critical Incidents, Special Operations, and Homeland Security. Both CALEA and APCO view the standards as reflecting the best professional requirements and practices for a public safety communications agency.
The Bureau of Communications opted to work toward the Public Safety Communications Accreditation, which it received in 2010, to enhance the prior CALEA Accreditation it received under the St. Louis County Police Department Law Enforcement Accreditation. Accreditation is a continuing process. The Bureau received re-accreditation in 2013 and re-accreditation with excellence in 2016 through the Commission on Accreditation for Public Safety Communications. Prior to 2016 each accreditation remained in effect for three years, in the fall of 2016 CALEA adopted a four year process. These accreditation achievements demonstrates that our organization continues to seeks to achieve, objectively verify, and maintain high quality in our operations through periodic evaluations conducted by an independent, non-governmental body that has established standards.