The St. Charles County Department of Emergency Communications has been awarded Public SafetyCommunications Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). It is only the third public safety communications department in the St. Louis area, and the fourth in the state, to receive this prestigious accreditation.
The department provides dispatching services for all fire and EMS agencies within St. Charles County, the St. Charles County Police Department, and the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, and serves the community as one of six dispatching centers and 911 answering points located in the county.
“There are 185 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), or call centers, in Missouri, so this is quite an honor,” explained Jeff Smith, director of Emergency Communications. “This accreditation holds us accountable to the public and ourselves because, while we are accredited, the process is not over. Maintaining accreditation is ongoing. We will be assessed annually with an electronic off-site review and every four years
CALEA is a credentialing authority established through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
For two years, the St. Charles County Department of Emergency Communications thoroughly assessed and evaluated its policies and procedures as part of the CALEA review. Recently, a team of assessors from CALEA spent three days onsite evaluating every aspect of the department.
“Thanks to the entire staff in the Department of Emergency Communications, the CALEA assessors and commissioners were extremely impressed with our 911 and dispatch services to the community,” Smith said. “We learned how well we are doing in some areas and how to improve in others.”
St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann is proud of the work the Department of Emergency Communications completed to achieve the CALEA accreditation. “They are among ‘the best of the best’ and I’d like to thank the entire staff of the Department of Emergency Communications for their dedication and service to our county,” Ehlmann said.
In 2018, the Department of Emergency Communications received another prestigious accreditation when it was recognized as the world’s 252nd Medical Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. The department is one of 190 currently accredited ACE agencies recognized for exceptional use of emergency medical dispatch (EMD) protocols