Emergency dispatchers for the communities of Keller, Colleyville, Southlake and Westlake have new bragging rights this summer after the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies awarded NETCOM 911 its prestigious National Public Safety Communications Accreditation — the first for a regional dispatch center in Texas.
“The commitment to earn this award was truly a grassroots effort by staff, so I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” NETCOM 911 Communications Manager Warren Dudley said. “This accreditation validates those extra steps we take to ensure accountability, reduce liability through good procedures and intensive training, and engage with the citizens and partner agencies we serve.”
The Keller-based Northeast Tarrant Communications Center serves about 100,000 people across more than 60 square miles and is accustomed to making history. It was the first regional dispatch center in Tarrant County when it launched in 2007, and the first agency in the country to roll out enhanced emergency location and messaging capabilities through the app-based SirenGPS system in 2016.
The new honor — the gold standard for public safety credentialing — was confirmed during CALEA accreditation hearings in late July in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Founded in 1984, CALEA’s accreditation program focuses on increasing community and staff confidence in their public safety departments. The National Public Safety Communications Accreditation holds departments accountable to more than 200 industry standards and best practices, and has been achieved by only about 5 percent of dispatch centers nationwide.
In Texas, NETCOM 911 is the sixth dispatch center to earn the recognition and the first regional organization to do so. With a staff of 21, it’s also the smallest team in the state to make the grade.
“Dispatchers serve as a ‘life line’ to the citizens, police officers and firefighters in our respective communities,” Southlake Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Douglas said. “CALEA and the accreditation process establish best practices for the law enforcement industry, and this award reaffirms that our regional dispatch center is one of the best in the nation.”
For more information about the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, visit www.calea.org.