Sunday, September 19, 2021

Assessors Onsite This Week for Fire Department Accreditation

This week, four assessors from the Center for Public Safety Excellence/Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CPSE/CFAI) were onsite to review the Southlake Fire Department for re-accreditation.

The process to verify and validate the department’s ability to comply with 10 major categories occurs every five years.  The Southlake Fire Department is one of only 12 fire departments in Texas accredited through CPSE.

The department maintains its accreditation status as part of the City’s overall commitment to set world-class standards and exceed expectations.

“We hold ourselves to the highest possible performance standards with a strict application of code and regulation and employ the highest trained and accredited professionals to serve this wonderful community,” City of Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr said. “Gaining accreditation through CPSE/CFAI is proof of our dedication to be the best and provide superior service when protecting Southlake.”

According to CPSE’s website, there are only 270 accredited agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense. The accreditation process establishes industry-wide performance measures to determine and evaluate the level of overall organizational performance and requires an onsite peer assessment to conduct interviews, validate files and review equipment.

The City is proud to raise the standard for fire departments around the world, deliver excellence and go above and beyond in our commitment to Southlake.

Fire Department to Undergo Review for Accreditation

From January 5-9, 2020, the Southlake Fire Department will host an Accreditation Assessment Team from the Center for Public Safety Excellence/Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CPSE/CFAI). The Assessment Team is composed of four peer assessors from other fire departments throughout the country.

The accreditation process is a means of establishing industry-wide performance measures to determine and evaluate the level of overall organizational performance. As with the police services, the fire department is required to go through an onsite peer assessment once every five years to determine the department’s ongoing compliance in 10 main categories. Contained within the 9th edition FESSAM categories are 45 criterions, each of which is further broken down into 252 detailed performance indicators. The end result creates what is known as the “self-assessment manual” for fire services.

The onsite review will be conducted at Southlake’s FD Headquarters with the Fire Chiefs Conference Room serving as the primary file validation and verification location. The assessors will start arriving January 5, 2020 and depart by the afternoon of January 9, 2020.  In addition to file validation and verification, the assessors will conduct interviews and tours of our City, facilities and mutual aid locations.

The Fire Department is looking forward to hopefully receiving a recommendation of reaccreditation by the peer assessment team for its 5th five-year term.

All Superheroes Need a Great Sidekick: Roland DeGraauw Effectively Supports DPS Heroes With Accreditation Work

These days it’s almost impossible to go to movie theaters where there are no Marvel or DC superhero movies on the big screen, and if you miss the first run, you can always binge watch your favorites on Netflix.

The great heroes have their stories and their fans, but for many, success hinges on having a solid sidekick to help them out, support them, or just to keep things on track. For our Southlake police and fire heroes, one of their most important sidekicks is Roland DeGraauw, Accreditation Manager.

Southlake’s police officers and firefighters perform at the highest level of excellence, and Roland can prove it! By successfully working through the respective accreditation process for each department, Roland makes sure that they get the recognition they deserve for their outstanding work.

“Managing an accreditation process is a massive logistical undertaking for one department, much less two,” said Police Chief James Brandon. “Not only does the process have to be coordinated, but Roland has to hit a pace and keep it going. Otherwise, achieving the highest levels of professional recognition would have been impossible.”

The Fire Department is one of only eight municipalities in Texas accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). To receive the accreditation, a department must prove its excellence in four categories: 1) Standards of Cover, 2) Strategic Business Plan, 3) Self-Assessment Manual, and the 4) Community Risk Assessment. The associated performance metrics track lifesaving skills and organizational performance. Southlake’s Fire Department has been accredited since 1999, in part because Roland manages the program and works with personnel to meet and document their distinction on 296 performance indicators.

The Police Department is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), which has established best practices for law enforcement. Departments are reviewed based on 487 standards. The PD’s most recent reaccreditation marks the 15th year of accreditation for the Department. They also recently received the Gold Standard Assessment status, the highest possible level. This reflects the high quality of the department, but can also be attributed Roland’s committed efforts.

Read more about the Fire Department’s accreditation here. An overview of the Police Department’s accreditation can be found here.

As with most capable sidekicks, Roland doesn’t seek the limelight. Instead, this humble, thoughtful, and kind man prefers to do his work behind the scenes and quietly smile when assessors complete their evaluation and compliment the departments on being some of the best police and fire operations in the nation.

Where would Batman be without Robin? Do we really think Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, could keep it all together without the help of the very capable Pepper Potts? Like our best-loved superheroes, Southlake’s Police and Fire Departments do outstanding work every day. Thanks to Roland’s effective management of the accreditation process, they have been recognized and highlighted as being among the best, and continue their ongoing work to meet the highest professional standards.

Public Notice: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)

PUBLIC NOTICE:  Accreditation Assessment Offers Public Opportunity for Comment

Immediate Release: March 19, 2012

(Southlake, Texas)—SOUTHLAKE) – A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will arrive on April 1, 2012 to examine all aspects of the Southlake Department of Public Safety, Police Services Division, to include: policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services.

The purpose of the on-site assessment is to verify Southlake Police Services’ compliance with the Commission’s nationally recognized law enforcement standards. The accreditation process not only recognizes law enforcement agencies for professional excellence, it also provides the agencies with opportunities for continuous improvement.  Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary.

As part of the on-site assessment, employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located inside Town Hall at 1400 Main Street, Southlake, Texas 76092.

If individuals are unable to attend the public hearing and wish to provide comments to the assessment team, they may do so by telephone on Monday, April 2, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (817) 748-8910.  This phone line will be answered by a member of the CALEA assessment team.

Telephone comments and appearances at the public hearing are limited to ten (10) minutes per person and must address Southlake Police Services’ ability to comply with CALEA Standards.  A copy of the standards manual is available for examination during regular business hours at the Southlake Library Reference Desk.  The phone number to the Library Reference Desk is (817) 748-8247.

Individuals wishing to submit written comments about Southlake Police Services’ ability to comply with the accreditation standards may write to:  Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155.

Southlake Police Services has been accredited since 2000 and must comply with over 400 standards to maintain accredited status. Police Chief Stephen Mylett says, “We hold our officers and our department to the highest standards possible in the law enforcement community.  Maintaining our accreditation with CALEA means that the citizens of Southlake can be proud to have an agency that is committed to excellence, accountability and transparency in every way.”

The assessment team is comprised of law enforcement practitioners from out-of-state agencies of similar size.  While on-site, the assessors will review written material, conduct interviews, tour facilities, observe static displays, ride with officers, and attend patrol briefings.  The 2012 assessment team is comprised of the following two CALEA Assessors:

Thomas Clark                                                  Kristin Rightler

Chief of Police (Retired)                                  Professional Standards Unit Supervisor

Ashland Police Department                            Indian River County Sheriff’s Office

Ashland, Virginia                                              Vero Beach, Florida

After completion of the review of Southlake Police Services, the team will file a report with the Commission.  The Commission will then determine whether Southlake Police will be granted reaccredited status.

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., please write the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155 or call (800) 368-3757.