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.
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.
This year Fire and Police departments are combining forces with the Library and Parks and Recreation to bring you Story Time at the Station Super Hero Edition!
Join us on Friday, July 15th at 10:00 a.m. the Super Heroes will take over Fire Station 1 (600 State Street) for our annual story time event. Story time at the station, has grown every year and is a super fun event! Parents and kids pack the fire bays so you will want to arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot.
We want to encourage the kids and their parents to wear their favorite super hero costume. There will be a puppet show, a sing-a-long, a story read by one of our firefighter heroes, plus stay for the station tour including a display of your favorite police and fire vehicles.
You won’t want to miss the excitement!
The most popular color in Southlake is typically Carroll Dragon green, but this month the city is going red in honor of National Heart Month and the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Go Red for Women campaign. To help raise awareness about heart disease and preventive measures, the City of Southlake, in partnership with AHA, Southlake Chamber of Commerce, Carroll ISD, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake and other community organizations, is hosting the inaugural Staying Alive Southlake event February 15, 10:00AM to 4:00PM, at Southlake DPS North Station.
Open to the public, the goal is to provide the Southlake community with a free, heart healthy and educational event. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and it is the mission of the AHA to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
“The American Heart Association’s Staying Alive campaign is a natural fit for the city. One of our biggest concerns is always the safety of our citizens; no matter their age,” states City Council Member and event organizer Laura Hill. “How incredible if every adult and child knew CPR and had the confidence that if faced with an emergency, they could help save a life.”
According to Amanda Haggerty, director of marketing for AHA Tarrant County, nearly 400,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and more than 7,200 DFW residents died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012. Hands-only CPR, which is performed to the rhythm of the disco classic “Stayin’ Alive” and has more than 100 beats per minute, can more than double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
“As a healthcare provider and community partner, we wholeheartedly support this event and our staff will be there throughout the day to help people learn how-to prevent heart disease,” said Traci Bernard, RN, president of Texas Health Southlake. “Staying Alive Southlake is a big part of our goal to be the reddest city in Tarrant County as part of American Heart Association’s ‘Paint the Town Red’ competition the hospital is participating in this month.”
“We were given a mission by the City Council and the families of Southlake,” said Assistant Police Chief James Brandon. “Now it is time to find the officers who will not only add another layer of safety and security to our schools, but also help provide support and encouragement to Carroll students.”
The placement of SROs in the Carroll schools was the result of a recommendation by a safety and security task force headed up by Southlake Mayor John Terrell. Other task force members include Carroll School Board President Read Ballew, SPARK representative Laura Hill, Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett as well as state, and federal law enforcement officials. The task force was created after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut.
“The hiring criteria of the Southlake SROs is specific, any applicant must have an advanced TCLEOSE designation,” said Human Resource Director Stacey Black. Black worked with Assistant Chief Brandon and Chief Mylett to create the job description and work scope. Much of it was based on the task force’s recommendations and Brandon’s and Mylett’s years of police experience.
“It’s a different kind of police work that’s why it will take a special kind of officer to be successful in this role,” said Chief Mylett. “They will have to be willing to forge relationships and make investments into the students’ lives and their wellbeing. It’s about helping create an environment where kids can learn and thrive and feel safe doing it. That’s why we will only hire the best of best.”
Once the applicants are hired, Assistant Chief Brandon says that the officers will go through a week-long specialized training that will focus on the safety and security needs of the school environment. Not long after that training is over, the officers will then help open up the 2013-2014 school year on August 26th.
The enhanced SRO program will be funded primarily through the Crime Control and Prevention District; a voter approved local sales tax allotment that funnels 1/2 cent of every sales tax dollar into a fund designated for safety and security initiatives. The City’s general fund will also contribute towards the program’s costs.