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LA 9-1-1 earns second reaccreditation

The Lewiston-Auburn 9-1-1 Emergency Communications System earned its second reaccreditation from the Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation in Miami recently, marking nine years of commitment to a voluntary process of compliance demonstrated by adherence to management and operational policies and procedures.

LA 9-1-1 first achieved accreditation in 2009 and has twice since demonstrated their adherence to the policies and practices that make up the CALEA state-of-the-art standards. LA 9-1-1 remains the only accredited 9-1-1 Center in Maine and only one of two CALEA accredited 9-1-1 Centers in New England. There are currently only 47 CALEA accredited 9-1-1 Centers throughout the U.S.

“CALEA sets forth a systematic guide to all aspects of a well-managed public safety communications center, from human resources and recruiting procedures to operational management and critical incidents, homeland security and long term planning,” said Phyllis Gamache, Director of the Lewiston-Auburn 9-1-1 Center. “CALEA sets 217 standards or benchmarks for 9-1-1 Centers; our goal is to meet those benchmarks through policies and procedures and our day-to-day practices.

For example, CALEA standards require the agency to have a multi-year plan which includes: long term goals and operational objectives; anticipated workload and population trends; anticipated personnel levels; anticipated capital improvements and equipment needs; and a documented annual review and revision of the multi-year plan as needed.

“Every three years, a CALEA team of assessors visits our center to examine our written directives,” Gamache continued. “They review our policies and look for written proof that we’re doing the things our policies say we do. In the multi-year plan example, the assessors look for proof that we’ve reviewed our long term goals and operational objectives, that we have identified what we need to repair and replace, that we’re aware of public safety and technology trends locally and nationally, and that we review and update all of this information each year between assessments.”

Two assessors were in Auburn in July to conduct the three-day review. In their final recommendation to the CALEA commission, they noted a variety of areas in which the center excels, including a well-documented and executed training and quality assurance plan, call taking and dispatch performance measures that exceed national standards, and an above average performance evaluation program.

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