Blount Emergency 911 seeks higher standards of CALEA

The 911 Emergency Communications Center is working to become a nationally accredited agency.

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies assessors are coming April 25 and will stay through April 29, board chair Judge William Brewer said. The assessors will go over policies and procedures and make sure the staff meets standards for accreditation.

As with law enforcement, there will be a time for public comments on the professionalism of the department. People can call in at 865-984-5378 or 865-681-4741 from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, April 27.

“We encourage public comments from 1 to 3 Monday,” the judge said.

Brewer said that in Tennessee only three other communications center are accredited, Knox County, Metro Nashville and Metro Nashville Airport Authority.

“I never miss an opportunity to tell folks we have one of the best communications centers in the state. This could give us confirmation of that,” Brewer said. “The bottom line is our biggest asset is the people who work for us, and the citizens of Blount County are fortunate to have the dedicated folks who do the job they do.”

Emergency 911 Communications Director Jeff Caylor said the staff had strong reasons for wanting to be accredited. “Given the fact all three law enforcement agencies are accredited, we felt as a supporting agency of theirs it was incumbent upon us to hold ourselves to that same standard,” he said. “That was our motivation for it. It’s one thing to say you want to be best you can be, but when you have a top-flight organization give you standards and show you’re following them, it shows your diligent toward that end.”

Caylor said the two assessors will arrive Saturday afternoon, April 25, and will basically get started first thing Sunday morning. “There are over 200 standards we have to comply with, and we have lots of general orders and policies and call guidelines we’ve put in place based on standards,” Caylor said. “We’ll spend a lot of time checking our policy files ensuring they’re in compliance with standards CALEA sets. They will tour the center, look at our equipment, the overall management of the center, how we perform our tasks and there will be a call-in opportunity and that will be on Monday, April 27, between 1 and 3 p.m.,” he said.

Caylor said this gives the public and any sister agency Emergency 911 provides service and support for and anyone who has experience dealing with 911 and the operation to call.

“It lets them know what people feel about our agency as far as our professionalism and how well we perform our duties,” Caylor said.

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