Goal for 911: Best practices


Commissioners Monday proclaimed the week of April 9-15 as National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week and approved an agreement for the Emergency Communications Center to become accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CELEA).

“Dispatchers are the true first responders,” said Patrick Brandt, Director Emergency Communications. He said dispatchers are the first person to talk with someone in need and the last person to close the call once responders leave the scene.

As a member of the 911 Board, Delaware County Commissioner Gary Merrell said, “I believe we have one of the best 911 centers in the state.”

Brandt said everyone is considered family and everything is done in a team atmosphere.

“As we see it we are one large family,” Brandt said. “This year the theme we came up with is No One Stands Alone.”

Brandt spoke of Chief Jeff Wilson, B.S.T.and G. Fire District chief and past president of the 911 Board, as being a good friend and like family. He reminded everyone of the upcoming 5K Walk and Run May 6 at 10 a.m., starting at the The Big Walnut Grill on State Route 3 in Sunbury to help the chief and his family with medical bills.

Wilson was diagnosed with glioblastoma earlier this year. He has since had surgery to remove two tumors from his brain and has returned to work.

Brandt said the City of Powell and Genoa Township police departments are two Delaware County agencies that are accredited through CELEA, following the industries best practices standards.

The Powell Police Department received the Meritorious Advanced Accreditation for Law Enforcement with Excellence award from CELEA during a conference March 25.

Gary Vest, Powell Police chief, said in an earlier report that CALEA is an organization built by the piers of the law enforcement community who want to meet the expectations of the law enforcement profession and community.

“That’s what our plans and goals are,” Brandt said. “Once we start this process it will take about two years to complete.”

Barb Lewis said she became aware of CELEA when she was a trustee in Genoa Township. She commented about what she saw during Genoa Township’s police department’s accreditation process.

“It’s the highest standard whether it be law enforcement or emergency services,” Lewis said. “I couldn’t believe all the documentation and the onsite inspections.”

Brandt said when you have 13 fire chiefs or law enforcement agencies, “Best practices is what you should be doing.” He said it comes down to what is best for the community.

By D. Anthony Botkin

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D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

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