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Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle ECC Earns Prestigious 6th CALEA Accreditation for Public Safety Communications

Charlottesville, VA – December 19, 2023 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Emergency Communications Center (ECC) is honored to announce that, on November 11th, 2023, it was awarded its 6th accreditation for Public Safety Communications by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The ECC Management Board commemorated the occasion last week during the Board’s December meeting.

CALEA Commission Chair Marlon Lynch, ECC Executive Director Sonny Saxton, ECC Performance Improvement and Accreditation Supervisor Jae Lohr, ECC Deputy Director-Operations Celeste Baldino, and CALEA Executive Director Craig Hartley.

Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment, and facilities by CALEA assessors, ECC leadership attended the CALEA conference in Bellevue, Washington, where they appeared before CALEA’s 21-member Board of Commissioners who reviewed all findings and determined the agencies’ accreditation status. CALEA Commission Chair Marlon Lynch and Executive Director Craig Hartley awarded the ECC with accreditation, signifying the agency’s continued commitment to excellence in serving the community.

Impacting the Community: A Commitment to Excellence
The CALEA accreditation process is a comprehensive review that evaluates aspects such as policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services. More than just a symbol of professional excellence, accreditation reflects a deep-seated commitment to the safety and well-being of the communities served. It ensures that residents and visitors to the greater Charlottesville area benefit from:

  • Enhanced Service Delivery: The accreditation process demands continuous improvement and innovation in emergency response protocols, leading to faster, more effective communication and coordination during emergencies.
  • Increased Public Confidence: Achieving and maintaining CALEA accreditation reassures the public of the ECC’s dedication to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and accountability.
  • Advanced Training and Development: The ECC team receives ongoing training in the latest public safety communication protocols and technologies, ensuring a skilled and responsive service.
  • Community Engagement and Transparency: The ECC believes in building trust through transparency and engagement, fostering a stronger, safer community. Accreditation standards support a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision making and resource allocation.

“This award of accreditation does not come easy,” said CALEA President Marcus Brown. “Agencies must go through a rigorous review and evaluation of their organization and then implement the necessary policy and procedure changes. The process does not stop at that point. By voluntarily choosing to seek CALEA accreditation, the agency commits to an ongoing review of adherence to CALEA’s standards. Each community with CALEA accredited agencies should be feel confident that their public safety organization is going above and beyond and operating under the highest standards in public safety.”

A Legacy of Service and Safety
Having first been accredited in 2006, this 6th CALEA accreditation is a testament to years of hard work and the ongoing dedication of the ECC’s emergency communications professionals. ECC coworkers stand ready around the clock, 365 days a year, to ensure the safety and security of their community, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality of service. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to members of the community, our regional partners in public safety, all Emergency Communications Center coworkers, and the ECC Management Board for their support and collaborative efforts in building a safer and more resilient community.

About the ECC
The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Emergency Communications Center (ECC) provides all emergency communications services for Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia. The mission of the Emergency Communications Center is to provide community safety and preparedness services through innovation and collaboration that earns community trust. The ECC receives all 9-1-1 calls in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area and serves as the central dispatch for the three local police departments, three rescue squads, and fire calls. The ECC is a nationally recognized center, having been accredited through the CALEA since 2006, as well as being designated as an APCO National Certified Training Program and Virginia Accredited Emergency Medical Dispatch Communications Center.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) was established in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations: International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA); and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives. This accreditation program provides public safety agencies an opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices and approved by an all-volunteer board of commissioners.

Sonny Saxton, ECC Executive Director