Where do the good ideas come from?
In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about - and benefit from - some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.
Colorado Emergency Communications Center Chooses Assessment System
The Dictaphone Corporation’s Communications Recording Systems group, a leading provider of recording systems for 911 centers and other public safety operations, announces that it will provide its ContactPoint workforce relationship management solution to one of its longtime customers, the Adams County Communication Center (also known as Adcom 911) in Commerce City, Colorado.
Adcom 911 serves a population of approximately 375,000 citizens in the Denver metropolitan area and provides 911 and emergency radio communications services to 15 agencies including police departments, fire departments, and EMS operations.
Because emergency communication centers need qualified and properly trained dispatchers handling calls, ContactPoint was designed to help them specify and capture the critical skills, knowledge, and abilities that dispatchers require for effective call handling, and then systematically apply these benchmarks to their hiring, training, and quality assurance (QA) programs. Call takers and dispatchers are prescreened based upon core competencies required for the position. Each dispatcher’s call handling techniques are routinely assessed after he or she is hired, and e-learning modules are administered to address any competency gaps identified through the ongoing QA process.
Adcom 911 will use ContactPoint to complete competency-based assessments online, deliver targeted training modules and tests directly to dispatchers, desktops, automatically track posttraining test scores and assessment results, and produce reports to more easily quantify and isolate problems.
“In the past, we might have suspected that we had some problem areas but we wouldn’t have had any way to quantify it,” said Alan Campbell, deputy director of Adcom 911. “With ContactPoint we’ll have insight into what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong and we’ll be able to push out e-learning modules to our dispatchers to correct any weaknesses right away.”
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Houston Police Department to Purchase Taser X26 Devices
Taser International Inc., a market leader in advanced nonlethal devices, announces that the Houston City Council voted to approve and authorize a contract between the City of Houston and Taser International and GT Distributors Inc. for 3,700 X26 Taser devices and associated equipment for all patrol officers in the Houston Police Department.
“The Taser system will allow our officers another option to deploy when faced with incidents that could possibly result in serious injury to officers and citizens,” commented Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt. “The leadership of the Houston Police Department is confident that the Taser devices will reduce possibility of these injuries.”
The company also announces that it has received a second order from the Louisville Metro Police Department in Louisville, Kentucky, for 550 Taser X26 devices and accessories. According to the company, this follow-on deployment of Taser X26 devices will supplement the 550 Taser X26 devices that the agency ordered in September 2004 for its 1,246 officers. This order provides the Louisville Metro Police Department a full deployment of TASER X26s for all of its patrol officers.
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Police Organization Selects Provider of a Retirement Health Savings Plan
The ICMA Retirement Corporation announces that the National Fraternal Order of Police has selected ICMA to be its preferred provider for a retirement health savings plan for its 318,000 state and local public safety members.
As the preferred provider, ICMA-RC will actively promote the adoption of its VantageCare Retirement Health Savings (RHS) Plan in communities throughout the nation for the benefit of the membership of the nation’s 2,133 FOP lodges. The FOP is believed to be the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers.
With RHS, FOP members may choose to deduct a set percentage from their pay before taxes, and contribute their accrued leave at the time they leave service. They also will be able to select how they want their contributions invested among 19 Vantagepoint Mutual Funds.
Once they are eligible to receive benefits from their RHS account, members can be reimbursed tax-free for any qualifying medical expense. When a member dies, the surviving spouse and dependents are automatically eligible to use the account for medical expenses, also on a tax-free basis.
ICMA-RC will work with public employers to make the plan available to their FOP members and will educate FOP members on how to take advantage of this new benefit.
The ICMA Retirement Corporation participates in IACPreferred, providing administration and investment services to state and local government deferred compensation and defined contribution retirement, DROP, and retiree health care programs. It also offers IRAs for IACP members.
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