This division provides public access to emergency services, such as police, fire and emergency medical services. The 911 and non-emergency telephone lines are answered 24-hours a day. Depending on the information gathered from the caller, the appropriate responder is dispatched or the caller is directed to an agency or person that can more appropriately handle the caller's request.
The City of Newport News Public Safety Communications is accredited by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) for emergency medical dispatch (EMD) and has been since the program’s inception. This program promotes protocols and continued training and education in EMD. This serves as acknowledgement from the OEMS of our EMD program meeting or exceeding standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and accepted and recognized by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). All communications personnel whose job description includes call taking are certified as emergency medical dispatchers and complete a minimum 20 hours of annual continuing EMD/EMS communications education. We have a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement process to assure EMD system compliance. This consists of call review and call monitoring. We provide an annual Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement report to the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services demonstrating a minimum average yearly score of 90% total compliance of emergency medical dispatch protocols being employed as part of an annual report submitted to OEMS documenting compliance with all program implementation and training guidelines set by OEMS for accreditation.
Since 2014, the City of Newport News Public Safety Communications Center has been recognized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) for meeting the training and policy guidelines for membership in NCMEC’s Missing Kids Readiness Program (MKRP). This program promotes best practices for receiving, processing and responding to calls of missing and sexually exploited children. We have demonstrated to NCMEC our preparedness for responding to missing and sexually exploited child incidents and recognized by NCMEC for our commitment to safeguarding children in our community.
MKRP membership serves as formal recognition for emergency communications centers whose training program meets with NCMEC’s training, quality assurance and policy requirements. This includes recognition our policies and procedures are aligned with the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International (APCO) American National Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators when Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted, and Sexually Exploited Children.
All employees complete the NCMEC provided training and our policies and procedures are submitted to NCMEC and checked for compliance with the requirements that guide the recognition process. Receiving and maintaining membership in NCMEC’s Missing Kids Readiness Program is a major accomplishment for the agency, its staff and the community we serve.
The CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program provides the City of Newport News Public Safety Communications and other communications agencies with a process to systemically review and internally assess its operations and procedures. Since the City of Newport News Public Safety Communications was granted its first CALEA Communications Accreditation Award in 2013, the program has become the primary method for our communications agency to voluntarily demonstrate its commitment to excellence.
The standards upon which the Public Safety Communications Accreditation Program is based reflect the current thinking and experience of public safety communications executives and accreditation experts. APCO International (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International, Inc.), the leading communications membership association, is a partner in the development of CALEA's Standards for Public Safety Communications Agencies© and its Accreditation Program. APCO recognizes the achievements of CALEA Accredited Public Safety Communications agencies and supports accreditation.