Houston Police Get ISO 9001-Certified

Our friends at the Phoenix Police Department’s Records and Identification Bureau were the first U.S. police department registered to the ISO 9001 standard back in 2003.

We just read that another police department, The Emergency Communications and Property Room Divisions of the Houston Police Department (HPD) was recently certified to ISO 9001:2008. HPD is the largest police department in Texas and the fifth largest in the United States.  They pursued ISO 9001 certification, in part, because it establishes clear guidelines and goals against which they can measure achievements. Primarily, HPD determined that the ISO quality management system provides the ideal business model to further the Department’s commitment to continually improve its effectiveness in serving the needs of the community.

The Emergency Communications Division (ECD) is typically the first point of contact that the HPD has with the citizens of Houston. More than 1.2 million calls for service are dispatched by the ECD every year, which further include calls to utilize alternate response strategies. The process is designed so that 9-1-1 calls are initially received by a cadre of independent call takers who then distribute calls-for-service requests to the HPD or the fire department, accordingly.

A cultural shift

Countless improvements were realized in both divisions during the course of the QMS implementation. As stakeholders became more engaged and empowered, several time-saving ideas became evident and cost-savings were revealed. Creating process maps allowed everyone to actually see the sequence and flow of tasks and to identify nonvalue-added activity. This visual approach also made it possible to ensure process interconnectivity, or lack thereof.

There is a burgeoning interest in continuous improvement. With quantified performance improvement in virtually every work process, the incentive to sustain mutually beneficial supplier-customer relationships is now established.

Congratulations to another major police department achieving ISO 9001 success!  Another example that certification success is obtainable for any organization; even ones that carry weapons.  🙂



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