Content By John J. Cantú

By: John J. Cantú

The Property and Emergency Communications Divisions of the Houston Police Department (HPD) achieved certification to ISO 9001 in September 2011. The HPD pursued certification to this international standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in part because it establishes clear guidelines and goals against which the department can measure achievements. Being the largest police department in Texas and the fifth largest in the United States, the HPD determined that ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) requirements provide the ideal business model to further the department’s commitment to continually improve its effectiveness in serving the needs of the community.

Implementing an ISO 9001-certified QMS in one police division was an ambitious undertaking; after all, ISO standards are more common in private industry and new to the law enforcement community. But the HPD decided to simultaneously pursue ISO certification in a second operational unit, the Property Division.