Seamless integration result of extensive planning
Vancouver, B.C. — New Westminster Police Department’s (NWPD) emergency call-taking and dispatch services successfully integrated into the E-Comm regional emergency communications centre today. The successful changeover was the result of months of extensive operational and technical planning by NWPD and E-Comm.
Veteran NWPD dispatcher Noella Hunter assumed command of the dispatch channels from her new workstation at E-Comm at 8:11 a.m. and immediately following, Chief Dave Jones took to the radio to address officers: “I just want to express my appreciation and thanks to all of our dispatchers and complaint-takers, past and present, who have served the City, our citizens and yourselves so very well.”
New Westminster announced in February that it would be moving its police call-taking and dispatch operations to E-Comm in order to continue providing its community with quality police service while lowering potential risks and offering increased operational benefits and efficiencies. E-Comm’s consolidated dispatch system provides enhanced cross-communication between agencies, a larger workforce for better coverage during major and extended emergency events and access to top-tier technology. New Westminster is the thirteenth police agency dispatched by E-Comm, which also dispatches for 19 fire departments (including New Westminster Fire & Rescue Services) throughout southwest B.C.
“We have committed through our strategic plan to ensure that all sections of NWPD are sustainable and provide the best service delivery possible,” added Jones. “Our partnership with E-Comm will provide many benefits, most important, enhanced public safety for the City of New Westminster.”
By partnering with E-Comm, NWPD will be able to work even more closely with many of the other police agencies dispatched by E-Comm, including neighbouring Richmond RCMP and beginning in October, Burnaby RCMP when that detachment also integrates with E-Comm. The size and scope of the E-Comm centre means that when there is a major event in one of the communities dispatched by the organization, E-Comm can draw from its large contingent of highly-trained staff and quickly re-deploy resources to help manage the increase in 9-1-1 calls. This provides an increased level of service an individual agency would be hard-pressed to achieve on its own.
Nineteen NWPD call-takers and dispatchers have moved to E-Comm where they will continue to perform the duties they were responsible for at NWPD. Extensive training sessions were arranged over the past few months to help transitioning staff familiarize themselves with their new communication centre, while E-Comm employees were busy with cross-training exercises to learn about New Westminster’s operations, community and geography.
“We are very proud to partner with New Westminster police and believe that integrating dispatch operations is a key element in helping create safer communities in B.C.,” said David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “Our goal is to enhance and support our partners’ emergency response in order to meet the high standards expected from the critical role of emergency call-taking and dispatching.”
E-Comm has been a proud partner of New Westminster police since 2002 when they first joined the E-Comm radio system and with New Westminster Fire/Rescue Services, which also use the E-Comm radio system and for whom E-Comm has been dispatching for since 2005.
E-Comm answers close to one-million 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Whistler, Squamish and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (south). For tips on using 9-1-1 and more information about E-Comm visit www.ecomm911.ca or follow E-Comm’s Twitter feed @ecomm911_info.
Sgt Diana McDaniel
New Westminster Police Department
604-215-4956 or 604-640-1342 (pager)