New Westminster, B.C. — Today the New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) announced that it will be relocating its dispatch operations to E-Comm, the regional emergency communications centre for southwest British Columbia. The transition of NWPD’s call-taking and dispatch services has been endorsed by the New Westminster Police Board and is scheduled for June 4, 2013. As Police Chief Dave Jones explains, this move will better position NWPD to continue to provide its community with quality police service while lowering potential risks and offering increased operational benefits and efficiencies.
“Operationally the decision to move to E-Comm makes absolute sense for us, and will offer NWPD several key advantages,” says Jones. “This includes enhanced cross-communication between agencies in different municipalities, a larger workforce for better staff coverage during major and extended emergency events and access to top-tier technology. This will all help to advance our overall service delivery.”
NWPD’s decision was made following a rigorous evaluation of the department’s ability to sustain dispatch over the long run. The review concluded that maintaining the status quo is not sustainable. As NWPD moves into the future, and in order to ensure the risk to public and officer safety is addressed, this is the best and most effective service-delivery model. The analysis determined by joining E-Comm there would be major gains to be made in terms of risk mitigation, sustainability, and cost savings. Consolidation of many different police services, including dispatch, to gain operational and financial efficiencies is becoming more common within the policing community. One of the benefits of the E-Comm partnership model is that it allows for the cost of technology, training and infrastructure to be shared among police agencies.
“We have committed through our strategic plan to ensure that all sections of NWPD are sustainable and provide the best service delivery possible,” adds Jones. “The move to E-Comm will provide improved safety for both our officers and the public, greatly enhancing 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. 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.
“E-Comm is focused on helping to create safer communities in B.C. through excellence in public-safety communication, and we believe that unified dispatch operations are a key element in achieving that vision,” says David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “Our goal with this transition is to provide New Westminster police and the residents they serve, with the same high level of service and expertise that our current 30 police and fire department dispatch partners have come to expect.”
E-Comm answers almost one million 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish and the southern portion of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and provides dispatch services to 30 police and fire departments. E-Comm also owns and operates the regional shared radio system used by police, fire and ambulance personnel in municipalities in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
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.
Sgt Diana McDaniel
New Westminster Police Department
604-215-4956 or 604-640-1342 (pager)