West Vancouver, B.C. —The West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) announced today it will relocate its dispatch operations to E-Comm – the regional consolidated emergency communications centre – in October. In making his announcement, Chief Peter Lepine said the move will lower risks and provide critical operational benefits to WVPD such as increased staffing.
“Emergency dispatch and call-taking are the essential links between the public’s call for help and emergency-service response,” said Lepine. “This move will provide improved safety for our officers and the public because we’re gaining robust technical and operational systems and processes, a back-up facility, and most important, more staff to handle 9-1-1 calls when there are major events in West Vancouver.”
WVPD’s decision follows a two-year analysis by senior staff that examined a number of options for dispatch including maintaining the service within the department. The analysis concluded that by joining E-Comm there would be major gains to be made in terms of risk mitigation, sustainability, and cost savings, now and into the future. The West Vancouver Police Board endorsed the transition to E-Comm at its June 27, 2012 meeting.
By partnering with E-Comm, WVPD will be able to work even more closely with any of the other police agencies dispatched by E-Comm, including the neighbouring Vancouver Police Department and the Squamish RCMP. The size and scope of the E-Comm centre means that when there is a major event in a community that one of these agencies serves, 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. In addition, the E-Comm partnership model allows for the cost of technology, training and infrastructure to be shared among agencies. Consolidation of many different police services, including dispatch, to gain operational and financial efficiencies is becoming more common within the policing community.
“WVPD first partnered with E-Comm in 2007 when we joined E-Comm’s shared wide-area radio system that connects police, fire and ambulance agencies across Metro Vancouver, “ Lepine added. “We believe this new partnership will be just as successful as our first, and address the risks we faced in sustaining dispatch over the long term.”
“We are very proud to be entering into a new partnership with West Vancouver police and serving this progressive and diverse community,” said David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “We’re focused on helping to create safer communities in B.C. through excellence in public-safety communication, and believe that consolidating dispatch operations is a key element in achieving that vision.”
E-Comm 9-1-1 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.
Staff Sgt. Jeff Young
West Vancouver Police Department
604-215-4956 or 604-640-1342 (pager)