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NWPD joins E-Comm

The New Westminster Police Department is going regional, although not the whole department, just its dispatch operations.

The NWPD announced is switching over its dispatch to the E-Comm regional emergency communications centre instead of handling call-taking and dispatch in house. The transition is scheduled to take place on June 4.

Chief Cst. Dave Jones said the move was made for public safety reasons while also providing operational benefits and cost savings.

"Operationally the decision to move to E-Comm makes absolute sense for us, and will offer NWPD several key advantages," said Jones in a press release. "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."

The release said a department review showed maintaining the current service was not sustainable. A department spokeswoman told the NewsLeader earlier this month going to E-Comm would mean not having to worry about having enough staff on duty, and there would be cost sharing of technology, training and infrastructure with other forces. The downside would be a loss of local knowledge by the New West dispatchers of the city's nooks and crannies.

E-Comm said all New Westminster's call takers and dispatchers will be offered jobs with the regional centre.

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