Alberta RCMP call centre tries to keep officers on the street, not behind a desk

The Canadian Press
November 14, 2018
By The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Alberta Mounties are test-driving a call-in centre that allows officers to spend more time on the street instead of behind a desk doing paperwork.

The Police Reporting and Occurrence System is still a pilot project but allows officers to input information into the RCMP database by phone.

“By using the data centre, our officers no longer need to travel back to their detachment to manually complete their report, meaning that officers can now spend more time in the communities and less time behind the desk,” Alberta RCMP Acting Commander John Ferguson said Tuesday.

“They can now input all the required information over the phone in less than four minutes. Once they complete the call they immediately return to their patrols.”

The information is entered into the RCMP database by civilian personnel.

The pilot project has reduced the data entry time for RCMP front-line officers to 3 1/2 minutes from 30 minutes, which doesn’t include travel time.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said giving RCMP officers more time in communities is part of the province’s plan to reduce rural crime.

“Records management is an important behind-the-scenes part of police work,” Ganley said. “It’s vital to the safety of all Albertans but it can also be a time-consuming task. With civilians putting in data in these centres, officers can spend more time where we need them most.”

RCMP set up a call-back unit in February that diverts non-emergency calls — including thefts, attempted frauds or scams — to experienced officers allowing more time for a front-line officer to remain on the road.

Ferguson said the call-back model allows officers on the front lines to concentrate on emergency situations and to provide a visible presence in rural communities.

“Since the implementation of this program in February, the unit has diverted almost 4,000 calls. These calls represent over 9,000 person hours — the equivalent work of nine general duty constables in one year,” he said.

- Bill Graveland

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2018

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