Lacombe Police improving response times

Lacombe police took over their own dispatch last month and already it is paying off.

Lacombe residents are already seeing the benefits of a new police dispatch centre.

Officers have shaved valuable minutes off the time it takes to respond to calls for help since police dispatch was taken over locally in mid-November. Previously, 911 calls were routed through an RCMP dispatch centre in Red Deer, and then to Lacombe, a process that was proving cumbersome.

Lacombe Police Service acting Police Chief Lorne Blumhagen said the switch-over went smoothly, and the dispatch centre has shown its worth.

“Within days of implementing the system … (the community) was quite impressed with the response time for a few calls that came in,” said Blumhagen on Thursday, at the official opening of his force’s new $8.7-million station.

A number of times officers arrived on scene when the caller was still on the phone, or had just hung up, he said.

That’s a big improvement over the average response time of 13:24 minutes previously for the 18-officer force. A 15-minute lag time was not unusual, obviously a concern in a job where minutes can make a big difference.

Being able to arrive on scene also means there is a much better chance of catching criminals red-handed.

“Our chances of doing that are definitely better than they were before.”

Lacombe has a support staff of seven, some of whom rotate through dispatch to provide 24-hour coverage. Most of the staff already had dispatching experience and were keen to take on those duties in Lacombe.

The small force is also making its mark as the first municipal police department to use the Alberta First Responders Radio System. It is designed to improve communications with other emergency first responders and disaster management agencies.

“That system enables us to not only provide police radio delivery but also the capacity to communicate in any type of major disaster scenario,” he said.

Lacombe Police Service’s most visible upgrade is its new 16,000-square-foot station on Wolf Creek Drive east of Hwy 2A. It was officially opened on Thursday with Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley and other local dignitaries in attendance.

The station gives the department a spacious modern facility and replaces an aging building where cell blocks didn’t meet provincial standards.

The station also provides a lot more space for officers to do their work along with better information technology.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read