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.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

‘Somewhere to go:’ Sex trafficking victim calls for more safe houses

REGINA — For years, Beatrice Wallace blamed herself. Not only did she… Continue reading

China renews demand on Canada for Huawei executive’s release

BEIJING — China on Wednesday renewed a demand that Canada release a… Continue reading

Pea-based pants may be next frontier as Lululemon looks at crops for clothes

VANCOUVER — Lululemon Athletica Inc. wants customers to have more pea in… Continue reading

European airports plan for net zero carbon emissions

LIMASSOL, Cyprus — An organization representing airports in 45 European countries said… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Soulpepper’s original musical ‘Rose’ among big winners at Dora theatre awards

TORONTO — Soulpepper’s first original musical “Rose” was among the big winners… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

‘He’s my son: Accused mother cries at trial over boy who died of meningitis

LETHBRIDGE — The mother of a toddler who died of bacterial meningitis… Continue reading

Licence revoked for doc who used own sperm to artificially inseminate patients

TORONTO — An Ottawa fertility doctor who used his own sperm as… Continue reading

David Saint-Jacques doing well after space flight: Canadian Space Agency

MONTREAL — Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is doing well as he continues… Continue reading

Most Read