A new call centre for the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment rolled out in December. Staff Sergeant in charge of Operations Dwayne Helgeson says they have the employees answer the phone and assess if there is a need to transfer it to the line in Edmonton.
“Their goal at this point, because we are starting with the basics, they answer the phone at the detachment. At that point, they can decide that if it is urgent or needs immediate police response they will be dispatched in Edmonton. They will go through the normal routine.”
The new system is being modeled after the Red Deer detachment which Helgeson says has seen a 20 to 25 per cent decrease of work being passed over to uniform officers.
Grande Prairie officers are also now carrying Naloxone while they are on duty. Helgeson says the NARCAN is used to reverse the effects of opioids.
“It has been issued to every member in Alberta. EAch member carries two doses with them. It is mandatory to take some training as well.”
He says it was launched a few months ago but there were no statistics recorded for use as of yet. He added that starting soon procedures have been updated that say officers will have to keep note of when it is used in order to keep some information.