July 11th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 28
RCMP launches new call back unit
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive Photo
Crowsnest Pass R.C.M.P. detachment.
Pass Herald Reporter
The RCMP has launched a new specialized Call Back Unit that handles non-emergency calls for service.

This means that if a Crowsnest Pass resident calls the local complaint line with a concern, their call may be handled out of Edmonton.

When a call is made to the complaint line, it first goes through the Alberta RCMP Operational Communication Centres (OCC). There is one centre in Southern Alberta, which handles calls made from Crowsnest Pass, and one in Northern Alberta. The call-taker at the OCC determines whether the call goes back to the Crowsnest Pass detachment for further investigation, or whether it is more appropriate to have it diverted to the Call Back Unit.

If the Call Back Unit determines that a member in Crowsnest Pass needs to investigate the complaint further and that there is a reason for the member to attend in person, then the file gets passed back to the detachment.

In 2017, the OCC received almost 700,000 complaints and 911 calls. A significant number of those calls were non-emergency and did not require police officer attendance.

The purpose of the unit is handle these non-time sensitive that have no risk to the public in order to take some of the back-end workload like paperwork and documentation off the front-line staff to allow them to focus on proactive patrols and crime reduction initiatives.
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“Every call that we get is important to us. We are endeavoring to manage our calls more efficiently so that the members in the detachment can concentrate on time-sensitive investigations, things that are actually happening that may be a risk to public safety and engaging in some of our crime reduction initiatives. We have members being able to do more of that because they've had time saved in this way,” says Laurel Scott with the RCMP. “It's meant to take our lower priority calls to service, meaning calls that we don't feel require an immediate police response. There are some calls that can be handled over the telephone as opposed to the dispatch of a police response."

Examples of the types of calls handled by the Call Back Unit are a lost wallet with no evidence on scene, minor theft from a motor vehicle with minimal property taken and no evidence on scene, frauds and scams where there has been no money lost and traffic offenses not happening at the moment that the call is being made.

Police officer investigators who work in the unit will make a determination whether there is reason to attend.
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The unit, made up of one corporal and four constables, launched in February 2018 and as of the end of May 2018, has answered over 1,000 calls for service rather than dispatching the front-line members.

That's a very appreciable savings of man hours,” says Scott. “We feel that this has been a positive response by saving some hours for the guys out there, in the field and the idea is that time saved on these lower priority calls allows more time to be out on the road and focusing on some of our other strategies, like our crime reduction, patrolling in areas where we feel that crime is happening and targeting repeat offenders and monitoring people.”
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July 11th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 28
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