Smiths Falls – The OPP “com centre” is being decommissioned begin early next year through a phased approach, but area residents are promised the same professional service delivery will be unaffected by the change.
In late May, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced the Provincial Communications Centre (PCC) Smiths Falls – which currently provides call-taking and dispatching services for OPP East Region – would be decommissioned via a phased process, beginning in early 2022. This phased decommissioning will allow the OPP to maintain the high level of service it provides to Ontario communities leading up to, and during, this realignment. Completion is targeted for June 2022.
The OPP regularly reviews and evaluates its facilities as part of ongoing efforts to modernize, reinvest and enhance service delivery to Ontario communities. With advances in technology, there is no longer a requirement for PCC personnel to be physically situated in the region for which they provide call-taking and dispatching services. In addition to consolidating operations from five to four PCCs, the OPP is also preparing to implement provincial call-sharing, which will see emergency calls answered by the next available call-taker at any of the OPP PCCs, regardless of the caller’s geographical location. This model will provide an enhanced service to the public by allowing calls to be answered – and officers dispatched – more quickly, leveraging capacity in the PCC system.
Karen Meyer, Chief Superintendent Bureau Commander Communications and Technology Services Bureau, stressed there would be a smooth transition.
“As the bureau commander responsible for the OPP PCCs, I wish to reassure all police services boards in East Region that service delivery will be unaffected by this change,” she said. “The same call-taking and dispatching services currently provided by PCC Smiths Falls will be provided from PCC Orillia once the transition takes place in 2022.” She noted PCC Smiths Falls personnel are being provided options specific to their individual circumstances, including the opportunity to relocate to another PCC where applicable. Frontline policing in East Region will also be unaffected by the decommissioning, with the same highly skilled OPP members continuing to provide unmatched public safety service in the community.
“Thank you for your understanding as the OPP undertakes this organizational realignment, which will streamline the important public safety call-taking and dispatching services provided by our PCCs,” she said.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader