The Communications Centre is a vital part of the Regina Police Service. For most people, it is the initial contact with the Police Service. The primary function of the Communications Centre is to facilitate and co-ordinate police resources with the various needs of the public. In other words, directing police officers to where they’re needed, responding to the most urgent needs first.
On average there are six Communications Officers working at any given time. There are four teams, each made up of one supervisor, one dispatcher and four call takers. Like their uniformed counterparts on the street, Communications Officers work 12 hour shifts.
Until 1986 the Communications Centre was staffed by police officers. With higher demands for uniformed personnel on the streets and the advent of new technology, civilians gradually replaced the police officers. This transition was complete in 1996.
The Communications Centre uses a trunked radio system with the capability to handle in excess of thirteen hundred radios on 12 channels. Police, Fire, EMS and several other City departments access the radio system, which allows each user its own autonomy and privacy, but also has the ability to combine all departments. This function is especially important in a major emergency, which requires the response of all of the above-named agencies.
Communications Officers use the Computer Aided Dispatch to get information to police officers. This system links the Communications Officer’s dispatch system to the are small on-board computers in the police cars. They have the advantage of reducing the amount of audible “on air” communication, while increasing the ability to share detailed information. This system also allows for greater security & privacy, more efficient use of Communications staff, and access to an increased amount of information.
The Regina Police Service incorporated the Enhanced 9-1-1 phone system in 1985 to improve the public’s access to emergency response agencies. When someone calls 9-1-1, that person’s name, address & phone number are automatically displayed enabling Communications Officers to identify and screen callers reporting valid and false emergency situations. Enhanced wireless capabilities allow for most wireless phone callback numbers to be displayed, but not all, and the location that is provided is the tower that is handling the call, not the location of the caller. No customer name or billing information is provided. It is imperative that the caller stay on the line and confirm their location.
For all emergency calls, dial 9-1-1. An emergency is:
- any crime that is in progress and/or where a person’s life or property is being threatened
- any incident where immediate medical attention is required
- any incident where the fire department is immediately required
All calls, on both 9-1-1 lines and administrative lines, are recorded.
The Regina Police Service Communications Centre is one of three Public Safety Answering points in Saskatchewan. The Communications Centre answer calls for the city of Regina.
On average, the Communications Officers answer over 204,800 administrative calls, 63,200 9-1-1 calls and dispatch Police members to over 62,900 calls-for-service.