News : Retired Members Asset for Edmonton Police Service 911 Call Centre
Edmonton, AB, Canada July 31, 2014 -- For the majority of his career, Geoff Wilson investigated sex crimes for Edmonton Police Services major crimes unit. Today, he answers phones.
After 33 years as an officer, Wilson is now just one of several retired officers answering and evaluating 911 calls — one of the only services in the country to utilize the veteran members.
"When you spend something in excess of a quarter century engrossed in police work, for the most part it becomes a part of who you are — you reactions, your thought process," said Wilson. "You’re still a cop at heart."
According to acting deputy chief Kevin Galvin, EPS’s model is unique — by utilizing veteran members, EPS has been able to redirect sworn members to areas where they’re needed most.
"What’s unique, is the veteran officers have seen it, they’ve dealt with it, they’ve lived those events and they are able to problem solve the issue with the caller in a really focused way," Galvin said about the model, which has been in place for the last 20 years.
Receiving upwards 1,000 to 1,400 calls per day, Galvin said it’s essential to have experienced people working in the centre to ensure resources are used most effectively.
"Most of the major call centres in the nation from the research we’ve done, call evaluation for police is mostly done by non-sworn personal — people who don’t have any law enforcement or previous law enforcement experience as a sworn officer," he explained.
In the last year, EPS has introduced non-sworn members into the call centre model to work along side veteran staff. The recent changes, Galvin explained, allow for even more sworn-members to be available for different units.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is the municipal police force for the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Published: Friday, August 1, 2014