CRD Board Supports Amendment for Unified 911 Centre

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board announced their support for a service establishment bylaw amendment and loan authorization for construction of an Emergency Response Dispatch Centre that will unify the 911 Primary Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and Police Dispatch for the region.

The CRD is pleased to support police throughout the region in their move to a consolidated police dispatch centre. The South Island Police Dispatch Steering Committee, comprised of CRD staff, police chiefs, the Province of British Columbia, RCMP and ECOMM have been working together to solidify the planning and operational framework necessary to establish a new unified 911 Call Answer and Police Dispatch Centre. Existing facilities are not adequate and a new site is required to construct a proposed centre that will meet post disaster standards and accommodate consolidated services.

The Committee has been leading the initiative to consolidate police dispatch operations within Southern Vancouver Island and the Outer Gulf Island. ECOMM, a not-for-profit emergency communications corporation, is expected to provide the services for the new post-disaster redundant facility built by the CRD. Those discussions are ongoing and details concerning cost, service-delivery, human resources and other matters remain under consideration. The Province has contributed $100,000 to support the initiative.

“The establishment of a unified centre in the region will contribute to achieving the CRD Board’s Strategic Priority to collaborate with partners to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies,” said CRD Board Chair, Barbara Desjardins. “It also creates the opportunity to achieve operational and cost efficiencies, and to upgrade facilities to a post-disaster standard and modernize equipment.”

A Conditional Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of 4219 Commerce Circle in Saanich has been negotiated as recommended by the South Island Dispatch Steering Committee. On August 5, the CRD entered into a conditional offer to purchase the property for $1,350,000 with the final subject removal date in December 2016.

To proceed with this project, an amendment to CRD Bylaw No. 2468, Emergency Response Telephone Extended Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1, 1997, is required to provide for the construction of the facility and a loan authorization bylaw is required to fund the land purchase and construct the building. The estimated costs for the project are $16,000,000, including land and initial installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment. A refined budget and detailed project proposal together with details on service agreements will come back to the CRD Board for approval and the actual borrowing amounts will be based on the final budget.