RCMP proposing multi-agency, crime-fighting centre

Will allow cops, border, prisons, sheriffs to talk

RCMP want to add another tool to their crime-busting arsenal by setting up a real-time intelligence centre in its new $1-billion Green Timbers E Division headquarters in Surrey.

However, Maple Ridge won’t have to pay any extra in order to chip in its share of the  new project, Ridge Meadows RCMP commanding officer Supt. Dave Fleugel said Monday. The project can be paid for through the existing policing budget.

“We’re going to try to bring all the data bases under one roof,” Fleugel told Maple Ridge council.

Currently, federal or provincial correctional services or Canada Security Intelligence Service can’t share databases with each other or with the RCMP or city cops. Neither can Canada Border Services Agency share data with police. But getting representatives from all such agencies into one room, where they can access their own information and share it immediately could mean quicker solving of crimes and finding bad guys.

“It’s that kind of real-time information that we need access to.”

The R-TIC would focus on serious and violent crimes such as robbery, sex offences and gangs,.

Calgary and New York already have such centres.

Sharing information will allow crosschecking of tips that could identify suspects. There’s no software that can tie all the data together, he added.

Opening the centre could take a year or more although there’s no specific schedule. Neither is there a cost estimate.

“I don’t have a timeline and I don’t have lot of costs. It’s just concept. But it will happen.”

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie though wanted to ensure the provincial government paid its share and wondered if it would take cops off street patrol.

The centre would need a staff of 43 with 17 of those RCMP, mostly from federal or provincial RCMP offices.

Metro Vancouver municipalities would pay half the costs of the centre while the provincial government would pay 30 per cent with the federal government chipping in 20 per cent. Metro Vancouver municipal forces  support the plan.

RCMP are working on a business case to present to Metro Vancouver mayors. A real-time information centre was one of the recommendations made by Justice Wally Oppal’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

According to a recent provincial report, there has been improved cooperation between police forces over the years through greater use of integrated police teams and several police-related reforms taken in response to Oppal’s inquiry.

Most of Oppal’s 65 recommendations, including formation of a regional police force, haven’t led to provincial action, or are counted as still in progress.


– with Black Press files