Letter: E-comm apologizes for leaving letter writer on hold so long

Editor:

Re: New West police left me on hold forever, Record Letters, Sept. 24

As the organization responsible for answering non-emergency calls for our partners at New Westminster Police Department, I write to thank J. Mills for caring about the community and the effort undertaken to report the lost purse. Most of all, I would like to apologize for the wait experienced in trying to do the right thing. 

Police non-emergency lines are an important part of the community and the work of police agencies. As NWPD’s partner, we know that wait times are too long at certain points of the day and we are working diligently to shortenthem. We want to thank residents for their patience and to apologize to anyone who has had to wait for an inordinate amount of time to speak with one of our hardworking call takers, who are on duty 24/7.

So far this year, E-Comm has answered 73% of the more than 8,000 non-emergency calls for NWPD in five minutes or less (approximately 87% in 10 minutes or less). However, we recognize there are instances in which some callers have been on hold for longer, like J Mills, and that is not satisfactory.

For your readers’ information, our staff respond to both emergency and non-emergency calls and during high-call volume times, answering emergency calls is understandably our priority. We are working to shorten non-emergency wait times though through a variety of initiatives. The public can help us help too, through a number of tips available on www.nonemergency.ca, including suggestions for who to call for non-police matters (e.g. civil complaints, road closures, power outages etc.,) which contribute to growing call volumes.  This will help us keep non-emergency lines free for police matters.  

Jody Robertson, executive director, corporate communications, E-Comm 9-1-1

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