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Former Convergys call centre in Millbrook touted as replacement for RCMP communications facility

The building is currently Legends Gaming Centre
The building is currently Legends Gaming Centre

MILLBROOK, N.S.

The former Convergys call centre in Millbrook is the site being proposed as a possible replacement for the RCMP’s 911-communications facility in Truro.

“All the servers are still there and all the data lines, everything is still all suspended in the ceilings,” said Millbrook First Nations Chief Bob Gloade.

Gloade said he initiated discussions with Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey about the proposal after Casey began raising concerns about the possibility of losing the RCMP communications centre to Halifax, when the outdated Truro facility is shut down.

That prompted further discussions with other elected officials and a formal proposal has been made to the RCMP about relocating to the Truro Power Centre.

“Everything supports it,” Gloade said. “I’ve got full support from Bill Casey and from the local mayors as well as the province for that.”

Another plus, he said, is that in addition to the Power Centre being on the same priority electrical grid as the hospital, the former call centre also has its own generation system.

Public safety requires that a communications centre be located away from Halifax and away from the other primary communications centre located in Dartmouth, a fact that was noted in an RCMP report from 2004.

RCMP officials have toured the facility, Gloade said, but he has not heard if it is being given consideration as a possible replacement.

But he said it is an available facility that could easily be converted to suit the RCMP’s needs and would ensure that the jobs of approximately 55 existing staff would remain local.

“Potentially it could create some opportunities for First Nations members and our community members going forward as well,” the chief said.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said the final draft of the Operational Communications Centre (OCC) study has been completed and provided to the commanding officer, who “understands and appreciates the importance of this decision” to the centre’s employees.

“With all options under consideration, we looked at the site to determine if it meets the needs of the OCC as well as RCMP physical security, IT and operational requirements,” she said. “At this time, while no decision has been made, stewardship, fiscal responsibility and the well-being of our employees remains our focus.”

Convergys opened the call centre in 2004 and initially employed up to 500 people. When it closed in June 2010, staff had been reduced to about 250.

The facility currently serves as home to for bingo at the Legends Gaming Centre but Gloade said a new building would be constructed for that group if an agreement is struck with the RCMP.

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