TRURO, N.S. – Efforts by a local MP to seek out information about the future of the RCMP’s Truro dispatch centre are proving difficult, Bill Casey says.
Rumours have been circulating that the RCMP may be seeking to move the centre to Halifax. And Casey, the MP for Cumberland Colchester, said despite trying to contact top RCMP brass, such as commissioner Bob Paulson and H-Division assistant commissioner Brian Brennan, to obtain a copy of a 2006 internal report that saw several Nova Scotia dispatch centres consolidated in Truro, he has not received any information.
And three months after making an application through the Access to Information and Privacy Branch of the RCMP, he is still waiting for a reply.
“I believe that somewhere in that 2006 report is a rationale for choosing to locate this critical communications infrastructure outside of HRM,” Casey said. “If a catastrophic event happens in HRM, where our only other dispatch centre is located, Truro is the backup. If both centres were located in Halifax, it could spell a double disaster, with communications knocked out for the entire province.”
RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke told the Truro Daily News the information is not yet available because a review of the dispatch operations is still under way.
“The report is not yet finalized and we are actively engaging the stakeholders in all aspects of the review," she said.
The Truro Operational Communications Centre handles about half of all 911 calls in the province. A centre in Halifax, operated by HRM police, handles the rest. The Truro centre takes overflow from HRM through seamless telephonic integration and can communicate with every police car, fire truck, ambulance and marine vessel instantaneously.
Casey said he believes RCMP will release the report in due course, but wants to be sure that he has seen the information before a decision is made regarding the Truro facility.
“These are more than 50 good-paying jobs for this rural area. We don’t want to lose them, and nobody wants to see public safety compromised,” he said.