Policing in B.C. is well coordinated
Re: Is a regional force in Burnaby’s interest? (Column, NewsLeader, Feb. 15)
Without a doubt the most underappreciated aspect of policing is report writing.
I know it doesn’t sound very exciting and is never shown on any of the popular police dramas on TV, but it is the basis of all criminal investigations. We are fortunate in B.C. to have one computerized report writing system for the entire province, PRIME (Police Reports Information Management Environment).
Every single RCMP detachment and municipal police force is working within this one system. What this means is that all police officers in the province can communicate with each other, share information, and read each others reports at the click of a mouse.
All reports and records are maintained in one provincial data base. No other province in Canada has such a system.
In Ontario the OPP have one system, Toronto Metro has another and all of the other regional and small forces have their own.
This makes communication and information sharing between the various Ontario forces difficult and time consuming.
PRIME first entered service in 2001 with the Vancouver and Port Moody police departments, and the Richmond RCMP detachment. After a few years the entire province was on board.
During the Oppal inquiry no mention was made of PRIME. It is with 20-20 hindsight, and perhaps even some naivety, to think that if PRIME had been operational in the 1990s, Pickton may have been apprehended sooner.
Along with PRIME, E-COMM, IHIT, the Integrated Gang Task Force and all the other integrated units in the province, the major aspects of policing are managed at a provincial level.
This still leaves control of policing at the grassroots in the hands of the municipalities. One might say it is the best of both worlds.