Sunday, November 15, 2009

Victoria police pulling out of regional expenses

The Victoria Police department is asking for a $2.35 million increase to their budget. They are also considering dropping out of the CREST radio system. They cite cost as the reason to pull out of the Regional Crime Unit. They also have to pay more for the computer access to share information between police departments.
So what is wrong with this?

First, if the police were amalgamated CREST, a separate agency put in place to manage the new radio system would not even exist. Thus while it could still have problems, it would be the police department that would be accountable for the problems, as they would have implemented what they felt was needed (or should have) in the first place. At a minimum the duplication and delay from having yet another level of management might have been avoided.

Second, if we have one police department protecting us in the area, no one would be pulling out of a Regional Crime Unit. The one department we should have for our region would hopefully be managing its resources to fight crime all over the city. They might change how they do that from time to time, but no one would be pulling out of sharing resources, knowledge and crime fighting.

Third, I cannot say that there would be a cost savings if all the departments regionally were one and thus already sharing information between departments, but one has to wonder if there are significant cost savings to be had through the use of the same technology in a larger department. Certainly the cost of soft ware licenses often gets cheaper as the number of units increases. Thus it is possible that cost savings might be found through a larger purchasing power.

1 comment:

Sharlene Smith said...

Clarification for you on CREST James. They support 36 emergency response agencies in the Capital Region -- not just police. Here's a link to all the organizations supported by CREST: