Abbotsford, B.C. – The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has strengthened the communication capabilities of its members and the region, following its move to the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network.
The City of Abbotsford—the largest municipality in B.C. in area (360 square kilometres) — is also the first municipality outside of Metro Vancouver to join E-Comm’s radio network. Abbotsford police now have access to stronger and wider radio coverage, better radio clarity and a higher level of security.
Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich sees the transition as critical for officer safety as their previous system was known for coverage gaps — dead zones — where contact was lost with dispatchers or fellow officers.
“Radios are a lifeline for police. If I had to give up my gun or my radio, I’d give up my gun,” says Chief Rich. “Communication is just too important to both officer and public safety.”
More than 200 portable radios have been deployed in Abbotsford and their members will now be able to communicate directly with all police departments in Metro Vancouver.
As the recent provincial hockey riot review noted, APD members deployed in support of Vancouver police (VPD) June 15, were not yet on the radio system. Now, if APD or VPD are supporting each other at large-scale events they will be able to communicate with each other because they are both on the E-Comm radio system. This will also be possible with RCMP detachments in neighbouring Langley and Maple Ridge along with members of the inter-municipal emergency response team (MIERT): Delta, Port Moody and New Westminster police departments.
“Joining E-Comm’s radio network will streamline our communication with the partner agencies we respond with daily,” says Chief Rich. “It will enhance our response and ability to provide improved service to our citizens.”
E-Comm’s multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency radio network, will replace the department’s 14-year old unsecure VHF radio system. It will offer Abbotsford police better coverage, enhanced security features, greater clarity and improved reliability through an earthquake-resistant infrastructure.
“Joining the E-Comm radio network is a cost-effective, long-term investment in public safety for our community,” says Abbotsford Mayor George W. Peary. “The E-Comm radio network will ensure that our officers have the best and most secure communication available to them at all times.”
“We’re very pleased to welcome Abbotsford, our 15th police department, onto our radio system,” says David Guscott, E-Comm’s president and CEO. “An integrated emergency communication system is critical to both emergency responder and public safety. We look forward to seeing more agencies join us in the years to come as we work to build the most resilient region possible.”
Cst. Ian MacDonald
Abbotsford Police Department