_ (press release) _ (Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Strategic Operations Centre (OPSOC) has been launched!
The OPSOC is a hub for frontline, day-to-day operations and acts as a virtual back-up for officers on the road. It has been operational since October 24th and provides the following support:
* Maintains situational awareness across the city as well as a service-wide common operating picture; * Supports frontline officers, particularly during high risk and/or complex calls for service; and, * Pulls together intelligence information to share with officers while they are en-route, on scene, or in the early stages of an investigation.
“The launch of OPSOC represents an important milestone for the Ottawa Police Service,” said Deputy Chief Jill Skinner, executive sponsor of the Service Initiative (SI) program. “It gives us an unprecedented ability to pull intelligence information together in near-real time to support our officers. This translates into quicker and safer resolution of calls for service and more importantly, improved public and officer safety.”
The OPSOC assisted with over 70 calls for service in the first 10 days of operations including a gun call at high school in Barrhaven, a demonstration on Parliament Hill, as well as missing persons, an armed robbery, a suicidal person with a firearm, and threats.
“Immediately after launching the OPSOC, we were able to see the benefits this centre brings to our officers and the community,” said Insp. Murray Knowles, the OPSOC Operational Lead. “Its ability to access information and help identify crime trends, patterns, and problems, will help us direct our resources where they need to be to keep the community safe.”
Some of the critical information that can be shared with officers responding to calls for service includes floor plans, suspect photos and other information, video footage, and even previous related incidents.
The OPSOC is located within Greenbank police station and is staffed by a Staff Sergeant who acts as the Watch Commander, a Constable who is responsible for operations support, and a Crime/Intelligence Analyst who is assigned to support the platoon on duty, as well as keeping an eye of neighbourhood-level patterns and trends.
While the start-up of the OPSOC is focused on information dissemination and situational awareness, the Centre will continue to evolve and play more of a tactical and strategic role of coordinating and directing proactive police work, particularly with the launch of the new Frontline Deployment model in January of 2017.
It will also be a key support during Ottawa 2017, where Canada will be celebrating 150 years as a nation and the capital will be host to numerous events spanning the entire year which will require our best coordination efforts.
“Like many police services across the country, we are becoming more intelligence-led so we can provide better and more effective service to the community,” said Deputy Skinner.