Police launching Real Time Intelligence Centre in Surrey today

SURREY — Law enforcement agencies throughout the Lower Mainland will launch Canada’s first Real Time Intelligence Centre today.

Based in Surrey, it will provide a coordinated regional response to serious crimes, Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy told the Surrey Now in an interview last year.

"Immediate analytical support will be available during crimes that pose a risk to public safety, such as armed robberies, high-risk missing persons or gang violence," he explained.

The RTIC-BC will have 43 employees and will be located in the provincial RCMP headquarters in Surrey.

"It will be the first of its kind in Canada," Fordy told the Now. "Once we work through all the glitches, it will be awesome."

Surrey’s top cop noted that there are similar crime-fighting initiatives in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Puerto Rico.

Since adopting its Real Time Crime Centre in 2006, the Memphis Police department has recorded a 30 per cent reduction in serious crime and a 20 per cent reduction in violent crime.

Each municipality and city in the Lower Mainland will contribute to the RTIC-BC and costs will be shared between the federal, provincial and civic governments.

Fordy said RTIC-BC will be running 24/7, all year, and will expand to include the Victoria Capital Regional District in 2016, and the entire province the following year.

It will focus on shootings, murders, attempted murders, armed robberies, sex assaults, AMBER alerts, high-risk missing persons cases, home invasions, hostage takings, acts of terrorism, gang-related incidents and "emerging events that threaten public safety."

Fordy said recent technological advancements have enabled police to be able to store, search out, retrieve and analyze "vast amounts" of data. This, he said, can help police link "seemingly unconnected" crimes.

"By mining intelligence resources through multiple databases, RTIC-BC will help frontline police officers and investigators quickly identify and locate dangerous criminals," Fordy explained. "This will assist Lower Mainland police in overcoming challenges associated with jurisdictional boundaries and limited resources.

"Analysts working within the RTIC-BC will have a far greater breadth and depth of access to police and law enforcement databases that dispatchers, police officers and municipal police analysts simply do not have," he said.

Police are officially launching RTIC-BC this morning (Thursday, Feb. 26), at the BC RCMP Headquarters at 14200 Green Timbers Way but media will not be provided access to it for security reasons.

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com