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Burnaby promises to end 'excessive wait times' with new non-emergency line, call centre

Burnaby launches new non-emergency call centre
There's a new non-emergency line for Burnaby residents to call.

The City of Burnaby has launched a non-emergency call centre to improve wait times when calling the local RCMP’s non-emergency line.

The line at 604-646-9999 will be for residents who require police assistance in non-urgent situations such as reporting theft or vandalism.

City staff at the call centre will answer the line from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., when most non-emergency calls in Burnaby are made, according to a press release.

Non-emergency calls previously went through E-Comm along with emergency calls, leading to "excessive wait times." E-Comm is the 911 service and dispatch agency used by many communities around the province.

Last year, almost 22,000 non-emergency line calls were abandoned, more than half of all non-emergency calls received, said the release.

E-Comm will handle Burnaby’s non-emergency calls outside of peak hours and on weekends.

The city plans to expand the service hours of the new non-emergency call centre by adding more staff when possible.

"Burnaby residents shouldn’t have to spend their time waiting on hold when trying to report crime through the non-emergency line," said Mayor Mike Hurley in the release.

"By bringing this service to the Burnaby RCMP Detachment, residents can be assured their calls will be answered promptly and professionally."

The release notes people should call 911 for emergencies where immediate action is required.