Above, an artist’s impression of the interior of the newly refurbished building.
The Police Digital and Communication Centre, based in Ihakara St, Paraparaumu, in a newly refurbished building, will be open for business from November 1.
Business lead on the project, Inspector Paul Jermy, is asking staff to promote employment opportunities at the new centre to their families, friends and colleagues.
There have already been more than 700 expressions of interest, he said, and planning is under way to have the first 48 recruited and trained before Christmas.
A further 120 positions are expected to be filled by the end of next year.
Assistant Commissioner Jevon McSkimming says it’s going to be a modern, open-plan, world-class fit out, “a place where people are not just able to work, but where they want to work”.
There’s capacity for 180 seats, and other work groups, yet to be decided, will be based there too.
The centre will be closely linked to Police’s other Crime Reporting Line (CRL) facility, based in Auckland, where about 150 staff field CRL calls, and will be part of a national centralised network of digital, telephony and online non-emergency communications.
Seven of the 12 Police districts already have a centralised telephony service, with others due to switch soon.
The projects are part of the Policing 21 programme, which has a target of gaining 90 per cent trust and confidence in Police and its communications services.
Next year, Police will launch a public awareness campaign on a single, nonemergency number (SNEN) which aims to help people get in touch with Police “anywhere, any time”.
Jevon says there will be other new service options in the new year, such as online reporting. “It’s not about stopping the use of the telephone, but about adding capability and choice,” he says.
“We know that what the public wants is reliability and predictability. People will still be able to talk to a person one on one, if that’s what they want. We will have people available for that, but other staff will be able to communicate with multiple people at one time through other channels – chat, email and social media, for example.”
It’s also about Police catching up with the rest of government and the private sector that are already using digital and online environments to help people seeking information, he says.
“The aim is to provide a better service to the public, one that is highly predictable, with multiple channels of communication: digital, telephony and online connections through email.”
The Kapiti centre will be a 24-hour operation with mainly new staff, many of whom will be part of the Government’s promised 485 extra support staff for Police.
There will be a rostering-to-demand system, yet to be finalised, at the centre.
The location is expected to be a drawcard for prospective staff and there are 73 car parks on site with additional off-site parking nearby.
“We know that if we want to have flexible working options, having a workplace that is close to home is really good,” Jevon says.
To apply for a role at the new centre, visit the Police website, police.govt.nz.