Recently a few CSC employees went to check out the National Monitoring Centre (NMC) located in Ottawa. The NMC is a 24/7 centralized operational centre that uses various technologies to support institutional and community operations across Canada. The NMC is responsible for 11 programs that are used almost every single day. They include the following:
The National Duty Officer Initiative provides after-hour emergency offender case management and intervention, and ensures that security incidents that occur after-hours are reported in a timely and accurate fashion. The NMC can then share information received with police agencies and other internal and external stakeholders. The NMC also assesses the status of offenders in the community based on information gathered, and can take appropriate action to ensure offender risk remains manageable while on release. If necessary, NMC supervisors can issue suspension warrants for day parole, full parole, and statutory release offenders.
The Electronic Monitoring program that was implemented in July 2015 allows CSC to make sure offenders are following geographical special conditions while in the community. An alert is sent to the NMC if an offender misses a curfew, enters a restricted area, leaves a defined area, or tries to tamper with or remove the device. The NMC can contact the offender or local police to ask about a specific situation that is happening and can discuss with the officers working on the Duty Officer Initiative if a warrant needs to be issued.
The CSC Tip Line Initiative is a 24-hour service that allows a person to contact CSC anonymously in order to provide information about activities relating to security at CSC institutions. These activities may be related to drug use or trafficking that may threaten the safety and security of visitors, inmates, and staff members. An average of one tip call a day is received at the NMC, and most tips end up being helpful in resolving an issue.
These are just a few of the 11 programs at the NMC. You can also find programs such as the After-Hours Victim Notification Initiative, Community Staff Safety Initiative, After-Hours Bilingual Service, AMBER Alerts, Government Operations Centre Notification, as well as the Preventive Security and Intelligence Contact Line.
The staff at the NMC were helpful and more than happy to explain to us a typical day in the life of their work. With the amount of programs there are to manage, you would assume there would be a huge work force behind them. Think again. This dedicated team consists of a handful of people that work together in a small office day and night carrying out 12-hour shifts. Despite their small working quarters, the NMC has a big impact on the safety and protection of Canadians from coast to coast.