Red Deer city council will consider priorities for a new policing plan that will stretch to 2024 at its Monday meeting.
The Top 3 priorities, as recommended by Red Deer City RCMP Supt. Holly Glassford, are: greater police response and visibility, crime reduction, and more engagement with community partners.
The City of Red Deer and RCMP partnered earlier this year to gather public input on what the policing priorities should be for the annual Policing Plan.
Through small group discussions and an online survey, feedback was collected from 761 respondents as well as more than 50 community organizations. City councillors also weighed in with their views last March.
The results indicated a desire for increased police patrols and stronger police relationships with the community.
“The public would also like to see changes in the justice system to support convictions, and increased support for officers and non-policing resources to remove inappropriate case load from officers,” states Glassford in her report to council.
Rates of satisfaction with how police responded to reported crimes varied. The most common cause of dissatisfaction was a lack of police response — which led some people to resolve not to report future crimes to the RCMP.
In her report, Glassford noted that the public input closely corresponds with the results of a survey of RCMP officers, which was also done earlier this year.
“It is important to see that officers and the public are concerned about the same things, and are recommending the same solutions to arrive at the same result: increased policing resources, trusting community relationships, a responsive police force, and appropriate services for vulnerable populations being delivered by appropriate resources,” stated the report.
To respond to the priorities, Red Deer RCMP wants “to strive to enhance our response to mental health calls,” through increase resources, training and community partnerships, including continued collaboration with the social diversion team.
Glassford stated officers will continue pro-active enforcement and street patrols, including a “summer visibility program” on the trail network.
Crime prevention initiatives will include using new tools and technologies, as well as new officer training programs, and creating closer ties with businesses.
Expanding community engagement will include developing an enhanced diversity and Inclusion Strategy, working closer with community groups and the justice system to improve outcomes for both the victim and offender, and to keep youths out of the system.
For more information, please visit www.reddeer.ca/APP.