Red Deer police to launch ‘unarmed response’ project

A Red Deer City RCMP pilot project allowing civilians to respond to non-urgent calls is expected to get on the road this year.

A Red Deer City RCMP pilot project allowing civilians to respond to non-urgent calls is expected to get on the road this year.

Greg Scott, the city’s director of Community Services, told council on Tuesday that the unarmed response pilot project should be up and running by the end of the first quarter in 2014.

Scott updated council as part of his Safety Charter progress report.

Crimes such as vandalism or vehicle theft fall under Priority 3 calls.

The 18-month pilot was developed under the Way Forward policing plan to improve response to Priority 3 calls and to free up police resources.

About 60 per cent of the police calls are considered Priority 3 calls in Red Deer.

“Unarmed response means we will not necessarily need police officers going out all the time,” said Scott. “So we would have alarm specialists and they would take information and may have an opportunity to do some information around public education and community safety.”

The person would process the information and follow up with victims in a faster manner.

Scott said because of the volume of the non-urgent calls, these calls are not followed up as quickly as they would like.

Progress reports will be brought to council during the pilot.

Scott also noted the guidelines will be developed for the city’s Drug and Alcohol policy and there’s more work to do on the social policy framework and the social master plan policy in 2014.

Crime prevention specialist Irvin Waller will speak about the ways communities can reduce crime without spending money but investing in social initiatives in Red Deer in February.

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