THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The City of Edmonton is facing issues with crime, violence, gangs and drugs. One of the solutions being tried in the city are Community Action Teams (C.A.T.) On Wednesday, as part of the Chief of Police’s on-going Violence Reduction Strategy, the Edmonton Police Service launched the first C.A.T, focused on a specific community to empower, educate, and reassure them that the EPS is dedicated to curbing crime and building trust.
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) works closely with the community to solve and prevent crime. The vision is a simple statement: “A safe, vibrant city, achieved in partnership through innovative, responsive community policing”. The EPS has a culture of change and innovation.
Edmonton prides itself as a leading city in Canada when it comes to volunteerism. The EPS says “There is no better environment for community policing to thrive, improve the quality of life and to make our city the best place to live, work and play”. The EPS pride themselves with being innovative and looking to the future.
One area that the Police in Edmonton have taken a lead role is in crime prevention. “Crime Prevention has often been described in the old way police used to do business – “programs and pamphlets.” Today, things are different. The Edmonton Police Service along with other service providers have come to understand that Prevention is the key to a healthy community. Crime prevention is not just bigger bars on windows and louder alarms. Crime Prevention is a toolbox full of tools and the craftspeople wielding them are the real determinant of their usefulness”.
So too are the Community Action Teams. C.A.T. is an organized mobile police unit created for maximum contact, high visibility, and a unified team approach to saturate neighborhoods that endure violence. The disruption of violence through education, prevention, intervention and suppression tactics is the primary focus of all C.A.T. deployments.
“Through vital partnerships, EPS officers will be working closely with Edmonton Transit, Community Standards Officers, Edmonton Park Rangers, Community Shelters & Outreach Services in education and enforcement aspects with the overall goal of preventing and reducing crime,” says Dep. Chief Neil Dubbord.
The C.A.T. tactic is best used in areas of enduring violence. These neighborhoods have a higher frequency of violence over sustained periods of time compared to other areas. They are also identified in the top 5 per cent for violent crime incidents, and have also experienced higher than average social disorder.
Prevention of crime is less expensive, in the short and long run for making communities safer. Crime Prevention Saves Money, Property and Lives.