The City of Red Deer and local RCMP launched the 2017-18 Annual Policing Plan on Thursday.
Priorities unveiled by Superintendent Ken Foster include a continued focus on property crime and high risk youth, as well as a focus on the relationships between police and the community, public education, building and maintaining quality of service, and increased police attendanceat break and enters.
“Red Deer RCMP saw success last year with our crime reduction strategy and youth intervention strategies and we’re looking forward to building on that. As well, we’re pushing to increase communication with the public and do a better job of telling the stories – the good stories where we’re putting away the bad guys, the stories that show our investment in the community, and increased public education,” Foster said. “RCMP have identified measurables for each priority that we will report back on to Council and the community.”
In his presentation at City Hall, Foster noted robberies, persons crimes and vehicle thefts were all down in the first quarter of 2017 (year over year), though vehicle thefts saw an uptick in quarter two. Foster also lamented the up to 50 per cent of vehicles broken into in the winter which occur because people leave them running and unattended. Foster acknowledged it isn't popular to victim blame, but says we all have a role in preventing crime.
He also gave a high-five residents for the number of calls they put in about suspicious activity, which is a huge reason why RCMP have been able to catch more bad guys, he said.
As well, the new APP is the first since the creation and implementation of the City's new Protective Services division, something city council approved in the last Operating Budget.
“Crime continues to be a top priority for the community, as seen in the Ipsos survey results released by The City of Red Deer today,” said Paul Goranson, director of the newly formed Protective Services division, which brings RCMP, Emergency Services and Fire together under one umbrella.
“The APP presents a key opportunity for City Council to work closely with RCMP to establish policing priorities, and the organizational shift to a Protective Services division enables us to focus even more on support of those priorities.”
The 2017/18 Annual Policing Plan runs through March 31, 2018.
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