The priorities for Red Deer RCMP in 2018/19 and 2019/20 have been adopted by city council.
Mayor Tara Veer says the priorities came into focus by way of significant consultation with citizens, including at Let's Talk, as well as with an online survey which received 400 responses, and a phone survey which contacted 500 citizens. The most commonly identified priority areas were drugs, property crime and downtown issues.
“We engaged to better understand their priorities when it comes to policing and community safety,” said Veer. “The information and data we collected from citizens was extremely valuable for council as we considered where we should focus our policing efforts. The drug trade, property crime and downtown issues continue to be areas of concern, and this is reflected in council’s adopted priorities for the next two years.”
Veer also remarked that many of the issues police are dealing with relate to health, social and justice, all of which are typically in the province's purview.
The priorities are broken down into three areas, the first of which targets drug and property crime.
Objectives include continuing to put pressure on prolific offenders, engaging citizens in crime prevention, and taking proactive approaches to policing. Goals include a three per cent decrease in city-wide crime in each of the next two years, as well as a three per cent drop in property crime, specifically.
The second focus is downtown, which aims to improve relationships with social agencies and perceptions of downtown safety.
Goals are to increase the number of citizens who feel safe downtown from 16 per cent to 19 per cent in 18/19 and 23 per cent in 19/20. They also hope for a reduction in calls for service to the downtown area by three per cent in each year, and see a drop in downtown property crime by three per cent each year.
Priority three hones in on service levels and responsiveness.
Citizen satisfaction with service provided by RCMP is expected to go from 82 per cent to 84 per cent. It's hoped reporting of crime will go from 79 to 81 per cent, and they hope citizens’ feeling of safety will go from 45 to 48 per cent.
"We’re working closely with our colleagues at the RCMP to ensure council’s priorities are reflected in this year’s APP,” said Paul Goranson, Director of Protective Services. “The APP is developed annually and determines the priorities our local police force will focus on in the year ahead."
Council has the jurisdiction to prescribe these priorities through the Municipal Police Service Agreement.
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