City releases joint plan to address racism and make Edmonton safer for all
The City of Edmonton, Edmonton Police Service and Edmonton Police Commission have developed a joint work plan to enhance community safety, well-being, inclusion and anti-racism in Edmonton.
Following public hearings on anti-racism, recommendations from the Community Safety and Well-being Task Force, and input from Edmontonians, Council directed Administration to return with a work plan on actions that could be taken in the short term. The work plan will be presented to Community and Public Services Committee on June 30, 2021.
This work plan identifies nearly 70 action items that are either currently underway or scheduled to begin by the end of the year, including:
Intentionally building more diverse workforces through paid internships, new recruitment practices, and targeted outreach activities
Increasing training on bias, anti-racism and trauma
Introducing policy development processes that build understanding and reduce bias
Piloting a Community Outreach Transit Team to respond to situations involving overdoses, public intoxication, mental health crises, and other issues related to the safety and security of transit users
Adding in-car video cameras for police officers
Enhancing partnerships that divert vulnerable Edmontonians away from the justice system when possible
Increasing public transparency about safety and well-being by developing an online reporting dashboard
“We want Edmonton to be a compassionate city where everyone has a sense of safety, well-being, trust and belonging,” said City Manager Andre Corbould. “We believe the Edmontonians who told us there was more work to be done, and we are taking actions to make Edmonton that place.”
“The Edmonton Police Commission is confident that the initiatives outlined in this report will help improve community safety and well-being and are committed to ongoing collaboration with our partners in pursuit of this goal,” said Micki Ruth, Chair Edmonton Police Commission.
“Action is not possible without partnership, and through our work with the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Police Commission we have identified tangible steps toward creating better outcomes for all Edmontonians,” said Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee. “This work plan emphasizes a human centred approach, focusing efforts on integrated solutions that will make the largest impact in our community.”
Two other reports addressing community safety and well-being will also be presented to the Community and Public Services Committee on June 30, 2021:
A report by RECOVER Urban Wellness highlights how well-being and design work strengthen well-being outcomes.
A business case from the City and Edmonton Police Service to move toward a more integrated call evaluation and dispatch system. This system would include crisis diversion and mental health teams as well as police, firefighters and Emergency Medical Services personnel. The business case includes 47 recommended actions with targeted milestones over the next three years.
City Administration expects to outline additional engagement on longer-term plans and identify actions that can be taken in partnership with community agencies and others in additional reports scheduled for 2022.