As part of the Violence Reduction Strategy, EPS implements monthly CAT deployments to high-risk places and neighbourhoods in an effort to reduce the severity, frequency, and fear and perception of violence and disorder.
CAT is an organized and focused mobile police unit created to identify and target struggling, at-risk communities in the City of Edmonton. It is supplemented by a variety of community partners. CAT empowers, educates, and reassures communities that the EPS is dedicated to curbing crime and restoring the faith of our citizens through its part in the Violence Reduction Strategy.
CAT deployments are deliberate and focused. CAT’s purpose is to deploy a maximum contact, high-visibility team to saturate locations experiencing enduring violence. The disruption of violence through prevention, intervention and suppression tactics is the primary focus of all CAT deployments.
We do the following to accomplish our objectives:
- Educate the public through awareness and prevention (as part of the Violence Reduction Strategy). Police connect more directly with citizens to better access police information and resources.
- Promote high visibility and enforcement by police.
- Cooperate with other agencies in education and enforcement (Edmonton Transit, Edmonton Rangers, community shelters and outreach services.)
- Gather intelligence to support trends and target specific enforcement in the future.
- Inform the public and communities of our actions and results.
- Gauge public attitudes and mobilize accordingly.
We monitor our results and effectiveness through:
- Police enforcement;
- Reduction of crime in the area (post-implementation);
- Noticeable reduction in crime by community members (reduced fear of crime and increased public safety);
- Useable intelligence;
- Interventions with street-involved people (such as housing and supports);
- Cost effectiveness; and
- Feedback from partners and community members.
The CAT tactic is best used in areas experiencing higher-than-average social disorder. These areas include neighbourhoods that have a higher frequency of violence over sustained periods of time compared to other neighbourhoods.
This is one of many innovative ideas and projects undertaken by the EPS, the City of Edmonton, community agencies/partners and media outlets throughout the City of Edmonton and surrounding communities.