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Edmonton Police Service

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Downtown Division

Downtown Division is currently under the command of Superintendent Ed McIsaac. He is assisted in those duties by Inspector Trent Forsberg and six staff sergeants, each of whom is responsible for either a particular branch within the division or a specific portfolio that complements operational efforts within the division.

Staff Sergeant Brad Pearce oversees the Criminal Investigation Section (CIS), which includes general and patrol support (PST) detectives, an intelligence suite, the Inner City Police and Crisis Team (ICPACT), and the community liaison office.  Staff Sergeant Gary Beaulieu is the administrative and beats supervisor, with four beat sergeants in his chain-of-command and, additionally, a divisional administrative sergeant. Finally, there are four staff sergeants designated as Watch Commanders: Shannon Dechamplain, Ray Akbar, Randy Wickins, and in an acting role, Colin Derksen.

The above named members make up what is designated as the Divisional Management Team (DMT) and they are responsible for the vision of Downtown Division, as well the identification of long term strategic goals and the daily tactics necessary to achieve them. It is also their responsibility to address the growth of communities within Downtown Division and ensure that any service provision gaps that become apparent are quickly dealt with.

That, in part, has led to a completely redesigned division with updated geographical boundaries across the city – the first such revision since 2007 and one that will have a significant effect moving forward. The beginning of 2015 brought with it the inception of these new borders for the divisions as a means of equalizing the high workload that Downtown Division consistently experienced. Northwest Division was created, taking over communities from Downtown Division, thereby allowing for a more effective deployment of overall resources on a citywide scale.

These new Downtown Division boundaries are Wayne Gretzky Drive to 124 Street, east to west, and the north shore of the North Saskatchewan River to 111 Avenue, south to north. Though reduced in span, Downtown Division still includes two of the most populous communities in the City of Edmonton, as well as many smaller but still growing communities and, of course, the rapidly developing  arena and entertainment district. This still includes a beat network that operates within the division, designated by mandate as either the Jasper Avenue (“entertainment area”) team or Traditional (“shelter area”) team, both of which are comprised of four members working in a complementary schedule in their respective assignments.

Relationship building has always been a hallmark of Downtown Division’s successes. Challenging call volumes, high levels of violence in the central corridors, vulnerable persons management and outreach, and an ever evolving landscape have made it necessary to strengthen the stakeholder bonds throughout the division.

The ability of the division to manage crime and disorder efficiently and effectively has hinged on the partnerships that have been built and maintained in the communities being served on a daily basis. The Community Liaison office, led by Sergeant James Pennie, continues this practice through four constables dedicated to each specific district who seek out new partners in the collective efforts to improve the city of Edmonton as a whole.

Additionally, as part of the strategic plan, Downtown Division continues to focus on daily analytics to sharpen its response to crime. “Hot spots” and call trends are reviewed daily to identify emerging patterns in offender behaviors, victim risk factors, and contributing environmental factors. These issues are then addressed with the appropriate allocation of police resources, in partnership with the citizens of Edmonton and the affected stakeholders of the district. Ownership of issues and detailed problem solving initiatives have always been touchstones of the Downtown Division policing model and will continue to be so into the future.

Reducing fear of crime and victimization, creating safer public spaces, and demonstrating strong moral judgment and empathy as a policing agency will make Edmonton one of Canada’s safest cities. To that end, the Edmonton Police Service is committed to improving the quality of life in its communities through ethical, proactive policing to the highest achievable standards.

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