On April 1, 2020 the Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) School Resource Officers (SROs) developed and deployed the Youth Enhanced Deployment (YED) initiative in response to the closures of schools in mid-March due to COVID-19. As students across the country adjusted to learning outside of the classroom, the resource officers found a way to provide continued support to youth. The model was created to serve the continuing needs of the youth who were no longer able to easily access school and community resources they and their families had come to rely on. You can read about the initiative's beginnings here.
The YED initiative was a huge success. In fact, between April 1st, 2020 - August 28, 2020, YED constables completed:
- Patrol calls - 663
- School Follow-ups - 1110
- Self-generated youth checks - 1024
- AHS / CFS calls - 72
- Pro-active calls - 1344
As of September 2020, the YED Initiative has been extended to encompass a team of 16 YED Constables.
Although many students are back in the classroom, there are still youths in need of assistance that our YED Constables can provide.
YED Constables will work under a city-wide focus on youth and their families. The YED model will incorporate the following levels of service:
- Mobile Workstation (MWS) dispatched calls, particularly ones involving youth complainants (inclusive of calls from EPSB)
- Attending to 'spiking' at-risk and high-risk youth according to EPS analytics
- Following up with vulnerable youth identified through reviewed FYI reports, the HELP Team or other Community partners involved with youth
- Assisting with the Assertive Community Outreach Team - 'ACOT' initiative (collaborating with AHS on interventions for youth struggling with mental health or addictions issues during regular school hours)
- Attending schools for positive youth engagement opportunities in consultation with CPB Crime Suppression Branch – Community Engagement Teams and Community Relations Section.
- Assisting SROs in the Edmonton Catholic School Division or the Edmonton Islamic Academy
- Responding to identified youth 'hot spot' geographical areas.
With this modified model, YED Constables are well positioned to continue providing an innovative, strategic and coordinated approach to maintain youth engagement, reduce calls that would otherwise go to patrol and continue to build connections to meet the needs of youth and their families.