Success Stories https://www.edmontonpolice.ca/News/SuccessStories.aspx Below is a list of stories and articles about the Edmonton Police Service and its members. en 05 Dec 2021 18:38:53 UT Commitment to Professionalism - Reduced Crime &amp; Victimization - Investigative Excellence - Increased Efficiency &amp; Effectiveness<br /> Copyright &copy; 2021, Edmonton Police Service. All rights reserved. EPS now using missing children app https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/rescuappSSDec1 In February 2021, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police endorsed the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) “rescu” app as an addition to the national strategy for missing children. <p>The EPS is adopting the MCSC's Child Search Network, a national system designed to share information about high-risk missing children cases that do not meet the criteria for the <a href="https://www.alberta.ca/amber-alert.aspx">AMBER Alert</a>.</p> <p>The network includes a database with real-time details from police about missing children cases, with photos, location maps, and the capacity to deliver the information to community members and first responders specific to their location. It also lets the public share vital information with police by downloading the MCSC <a href="https://rescu.mcsc.ca/">rescu app</a>.</p> <p>Starting in mid-November 2021, the MCSC Child Search Network&rsquo;s &ldquo;rescu&rdquo; app was downloaded to all EPS phones, so officers can now receive notifications on their work devices about high-risk missing children in the Edmonton area.</p> <p>&ldquo;Missing persons investigations are often very complex and require a lot of resources,&rdquo; says Sgt. Rebecca Wright, with the EPS Missing Persons Unit. &ldquo;This app will help bring police and citizens together in the search. The more eyes we have out in the community looking for missing kids, the better our chance of bringing them home as quickly as possible.&rdquo;</p> <p>The MCSC and the EPS are also encouraging the public to download the app onto their personal devices by taking the rescu Challenge - <a href="https://arcg.is/1LbSjz">https://arcg.is/1LbSjz</a>.</p> <p>MCSC media contact:</p> <p><a href="mailto:info@mcsc.ca">info@mcsc.ca</a></p> 02 Dec 2021 19:15:39 UT Experience is the Best Teacher https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/Experienceisthebesteacher EPS recruits are gaining a better understanding of the vulnerable communities they serve through new Experiential Learning Shifts (ELS) at social agencies. <div style="position: relative; display: block; max-width: 960px;"> <div style="padding-top: 56.25%;"><iframe src="https://players.brightcove.net/6178286496001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6282435532001" allow="encrypted-media" style="position: absolute; top: 0px; right: 0px; bottom: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe></div> </div> &nbsp; <p><span>ELS emerged from the first Commitment to Action community engagement session in September 2020 where Kari Thomason, an Indigenous community advocate, suggested that recruits would benefit from learning first-hand about the work she does with at-risk individuals on the streets.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The idea of a community practicum placement to better understand social issues was a common suggestion at the engagement sessions, and with a high number of calls for service related to social issues such as mental health, addictions, poverty and houselessness &ndash; it became clear that this kind of training would help prepare recruits for the frontlines of policing.</span></p> <p><span>With the support of EPS Chief&rsquo;s Committee, Sergeant Jacqueline Buchanan with the EPS Community Relations Section designed a pilot project to provide recruit constables with opportunities to get hands-on experience at a social agency preferably within their assigned patrol divisions. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;ELS has been designed to provide recruits with the ability to practice the skills they have learned throughout the Community Policing module of their training while building relationships with community stakeholders,&rdquo; said Sergeant Buchanan.</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;I see tremendous value in helping our recruits build authentic, meaningful and lasting relationships with our community partners that are more than just transactional.&nbsp; A genuine collaboration where we are working together to support the clients we serve will yield a better overall outcome for everyone.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Recruits were able to choose their placement at one of eight local agencies including Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, CHEW Project, Mustard Seed Society, and the Somali Canadian Women and Children Association.&nbsp; The recruits were then assigned to shifts where they would job shadow agency staff to learn about their programs, assist with serving agency clientele, and complete tasks assigned to them.</span></p> <p><span>These tasks ranged from serving hot lunches to community members, training with overdose medications, checking on the welfare of vulnerable individuals, de-escalating situations, finding emergency clothing for those in need, to helping with facility maintenance.</span></p> <p><span>During this time, recruits learned more about the agencies, and how these agencies could work with police to divert individuals out of the criminal justice system and into these support services.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>More importantly, the recruits gained a greater understanding of the root causes of trauma that impacted crime, and a deeper empathy for those individuals struggling in those circumstances.&nbsp; The experience also left them with a desire to improve those circumstances.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Recruit Training Class 151 was the first to participate in the pilot project on October 19 and 20, 2021, and afterwards the 28 recruit constables reported how valuable the experience was to their understanding of community policing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;I saw the pain and struggle of people living rough and addicted to opioids, and I felt empathy towards them and their dire situation,&rdquo; said one recruit who assisted at the Mustard Seed Society.&nbsp; &ldquo;I was completely aware of the opioid crisis, the increase in houselessness and the people struggling to find help for mental health issues, but I had only viewed it through the lens of a future police officer.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>The recruit added, &ldquo;We are all working towards solving the issues in the downtown core, yet there is the same &lsquo;us versus them&rsquo; mentality.&nbsp; I do not think we see these issues because of the mistrust in our institution.&nbsp; The relationship needs to be mended and it could not be more obvious.&nbsp; I want to help and I want them to know that I am not the enemy.&nbsp; It is not &lsquo;us versus them,&rsquo; we are all here to serve members of the community.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Likewise, the social agencies also shared positive feedback and gratitude for the recruits&rsquo; participation, and provided them with a list of agency contacts who would support them once on the street.</span></p> <p><span>Staff at the Somali Canadian Women and Children Association said, &ldquo;Your efforts embody the spirit of what it means to &lsquo;be the change you want to see in the world.&rsquo;&nbsp; Thank you so much for your selflessness and dedication you showed while you were with us.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Similar comments were offered by Project CHEW staff, &ldquo;These recruits understand we are all humans.&nbsp; In this short time, they found new ways to see things.&nbsp; This way works, it really moved them beyond their uniforms, to do their duty but lend a hand to help as well.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Due to the success of the Experiential Learning Shifts in building understanding, trust and new relationships within the community, the practicum will continue for EPS recruit training classes in the future. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: windowtext;"><a href="https://commitmenttoaction.ca/">EPS Commitment to Action</a></span></p> 17 Nov 2021 20:27:35 UT A round of applause for the AWIPS Award winners https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/AroundofapplausefortheAWIPSAwardWinners Supt. Derek McIntyre and Iman Saidi were recipients of Alberta Women in Public Safety (AWIPS) awards. <p><span>The Alberta Women in Public Safety (AWIPS) awards are intended to recognize individuals or groups who have worked to advance opportunities and outcomes for women working in public safety in Alberta. The awards were created to highlight the areas AWIPS deems critical to advancing its goal to create an inclusive culture that supports the growth and development of women in Alberta&rsquo;s Public Safety community.</span></p> <p><span>On October 28, 2021, Language Services Coordinator Iman Saidi and Superintendent Derek McIntyre were among many being virtually honoured by the AWIPS Group for their dedication.</span></p> <p><span>Iman Saidi received the Civilian Award for her significant impact within the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), and in her community.</span></p> <p><span>To sum up Iman&rsquo;s achievements is difficult, as she is a pillar in every volunteer act she dedicates herself to and to her roles within EPS. She pushes for equity and equality for all, and she uses any free time she has to keep us all moving forward; this includes participating in the EPS&rsquo; Racial Equity Employee Resource Group, and the EPS Women in Policing Group (which she is the reason there is civilian representation in the group). What many employees will know her for is her more recent contributions as the sole employee bringing Language Services to our organization to best serve our diverse communities.</span></p> <p><span>Iman&rsquo;s nominator noted, &ldquo;This illustrates how important Iman is to the Edmonton Police Service and the many diverse groups within our city. Her work and volunteer projects have positively impacted and improved countless lives, and the Edmonton Police Service would not be advancing their equity and diversity as much as it has been able to without her dedication.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><a href="-/media/2BDCCF7F1B924DB4B344E0DEED5203F5.ashx"><img alt="" src="-/media/2BDCCF7F1B924DB4B344E0DEED5203F5.ashx?h=333&amp;w=500" style=""></a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><em style="color: #111111; background-color: #f8f8f8; text-align: center;">Supt. Derek McIntyre and Iman Saidi pose with their awards.</em></span></p> <p><span>Iman was honoured at just the thought of being nominated, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so humbled by this award. My true achievement with this award is -perhaps- encouraging as little as <strong>one </strong>person to push through our barriers and challenges as women and even more so as BIPOC women in the industry.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Supt. McIntyre received the Ally Award for his dedication and support towards advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in public safety.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="background: white; color: #202124;">His nomination detailed how he promotes equity and inclusion in all his on and off-duty activities. For example, if he is selected to participate in a committee or an event, he kindly puts forward underrepresented employees who he feels should be &ldquo;at the table&rdquo; instead. He has also always made himself known as an available support system for any co-worker who is experiencing difficult times, and he has become a speed dial contact for many because of his open-mind and heart.</span></p> <p><span>His nominator summarized, &ldquo;He always seems to find time to recognize and support Women in Policing and other marginalized groups in their pursuit to overcome barriers and achieve goals of equity and inclusion. He has been a great resource, friend, and colleague to lean on at any given time. He is humble and gives credit to others often. He is truly authentic and empathetic in his pursuit to glean understanding, education, connection, and does not think twice in becoming involved in positive change.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Supt. McIntyre expressed his gratitude when he was asked about this achievement, &ldquo;Receiving the inaugural Ally Award from AWIPS is truly an incredible honour. The fact the nomination was submitted and supported by the EPS Women in Policing Working Group is very impactful for me. Embracing and holding space for all the diverse people and the gifts they bring to my life is my way of co-existing in my personal and professional lives.&rdquo; Supt. McIntyre added, &ldquo;For anyone reading this, I am a safe person and I will always support and protect your right to be your true self.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Congratulations Iman and Derek for your inspiring commitment to empower those around you and becoming role models for others in our organization and our city!</span></p> 04 Nov 2021 20:52:56 UT Constable Uwe Steil of Edmonton Police Service celebrates 40 years of service https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/CstUweSteilCelebrates40Years Constable Uwe Steil has just celebrated 40 years of service with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). <p style="text-align: left;">Steil's family immigrated to Canada from Germany when he was eight years old. Starting a new life in a new country meant the family could not bring many items, including Steil's bicycle. And, they did not have the means to buy a new one.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;<br> He began to collect bottles and saved every penny he could. Finally, after two years, Steil was able to buy a brand-new bike. That very same summer, the unthinkable happened. The bike was stolen.<br> &nbsp;<br> Steil's mom took him to police headquarters, and a nice police officer helped him look through the lost and found with no luck.<br> &nbsp;<br> "I remember going downstairs, accompanied by a police officer who was so kind and so considerate to me," remembers Steil. "He helped me look through all the bikes to see if I could find mine. He left such a huge impression upon me as a 10-year-old boy. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the bike, but at that point, the fuse was lit. It was shortly after that that I decided when I grow up, I want to be a police officer."<br> &nbsp;<br> Steil was part of Recruit Class 66 and became an EPS member on October 5, 1981. Since then, he has had a very successful career in Downtown Division, Traffic Flow Detail, Collision Investigations, and Communications Branch. He was also part of a nine-month UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone in 2003.<br> &nbsp;<br> Now Const. Steil is based at Southwest Division in Pawn Detail. His specialty is reuniting people with their lost or stolen items. And, he's exceptional at it.<br> &nbsp;<br> "He always finds the owner just through his sheer determination," says Inspector Shane Perka. "The number of pictures and emails that I've seen of him reuniting a person with their bike is amazing. The people's lives that have been changed because he's been able to retrieve their property is outstanding."<br> &nbsp;<br> Steil's impressive police work has returned a stolen bike to its owner with even the most minuscule amount of details&mdash;like a single digit of a serial number.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;<br> Steil will also check the bikes for quality assurance before handing them back to their owners&mdash;usually with a quick whip around the parking lot. It's because of that regular visual of Steil on a bicycle that the team at Southwest gifted him an EPS-issued bike helmet and bell as part of his service celebration.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="333" width="500" src="-/media/9246065B5B484A4D851B6B86205873E9.ashx?h=333&amp;w=500"><img alt="" src="-/media/26903713174049A88CCEBE14852F4E93.ashx"></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> "When I look back, especially the last 10 years, it has just flown right by. Did I ever have designs on working 40 years? Never planned for it," says Const. Steil. "In my life as a police officer, I've experienced a lot of things. What I've found is that it's the people that you work with that make the difference in your career and your daily life at work."<br> &nbsp;<br> During the celebration, Steil spoke directly with solid words of encouragement to a group of patrol members as they readied for their shift out on the streets of Edmonton.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;<br> "Times are tough. I'm going to encourage you through these times because you guys are the front line. We... the rest of us, we're behind the scenes. When someone needs help, you're jumping into the frame. I'm going to encourage you to stand tall and stand strong. Lean on each other and give the citizens of Edmonton your very best every day. You never know when you meet someone how you're going to impact them. That person may become a police officer or a firefighter or someone else. Our roles are not small roles. We impact people's lives every day. Be safe out there."<br> &nbsp;<br> Thank you for all that you do for the people of Edmonton, Const. Steil. Congratulations! 27 Oct 2021 19:24:27 UT Curb the Danger celebrates 15 years! https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/CurbtheDangerCelebrates15Years This month, we are celebrating 15 years of Curb the Danger. <p align="center" style="text-align: center;"> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fedmontonpoliceservice%2Fvideos%2F275712967793474%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0" width="560" height="314" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe> <p><span>As the Edmonton Police Service is committed to combat impaired driving through education and enforcement, we are recognizing the success of the Curb the Danger (CTD) program.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img alt="" src="-/media/5055E87D4CE54AA7B087123BDFB766DA.ashx?h=375&amp;w=500" style=" "></span><span><br> <em>Curb the Danger signs are currently placed around the city.</em></span></p> <p><span>Introduced as a pilot project in October 2006, CTD is an impaired driving initiative asking motorists to call 911 when they observe a vehicle being driven in a manner that would lead them to believe the driver is impaired.</span></p> <p><span>Since its inception, approximately 128,528 calls have been logged to report impaired drivers. Of those, approximately 40,558 events were intercepted by EPS patrol and 10,377 of those calls resulted in impaired arrests.</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;We just want to thank our members for making every effort to intercept these reported vehicles,&rdquo; said Gerry Gunn, Coordinator of Curb the Danger. &ldquo;We also want to acknowledge the public for reporting impaired drivers and the operators in our Police Communications Branch; the program wouldn&rsquo;t be successful without that.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>A process was initiated in May 2007 to apply for an &ldquo;Official Mark&rdquo; to protect the integrity of the program.</span></p> <p><span>In 2008, the EPS Traffic Section submitted the Curb the Danger program for a Webber Seavey International police award sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The program was a semi-finalist winner and was recognized at the IACP convention in San Diego on Nov. 10, 2008.</span></p> <p><span>CTD and EPS were recognized for the commitment shown to public safety and impaired driving awareness by Edmonton City Council by way of two Civic Proclamations made in October 2011 and in 2017.</span></p> <p><span>In 2010, the Camrose Police Service followed suit and entered into a partnership with the EPS by adopting CTD as a community program of their own.</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;CTD has seen success over the past 15 years,&rdquo; Gunn said. &ldquo;We hope this will continue for another 15 years and beyond.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img alt="" height="286" width="500" src="-/media/265A5A6F1B7B4918874ECDE85807A910.ashx?h=286&amp;w=500"></span></p> 26 Oct 2021 16:18:53 UT EPS brings national forensic training in-house https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/EPSbringsforensictraininginhouse The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) had to innovate when the impacts of COVID shut down the Canadian Police College (CPC) in Ottawa last year. <p><span>The CPC is one of two places in Canada where police officers from across the country and abroad go to learn a comprehensive eight-week program called the Forensic Identification Course (FIC) &ndash; the training members need to become forensic investigators.</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;When COVID hit, we had five of our junior members registered to attend CPC in August, all five of which were cancelled due to travel restrictions,&rdquo; said Sgt. Bryce Gibbon. &ldquo;In Crime Scenes Investigation Section (CSI), where we have 30-35 members, five of them were now in a position where they couldn&rsquo;t get the training they needed to work independently. That&rsquo;s a massive liability that would prevent our section from keeping up with call volume.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>When a member joins forensics, they take an introductory course, and then get placed in a CSI squad where they begin to learn basic duties for four to seven months.</span></p> <p><span>After completion, the member traditionally attends CPC for the FIC course and officially starts their Forensic Understudy Program, which can take up to a year to complete.</span></p> <p><span>&ldquo;The understudy demonstrates that they are competent forensic identification officers, and the eight-week FIC course is imperative in training these members&rdquo; says Gibbon.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="" height="375" width="500" src="-/media/F543BEAB0193457886BDBB851DEBA48C.ashx">&nbsp;</p> <p>The EPS was given the green light to develop its own in-house course that would be the equivalent of the FIC course&mdash;offering both a combination of classroom and hands-on learning.</p> <p><span>A year later, the EPS has hosted two FIC classes, with a third scheduled for March 2022. With significant planning from head instructors Const. Dino Pizzi and Const. Greg Symes, the team have hosted guest lecturers from not only EPS but also Calgary Police Service, the RCMP Forensic Laboratories, the Edmonton Crown Prosecutors Office, the University of Alberta Forensic Anthropology Department, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.</span></p> <p><span>Access to an in-house FIC course also means members can now complete their training while also staying close to home rather than travelling for eight weeks.</span></p> <p><span>Although the College has since started courses again, they are restricted with how many students they can host and are still experiencing a nationwide backlog. To help, the EPS recently took on two forensic officers from the Calgary Police Service through FIC and has plans to continue the course moving forward on an ongoing basis.</span></p> <p><span>A special thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible.</span></p> 19 Oct 2021 16:27:49 UT Northeast members recognized with Award of Merit https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/AwardOfMeritOct2021 Members from Northeast Division were recently dispatched to a call where a four-year-old girl was choking and turning blue. <p>Constables Bogdan Volkovinski, Michael Soley, Dale McGrotty and Kendra Chisholm were the first to arrive on-scene. Volkovinski, Soley and McGrotty performed CPR on the child while Chisholm comforted the family.&nbsp;</p> <p>The officers&rsquo; prompt actions allowed the girl to breathe on her own. EMS and Edmonton Fire Rescue provided further medical aid after their arrival and transported her to the Stollery Children&rsquo;s Hospital.&nbsp;</p> <p>The girl had been playing on the back of a couch when her neck became entangled in a drawstring for the window blinds. She fell off the couch and the string tightened around her neck. The girl is expected to make a full recovery thanks to the quick response of the officers and other first responders.</p> <p>&ldquo;In this job, you have to be ready for it all,&rdquo; says Superintendent Bart Lawczynski. &ldquo;Our members take their training seriously. They knew how to act in this circumstance and it&rsquo;s beyond words what they did for this child.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="-/media/49FB31540CD0402F9B3993582EBCE2DA.ashx?h=600&amp;w=450" style=""></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span>Each Award of Merit recipient is given a special challenge coin and certificate.</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span>Constables Volkovinski, Soley and McGrotty received an Award of Merit, which is given to EPS employees who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and a high level of professionalism. They have also been nominated for a <a href="https://www.sja.ca/en/community-services/lifesaving-awards">St. John&rsquo;s Ambulance Live-saving Award</a> as a well as a commendation for life saving through the EPS.&nbsp;</span></p> 12 Oct 2021 20:28:08 UT Facebook Live with Chief Dale McFee https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/FacebookLivewithChiefMcFee A recap in case you missed it. <p>With his contract renewed for another five years, Chief Dale McFee sat down with Detective Aubrey Zalaski to talk about short-term and long terms goals for the Edmonton Police Service as well as increasing challenges to public safety. Here&rsquo;s a recap of the hour-long discussion.</p> <p><strong>What is being done about crime in the downtown core?</strong></p> <p>Overall, occurrences and reported crime are trending downward throughout the city. However, the number of occurrences within Downtown Division has increased. Some that of that increase, Chief McFee attributes directly to problems with addiction, trauma, and lack of social support.</p> <p>&ldquo;We need to rethink the whole approach downtown,&rdquo; said Chief McFee. &ldquo;We have focused as a city, not just the police service, on housing and safe consumption sites as important ingredients. But housing to what we&rsquo;re dealing with here isn&rsquo;t the ultimate solution. We&rsquo;re dealing with a major addictions problem.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Chief went on to explain that more focus needs to be given to stabilization services and skills development in order to truly and effectively manage some of downtown&rsquo;s issues.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have to balance the scales and we need some investment in the middle of the social systems,&rdquo; said Chief McFee. &ldquo;We need to get the right supports in place rather than a one-dimensional solution.&rdquo;</p> <p>He went on to further explain that the EPS needs to use its voice of influence to get the partners that choose to work with the Service, working collectively together with the same measurement and outcomes to bring things down at a manageable level.</p> <p>In terms of violence, Chief McFee explained the EPS will be relentless on crime and holding those accountable through the criminal justice system.</p> <p><strong>Shootings and gang violence feel out of control. What is the EPS doing about that?</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to be relentless on that side of the house, too,&rdquo; assured Chief McFee. &ldquo;We put in provisions and we&rsquo;re turning the notch up. We need to continue to be relentless and make things uncomfortable for some of these individuals.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>What is the EPS doing about speeding in the city?</strong></p> <p>High rates of speed have been captured all over the city&rsquo;s roadways. In most other provinces in Canada, police can seize vehicles when caught driving at high rates of speed&ndash;typically 40 to 50 km/hour over the speed limit.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to have the ability to seize that vehicle rather than ticket the driver because a lot of them can afford the tickets,&rdquo; said Chief McFee. &ldquo;You take the vehicle away, it changes the behaviour. We need that mechanism for these severe offences and then you can actually start to see it slow down a bit.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Has COVID-19 made things worse?</strong></p> <p>The Chief was quick to point out that a lot of the challenges the city faces were not created by COVID but simply exposed by it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don't think COVID is to blame for our problems. I think COVID has exposed our problems. It's exposed the gaps in the social piece, and it's also exposed the gaps when you don't have as many people out,&rdquo; said Chief Mcfee.</p> <p>With that in mind, Chief McFee is hopeful with the development of the EPS&rsquo; Community Safety and Well-being Bureau&ndash;a first of its kind in Canada. The bureau is taking an innovative approach to crime, using data to reduce the number of people in the criminal justice system, and make sure they have access to the resources they need to prevent them from returning to a life of crime. Their most recent project, stopping liquor store thefts through the use of GPS trackers and ID scanners led to a 96 per cent decrease in theft at hot spot areas.</p> <p><strong>Overall short-term and long-term, what can we see from the EPS in the future?</strong></p> <p>First and foremost, Chief McFee sees the EPS as the voice of calm to help get the city through the pandemic.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a lot of tension in the community and we just need to be a calm, steady voice. Not overreact. Not underreact,&rdquo; said Chief McFee. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to look at technology advancements that make us smarter in how we deploy. We&rsquo;ll do a lot of smart investments to increase our presence in the different communities based on need.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;We have got to look at some of the ways that we can best intervene with people that have major addictions problems. And, that includes businesses being able to operate and citizens being able to walk around on the street and feel safe. We have to make sure that we're continuing to look at what the trends are and where we can get the most value for having our resources deployed.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>How does the EPS plan to work with a new City Council despite some candidates vocalizing their thoughts on defunding the police?</strong></p> <p>With the civil election just days away, Chief McFee assured that the EPS will work with whoever is elected.<span></span></p> <p>&ldquo;We have a distinct and unique job that's been given to us and we also have to have some voice of autonomy to do it. That's why there's a police commission,&rdquo; said Chief McFee. &ldquo;There are some things that we've collectively heard through our <a href="https://commitmenttoaction.ca/"><span style="color: #1155cc;">Commitment to Action</span></a> and other things over the past year that we've already started changing and continue to change. We're just asking to use our resources and our money that we currently have, differently.&rdquo;</p> <p>Watch the full discussion below. You can folllow <a href="https://www.facebook.com/edmontonpoliceservice"><span style="color: #1155cc;">Edmonton Police Service</span></a> on Facebook to watch even more live discussions in the future.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fedmontonpoliceservice%2Fvideos%2F3004282503123355%2F&amp;show_text=false&amp;width=560&amp;t=0" width="560" height="314" style="border:none;overflow:hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe> 12 Oct 2021 18:56:55 UT EPS Constable’s new book is a best seller https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/EPSConstablesnewbookisabestseller Constable Tony Chin has been a dedicated member of the Edmonton Police Service for over 17 years. <p>Constable Tony Chin has been a dedicated member of the Edmonton Police Service for over 17 years. Now he can add bestselling author to his long list of accomplishments with the book <strong><em>The Freedom</em> <em>Swimmers</em></strong><em>. </em></p> <p>The book is based on the true story of Chin&rsquo;s mother (Suk Hing), and her perilous attempt to escape communist China in the 1960s by swimming the South China Sea.</p> <p><span>The novel was a labour of love.</span><span> </span>Tony began writing it over six years ago, with a simple desire to chronicle his mother&rsquo;s journey for his children. </p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve grown up knowing this account and I wanted to preserve it as part of the family history. I wanted my daughters to know it too,&rdquo; says Chin. &ldquo;As I started researching and writing, it kept going and growing. About eight months in, I realized there was more of story here and I wanted to do it justice.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>The Freedom Swimmers</em> has achieved critical acclaim and has quickly risen to the Best Seller&rsquo;s list. </p> <p>Both digital and hard copies are available on <a href="https://www.amazon.ca/Freedom-Swimmers-Suk-Hing-Story/dp/B096TRTT5V/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&amp;keywords=the+freedom+swimmers+by+tony+chin&amp;qid=1631653752&amp;sr=8-1">Amazon</a> and will be available soon on Apple iBooks and Google.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="-/media/C6B2E26D1E30429F80DC2FE9AFE321E3.ashx?h=193&amp;w=290" style=""></p> 01 Oct 2021 14:55:21 UT Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Health Services working together https://www.edmontonpolice.ca:443/News/SuccessStories/PACTFacebookLive What we learned from our Facebook Live with the Police and Crisis Response Team. <p>The EPS hosted a<a href="https://fb.watch/7EKvKFh00e/"> Facebook Live</a> focusing on the Police and Crisis Response Team known as PACT. Acting Sgt. Andrew Frey of PACT and psychologist Tanya Anderson of Alberta Health Services sat down to answer viewer questions about the team and the important role they play in responding to dynamic mental health calls throughout the city.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>What is PACT?</strong></p> <p>Founded in 2004, PACT is an Edmonton Police Service partnership with <a href="https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/amh.aspx">Alberta Health Services' Access 24/7</a>. EPS PACT constables are paired with mental health professionals from AHS Access 24/7, Addiction and Mental Health. The mental health professional and the police officer work together to respond to those who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The goal is to focus on the mental health of individuals and facilitate connections to supports in the community to minimize the involvement of emergency services and the legal system.<br /> <br /> "PACT is a partnership. We started back in 2004 when we realized that the mental health response teams were doing similar things to what police were doing and we were duplicating some of that work with individuals. It was a natural partnership to come together," said Anderson.&nbsp;<br /> <strong><br /> Why is pairing a police officer and a mental health professional important?</strong></p> <p>"Really when we're going out to see people in crisis, they're dealing with multiple levels of concerns. By having the resources of both a mental health professional and a police officer, we're able to look at the person as a whole," said Anderson.<br /> <br /> Mental health is complex and each individual's needs are different so the combination of the two allows for the right response at the right time.<br /> <br /> A police officer can look at safety and legality, and a mental health professional can look at stabilization services like therapy and basic needs.<br /> <br /> "Many times, when people are in a crisis, they may not be completely in touch with reality. They may think that people are following them. They may be carrying weapons to protect themselves," said Anderson. "Because of the mindset they're in, it may not be safe for me, from a mental health purpose, to walk in unbeknownst to all the potential risks. So, having that partnership with someone who is an expert in safety is essential to get someone like me to where I need to be to provide that help for that person," explained Anderson.<br /> <br /> What types of training or courses do PACT members receive compared to patrol members?<br /> While all members of EPS receive training around de-escalation, cultural sensitivity training and suicide prevention, PACT members take on even more coursework due to their specialization. They learn about things like trauma-informed care and harm reduction on an enhanced level.<br /> <br /> "Oftentimes, when we take training in PACT, we look at and give feedback on the courses to see if they will be beneficial to patrol and general membership," said Frey.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Anderson and other mental health professionals also provide curriculum and training for new EPS recruits to better prepare them for what they will see on the streets.<br /> <br /> <strong>Do you think the program has made a difference?</strong><br /> <br /> With the onset of the pandemic, Frey has seen an increase in calls relating to PACT. In the last two and a half years alone, the team has grown from four members to eight. Frey believes they are making a difference.<br /> <br /> "We see about 10 calls to PACT per shift. We see and hear about the value of a program from family members and patrol members and also from the health care system when we do come into hospital. There is a lot of change and a lot of value in the work that we can accomplish," said Frey.<br /> <br /> You can watch the full live broadcast below or visit <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F3B34175579B4F50AE34537735B483BE&amp;_z=z">edmontonpolice.ca</a>&nbsp;to learn more about the team&mdash;including links for additional mental health supports. And, be sure to follow the EPS on our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=991186CBCD4742C8883A53108A89DCE4&amp;_z=z">social media channels</a>&nbsp;for more live broadcasts in the future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fedmontonpoliceservice%2Fvideos%2F1028682771225679%2F&amp;show_text=false&amp;width=560&amp;t=0" width="560" height="314" style="border:none;overflow:hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe> 07 Sep 2021 16:30:36 UT