The Edmonton Police Service’s Human-centred Engagement and Liaison Partnership Unit (HELP) was presented with the 2022 Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Community Justice Award in the ‘Innovation’ category.
HELP received the award for its collaboration between police officers and agency navigators to direct vulnerable individuals into needed human services rather than further involvement with the criminal justice system.
In 2021, the HELP program engaged with approximately 838 community members, resulting in an average monthly reduction of 33.5% in social disorder violations.
“This award is a wonderful way to recognize all of the work that the HELP team has put in since 2020 in building such an innovative and collaborative program,” says Acting Inspector David Crisp.
“None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of our social agency partners and the commitment they’ve given. While this work is very challenging, it’s also very rewarding, because it’s making a real and positive difference in the lives of our city’s most vulnerable.”
Chair John McDougall of the Edmonton Police Commission nominated HELP for the award, which was presented to Chief Operations Officer Enyinnah Okere by Minister Tyler Shandro on June 17, 2022.
This is not the first Community Justice Award for the EPS. In 2019, the Community Action Team received the Community Justice Award in the category of ‘Community Collaboration,’ and in 2018, the Heavy Users of Service (HUoS) project was recognized for ‘Community Mobilization.’
HELP could not be successful without the many internal and external employees and contributors. Congratulations to all who have been integral to the creation, evolution, and ultimate success of HELP in its first years!
About the Community Justice Awards
The annual Alberta Community Justice Awards celebrate individuals and groups who contribute to community justice, as well as the special efforts taken by professionals in the justice system to serve the public. Community justice occurs when the system and community partners work together to make Alberta a safer place to live, while supporting those who have been impacted by crime. It acknowledges our collective strength and our ability to go above and beyond in addressing root causes of crime, reacting to it, and serving those who are most vulnerable in our society.