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Edmonton Police Service Online Town Hall - Wednesday Answers

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  • Edmonton Police Service Online Town Hall - Wednesday Answers


    Recently there was a lot of debate about the continuation of the all-night dance parties that have been going on for a number of years. I understand that as of late, new amendments to the bylaw governing these events have been put in place in an attempt to further protect the patrons who attend these events. Since then, it's to my understanding there have been 3 of these events, 2 at the Shaw Conference Centre, and 1 at the Edmonton Event Centre. Since these amendments have been put in place, it seems that patron safety is still an issue (according to media reports) in regards to the number of drug overdoes and reports of sexual assualts.

    My questions for you are
    1.) At this point, do the police feel that new bylaw amendments have had any impact in regards to patron safety? if not, at what point does EPS feel that patron safety is compromised enough where they refuse to provide policing for these events, thus not allowing for them to take place?

    2.) I understand that there is a rather large event of this natur planned for the end of this month on April 27th and 28th at The Edmonton Expo Centre and is expected to draw over 24000 patrons, with event's hour running from 3pm to 3am each day. I've heard there are currently some issues from EPS in regards to being able to provide adequate policing for this event, due to it's sheer size. Have these issues been resolved yet?
    Also, because of the hours of this event (3pm-3am), I personally am concerned about potential impaired drivers going to and from this event during peak hours of the day and night. Does EPS feel the can adequately provide policing for this issue as well as the previous one and if so, at what expense to the city and it's citizens?

    Thank you for your time in answering my questions and thanks to connect2edmonton and the Edmonton Police Service for providing this opportunity

    At this point, the bylaw amendments we believe you are referring to have not been approved by City Council. However, we will be revisiting those amendments in the fall when further stakeholder input can be gathered. We are committed to making these events as safe as possible through both enforcement and legislation.

    As for the event at the Northlands Expo at the end of April, we are currently working with the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Northlands, and the event organizer to ensure that the event is safe and adequately policed. We have completed the planning for the event but cannot go into specifics of numbers or other resources we will be using.

    In reference to impaired driving, participants of this event are also encouraged to make adequate plans to get home after the event. To assist with this, local taxi cab companies have been notified and Edmonton Transit has extended LRT service. As with any event of this nature, participants are encouraged to plan ahead and ensure they have a safe way to get home. The EPS will be on site and in the area patrolling for impaired drivers.

    Like many events, the monetary issue is a big one and both sides need to come to the table. The EPS and the City of Edmonton are currently working together to decide on how all the services required for an event this size will be paid for. Where reasonable, the event organizer is responsible for the cost directly associated with the event.

    I live in the area of 105th Street and 105th Ave. At this time there is major construction on 105th street and it is totally blocked off to traffic. As officers are obviously unable to drive down this road during construction there is a significant decrease to police presence in the area. With this and the addition to the warmer weather I have noticed an increase in assaults, vandalism and narcotics trafficking. In five days I have called the police three times; twice for assault and once for a person breaking into a payphone. In the two assault cases the responding officers have had difficulty locating the offenders due to the construction. Additionally, two apartments have constant foot traffic going to them, someone knocks on their window and they are given a key. The other day 26 people went to the apartment within three hours, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going on. When there was motor traffic, that didn't happen. That said, my questions:

    Last year there was a noticeable police presence. I frequently saw officers walking the beat. Is there a plan for that presence to happen again?

    The landlords/Property management companies that own in this area are terrible at keeping their property up to snuff. I understand this is a bylaw enforcement issue but my attempts at communicating with Bylaw Services has come up moot, and Bylaw seems to be more orientated towards enforcement rather than prevention. The alleyways in this area are prone to people dumping their furniture when they move out at the end of the month. I've spoken with several people when I see them doing it and the answer is always “I don't have a car.” Perhaps the city/charity shops could arrange for a pickup service at the end of the month? There are several missions and shelters in the area that would certainly benefit from having these couches put in shops where they receive a donation when they are sold. Additionally, is there a way that police officers are able to report when a building is in ill repair? I spoke with an officer responding to a call yesterday and he noticed a building with broken windows and people peering into the them.

    Is there a way to communicate citizen concerns to the police? IE: A suspected trafficking house, etc. I don't mean calling the police and reporting it and having an officer come and make a report.

    I think the Edmonton Police do a fine job, and as a whole I think this community is a relatively safe place to be. However, this construction project is going to take a long time to complete and it would be a shame to see the trend of rising crime continue. Keep up the good work.

    While it is admittedly anecdotal, the link you make between your road closure not allowing police to patrol your area and a recent spike in crime is an interesting one. We have passed this information on to the officers that walk the beat in your area to attempt to make up the shortfall in police presence that the construction situation has caused.

    Additionally this issue will receive further attention from officers that are working on a new project in the downtown area entitled Delta Zero. Project Delta Zero has groups of officers from across the city come to the downtown area and conduct foot patrols. The mandate of these officers is to increase the visible presence of police in the eastern portion of the downtown area and reduce incidents of crime and disorder – precisely the types of incidents that you have witnessed in your neighborhood in the recent past.

    Your second question seems to speak to derelict housing. Derelict housing is dealt with by the City of Edmonton under the Safety Codes Act. The Derelict Building Complaint Line is 780-496-6031

    Our Report a Drug House program is ideally configured to tackle the suspicious drug activity that you are witnessing in your neighboring building. It is designed to prevent the face to face contact that you understandably wish to avoid when reporting an issue such as this to us. Information for the Report a Drug House program can be reported by phone to 780-426-8229 or online via the our website at

    Since Edmontonians can't give up using their cell phones while they drive, does EPS have plans for a continued ticketing campaign using "stealth" officers at stop lights (like they've done in BC)? What other measures are being taken to stop this dangerous driving practice?

    The Edmonton Police Service, like the vast majority of the public, supports the distracted driver legislation. Our approach to enforcing the new law has been to apply it consistently during our daily policing activities, and sometimes in conjunction with other enforcement actions such as speeding, seat belts or bus lanes. These strategies are supplemented with directed enforcement of distracted driving by our officers in marked and unmarked police vehicles. To date the EPS has not implemented the tactics that you speak of that have been utilized in BC, nor are there currently any plans on the books to do so.

    So far, Edmonton has only 3 homicides this year while Winnipeg has 12 so far. In EPS' opinion, was last year's homicide rate an anomaly? Or could it be that new measures implemented beforehand is now producing desired results?

    In recognizing that the root causes of violent crime are many and varied, the Edmonton Police Service has developed a comprehensive long-term Violence Reduction Strategy to reduce the severity, frequency and fear of violent crime. The drivers of crime of this nature are extensive but are known to include communities in distress, social disorder, drugs, alcohol and weapons.

    The Violence Reduction Strategy seeks to confront these drivers of violent crime in three distinct ways:
    • Suppression: Initiatives such as Community Action Teams and our new Delta Zero project in Downtown Division work in conjunction with crime analysts to focus our suppression tactics in the places and at the times that they are needed most
    • Intervention: By partnering with other agencies as we do in our Domestic Violence Intervention Teams, Public Safety Compliance Teams and Neighborhood Empowerment Teams the Edmonton Police Service takes an active role in strengthening communities by making them more resilient to crime and by reducing re-victimization.
    • Prevention: The Edged Weapon initiative and the daily crime updates that we make available to the citizens of Edmonton are but two examples of prevention strategies that we are employing to enhance in our city.
    Yes, homicides are down significantly thus far in 2012 and we share the communities delight in this regard. We believe that there are several reasons for this including the excellent medical care by Edmonton’s emergency services partners, good luck, the work of several community agencies, and the dedicated efforts of our members in carrying out violence reduction strategies have each contributed to the reduction in the number of homicides. That being said, we know that a tremendous amount of work lies ahead of us for violent crime as a whole still remains high. As always we are looking for ways to best deploy our staff in partnership with the community to maximize the safety of the citizens of Edmonton.