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Edmonton Police Service Online Town Hall - Thursday Answers

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  • Edmonton Police Service Online Town Hall - Thursday Answers

    Hi there,

    This online town hall is a great idea, thanks for doing it.

    Is it legal for a motorcycle to ride in the bus/taxi/bicycle lanes (ex: 97st southbound at 131ave)?

    In the province of Alberta bus lanes are limited to buses, taxis and emergency vehicles during the prescribed times.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Given last year challenges to the motorcycle noise bylaw, is it still in effect? If the bylaw is still in effect, have those past successful challenges prompted police to change its enforcement guidelines, monitoring procedures, etc.?

    As we recall from last year, city police had an official announced emphasis on the, 'yearly crackdown on noisy motorcycles' - we believe it had a roughly June time frame that coincided with formal media announcements. Granted, the bylaw is relatively new; however, over the last couple of years, it is our condo-board observation that once the formal yearly police motorcycle noise monitoring campaign starts, the noisy intrusion begins to rescind. The implication we draw from this is one that suggests citizens, weather dependent, may have to endure a couple of months of noisy motorcycles before police begin the focused enforcement campaign. We also offer a somewhat anecdotal extension to our observations based on a nearby group of "cycle enthusiasts"; that is to say, we have gained recognition of the same bikes and know, with certainty, that at least a couple of the owners change their bike's pipes over once the official police monitoring campaign begins. If our understanding is correct, is there any consideration by police to begin enforcement of the motorcycle noise bylaw earlier in the riding year?

    On the same theme of vehicle noise, from a few years back, it is our understanding that additional emphasis was being put towards developing standards for acceptable car & truck noise levels, one intended towards implementing like noise bylaw covering cars/trucks. Are you able to speak to where this initiative stands today? Outside of this standards development and bylaw creation, as laws/enforcement stands today, can the police... and do the police... ever enforce noise infractions for cars/trucks? In this matter we are specifically speaking to "jacked-up" trucks and the incessantly noisy "fart-can muffler" cars.

    We’re glad to hear that you and your Condo Board have noticed a decreased presence of loud motorcycles since the By-Law was enacted. At this particular point in time we don’t have any special enforcement operations addressing excessive noise from motorcycles planned for this summer. This should not be interpreted as a move by the Edmonton Police Service to decrease enforcement in this area. Members of our Traffic Section remain committed to dealing with noise infractions wherever and whenever they should occur.

    There is legislation in place at the provincial level that deals with unnecessary noise from Motor Vehicles. Section 82 in the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations of the Traffic Safety Act is a good example. Is it used? By all means yes, it is. Particularly in the warm summer months that you allude to. We do not have an update for you regarding the implementation of an additional by-law dealing with cars and trucks. Might we suggest a call to your City Councilor if you’re seeking additional information on this?

    The High-Level bridge has always been a beacon for wannabe speeders/drag-racers; however, in recent years this has escalated to the point where we perceive more heightened safety concerns for all drivers traveling in proximity. Of course, this concern is raised during late night/early morning hours when traffic has thinned and/or downtown bars have recently closed. We recall, now several years back, police would regularly utilize radar enforcement on the bridge, relying upon a policeman using a hand-held device leaning out from a bridge girder - with speeders pulled in at 109st/88ave. Is there an avenue for police to begin more active patrolling for excessive vehicle speeds on the High-Level bridge?

    Thank you for the suggestion seeking more speed enforcement on the High Level Bridge. We have passed your concern on to our Traffic Section as well as Southwest Division for their attention and action.

    Hello, thank you for hosting this online forum.

    My first question is about the legality of some of these vehicle modifications I have seen around. Are there any laws that pertain to the tinting of tail-lights? As well, what are the laws regarding adding additional lighting to a vehicle such as head/tail-light accents and the colours of such lights? What enforcement measures are usually taken with offenders? I ask because I have seen a car drive past a patrol car with blue accent lights in the grille and they were not stopped. (I also realize the officers could have been busy.)

    Yes by all means there are laws in the Province of Alberta relating to the color of tail lights. We are restricted to using the color red. The Vehicle Equipment Regulation of the Traffic Safety Act is the legislation that deals with issues in this area. Lamps must be approved under this Act to be legal. The blue accent lights that you speak of would be considered to be in contravention of this Act.

    Edmonton Police Service officers are completely within their scope when it comes to enforcing regulations such as this, but as you quite rightly point out there are often many varied priorities competing for our time. Experience tells us that contraventions such as this eventually result in a traffic stop where the consequences range from the issuance of a warning to receipt of a Traffic Violation Notice. As you likely have guessed, our advice is always to operate and equip your vehicle within the boundaries of the law.

    Second question is regarding the response times for domestic disturbance calls. I live in an apartment building in the Westwood neighborhood and the neighbors across the hall from me have loud verbal arguments all the time. There was one night when the female resident called the police on her boyfriend as he started throwing dishes around. Her call was placed around 21:30 but the officers did not arrive until around 01:00. In this time she already left, followed by him leaving, her coming back picking up the mess and going to bed. The officers spent about 5 minutes knocking on her door to no response and then left. Are there guidelines to the response times of cases like this? Are the priorities in these cases lower until it becomes violent?

    Our Police Dispatch/9-1-1 Section employs comprehensive guidelines designed to allow us to ascertain as many details as possible from the caller regarding the event in question. This information is then evaluated, and the event is assigned a priority level and entered for dispatch. The event is then subject to a review by a supervisor at this point in time, thus ensuring a second examination of the details is conducted by an experienced set of eyes.

    The absence/presence of violence and, if present, the degree thereof is certainly a consideration when assigning a dispatch priority to an event. It is difficult to comment on the situation that you describe without having full access to the circumstances. The reality is that there are times when our resources are taxed to the point where the demand for our services exceeds our ability to supply them. Understand that we do our best to prevent this from happening and further, to mitigate the impact when it does.

    The Edmonton Police Service is committed to seeking long-term solutions to issues in the community. You make mention that this particular issue has been on-going. We have various resources available in our patrol divisions to address problems such as this. We have attached a link below that will allow you to determine whom the Community Liaison Officer is in your area. We strongly urge you to contact this officer or alternatively your local divisional station with more details to allow us to engage in the applicable problem solving strategies to bring this issue to a conclusion.

    For more information on Community Liaison Officers, visit:

    To contact a Community Liaison Officer in your area, please contact your nearest divisional or community station. To determine the EPS station nearest you, please visit:

    Finally what are the requirements for joining the EPS? Is any additional schooling required (like courses through Grant Mac) or does the EPS provide all the training you need?

    Our EPS Recruiting Unit has a comprehensive website that outlines all the requirements and stages of joining the Edmonton Police Service. Please find below the link to the minimum requirements section:

    You will find all the information you need to become a member on the website as well as information on contacting someone directly to start the process. Thank you for your interest in becoming a police officer.

    Good afternoon Moderator,

    Here are my questions:

    1. How diverse are the sworn members of the EPS? Do you have representation of all the different ethnic and cultural populations of Edmonton (which is growing every year)? If a member of the public, for example, calls in for a request for assistance (emergency or non emergency) and they say they cannot speak good English or would be more comfortable dealing with somebody from within their own culture or gender or sexual orientation, do you call out members who can effectively communicate to the native tongue of the citizen or customer if that is available? If not, how do you provide the service?

    The Edmonton Police Service has been able to attract a workforce that closely resembles the ethnic diversity present in the City of Edmonton. A review of our workforce demographics demonstrates that members of the EPS represent virtually all of the ethnic groups present in our community. That said, we are looking to identify additional qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds to truly reflect the Edmonton population and would welcome referrals from the public. Currently, women represent about 20 percent of our officers. While this compares favourably with other police services of a similar size, we remain committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.

    If communication barrier based on language exists we do our best to resolve it. Members who speak an additional language are often used in situations like this. We also have access to translation services should EPS personnel not be available to translate.

    2. Are you able to explain your new deployment model for patrol officers (first response) and its relation to the geographical divisions/jurisdictions? From my understanding, it has changed since former Chief Boyd's time, but is it ongoing under Chief Knecht? The reason I ask is that where I live, there is always a police car stationed in the N.E.T. offices renting a space in the ground floor high rise apartment building. I assume the officers are simply inside waiting to be dispatched to a call instead of coming from a division station, or are they on foot doing foot patrol? What has been the positive result of the deployment model, if any? Does this address your response time targets for both high and low priority calls?

    The ever increasing population and evolving demographics in Edmonton necessitate regular and periodic reviews of our deployment model. The Edmonton Police Service just happens to be undergoing one such review at the present time. Within the next few years, a 6th patrol division will be added. This will naturally lead to the realignment of divisional boundaries as we remain committed to delivering efficient and economical policing to the citizens of Edmonton.

    The review of our deployment model will ensure that we configure our resources in such a way as to best meet our response time targets for events of all types. The review is still underway so it is difficult to say why you are noticing an apparent change in practice at your neighborhood N.E.T. station. However we can say that it is not related to a new deployment model.

    3. My last question is about Traffic Safety. Everyday that I drive I always see errors in other drivers-- the most common I see are: cars changing lanes on solid lines, distracted driving, weaving in and out of traffic especially on Anthony Henday where cars weave and exit very late they eat up the no-car or no-entry space in the turn off. A lot of traffic calls results in injuries and therefore generates a response from other agencies like Fire and EMS. My question is, does the EPS engage in public education in collaboration with other responder agencies and what initiatives are in place to ensure drivers follow the rules without exception to ensure safety.

    Thank you for the responses.

    The behaviours of drivers on our roads remains a contentious issue for the public and as you correctly point out, for emergency responders as well. The EPS has partnered with other emergency services in the past around driver behavours via public awareness campaigns and the like. The Office of Traffic Safety serves to coordinate a number of partner agencies.

    While traffic enforcement activities are typically the most visible aspect of our Traffic Safety Strategy, prevention and education initiatives continue to be key components, supporting our overarching goal to make our roads as safe as they can be.