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Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Thursday Answers

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  • Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Thursday Answers

    This thread is reserved for the answers from Thursday's Ask thread.

  • #2
    My apologies for opening this late. Welcome to migraines.

    edmontonpolice, over to you!


    • #3
      Thank you from the Acting Deputy Chief

      Acting Deputy Chief Neil Dubord would like to thank all participants of the EPS Online Town Hall.

      Please see the document below:


      • #4
        Thank you from EPS (Video)

        Last edited by edmontonpolice; 08-04-2011, 08:43 AM.


        • #5
          Answer to Q1

          I am wondering what to do about drug dealings in front of my home? I have been witness to too many people standing in my front yard waiting for his/her dealer to show up, most often in a car (but sometimes on a bicycle). In the past the EPS told me to contact CrimeStoppers, but that hasn't stopped the drug dealing activity. Any suggestions on what I can do, please?

          We are sorry that we have not been able to adequately address this concern previously, but we strive to address this concern as best we can.

          Firstly, we will refer you to the Community Liaison Officer responsible for your particular area. These officers are responsible for ongoing matters such as this and they are best positioned to deal with it on a long-term basis should the need arise.

          You will be able to determine the district that you reside in by following this link:

          You may then contact the appropriate Divisional Station and ask to speak to the officer responsible for your district.

          If you believe that the drug activity that you're witnessing is related to a particular residence in your neighborhood, then the officers in our Report a Drug House program would appreciate a call from you.

          RADH enables residents to report suspected drug houses and work with police to eliminate threats to community safety and peace of mind. RADH can be reached at 780-421-8229.


          • #6
            Answer to Q2

            I am curious to know what actually constitutes a "legal" knife, and the rules for its carry and use in public.

            Your question regarding what constitutes a legal knife is probably best answered by describing what constitutes an "illegal" knife. The following types of knives are prohibited under the Criminal Code of Canada:
            • "Switchblade” - any knife with a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife. "Butterfly" knives open via centrifugal force and fall into this category.
            • "Constant Companion” - a belt containing a concealed stainless steel knife, any other similar weapon.
            • "Spiked Wristband” - a leather wristband to which a metal spike or blade is affixed, and any other similar device.

            Regarding the carry and use of knives in public, the following sections of the Criminal Code apply:

            Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose - Section 88

            Every person commits an offence who
            • Carries or possesses
            • A weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition
            • For a purpose dangerous to the public peace or
            • For the purpose of committing an offence.

            Clearly a knife meets the criteria of being a weapon. If it is carried for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence then a crime has occurred.

            Carrying Weapon while Attending a Public Meeting - Section 89
            • Every person commits an offence who
              • Without lawful excuse
              • Carries a weapon, prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition
              • While the person is attending or is on the way to attend a public meeting.

            It is an offence for a person to carry one of the above items while attending or on the way to a public meeting, providing one has no lawful excuse for possession of the weapon.

            Carrying Concealed Weapon - Section 90
            • Every person commits an offence who
              • Carries a weapon, a prohibited device, or any prohibited ammunition concealed
              • Unless the person is authorized under the Firearms Act to carry it concealed.

            This section makes it an offence to carry a knife if it is done so in a concealed manner.


            • #7
              Answer to Q3

              There has been research done in Canada and elsewhere that shows that police are more likely to stop a driver of a visible minority. Even for off duty police officers, research has shown that police officers who are visible minorities are stopped more often than police officers who are not.

              The issue is one of racial profiling (even if it is subconscious and not a policy of the force) - if some people are more likely to be stopped simply because of their race, they are less likely to then respect the police force, and less likely to be co-operative when incidents occur.

              Has EPS investigated the extent to which visible minorities are stopped in Edmonton versus non-visible minorities (e.g. performed research)? If not, why not (and would you support such research)? If so, what were the results?

              What actions are taken to ensure that police officers are trained, and re-trained, to overcome stereotypes, be they based on race, age, or another visible factor? Such stereotypes will subconciously build up over time, simply due to demographic factors and the incidence of crime.

              Has consideration been given to the possibility that the reason some minority groups appear less co-operative (for example, the Somali community), could be to some extent linked to perceptions that they are singled out for more investigation than non-visible minority Canadians?

              The EPS does not tolerate racial profiling and therefore have no statistics on this topic. We do not single out individuals by their race, but rather by their criminal behaviour. We continue to work very hard to build trust with our community members.

              As for actions taken to ensure that police officers are trained and retrained to overcome stereotypes.

              EPS has established the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Unit (EDHRU), based on the recommendations of an internal audit done in 2009.

              The EDHRU is tasked with developing and implementing strategies that will allow the organization to develop and implement equity, diversity and human rights principles, practices and policies to respond to the needs and changes of Edmonton’s diverse communities.

              This will lead to concentrated work in the areas of leadership development, strengthening community relations, policy promotion, equitable access to services among communities, systemic reviews of service and program policies, and employment services.

              At the end of 2010, ten Community Liaison Committees were active on the Chief’s Advisory Council: Aboriginal; African Canadian; Asian; Indo-Canadians; Jewish; Lesbian; Gay, Bisexual, Trans-Identified, Two-Spirited, and Queer; Muslim; Somali; and Youth.

              Recently, 28 senior leaders of the EPS participated in a three-day anti-racism training program.

              On April 6, 2011, Edmonton City Council recognized the creation of the EDHRU at City Hall. The award recognized EPS's ongoing efforts to make diversity and inclusion an ongoing element of our daily operations.

              As a citizen-centred organization, it is paramount that contact with Edmonton’s religious, youth and ethno-cultural communities be strong and ongoing. Issues can be raised and resolved by working directly with senior members in the EPS. Education and sharing of information make for stronger relationships and better cooperation.


              • #8
                Answer to Q4

                How come EPS doesn't use Auxiliary police like the RCMP and OPP? I live in Edmonton and I am a member with the RCMP auxiliary and would move to EPS if they had a program. It just makes sense. Extra set of eyes, more man power on the streets and all this at no charge to the city or the people that live in Edmonton.

                While the Edmonton Police Service does not have uniformed auxiliary police, we do have two internal community patrols and partner with more than 20 other community patrols within the city of Edmonton. These programs are similar to the COPs (Citizens on Patrol) programs in the rural communities and are composed of foot, bicycle and vehicle patrols.

                Typically, auxiliary police are utilized in rural communities where police presence can be quite scattered or limited. As the Edmonton Police Service is confined to the city limits, and we have a required number of police members patrolling at any given time we do not feel that our police presence needs to be supplemented with auxiliary police.

                If you are interested in our vehicle patrols please check out Community Police Radio Network at or Millwood's Community Patrol at


                • #9
                  Answer to Q5

                  Have the changes at the downtown library helped reduce the number of incidents in the area? Also, now that spring is here, another area of concern is McDougall Hill - specifically, the wood and concrete stairways between Telus Plaza and the Chateau Lacombe. Every summer there's a lot of shady characters lurking around, and the stairs littered with graffiti, broken bottles, the occasional needle and the occasional human waste. I recommend that a foot patrol pops by at least a couple of times during the evening and weekends.

                  We worked closely with the Downtown Library last year and completed a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) audit on the facility in an effort to make this space more attractive to lawful users in the area and less desirable for those prone to causing crime and disorder.

                  Most of the recommendations we made were implemented in the final design. For example, the bus shelter was removed to reduce growing disorder on the street. We're happy to say that the results have been positive and crime and disorder incidents are down.
                  Last summer, we deployed a combination of Police Officers and Community Peace Officers to patrol the Square area and hold people accountable for their behaviours. The people who frequent the Square now report increased feelings of safety.

                  Your concerns regarding the McDougall Hill area have been passed on to Inspector Ed Keller in Downtown Division. He will pass this information on the Beat members in that area for action. You can direct any further enquiries regarding this issue to Sergeant Ryan Lawley, Community Liaison Sergeant for District D3, at 780-421-2732.


                  • #10
                    Answer to Q6

                    As a Deaf citizen, I am curious about the level of awareness in the EPS regarding differences in how enforcement and communication works.

                    Is there a program for EPS to take that covers multiple common scenarios, such as a Deaf man not responding to an officer's call from behind due to not seeing or hearing him? Or pulling over a Deaf driver and seeing the driver reach for the glove compartment to get pen and paper, although the officer may not be aware of that?

                    If such an educational and awareness program exists, is it mandatory for all EPS to take before entering the service in full capacity, or is it voluntary? Can the contents of this program be viewed by civilians or certain groups such as the Edmonton Association of the Deaf?

                    If it does not exist, are there plans to introduce such a component into the training regimen?

                    We have an existing EPS policy that addresses police interaction with citizens of the community who are deaf. This policy speaks to the ability of utilizing the TDD, writing in English, utilizing an interpreter trained in sign language, and other tools.

                    This information is also reiterated under our policy regarding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

                    Currently, we don’t have a specific training course designed for communicating with people who are deaf, although we do spend a fair bit of time in our programs on communication in general. We also emphasize the importance of assessing subject factors in our dealings with citizens in establishing an appropriate response.

                    We obviously must respond appropriately to meet the needs of all Edmontonians. We recognize the importance of effective communication with all citizens and this is something that we are looking at potentially expanding within our call simulation program within recruit training.

                    On a related note, based upon the recommendations of an internal audit done in 2009, the EPS has established the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Unit. This unit is tasked with developing and implementing strategies that will allow the organization to develop and implement equity, diversity and human rights principles, practices and policies to respond to the needs and changes of Edmonton’s diverse communities and the Edmonton Police Service.

                    This will lead to concentrated work in the areas of leadership development, strengthening community relations, policy promotion and equitable access to services among communities, systemic reviews of service and program policies and employment


                    • #11
                      Answer to Q7

                      I have a couple of questions.

                      1) 38th Ave between 66 street and 50 street has two schools along it, and I cannot tell you how many times I have seen/almost seen an accident. This is mainly due to the speeders who travel down this road going at least 80km/h, and it's a 50km/h zone. It makes it worse when parents are dropping off their children, and are trying to manuever in and out of a congested area. Is there anyway the police can monitor this area more, especially during the school days. I fear someone is going to get killed.

                      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Traffic concerns such as this continue to be a priority for the EPS.

                      There are two traffic officers that work out of the Southeast Division police station who will be advised and will address this serious issue of speeding near schools. Should you have further questions on this issue please contact Sergeant Eric Duvander, the District 2 Community Liaison Officer in Southeast Division, at 780-426-8240.

                      2) I have problems with my neighbour constantly parking or having friends park in front of our driveway. We've asked them numerous times not to park in front of the driveway, and have called bylaw numerous times as well. The problem is, bylaw take 4+ hours to arrive and they have usually moved by then. How can I quicken the response time of bylaw?

                      Unfortunately, we are not directly affiliated with bylaw, but thank you for raising awareness regarding your concern. We would recommend contacting City of Edmonton Bylaw by calling 3-1-1 to further discuss your dilemma.

                      While this issue does not fall within the legislative mandate of the EPS there is a possibility we may be able to help. We suggest that you contact your Community Liaison Officer if additional assistance is required. To find out what district you reside in follow this link and call the appropriate Division Station reach that particular Community Liaison Officer.


                      • #12
                        Answer to Q8

                        I drive for a living and have seen an alarming increase of drivers failing to use their signal lights. Even in front of police cruisers, I have witnessed this type of behavior without any repercussions. I've had some close calls with these types of drivers weaving in and out without any warning and it seems to have become common place. It’s so frustrating that such a simple act of flicking a switch one inch from your driving hands has become too difficult for drivers these days to maneuver. It is doubly frustrating when this is done in front of a police cruiser and no ticket seems to follow. Have the police become too lax in their efforts to ticket offenders for the simplest of tasks such as failing to signal which direction you're going. I’m aware that handheld devices are the cause of failing to signal. That’s a given. I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on this issue.
                        As a courier, I need to know where you're planning to go. I shouldn't have to guess.

                        Your observations regarding the use of handheld devices are correct.

                        The Alberta government has introduced some of the most comprehensive distracted driving legislation in Canada – Bill 16, the Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act, 2010. The Bill is a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones and activities like texting, reading, writing, personal grooming, and puts restrictions on using other electronic devices while driving.

                        The distracted driving law should be in effect by the mid 2011, and may to some degree resolve the issue of drivers failing to use their turn signals. Another means to change driver attitude towards using turn signals, is as you mentioned, through police enforcement.


                        • #13
                          Answers to Q9

                          I have a few questions.
                          • I have a nephew who wants to join the EPS. How does he go about doing this and are there any specific prerequisites?

                            Information regarding EPS recruiting can be found online at Alternatively you can reach our Recruiting Centre at 780-421-2233. Our staff will be glad to assist your nephew and address any questions he may have.
                          • What are the different divisions within the EPS? (Tactical, Forensic, etc) and where could he get more information on each?

                            Our website does a great job showcasing various specialized areas within the EPS. Please take a look at - a picture is worth a thousand words. Another option is to attend The Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA). This is an exclusive opportunity for individuals with professional or personal interest in community policing to acquire knowledge on police issues, practices and operations in the City of Edmonton. Visit for more information.

                          • What are the rules surrounding high speed chases within the city limits? How do you handle cases that cross jurisdictional lines?

                            Our internal policies regarding high speed chases have evolved over time and continue to evolve to this day in response to changes in attitudes in the manner in which both the public and the police view such events. Confidentiality laws prevent us from disclosing the policies in any sort of detail, but we can say that it is among the most rigorous in the country.

                          • Who handles enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act on the Henday considering it is a Provincial Highway? Why isn't there significantly more enforcement in the construction zones on the Henday as people are constantly going well over the posted limit?

                            While the Anthony Henday Drive is indeed a Provincial Highway, the Edmonton Police Service still has the ability to enforce Provincial Legislation such as the Traffic Safety Act on it. The level of enforcement in construction zones is one of a number of competing priorities that we have to manage when it comes to deploying our resources in this area.

                            We work collaboratively with the Office of Traffic Safety in order to do our best at directing our enforcement efforts where its needed most.
                          • How successful is the helicopter program in Edmonton? Is there emperical evidence that this helps? What are the majority of incidents or case types that Air 1 responds to?

                            The Air-1/Flight Operations program has been very successful. Since its inception, the program has successfully intervened in 429 criminal flights thereby eliminating the need for police units on the ground to follow. In 2010, Flight Operations responded to 2,618 events and was directly responsible for the arrest of 297 persons. Flight Operations is able to respond to a scene faster than ground units, arriving first nearly 50% of the time.

                            Because of that quick response, Flight Operations was able to free up 1,753 ground units to respond to other calls for service. The majority of the events to which Air-1 responds are incidents where the high-tech equipment the flight crew uses can assist in locating vehicles and/or people on the ground to enhance safety. It is a force multiplier and an efficient use of resources.

                          • Are there plans to expand the city's K-9 units for additional members on the ground?

                            EPS has 12 canine teams – in a recent news article, Calgary Police Service claimed 21 teams. A budget request has been submitted to expand the unit to provide additional teams to enhance support and safety for our patrol officers and the citizens of Edmonton.

                          • I saw some officers on horseback, some on a Segway, and others on motorbikes last year. What goes into making the decision on what asset is deployed where, and are Segways even remotely effective in Edmonton?

                            Motorcycles have been a staple in our transportation fleet for the better part of a century. When weather permits, they have proven to be a very effective tool for getting our officers around the city, including the river valley and parks. Other cities worldwide share this experience as well of course.

                            We have indeed experimented with mounted officers and Segways over the past few years. While both of these modes of transportation have merit, neither was viewed as a viable option that we could use on a larger scale.
                          • I notice that at some events, there is a significant police presence yet while at other city events, it is private security or rugby players recruited for security. Is there a specific size or crowd limit before the police demand to be involved?
                          There are many factors that go into assessing whether or not special events policing needs to be involved in a particular event. This includes the size of the event, the type of event, or if alcohol is served at the event.

                          Each event is evaluated on its own merit and it is ultimately the responsibility of the organizer to host a safe event. If you feel your event may require a police presence, visit the Special Events Policing page for more information.

                          • How do I book the DARE car, or other police demonstration cars, for charity or school events (or any event for that matter)? Are there fees?
                          The EPS does not have a decaled vehicle that is part of our DARE program – there may be another sponsor of the DARE program that has provided this advertising venue. Most vehicles that are part of the EPS fleet have an operational duty assigned to them and therefore cannot be booked for specific events.

                          However, there are a few options for non-operational vehicles:

                          · Blue Line Racing does have four racing cars that are available for booking but based the schedules of the participating members. If you’re interested in booking these vehicles, please visit
                          · Our recruiting unit has a vehicle that can be booked by phoning 780-421-2233 and putting in a request.
                          · Our Historical Unit also has some vehicles available for community events. You can inquire about those vehicles via the Guard of Honour at [email protected] and they will evaluate the request based on specific criteria.
                          • The RCMP have a specific dress uniform - the Red Serge. Does the EPS have a specific formal dress uniform and even a demonstration team of any kind?

                            The answer is yes on both counts. Since 1998 our Guard of Honour has been showcased at many high profile events, earning the Edmonton Police Service national and international acclaim. Functions that the Guard of Honour will attend include the Police and Peace Officer Memorial, Remembrance Day Parade, EPS Awards Day and EPS Graduations.

                          • When, if at any time, would the EPS consider involving other forces or even the Canadian Forces in event or crisis management? Is there a protocol in place to do so?

                            There are many different events that could potentially see the EPS reaching out to other agencies for assistance. Agreements solidifying these relationships are in place if and when the need should arise.

                          • Are there specific officers for monitoring specific spots (Whyte, Jasper, Alberta Avenue) to breed familiarity with the public, or do many rotate in and out?

                            Absolutely there are specific officers monitoring specific spots within the city. This is what our Beat Program is all about, and breeding familiarity with the people, places and problems in a particular area is a huge part of it.

                            Coincidentally the areas that you mention (Whyte, Jasper and Alberta Avenue) are all specifically served by Beat Officers. We also have our patrol officers deployed in a similar fashion for the exact same reasons, only on a larger scale.

                          • How do or can you patrol the river valley park system better to prevent a lot of the river littering, the homeless camps, and the other interesting activities that take place there? Have you as a force ever made suggestions in this regard?

                            The City of Edmonton employs 10 Park Rangers on a full-time basis. Park rangers ensure that the river valley is a safe and enjoyable recreational space for everyone to enjoy. They have the equipment (motorcycles, boat, snowmobile, etc.) and the training required to monitor the vast space and diverse geography that our river valley contains. The Park Rangers can be reached via 311 or at [email protected]. Also of note is the fact that the Park Rangers work under the same roof as the Edmonton Police Association, enhancing communication between our services.

                          • What type of an event would allow a Police Escort? Is it only for heads of state and the military processions?
                          Members of Edmonton Police Service Traffic Section do provide vehicle escorts for dignitaries and funerals when requested. Any other vehicle escorts such as oversize loads, dangerous goods or military processions are conducted when deemed necessary.

                          If you have an event that requires a police escort, you can contact EPS Traffic Section administration at 780-421-3312.
                          • Why the preference for rear wheel drive cars?

                            The truth is that until very recently, we didn’t have any choice. The Ford Crown Victoria was the only North American model that came in the "police package" that our line of work requires. This is now changing, and shortly we will be evaluating 10 Dodge Chargers. Other models will be tested this year and into 2012 when we expect a final decision to be made.
                          Sorry for the list, but I gathered a few questions here at work and volunteered to post them.

                          Your interest in the EPS and our operations is appreciated, and we are grateful for your insightful questions. Please consider participating in our Citizens Police Academy (CPA) should you wish to enhance your understanding of the EPS further. Again, the link to the CPA web page is