No announcement yet.

Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Wednesday Answers

This topic is closed.
This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Wednesday Answers

    This thread is reserved for the answers from Wednesday's Ask thread and will be populated on Thursday morning.

  • #2
    Answer to Q1

    In response to your reply yesterday, thank you by the way, I did some investigation of the districts for central Edmonton. I noticed how large the 'downtown' district is and wondered how each of the 4 sub districts are treated in terms of patroling type ie car, foot, bike, etc. Do you outline specific strategies for each or are they addressed as one larger area?

    Each of the four districts within Downtown Division has members from the Patrol function assigned to them. These are the officers that you see driving in marked police cars. They are responsible for answering any calls for service that the public have in their district during their shift. They are further expected to be productive during the times that they aren't dealing with calls from the public. We refer to this time as "proactive time". As the name suggests officers use this time strategically to deal with the people and the places that they know require their attention. In that manner we hope to prevent issues from arising in the first place. Alternatively it also provides officers with the opportunity to work with the community on solutions for on-going problems.

    The work of the District Patrol officers is also supplemented by the work of our Community Liaison Constables. Each district has a Sergeant and a Constable assigned to it that work with the Patrol Officers to find solutions to ongoing crime and disorder issues in the respective district. They are seen as catalysts in the community, linking the work of the Patrol officers to the needs of the community.

    Downtown Division is broken down further into smaller areas called Beats. Beat officers are the ones that you see patrolling on foot, or on bikes when the weather permits. Beats work on exactly the same principle as Districts only the scale is smaller. The assignments are static and the officers quickly become familiar with the people, places and problems that require their attention. We try to align the areas served by Beat members with community needs and workload. Of note, each of the five patrol Divisions is configured in essentially the same manner as illustrated for Downtown Division.

    We recognize the diversity of our community at the Divisional, District and even the Beat level. Problems rarely exist "across the board". Our analysts work hard to identify issues as they develop as well as ongoing trends with respect to both crime and disorder. This layered approach to policing depends on all the different roles working together as a team and sharing the information 24 hours a day, seven day a week.


    • #3
      Answers to Q2

      PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - now that the snow is melting, can the EPS please monitor for UNSAFE and ILLEGAL exits eastbound on the Mud, onto 156 street. EVERY day, cars regularly cross the double solid white line and exit onto 156, instead of taking the proper "156 St Only" exit further back. Thanks

      The Edmonton Police Service is cognizant of the issues surrounding the exit lanes from Whitemud Drive onto 156 Street. Past enforcement attempts were unsuccessful due to safety issues for both the police officers involved and the motoring public.

      Roadway and engineering design maybe a resolution to this issue and the Edmonton Police Traffic Section is pursuing this through our partnership with the City of Edmonton Transportation Department. Another avenue that you may wish to explore is to contact Acting Superintendent Shane Loxterkamp of West Division. This particular concern falls within the boundaries of his division and he may have some additional options to explore. He can be reached at 780-426-8006.


      • #4
        Answers to Q3

        There does not seem to be many EPS officer that are out of shape. Do EPS members have to stay withing certain fitness levels. Are you tested every so often for endurance etc.

        The Edmonton Police Service takes the fitness of its members very seriously. As a matter of fact back in the '70s we became the first police service in Canada to employ a fitness coordinator on a full-time basis. Today, Mr Bill Gillespie is responsible for overseeing the annual fitness test for each of our 1,700 members. Bill has a Masters Degree in Biomechanics and is very progressive with his training and testing techniques. We are tested on a host of dimensions including body composition, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.

        Completing the annual fitness test is mandatory for our members; however, maintaining a particular level of fitness is not. That said, a high level of fitness is a requirement to work in many specialized areas within the Edmonton Police Service and this helps create a culture in our organization that values fitness and the benefits that come with it.

        Thank you for noticing!


        • #5
          Answers to Q4

          The EPS uses volunteers more extensively than most other Canadian police forces. Why is this metric not reported on in the EPS Annual Report? Does the EPS regularly report on the use of volunteers to the Police Commission?

          The number of volunteers and the total number of logged volunteer hours should be reported. In many cases volunteers do work that other forces have paid civilians doing, and if the tap were shut off tomorrow some aspects of the EPS would grind to a halt. It would seem to be an important metric as it shows the true extent of the workload of the EPS.

          The Edmonton Police Service is proud of its 500+ volunteers who are dedicated to assisting victims of crime, providing the public assistance in our police stations, patrolling the streets and back alleys of our neighbourhoods late at night and many other tasks that support our community policing mandate. In 2010, Edmonton Police Service volunteers provided over 55,000 volunteer hours.

          These numbers are reported annually through the Divisional Annual Reports to the Chief's Committee. They are not reported in the EPS Annual Report or Quarterly Report Cards to the City or the Police Commission as these publications report on the Annual Strategic Plan and priorities that form that plan. While the volunteer programs certainly support the initiatives in the plan, it is not part of the performance metric that is used to measure how strategic issues are being addressed. You do bring forward a valuable point that is worthy of further discussion with our Office of Strategy Management. Thank you.


          • #6
            Answers to Q5

            Somebody already mentioned about vehicles crossing a solid white line on Whitemud onto the 156 St. exit. I couldn't agree more in this observation and have witnessed this on that particular exit many, many times. I can tell by now that not a lot of people (drivers) understand the mechanics of how to enter and exit a highway (enter with posted top speeds-- not slow down; do not enter on solid white line, and signal early). I've used my horns many times because of this.

            If I may add, I notice that there have been a lot of vehicles out there blatantly violating safe road rules: crossing a solid white line, changing lanes without signalling, not stopping in a stop sign, not yielding when facing a yield sign, and worse, I've seen cars go past a red light through without stopping, speeding, illegal parking in designated parking spots, dark window tints, cars not driving in their lanes, texting on their cellphones while driving (yes in the Whitemud passing me at 100 kph) and so on and so forth. I find myself shaking my head in disbelief most of the time when I witness traffic violations and the car involved can get away with it.

            I hope the EPS would be more proactive in solving the issue of traffic safety. I would suggest expanding the Report-An-Impaired driver program and maybe adding up an administrative telephone line for the public to report this (I know for a fact dispatch gets so many calls already). I personally would be happy to see the police hand out tickets when the distracted driving law takes effect in the province.

            I assure you that traffic and road safety within Edmonton is and always will be a priority of the Edmonton Police Service. We focus our daily efforts to combat the behaviours of bad drivers. Our enforcement efforts are based on trend analysis, planning, community and stakeholder consultations, and an evaluation of our results. These strategies are supported by all of the resources within Traffic Section and by further support of our Patrol Officers.

            With ever increasing demands on police not only in traffic but in all other policing areas, we struggle to maintain a visible and consistent public enforcement presence. I can tell you that it is always a challenge to be where we need to be, when we need to be there, as well as address all of the growing concerns of the expanding city of Edmonton. Edmonton is not alone as cities across Canada experience the same challenges. In Traffic Section we are constantly searching for more efficient and effective ways of doing business and serving the needs of our citizens. In both standard Town Hall Meetings and this on-line version of the same, traffic concerns continue to be a issue of concern for the community. Driving habits impact all of us in one way or another and are an area of priority with the community and the EPS.


            • #7
              Answers to Q7

              Almost all drivers are happy to follow the speed limit when driving, but they can get agitated when noticing other drivers speeding, or driving too slow. It isn't nice to be forced to follow someone going 40 km/h on a road with a posted speed limit of 60km/h, or merging onto the Yellowhead west from 156th st. at 60km/h when the posted speed limit is 90km/h. I know that road conditions do warrant slower driving at times but I've also noticed that alot of drivers that drive slow tend to be preoccupied with their cell phones. Why is it that I see so much emphasis solving only half of the problem?

              Vehicle speeds are always a tenuous issue. We have a variety of drivers with varying skills levels all using the roadway at the same time, and of course those who are exceeding their skill level as well. Add in someone who is lost or in a new area for the first time and it creates conflict. Although frustrating at times, EPS is less concerned with people who are driving slower than the speed limit (but at their skill level) than people that are driving in excess of the speed limit as they narrow perception/ reaction times to a very small window.

              As far as the cell phone talkers, the legislation is being finalized now for distracted driving and should be out by summer. The new distracted driving law does prohibit hand held devices but not hands-free devices. One can conclude this will not eliminate distracted driving but should at least reduce it and give police a tool to deal with it.


              • #8
                Answers to Q7

                Hello, the community of Whitemud Oaks was completed in 2006/2007 and since then we have seen 2 police cars in this area despite the cars that constantly exceed the speed limit along Leger Way NW heading towards Archbishop Joseph MacNeil School.

                A simple speed trap early morning or late afternoon would show the problem and total disregard some have for this area that is *never* visited by EPS.

                I must also mention at the corner of 23 Ave and Leger Gate their is no crossing lights and though it is a clearly a pedestrian intersection vehicles constantly do not yield to the pedestrian and speed right through, it won't be long before someone dies but should that have to happen? Kids exit whitemud oaks and cross into Teglar across this intersection and cars are not yeilding to them.

                Many times myself and my wife attempt to cross from the Teglar Gate side into Whitemud Oaks and despite us standing in clear view and sometimes waving and sticking our arms out the cars just speed right by.

                Perhaps move the speed traps from the North side of 23 ave to the the south side at the entrance to Teglar gate or use a decoy and attempt to cross the street...or simply park nearby when school gets out and watch cars not yield to children!

                I understand your busy but only seeing two EPS cars in my area is almost 5 years seems wrong.


                Thank you for bringing the traffic safety concerns in the Leger community to our attention. In regards to your concern with vehicles speeding on Leger Way, we have a close working relationship with the City of Edmonton's Office of Traffic Safety and will request a speed survey be conducted on this roadway. The survey will provide details of the volume of traffic, speed of vehicles, the time and days of the week of the problem. We use this information to effectively deploy our officers to conduct traffic enforcement.

                Your second concern was in regards to vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians crossing at an uncontrolled crosswalk at 23 Avenue and Leger Gate. Southwest Division will have a member respond to the location and determine if there is an opportunity for enforcement or education to drivers and pedestrians. If warranted we will follow up with the City to determine if crossing lights are required at this location. Your contact for this concern is Sgt Rob Hickey, Community Liaison Officer for District 3 in Southwest Division. He can be reached at 780-426-8355.


                • #9
                  Answers to Q8

                  If this town hall is any indication, the EPS must deal with a very large number of complaints about traffic enforcement. However, perception doesn't always match reality and not all bad driving causes the same problems. Would you agree that traffic enforcement should be directed towards the locations and times where and when drivers who disobey the law are most likely to cause collisions (directly or indirectly), and that the success of the enforcement program should be measured by the degree to which the collision rate is reduced? Does the EPS use, or is the EPS working on any objective measures of the effectiveness of traffic enforcement in reducing collisions?

                  We are in complete agreement that any and all of our enforcement strategies be based on analysis where our high number of collisions are occurring, both injury and non-injury. Currently we work in partnership with the City of Edmonton Office of Traffic Safety and have identified the top 25 collision intersections and top 12 traffic corridors within the City of Edmonton. Our focus whether it be through enforcement, speed management or engineering design, is to reduce collisions and ensure a safe traffic environment for the public at large. We continuously monitor, measure and adjust our efforts and resources based on our effectiveness in reducing collisions.


                  • #10
                    Answers to Q9

                    A couple Questions. Do photo radar vehicles have to be legally parked to take pictures? Along the Calgary trail North, the photo radar vehicle parks regularly just north of diamonds but he/she parks almost in the intersection and sometimes partially in the intersection. Does this illegal parking effect ticket validity?

                    Commonly on the eastern intersection of the Henday and Yellowhead there seems to be quite a traffic backup. The left lane is for turning or straight through traffic and the right lane is solely for straight through use. During pm peak hours, many motorists are turning from the outside lane, cutting off traffic in an attempt to bypass the wait. Any police presence planned for this intersection?

                    Photo radar sites are all reviewed by an EPS supervisor prior to their use. Once a site is approved it is put on a list for the operators to use and assigned on a rotating basis. The operators have some latitude in exactly where they set up, but it must be with in the confines of the approved site. They should not be impeding traffic with the expectation of set up and take down of the equipment. Due to the complaints about speeding vehicles that come in often the photo radar vehicle will have to use boulevards, grass shoulders or other areas where the public is not allowed to park. Parking in an area that is not suitable for public parking does not affect the validity of the enforcement done. This particular situation has been passed to the photo radar supervisor for review.

                    The eastern intersection of Yellowhead Trail and Anthony Henday Drive sits right on the border of the City of Edmonton and County of Strathcona. Yellowhead Trail at this location is in the County of Strathcona. Please refer your concern to the RCMP or County of Strathcona Bylaw officers.


                    • #11
                      Answer to Q10

                      We was wondering why the resource officers do not attend community meetings anymore?

                      We understand the commitment and time Edmonton Police officers have. We hear that EPS says they want to reach communities and but on the other hand the opportunity to meet or share info is no longer there.


                      It might be difficult to attend each community league meeting every month so why not an officer attends Leagues Presidents Councils at least quarterly, this way they meet with a group of Community League’s Presidents and the Presidents share info with their communities.

                      To make people understand the EPS better an open house for Presidents/Chairs of Communities, NGO’s and cultural organizations/associations be held at the beautiful EPS Headquarters, from time to time.

                      Community Liaison Constables (CLCs) currently attend and participate in as many community meetings as possible when it is in alignment with their other duties. There are many different scenarios in which officers are invited to participate in community meetings and they include requests from but not limited to the following agencies:

                      AGLC, Edmonton City Bylaw, Capital Health, the Fire Department, Social Services, and Edmonton Housing . In addition, CLCs respond to requests from the Chief’s Office, other high ranking officers within the Edmonton Police Service and patrol.

                      To help officers better accommodate requests, advance notice is needed as CLCs receive anywhere from 15 to 35 requests on a regular basis.

                      We’d like to encourage citizens to attend the "Town hall meetings" that are held in each respective divisional district throughout the year. Each meeting is geared towards issues/trends facing communities in that particular division. It is also an opportunity for residents to ask questions and meet with officers in their district. The involvement of the community is critical to our success.


                      • #12
                        Answer to Q11

                        Last year the police were enforcing motorcycles that exceed the legal decibal levels. Will the police service consider also enforcing the illegal use of 'jake brakes' within the city limits? This noise contributes to the excessive noise level and they get away with it.

                        My residence backs onto Whitemud and unfortunately the freeway has a decline right behind my property where all the trucks use this brake (illegally). Weather wise when we can finally enjoy the outdoors our conversations are cut short or temporarily stopped due to this excessive noise. The regular vehicle noise seems to be considerably less bothersome as the pavement has been upgraded. The municipal government has once again 'weazled' out of upgrading the sound barrier wall even though their noise level tests proved the noise to exceed the legal decibel level.

                        I would like to know if the police service could somehow set up a vehicle (patrol car or photo radar type vehicle) to enforce this common violation (that has gone unpunished for so long)? This violation is extremely common in this area and perhaps other freeways also, and the truckers know they can get away with it so why bother turning them off? The taxpayers that live along this road would be ever so grateful! Even a few tickets handed out may curb the illegal use if truckers start to spread the word.

                        We are absolutely frustrated every summer with this noise annoyance.

                        EPS does enforce the engine brake section, and we share your concern. This enforcement is mostly done by the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Detail assigned to Traffic Section. One of the difficulties is that the trucking industry is fairly transient in nature so one particular truck may only pass through Edmonton once every few weeks.

                        One of the positive aspects is that technology is helping out with this problem as some of the newer trucks the engine brakes are no louder than the normal operation of the unit itself. To send members out to do specifically engine brakes is usually not that effective as it may be an hour or more between violations. When observed this enforcement is done in conjunction with other types of enforcement. We would like to provide a Community Liaison Constable as a point of contact; however, it is not clear which portion of the Whitemud that you are referring to. To find out what district that you live in follow this link and call the appropriate Division station reach that particular Community Liaison Officer.