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Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Tuesday Answers

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  • Edmonton Police Online Town Hall - Tuesday Answers

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

    I said this because coming here makes my heart hurt.

  • #2
    Answer to Q1

    I've noticed every Friday between roughly 6:30 and 8pm that a number of vehicles show up in the parking lot of the school in front of my place.(Johnny Bright K-9 in Rutherford sw)One of the vehicles is towing one of those little baggage trailers. It appears to me that the person of this vehicle is distributing, or selling milk products from the back of this vehicle. I heard on the news some time back that it was considered illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in this province.

    If this is the case, and they're selling this type of milk in the parking lot of a school. Could anything be done by the EPS to look into this matter? It is just a suspicion but everybody who approaches this vehicle walks away with a jar or two of white liquid which appears to be milk.

    Matters concerning the preparation and sale of food fall under the Public Health Act, Food Regulation. The Edmonton Police Service unfortunately does not have the equipment or training required to enforce the provisions of the Act so we have taken the liberty of passing your concern on to your District Health Inspector for action. Your district Health Inspector can be reached at 780-735-1800 if you require anything further.


    • #3
      Answer to Q2

      Could you please provide an update on the current search for our new Chief of Police? Have interviews been conducted? If so, with how many candidates? What is the timeline for an official announcement on the new Chief?

      The Edmonton Police Commission conducted an extensive national search for the new Chief of Police, which resulted in 22 applications from highly-qualified individuals. All formal interviews have now concluded. Currently, we are in the final stages of the selection process. Once the Commission's recommendation has been ratified by City Council, a formal announcement will be made.


      • #4
        Answer to Q3

        The community police stations should be able to take cash and credit cards, even the local Macs can do that!

        With regards to Police Information Checks, Downtown Division will accept exact cash, debit, credit card, certified cheque, money order, or prepaid sticker at police headquarters only. All other divisions and community stations only accept certified cheques, money orders, or prepaid stickers.

        Division Stations and Community Stations are not set up for cash handling functions.


        • #5
          Are tinted driver's windows allowed or not? If so, to what degree?

          Manufacturers of motor vehicles often provide a tint to all windows of a motor vehicle in varying shades. This is the only tint that is allowed to be on a motor vehicle while being operated on public property. Specifically the Vehicle Equipment Regulations (VER) prohibits the adding of any material (opaque, translucent or clear) to the windows to either the right or left side of the driver. The exception to this is clear untinted frost shields, provided they are in good condition. The rear window can be covered providing the vehicle has adequate side mirrors.

          If they are not legal, what is the EPS doing to educate the public and to enforce the statute?

          Enforcement of the regulations is done in conjunction with other enforcement initiatives, as well as members making vehicle stops specifically for the tinted windows. EPS does not have a specific tinted window enforcement program. There are options regarding educational programs; however, because of resource limitations this requires a comparison against other operational matters to determine priorities. The EPS does not currently have plans regarding an education program on this particular issue.

          It is a serious safety issue both for pedestrians and for officers.

          You are correct that it is a safety issue, primarily because side window glass is tempered and specifically designed to fracture into small pieces to reduce injury in traffic collisions. The adding of a material to the window causes the window to stay in one piece and become a projectile, hitting the driver or passenger in the side of the head potentially causing severe injuries.

          A second reason is that it makes it more difficult for pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers and for rivers to see pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

          A third reason is that it does increase the danger for police as we are not able to see into the vehicle clearly to identify the number of occupants and any potential threats.


          • #6
            Answer to Q5

            Would the Edmonton police force as a whole be better served to no longer prosecute personal marijuana possession? Further resources could be used to deal with real crimes, not crimes of personal choice.

            The legalization of marijuana is a topic that has been debated for many, many years. While marijuana possession laws have been relaxed in recent years, possession still remains an offence in Canada.

            Our perspective on this issue is very broad, and goes far beyond the bounds of the individual purchaser or marijuana user in the end. Police in Canada are acutely aware of the fact that the vast majority of marijuana cultivated and sold in this country has ties to organized crime. As a result we have to be mindful of the fact that the sale of marijuana leads to, and sometimes funds, other criminal activities that organized crime participates in.

            What does this all boil down to? Increased crime. Further, this crime often involves serious offences. Again in a broad sense, our actions through enforcing both the supply side (those that cultivate) and the demand side (those that consume) serves to minimize the impact that organized crime has on our community and thus reduce overall crime.


            • #7
              Answer to Q6

              I and many others are dismayed by the fact that Edmonton has already had 16 homicides this year, compared to 2 in Calgary and 6 in Vancouver. What exactly is the cause of such a huge spike?

              Although overall crime in Edmonton has substantially decreased in 2011, homicides-to-date are higher than we have experienced since we began keeping stats in 1961.

              During the first three months of 2011, the EPS Homicide and Forensic Identification Sections investigated 15 incidents of homicide. The 16th homicide occurred in the first week of April. Each of these murders is an individual crime that cannot and could not be predicted. The very randomness of murder is the only thing that is predictable.

              As part of the EPS mandate, a strong focus is put on crime prevention, which could include identifying trends and dealing with them before they reach the level of a major crime. Our crime analysts have studied the details of each homicide. While they are each unique, several items can be considered:
              • none of the deaths have been found to be linked;
              • all are individual incidents;
              • the majority were between people who knew each other;
              • alcohol and/or drugs were often present;
              • behaviour issues, especially anger management, are often a precursor to homicide.

              Sixteen is a high number for 2011 to-date, however, the increase can't be attributed to any one factor, such as gang activity, robberies or domestic violence. Two were historical homicides, one from 2009, and the other from 2010. A third and fourth homicide were police involved shootings, which are currently being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, as per protocol. Of the 16 homicides, five are unsolved and active investigations continue.


              • #8
                Answer to Q7

                Why is it on nice summer days there are like a million cops around but when it's like -40 there is not a cop to be found?

                Equal numbers of police officers are deployed throughout the year. For example, the number of officers deployed on a Tuesday in January is the same amount that is deployed on a Saturday in August. Programs like Checkstop run throughout the year but can be limited by weather conditions when officer safety becomes an issue.

                Community policing principles support partnerships with the community. Programs such as this are formed through the building of relationships. This means the police go where the people are, and in the cold winter months our officers are more likely to be found in locations like malls, schools and other public places.


                • #9
                  Answer to Q8

                  Since moving to Edmonton in 2005 I have been concerned about the outright use of drugs and alcohol in the downtown area. I used to live in the Boyle Street area (down the street from the main police station) and constantly stepped over used needles, and walked past groups of drunk people. I recently moved to central downtown and I have seen people drinking, smoking pot, and smoking crack. I did call to complain after one incident where someone was sitting on the side of the road smoking crack (this was after a week of walking by the same area, and there was always people engaging in some kind of illegal activity). The officer I spoke to said that they would send a car out sometime in the next couple of weeks and try to help but as the population was fairly transient there wasn't much they could do.

                  Other than this incident, I have always found Edmonton Police Officers to be extremely helpful. However, I really notice a lack of presence in the downtown area. I am sure that having more officers in the area (both in cars, on bikes and on foot) would decrease the amount of illegal activities, even with such a high-risk population. Even if it didn't rehabilitate the people being caught, it would at least make the other residents safer.

                  Not only that, but there are many pushy panhandlers. I don't mind being asked for change or to lend a smoke, but I do not like to listen to the same 30 minute story about how they were just released from the hospital or their car broke down and they need $20. Especially since it was the same few people telling me the same story every couple of weeks last summer.

                  Why isn't there a large police presence downtown, and what steps can citizens take to ensure that this is changed? I am not sure how shifts are assigned to officers, but is there any realistic way to increase the desirability of working the downtown beat in spite of it likely being one of the most difficult areas in terms of repeat offenders?

                  In answer to your question regarding the level of policing downtown we can tell you that in 2007-2008 the Edmonton Police Service adopted what is known as a Geographic Deployment Model (GDM) in an effort to meet two strategic objectives being
                  1) 7 minute response to Level 1 Emergency Calls - 80% of the time
                  2) Create 25% Proactive Time for patrol officers to problem solve and work with the community

                  In addition to these two objectives, the EPS has been able to accomplish several important initiatives that we weren't able to implement under the former deployment model.

                  First, GDM has allowed us to align our staffing to both the workload and the geography of the city. This means that we are now able to deploy our officers not only where we need them but also when we need them, on a level that simply didn’t exist before.

                  The second big advantage that GDM has brought is a sense of ownership on the part of the officers working on the street. This has been achieved by employing static district assignments for our front-line officers. Our officers police the same communities shift in and shift out and consequently come to know the places and the people that require the most of their time and energy. Our officers now have a stake in the communities they police and an interest in making them better.

                  Specifically, the downtown area offers many opportunities and challenges that are unique to policing. However, this is not unlike most communities throughout this diverse city. It is critical that the EPS ensures our officers have all the tools necessary to exceed community expectations no matter what community they may be assigned to. Downtown Division is currently working on several initiatives to enhance police visibility. One such initiative is called P3 which stands for "Parkades, Pedways, and Platforms.” P3 aims to create a presence and reassure people to ensure feelings of safety and peace, and to suppress both disorder and criminal activity in the Parkades, Pedways and Platforms within the downtown core. We look forward to the successes that intitiatives such as P3 bring to the community.
                  Last edited by edmontonpolice; 06-04-2011, 11:19 AM.


                  • #10
                    Answer to Q9

                    A quick question in regards to the answer you gave about littering:

                    "We can also act on reports by citizens on littering. What we require is some way to track down a violator after the fact (vehicle license plate and physical description for example). We are more than happy to take action in these situations when the circumstances support it."

                    Is it best to go into a community station to report this? What's the process, and what will be required of the complainant in the future?

                    Reporting in person at a Community Station or via the police complaint line at 780-421-4567 is acceptable. Community Standards Peace Officers can also deal with these types of issues and can be reached by dialing 311. If enforcement action is requested, a written statement detailing the event in question will be required. Additionally attendance in court may be required should the offender contest the matter in the future.


                    • #11
                      Answer to Q10

                      Why does EPS act as a middleman for bylaw? For example, when reporting an illegally parked vehicle or abandoned vehicle, why do I have to call EPS (tying up a phone line that is best used for more important matter)?

                      Historically the Edmonton Police Department responded to all parking complaints. Over time there has been a transition, seeing the Bylaw take the majority of parking complaints.

                      That being said, the Edmonton Police Service maintains the infrastructure (equipment, radio system, etc.), personnel and training to dispatch parking complaints.


                      • #12
                        Answers to Q11

                        What is the procedure for having removed homeless / drug users from the front entry's of apartment buildings? They sleep there overnight to stay warm.

                        However the smell, damage to property and fear they put into tenants makes it impossible for them to stay there. They also block the entry in case of fire evacuation.

                        When we have asked them to leave they get in your face with threats including vandalizing the property or assaulting the landlord.

                        Your downtown dispatch says they do not respond to these calls.

                        If this is not the responsibility of the Police do we as citizen's need to take this into our own hands?

                        Please respond.

                        The matter you speak of is most certainly an issue for the police to deal with. Dialing the Complaint Line at 780-423-4567 is the way to reach us. If for some reason you are not able to get the level of response that you require simply ask to speak to a supervisor. They will enter a call for dispatch.

                        We also strongly encourage members of the community to connect directly with us on issues such as this. Getting to know your Beat constable or the Community Liaison Constable responsible for your area will provide you additional options. They will be glad to assist you in working toward a long-term solution to this problem.


                        • #13
                          Answer to Q12

                          As the HSE Manager for a downtown business, I find your downtown newsletter of great interest. I would love to be able to distribute it our staff, by posting on our safety bulletin board as well as in the other areas we have available for sharing such information. Some of the suggestions and tips would also be beneficial to our employees located in other offices around the world. I'm wondering, though, why there's no "print" feature to print the newsletter in its entirety...or am I just not looking in the right spot? It's too good to keep to myself, but forwarding links to people is not necessarily the best way for us to target our personnel. I would also like to share information with others in my housing development, as I believe items, such as the vehicle safety section in this latest newsletter, benefits everyone, not just those downtown.

                          All in all, I commend EPS on this Town Hall, on the newsletter and on the efforts made each and every day. It can't be easy policing in today's society and I'm sure everyone would like to see greater police presence and more traffic enforcement, but I think y'all are doing the best you can with the budget you have. Good job! Keep it up and stay safe out there!

                          Thank you for reading the newsletters and for the positive feedback. We appreciate community involvement and the sharing in responsibility to build a safer Edmonton.

                          Unfortunately, the system we use to distribute the newsletters does not have a ‘print all’ function. In order to print the newsletter in its entirety, you’d have to go to each article and print each one separately.

                          You can forward the newsletter or alert email on easily by clicking the gold FORWARD button at the top.

                          You can also get people to sign up for their district newsletter by visiting the Edmonton Police Service website. The newsletter/crime alert sign up can be accessed through our Community Policing page. To find out what policing district you live in, use the “Find Your District” chooser on the right-hand side.


                          • #14
                            Answer to Q13

                            The interactive crime map is a great tool to get an idea of what incidents are happening in my area. I am also signed up for the monthly newsletter. Are there any other methods (meeting, reports etc) that can be provided to gain more specific information on the crimes and results? (i.e. was someone caught or charged; was it random?). Or could this information be added to the crime map? Can I talk to my local community station officer to get this information verbally?

                            The EPS Public Crime Mapping website was created to meet public demand around where crimes are happening in their neighbourhoods and to engage residents as partners in community crime prevention. Additional development to the crime mapping website will be considered over time, based on budget, resources and organizational priority. We cannot report on clearances for at least three months after the occurrence and would only be able to report on the case status and not the particulars of any person that may or may not have been charged.

                            For other information, you can go to the Edmonton Police Commission site to download quarterly reports and the 2010 Performance and Accountability Report Card. You can also attend Edmonton Police Commission meetings, which are open to the public.

                            Due to the legislations set out in Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act), there are certain guidelines the EPS must adhere to when releasing information about criminal charges and results of a police investigation on a crime mapping tool.

                            The public has access to constables that work in their community. Each division is separated into four sectors. Each sector has an assigned Community Liaison Constable who works on long-term solutions to crime within specific neighbourhoods, and we strongly encourage the public to get to know their Community Officers. If there is specific information you require for a file you had personal involvement in, the member in charge of the investigation should be consulted with. Otherwise, Corporate Communications Section of EPS releases information the public has access to through media releases.

                            Click here to find out which CLC works in your neighbourhood

                            Also I am interested in the two citizen patrol groups in the city (Millwoods and Ottewell?). I presume it is difficult to infer if they are reducing crime as the groups would be spotting and reporting more crime in the area. Can you say if they are increasing the solved cases for the neighbourhood? Are the reuslts worth the effort? Are there plans to expand this program? Or is this a citizen led function where the EPS provides support as needed?

                            The Community Patrols of Mill Woods and Ottewell have a focus on prevention. The concept involves having more eyes and ears in the community to make it a safer place to live and play. It is difficult to quantify the results from the community patrols. How do you measure what does not happen? Even so, it is not unusual for patrol members to come across crimes in progress, or assist at special events. They provide a valuable service to the community and it is definitely worth the effort.

                            Both Community Patrols actively recruit new members. There is a preference that applicants live in the general area of the respective patrol, but that is not mandatory. There is an application process which includes interview and security clearance.

                            The EPS currently has no current plans for expansion.

                            There are over 20 citizen patrol groups operating throughout Edmonton. Only two of these groups, Mill Woods and Ottewell, are headed up by the EPS; however, they are citizen run. The other programs are completely community led.

                            For MWCP visit and email the Executive Assistant to start the application process.

                            There is also an email link on the Mill Woods Community Patrol website for Ottewell Community Patrol.


                            • #15
                              Answer to Q14

                              While travelling down 50 Street between 106 Avenue and 101 Avenue there is a very wide roadway. There is a parking lane where cars are allowed to park and then the other lane is for driving vehicles. The roadway is 7.9 m wide. Typical driving lanes are 3.5 m wide. As the roadway is quite wide vehicles pass me on the right had side of the road, which is where cars park. The vehicles are overtaking me in the parking lane. I have had many people tell me that there is only two lanes and one of them is for parking. There is no painted lines on this stretch of roadway and my experience with The Highway Traffic Act indicates no vehicle is allowed to over take another vehicle on the right hand side. They only could pass on the right if there is a painted line indicating another lane. The paint lines start closer to the intersections.

                              Please advise if I am in error on my understanding of the situation.

                              On this particular roadway, there are painted lines near the intersections. They are considered extensions down the entire roadway. The roadway, as you indicated, is wide enough to easily accommodate two vehicles side by side. The city does not prohibit parking along this roadway so the vehicle in the curb lane must yield to parked vehicles.

                              If the line was painted full length of the roadway intersection to intersection then there would be no parking allowed on this roadway as there would not be enough room to park between the right lane and the curb. It’s the city's way of making a multi-use roadway. Two lanes when there are no parked cars and one lane when there are parked cars.

                              Any changes to the design of the roadway or traffic control are the responsibility of the City of Edmonton.