“Today, the Edmonton Police Commission received the final report prepared by the Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force.
“This past year, the Commission has heard from a wide range of Edmontonians as they have spoken passionately about policing, funding, and the need for local reflection on how our city collectively provides the best possible service to protect all Edmontonians. We understand the diversity of views and many were reflected in the Task Force’s findings.
“We also strongly believe Edmontonians need the protection of a police service to professionally and safely manage crime and violent crime that impacts all residents.
“There are recommendations in the report we welcome. The Commission has also presented options to City Council on system change that will help integrate policing with other services across our community, providing better outcomes, in particular for racialized and vulnerable populations. We look forward to continuing those conversations with City Council in 2021.
“Such conversations are essential because crime rates and many demands on police can only be reduced by investments in social services, mental health services, housing, education, and health, with inputs from the community based not-for-profit sector. We also recognized in our presentations to City Council that there is a significant opportunity to better spend the billions of dollars already invested in these spaces by all levels of government.
“We look forward to participating in a collaborative approach with City Council that aims at enhancing community safety, in particular by ensuring all aspects of our community work together to produce better outcomes for racialized and marginalized communities.
“Strengthening community safety and well-being requires collective effort. Whether it is improving equity, addressing disparities, supporting individuals or enhancing safety, every one of these efforts needs to be simultaneously addressed through multiple partners. In the absence of a cohesive and inclusive strategy, community partners are left to fill shortcomings within the system.
“The current climate provides us with an opportunity to transform how we connect people to systems that provide the right balance between support and enforcement, increasing community safety for all Edmontonians.
“And finally, to our police officers and EPS staff: We support your professional, compassionate, and valued service to the citizens of Edmonton every day. We know the overwhelming majority of you are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of all Edmontonians and want to continue programs of change, so that all racialized and vulnerable populations feel heard and valued.”
Micki Ruth, Chair, Edmonton Police Commission