Edmonton chief happy with crime strategy
Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht is confident his five-year strategy to reduce crime in the city will pay off despite being only seven weeks old.
"The results are too early to identify at this point," he told a police commission meeting Wednesday. "It can't just be a one week blitz and then it goes away.
"What we need is sustainability so when we get into those neighbourhoods that are in distress we can stay and maintain and reduce the distress so those communities become safe."
The strategy was drawn up this summer in face of the city's shocking murder rate.
Earlier this month, police targeted the McCauley neighbourhood with the Community Action Team where officers blanket a specific high-crime neighbourhood to make arrests and build trust with residents.
Between Sept. 7th and Sept. 11th, police arrested 29 people in McCauley, issued 143 tickets for disorderly behaviour and 123 warrants.
"Those were people that were out there that were supposed to be engaged in the criminal justice system that were walking around in a very confined community within Edmonton," said Knecht.
It's too soon to see any strong trends in the city's crime rate, but police are making progress, he said.
"I would caution anybody to say 'Oh, it's an overwhelming success' or 'It's a failure,'" he said. "I think if you don't shoot, you don't score.
"We've gotta get out there and try things - we've gotta learn from what we're doing and we've gotta engage the community and get them to tell us what they think they need for us to collectively be successful."
The chief's efforts are supported by rank-and-file officers, said Tony Simioni, president of the police association
"We think that it's gonna work," he said. "It's not just fluff and it's not just propaganda, although you know there's been some speculation to that affect.