Violent crime drop encouraging, police chief says
In a year-end interview with the CBC's Janice Johnston, Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht said he is pleased to see fewer violent crimes and more police staffing – but says that property crimes and public complaints against police are up.
Knecht, who recently signed a contract extension guaranteeing his job until 2018, said he is largely satisfied with EPS' track record for 2013.
2013 in review:
- 13.5 per cent increase in property crime compared to 2012
- Four per cent decrease in violent crime compared to 2012
- Increase in public complaints made to EPS (136 compared to 104 in 2012)
(Source: Police Chief Rod Knecht)
Looking forward to 2014, Knecht said he is pleased with the city’s decision to grant EPS an additional $7.1 million.
“Our vision is to make Edmonton the safest major city in Canada – and I think that's an achievable goal over time,” he said. “But it is going to require investment and it is going to require support. Policing is expensive. It's a very expensive business. And our costs are not going down. They continue to go up.”
Knecht also said rebuilding public faith in the EPS is one of his priorities in the coming year.
“We live and die off the public trust. We need the public to trust us. And that's why it's important to engage them and hear what they have to say and what they expect.”
The force is also looking to train more officers in 2014, as more than 50 senior members of the EPS are set to retire.