Edmonton

Alberta Avenue residents call for more support from Edmonton Police Commission

Some central Edmonton residents are asking the city's police commission for more beat cops and social workers in their neighbourhood.

Commission did not formally commit to anything, but chair said it would look for potential solutions

The handful of residents at Thursday's Edmonton Police Commission meeting called for more beat police officers, as well as social workers and other programs. (CBC)

Some central Edmonton residents are asking the city's police commission for more beat cops and social workers in their neighbourhood.

Edmontonians living in the Alberta Avenue area had an opportunity to address the Edmonton Police Commission with their concerns during its meeting Thursday.

"We actually need professionals responding to a lot of these issues," said Maggie Glasgow, a longtime resident who attended the meeting. She was joined by a handful of other neighbours.

Glasgow has called in multiple overdoses to 911 and made other calls to 211, a phone line to help access support resources, she told the commission.

She wants the Alberta Avenue area to be supported as a "vulnerable neighbourhood." That would include adding a third team of beat police officers to work the community, as well as social workers and other outreach programs.

"These types of supports should be embedded in our neighbourhoods," Glasgow said.

"We are overwhelmed, we're overworked and we're close to burnout."

Jane Samson, who has lived in the area for 13 years, echoed the call for more support.

Samson commended the work of the police officers currently patrolling the area, noting that they actively engage with residents and try to be available to them.

They're overstretched, however, and the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood could use other professionals "who know how to deal with mental health and addiction issues," she said.

Samson, a community league member who participates outreach efforts, urged the commission to note the engagement of Alberta Avenue community members, who are ready to support any steps the commission might take. 

The commission did not formally commit to any next steps Thursday.

But chair John McDougall alluded that the commission would look for ways to help improve the neighbourhood.

"I'm hopeful that we can find a means through the service, through the city and through other resources to help improve that area," McDougall said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tricia Kindleman

Reporter/Producer

Tricia Kindleman has spent her life in Alberta. She grew up in Edmonton and attended Mount Royal College, now university, in Calgary. She has worked in newsrooms in Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

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