The Partnering for Safer Communities (PSC) initiative was developed in response to recommendations from the 2007 Evaluation of Community Policing in New Brunswick, and the creation of the New Brunswick Crime Prevention and Reduction Strategy. Between 10 and 16 two-day training workshops are being held throughout the province between February 2012 and March 2014. Each workshop is co-facilitated by trained representatives from the community, the police, and the Department of Public Safety. Workshops are limited to 35 participants from the following sectors: police, local government, NGO, social services, health and mental health services, Aboriginal communities, education, volunteer groups, resource centres / recreational groups, universities/academics, youth groups, immigrant representative groups, and the business community. All workshop materials have been translated.
The purpose of this initiative is to bring together police and community members to: learn about the causes of crime and effective strategies to prevent and reduce crime; gain practical skills and tools to address crime and public safety issues in their communities; and network and form community safety partnerships.
Policing & Community Services Branch of the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety
Drs. Mary Ann Campbell (Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of New Brunswick) and Claire Goggin (St. Thomas University) developed the facilitator and participant manuals for the workshop, facilitated the pilot workshop, and delivered the train-the-trainer program to 35 police officers, community program officers (RCMP) and community members. Each PSC workshop is co-facilitated by trained representatives from the community, the police and Public Safety. Dr. Caroline Brunell (University of New Brunswick) assists in facilitating the workshops in Francophone communities. The involvement of these partners is both consultative and cooperative. The workshop participants are drawn from the following sectors: police, local government, NGOs, social services, health and mental health services, Aboriginal communities, education, volunteer groups, resource centres / recreational groups, universities/academics, youth groups, immigrant representative groups, and the business community.
This initiative was developed in 2010-2011. The workshop curriculum was piloted in April 2011. Following some revisions to the content and delivery, the train-the-trainer program was delivered in November 2011. The first workshop was held in February 2012.
This initiative was undertaken as a result of an evaluation of community policing in New Brunswick. Evidence from this evaluation suggested that, while police officers generally know what community policing looks and feels like, improvements could be made to increase understanding, effectiveness and consistent application of contemporary community policing in New Brunswick. Around the same time the evaluation was being finalized, the Department of Public Safety began working with stakeholders in the development of a provincial crime prevention and reduction strategy. This work came from the recognition that no one organization has the mandate or the resources to take sole responsibility for community safety, and that a strategic partnership is required to be most effective in preventing and reducing crime.
Total cost for thre-year project, including curriculum development, pilot workshop, train-the-trainer program, and 16 workshops: $123,460.
The workshop curriculum was piloted in April 2011. Following some revisions to the content and delivery, the train-the-trainer program was delivered in November 2011. The first workshop was held in February 2012 and the second in April 2012. Another 8-14 workshops are being planned between August 2012 and March 2014.
The workshops held thus far have met their key objectives as described under "Initiative Key Objectives." A six-month follow-up will be conducted with workshop participants to ascertain if they are in fact making use of new skills learned and networks formed through the workshop. This outcome data is not yet available, as the first follow-up took place in August 2012, and we are currently awaiting responses.
The communication strategy is still under development. The following have been the key messages used to date:
An evaluation of the entire initiative has not been completed, but we have received positive feedback from workshop participants and from the policing community.