Neighbourhood Action Team (Details)

Name of province/ territory:

New Brunswick

City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

Based on feedback from internal working groups, surveys and research, and with the assistance of an external consultant, Dr. Jean Sauvageau, one of the key objectives of the Fredericton Police Force (FPF) five-year plan was the evaluation and restructuring of the departmental approach to community policing. Based on the consultant’s report and our experience gained over the last 20 years of delivering and administering a community policing service, a new model was proposed in 2007. This policing model called for the implementation of the newly formed Neighbourhood Action Team (NAT).

During the planning of the five-year plan, one of the most apparent adjustments to be made was the need to place the community as the central focus of the organization’s purpose. The new model emphasizes that everything we do must be in support of each other, with a strategic focus on the needs of our community.

The NAT approach is not just about a team; it is a central and driving mindset to be embraced by all our members and meaningfully demonstrated to the community. It is this sense of "neighbourhood action" that supports the mission and values of the Fredericton Police Force. It is a reciprocal support system both within the organization and in the community at large. No longer is community policing to be considered an “add on” service of the organization, in isolation from other work groups. This model illustrates a fundamental shift in our organization’s commitment to community policing by drawing it into centre focus, to be practiced and embraced by all our employees.

The five-year plan recommendation states: The FPF abolishes current ward community policing offices and reorganizes the structure to promote better community communications and services to the citizens of the city of Fredericton. The Force move to implement two centrally located satellite Neighborhood Action offices, one on the north side and one on the south side of the city.

Initiative Key Objectives:

NAT will provide a distinct enhancement to the existing police service delivery model in Fredericton. NAT is essentially the pooling of a large group of officers from previously fragmented work groups, who now focus their efforts in a strategic and coordinated manner to address a variety of neighbourhood issues. The team is comprised of civilian employees, volunteers, uniformed officers, community crime plain-clothes officers, school resource officers, crime prevention officers and St. Mary’s First Nations officers. The team reports to the Team Leader Staff Sergeant.

The NAT philosophy states, “The Fredericton Police commits to working with others to address current and evolving public safety needs by engaging our members and partners through ongoing communication, education and evaluation.”

Section Responsible for Implementation:

The Neighbourhood Action Team is centralized within the organization and lead by a S/Sgt who participates at the Interdivisional Management Team level. Based on the research and recommendations surrounding community policing, it was decided that one of the first steps in moving forward would be to redeploy the ward-based community officers from the Patrol/Community Division into a newly formed Neighbourhood Action Team. Community policing would no longer be a marginalized section within the large Patrol Response Division, but essentially a thriving work group in its own right. The concept and structure of the Neighbourhood Action Team was brought into the centre, or the heart of the organization, with multiple avenues for communication and influences to fluidly move in and out of and across the organization.

Key Contact:

S/Sgt Brian Ford

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • civilian governing authorities
  • police association or union
  • academic institutes (research and evaluation)

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

External academic consultant; internal consultation with members; enhanced outreach, feedback and involvement of partner agencies.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

The Standing Order was signed on May 7, 2008. Since the introduction of the division, it has expanded to include the addition of the Youth at Risk Coordinator, the Traffic Unit, the Intelligence Officer and a part-time crime analyst.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

This initiative was identified in the FPF five-year plan process to evaluate and restructure the departmental approach to community policing. Based on research conducted in 2006 by consultant Dr. Jean Sauvageau, and based on internal consultation, several recommendations were made regarding the mandate and deployment of officers. Based on external consultation and interviews with city council members (as representatives of the community voice), a new model was proposed in the 2007 budget process. This policing model called for the implementation of the newly formed NAT in an effort to improve efficiencies of police officers.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

There were costs associated with the creation of NAT. These costs included the setting up of the two offices, including rental space, renovations, an external consultant, a fibre optic connection, the building lease, building office supplies, etc.

Method of Implementation:

NAT was created following internal/external consultation, via a standing order, and through several consultative sessions with members where the mandate, roles, and responsibilities were defined. This section has continuously evolved throughout the years since its inception.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

The initiative met the objectives successfully and continues to evolve and change to meet the public safety needs of the citizens of Fredericton. One example of its success is demonstrated in the design and continuous implementation of the FPF Crime Reduction Strategy. The objectives of the Crime Reduction Strategy are to:

  • achieve and maintain a substantial, measurable reduction in crime, therefore increasing community safety;
  • improve public awareness, increase public confidence and increase the public’s involvement in reducing crime;
  • increase cooperation between all stakeholders involved in crime reduction through fostering strategic partnerships;
  • implement the Prolific and Priority Offenders Initiative; and
  • use crime analysis and intelligent-led policing as the basis for province-wide training at the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

The introduction of NAT was presented throughout the continuous communication of the five-year plan. It was also presented to all members during briefings and in-service training, through the NAT Resource Guide and website, and through requests for members’ involvement in the creation of the mandate, etc. The initiative also received media coverage and was the subject of city council presentations.

This philosophy of contemporary community policing was used to form the foundation of province-wide training that was developed through the Policing and Community Services Branch of the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • summative
  • quantitative
  • qualitative
  • social return on investment

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

A team of members which includes the A/Chief, Employee Development Advisor, Crime Analyst and Research & Planner are working together to create an evaluation of community policing force-wide.

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:

Our NAT philosophy states, “The Fredericton Police commits to working with others to address current and evolving public safety needs by engaging our members and partners through ongoing communication, education and evaluation.”

Our work here helped inform the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety’s implementation of contemporary community policing province-wide.

Record Entry Date:


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