Community Action Team (Synopsis)

Edmonton Police Service

Description: The Community Action Team (CAT) was first deployed in 2011, in response to ongoing community safety concerns and the need to disrupt the precursors of crime in distressed communities through prevention, intervention and suppression techniques. Originally tested as a pilot, CAT is now implemented on a larger scale. Throughout the city, this mobile police unit identifies and targets high-violence areas of the city, with the help of an array of community partners. Its work focuses on deliberate interventions, deploying a maximum-contact, high-visibility team in neighbourhoods with more frequent and sustained violence issues.

Communication strategies are tailored to each deployment’s unique requirements. For example, a deployment focused on prevention would have a larger communication strategy and a more diverse group of community partners than one focused on suppression.
Objective: The initiative’s main objectives are to reduce the frequency and severity of violence, as well as the fears and perceptions of violence.
Outcomes: CAT is generating positive outcomes in the community, including public reassurance through highly visible intelligence-led policing, decreased victimization through better outreach to vulnerable populations, and public empowerment and decreased fear through education and community involvement.

The main indicators of the initiative’s performance are the number of arrests, warrants executed, criminal and provincial/bylaw charges laid, and public interactions.
Resources: Minor extra costs are associated with setting up CAT. Personnel are contributed “in-kind” by their respective divisions and are redeployed for CAT. Numerous volunteers from other agencies also participate.
Province: Alberta
Record Entry Date: 2015-03-01
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