||In 2007, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) ‘J’ Division piloted a Civilianization and Crime Reduction initiative to respond to increasing property crimes and the need more efficient policing. The initiative spread to all of New Brunswick in 2008. ‘J’ Division hired civilian Community Program Officers (CPOs) and crime analysts to support evidenced-based and intelligence-led policing and crime prevention. This initiative takes a proactive approach to crime reduction, using evidence-based prevention and diversion tactics.
The CPOs are leading ‘J’ Division’s five-year plan for youth. This plan helps youth get access to the right services at the right time based on scientifically validated screening and assessment. CPOs provide ongoing training for officers and community partners on various aspects of youth crime prevention.
||The Civilianization and Crime Reduction initiative has several objectives:
- provide good crime analysis to help police manage resources and focus efforts;
- provide a pool of experts in implementing evidence-based crime prevention initiatives (especially for youth);
- free up frontline officers for operational duties;
- strengthen partnerships at the community level;
- provide better data for setting targets and measuring outcomes; and
- offer additional services (beyond uniformed officers) to the province and municipalities which contract policing from the RCMP.
||‘J’ Division is now recognized as a leader in crime prevention and reduction. Resources are now strategically focused on the small percentage of the population responsible for the majority of crime. This has led to significant reductions in property crime across the province. The division has used crime data to support its balanced scorecard and annual performance plan with strong targets and measures. The use of civilians in key positions also lowers the cost of policing.
Through the CPO-led youth strategy, over 1,000 youth have been screened for risk factors. Over 75 referrals to community services are made per month (compared to almost none before the strategy). Incidents of youth crime in parts of the province policed by the RCMP have been reduced by 33%, with the overall youth crime rate in the province dropping by 27% and the youth crime severity index dropping by 30%.
The use of civilians in key positions also lowers the cost of policing, contributing to a more efficient police service.
||‘J’ Division funded six full-time civilian crime analysts at an approximat total cost of $600,000 annually, as well as 11 full-time civilian CPOs at an approximate total cost of $1.1 million annually. Both crime analysts and CPOs are far less expensive than uniformed officers.
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