Justice Policing Priorities (Synopsis)

Community Justice and Community Policing Division, Department of Justice, Government of the NWT

Description: In 2011–12, the Northwest Territories Department of Justice created a justice policing priorities initiative to engage both the local community and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the Minister’s priority-setting exercise for policing. In a partnership approach, the Department of Justice works with the RCMP and local communities to set policy priorities on important issues such as the delivery of policing services, the effective and efficient use of resources, and processes for effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting. The department learns about community needs through town hall events, public meetings on policing issues, and collaboration with Elders, community leaders, mayors, chiefs and councils. To ensure continuous engagement, the RCMP gives monthly feedback to the community, including reports on emerging issues. The RCMP receives community feedback through monthly meetings with community and local councils, the RCMP Commanding Officer’s annual visits to the communities, and ongoing feedback from community members and the legislative assembly. This feedback process allows for adjustments or changes to the policing priorities.
Objective: The initiative has several objectives: promote public trust and confidence in policing services; increase community engagement by working with each community to identify policing priorities; develop policing plans based on community priorities; and allocate resources to priority areas.
Outcomes: Increased engagement has many benefits, including greater accountability and a more trusting relationship between the police and the community. This in turn contributes to officer and community safety. Engagement between police and the community ensures that both the community and the RCMP take ownership of public safety.

The initiative has continued to grow in its second year. Plans developed in each community have shown an increase in community ownership of policing priorities. An internal evaluation is planned for the end of the second year (2012–13). Based on feedback received to date, the evaluation is expected to show that this intiative has led to an improved relationship with community residents and leaders.
Resources: This initiative does not require additional resources; it only requires a change to the department’s process for establishing plans and priorities.
Province: Northwest Territories
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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