2015 Summit on the Economics of Policing and Community Safety
Innovation and Partnerships


Purpose of this Report

This report records the proceedings and outcomes of the Summit on the Economics of Policing and Community Safety: Innovation and Partnerships, which took place on March 2-4, 2015, in Ottawa, Canada. The report provides summaries of keynote addresses and panel presentations and highlights observations that arose from the Summit discussions. It is intended as a reference document for Summit participants and for discussions on the future of policing.

The views expressed herein are those of the Summit speakers and participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Purpose of the Summit

The Economics of Policing and Community Safety initiative is a policy and research priority for Public Safety Canada, Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety and for the policing community. The FPT Ministers' recent approval of the Shared Forward Agenda, a strategy for the future of policing, is evidence of the collective commitment to enhancing police efficiency and effectiveness.

The 2015 Summit continued the work that began with the first Summit on the Economics of Policing: Strengthening Canada's Policing Advantage, held in January 2013. The first Summit aimed to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities that the policing community faces. The success of this event set the foundation for the work undertaken over the past two years.

As communities continue to change, policing must adapt and evolve, and new approaches must be developed to meet the safety and security needs of Canadians. The theme of the 2015 Summit was Innovation and Partnerships, which reflects the creative and collaborative nature of the presentations, approaches and ideas that were discussed. The overarching goals of the 2015 Summit were to:

The Summit was attended by approximately 300 individuals from across Canada and other countries, including FPT Ministers, mayors and senior officials from all levels of government, police chiefs and frontline officers, members of the national policing associations, academics, and other stakeholders in the policing community.

Framing the Summit

The Summit began with a welcome to the National Capital Region by Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor, on behalf of City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. In his remarks, the Deputy Mayor noted the importance of policing to all communities and the need to work collaboratively to ensure the security and well-being of all citizens.

François Guimont, Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, also welcomed participants to the Summit.

In his introductory remarks, Deputy Guimont noted that the Economics of Policing and Community Safety initiative has not been a top-down government directive. Instead, it is about a collaborative, bottom-up approach to building the best policing models for Canadians. The Deputy highlighted some important data related to policing, for example that the cost of policing in Canada increased by 15% between 2008 and 2012; that total policing costs in Canada in 2012 were $13.5 billion; and that police-reported crime rates in Canada fell by 20% between 2009 and 2013. He also noted that policing activities in Canada are more complex than before, and that new technological tools, such as crime analysis software, are increasingly essential.

Deputy Guimont noted that there are many examples in Canada of innovation in policing and he encouraged participants to use the Summit as an opportunity to share practical information on what is and is not working, on lessons learned, and on best practices. He encouraged participants to look to tangible examples of what we can do together to enhance police training, tiered policing, and the use of technology and networks. The Deputy closed by noting that implementing efficiencies in policing requires cooperation and open dialogue, and he wished the attendees a productive meeting.

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety, Government of Canada

The Honourable Steven Blaney opened the 2015 Summit by highlighting the many measures the government has introduced to support law enforcement officials across the country and to keep our streets and communities safe. He noted that there is no liberty without security and that is why collectively we need to combat terrorism, protect children, reduce violence and ensure the safety of our communities.

In his address, the Minister stated that every action taken and every dollar spent to combat crime in every province, territory and municipality has an impact on every Canadian. Efficient and effective policing and public safety provides the foundation for prosperity, cohesion and social well-being throughout the nation. This can only be advanced by working collaboratively and that is why the Economics of Policing and Community Safety Shared Forward Agenda has been a success. The Shared Forward Agenda is an evolving strategy. It represents a bottom-up approach developed by the policing community and key stakeholders who have a deep interest in continuously improving policing and public safety in Canada. Although the federal government plays a leadership and coordination role, it is fundamentally a collective effort based on two key principles:

The Minister also focused on the two themes of the Summit, innovation and partnerships. Virtually all progress to strengthen policing and public safety in Canada relies on partnerships. Whether it is improving engagement and information sharing, finding efficiencies within police services and the justice system, or developing new models of community safety, the focus must continue to be on working together as partners. Police are not only working with other law enforcement agencies or the courts; they are also partnering with public health, education and social service agencies to reduce crime and to find better ways to support individuals who require assistance in the community. With regard to innovation, the Minister recognized that today, innovation tends to be synonymous with the use of new and better technology. Whether it is the use of analytics to identify crime 'hot spots' for police resource deployment purposes or systems to help share information to collect better performance metrics, smart policing is needed to help explain, predict and deter crime.

In closing, Minister Blaney announced the establishment of the Canadian Policing Research Catalogue, a widely accessible online library for Canadian policing research. The Catalogue consolidates over 5,000 documents produced by academics, police services and other researchers, and addresses a gap in policing research in Canada.

The Honorable Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services, Government of Ontario

The Honourable Yasir Naqvi welcomed participants to the Summit and thanked Minister Blaney for the opportunity to outline Ontario's vision to build a safer, stronger province. Minister Naqvi noted that the foundation of the Ontario vision is about safer and stronger communities, which means both the policing community and the communities they serve. He indicated that the province has spent the past decade strengthening its partnerships with police services and has seen positive outcomes. Since 2003, Ontario's crime rate has dropped by 34% and the violent crime rate dropped by 27%. However, due to the changing nature of crime, the cost of policing is not decreasing. Police today are conducting more complex investigations, technology has become increasingly important to their work, and calls for service are on the rise, particularly with regard to individuals suffering from mental health issues or addictions. In short, police are being asked to do more and to play a larger role in their communities.

Minister Naqvi noted that the province is looking at a new policing framework that will focus on collaboration and partnerships, and will bring together sector partners in areas such as education, health care and social services in order to make communities safer. The objective is to ensure that Ontario delivers services to all of its communities in a proactive, targeted manner.

The Minister closed by stating that we need to move away from a reactive model of crisis response towards one that focuses on pre-emptive intervention and community building. We must embrace this opportunity and set the course for an effective, sustainable and community-focused model of policing for the 21st century. This vision is only possible because of the strong partnerships that are built through conversations at conferences, such as the Summit, and by focusing on the issues that bring us together.

Deputy Premier and Minister Lise Thériault, Public Safety, Government of Quebec

The Honourable Lise Thériault raised the need for better protection against terrorism and underlined the fact that police services cannot address this issue alone. The sharing of best practices between police services is important and security has always been a shared responsibility. However, new challenges like radicalization require police to be better equipped with new methods and ways to facilitate community involvement. The Minister noted that raising red flags when something does not seem right is critical when fighting radicalization and terrorism.

The future of policing involves facing and adapting to new challenges, and police services need adequate tools for the task. The Deputy Premier closed by noting that all Ministers see the Summit as an important forum to identify innovation and to strengthen partnerships to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in Canada.

Expert Panels

Strategic Approaches to Policing and Community Safety

This panel included several of the Summit's international speakers and they offered their perspectives on the paradigm shift in policing that is taking shape at the community, national, and international levels.

Bob Hoogenboom, Professor, Nyenrode Business University, Netherlands, opened his presentation by explaining how the deficit in the European Union and the shift from vertical to horizontally-organized systems for safety and crime prevention have led the Netherlands to develop new strategies to deal with crime and related problems. Mr. Hoogenboom identified strategic alliances, innovation, and urban safety and security as three strategies currently employed in the Netherlands, and discussed how each are contributing to better and more cost-effective policing. He also identified crowd management, emergency response capabilities, globalization and the establishment of local networks as four main challenges in areas of policing, safety, and security. Throughout his discussion, Mr. Hoogenboom stressed how horizontal organization is transforming public safety by displacing policing from its center, and offered as examples the combination of traditional law enforcement and social services efforts to enable information sharing among institutions, and the evolution of laws, technologies, and organizations to deal with crime and safety. In closing, Mr. Hoogenboom emphasized the importance of police craftsmanship, which he explained must remain a central feature of policing, and the need to continue working with law enforcement and criminal justice professionals to better develop cooperation between organizations.

Calum Steele, General Secretary, Scottish Police Federation, United Kingdom (UK), situated recent changes to police services in Scotland within the broader context of policing and crime in Scotland and the UK. Mr. Steele began by noting that in 2005, Scotland was identified as the most violent region in the developed world. The establishment of a single police service in 2013, he noted, has had a significant impact on their policing strategy. In particular, Mr. Steele discussed how that process encouraged the identification of best practices in every sphere, and highlighted that structures are not as important as service. In this regard, the consolidation of policing efforts into a single police service provided the ability to deal with budget cuts effectively by downsizing or eliminating overlapping and competitive structures rather than through job cuts. In addition, the amalgamation has provided an opportunity for police in Scotland to reassess their relationships with other stakeholders in the community, in particular health, education and civil society. The result, Mr. Steele observed, is an increased awareness that given the complexity of the social problems within communities , police officers need to be involved in every aspect of community life and must look for solutions that go beyond simply locking people up.

Mr. Steele warned against privatization and outsourcing, noting that the private sector can support policing but not do policing. Finally, Mr. Steele made several observations with regard to police oversight, the non- or under-reporting of crime, and the need to shift the evaluation of policing away from simply counting crime rates and interventions. To sum up, Mr. Steele outlined how the recent evolution of Scottish police services underscores that the changing dynamics of policing and community safety are about sharing resources instead of diminishing services, and result in improvements for police officers and the communities they serve.

Gary Coons, Chief, Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America, talked about the importance of a holistic approach to better understand and address crime in their community. The City of Indianapolis started by implementing a number of crime prevention approaches in various locations, but crime persisted and in some cases the rate of certain offences worsened. The geographical layout of the city and the patterns of crime were different in each area and it was clear that a one-size-fits-all approach would not work.

According to Mr. Coons, Homeland Security took a business plan approach involving multiple city partners in order to address the crime problem. Accompanying that plan was a robust data collection system, which is reviewed quarterly to determine progress and assess where best to focus efforts. The City examined elements in the communities that spoke to the root causes of crime, including truancy rates and poverty. The results indicate, among other things, that low income families are struggling financially; there is a high level of violence in schools; drugs are an issue; and many areas in the City are dilapidated and unclean. In order to better address these issues, as well as concerns related to mental illness, vacant housing, and youth activities, the City's action plan drew on those working in the community: the police, fire and social services, and established new initiatives such as Community Engagement Teams. According to Mr. Coons, the city is seeing positive results, and with youth and other community members getting the services they need, there has been a reduction in certain crimes. Some of the lessons learned relate to the need for a long-term strategy involving multiple partners each of whom retained their own goals but nevertheless worked in unison by sharing information, data and a broader commitment to mutual support.

Mr. Coons also noted that people do not always have access to the services they need and that better communication among police services, other public service sectors and the community can reduce police calls for service and better direct citizens. Finally, there is a need for services to “check in” with those that they serve to ensure that things are working and to develop ways to do things better. Engagement with citizens has helped improve services and has strengthened partnerships to enhance community safety and wellbeing.

Keynote Address

The Honorable Stephen Horsman, Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Minister of Justice, Minister responsible for Military Affairs, Government of New Brunswick, introduced the keynote speaker, Bob Paulson, Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Commissioner opened by drawing connections between the operating context and the economic realities facing the RCMP and what they are accomplishing in areas of efficiency and productivity with a focus on operational effectiveness. The Commissioner noted that although the RCMP has faced a number of challenges in the last few years, it has also accomplished much in addressing crime and protecting communities. The Commissioner highlighted that Canadians today live in a heightened threat environment. Following the attacks on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, there is an increased need to address potential national security threats. He noted the challenge of managing increasingly diverse and sophisticated policing issues such as cybercrime, child exploitation, the Missing Person's Index and forensic investigations. The Federal Policing model provides specialized police support services, and the RCMP is doing work of great importance to the policing community. The Commissioner closed by stating that the work police do, the services they deliver and the importance Canadians place on public safety requires that the discussion be broadened beyond whether policing costs are too high. Policing is a component of the criminal justice system and Canadians need to have a sense that the partners in the criminal justice system are working together to ensure public safety.

Police Transformation and Sustainability

Warren Sullivan, President, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association, NL, set the context for the panel discussions by speaking about the needs and challenges of police services.

Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, opened her presentation with an overview of the environment of change and change management in policing. Although police are not always receptive to change, they need change within their systems to cope with the many external shifts that are occurring. As she stated, it's a situation of “change or die”. Using some of the findings from a Social Science Humanities Research Council-funded study on Sustainability in Policing, Dr. Duxbury noted some fundamental shifts that need to occur in policing. A key measure to begin this process is to change the language we associate with policing, as the current language does not always get to the heart of police management. For example, policing needs to shift from a discussion of costs and crime statistics in favour of a dialogue on value. Police bring value to communities that is not necessarily expressed in the statistics collected. Another example is the phrase “sustainability of police”. Dr. Duxbury raised a number of questions related to sustainability: is it police sustainability from a municipal, provincial or federal perspective; core policing versus non-core policing; and are we trying to sustain what police used to be, what they are now, or what we think they should be.

Dr. Duxbury went on to discuss some of the challenges facing police services as they try to navigate change and expectations regarding sustainability. Police are well aware of the external changes that have shaped their environment over the last 25 years, and the last 10 years in particular have brought a number of significant changes, including social media, technology, new legislation, community police collaboration and the downloading of services, particularly in relation to individuals dealing with mental health issues. In closing, Dr. Duxbury spoke of the significant external forces for change, such as funding, followed by other drivers including public expectations, the changing nature of crime, legislation, political cycles and public scrutiny. Internal factors for change include human resource management and professionalization, police leadership and expectations of the job. Police services require the tools to overcome the considerable internal forces that may restrain change.

Rick Hanson, Chief, Calgary Police Service, opened his address by recognizing that policing environments vary and we cannot overlay a single model on a city, province or country and expect it to work. There are elements about policing that can be measured and explained and others that cannot. As an example, Chief Hanson pointed to the fact that Canada has the lowest officer to population ratio in the G8 but also has a low crime rate. What we need to understand is that the measure of effective policing is not the absence of crime but the presence of justice. Chief Hanson talked about Calgary's strategy for policing, which includes teaching officers not to see and respond to situations but to see people and respond to their needs. Policing, he suggested, is not an arm of the state but part of the community. This is why police officers' perspectives are important: police are on the frontlines, adapting to the changes that are occurring and responding to incidents in communities, including calls that deal with mental health issues. Chief Hanson noted that Calgary's strategy involves having a positive impact on kids before elementary school and refocusing the intervention continuum from enforcement to prevention and education. Kids need to grow up in healthy neighborhoods and efforts need to focus on all levels, including children under the age of 12.

Chief Hanson noted that police officers are aware that in order to do their jobs, they must understand terrorist recruitment, mental health issues, international events and how to deliver pro-social messaging to very diverse communities. Doing all of it alone will not work, police need new partnerships with other agencies like health and education. Chief Hanson closed by noting that although police face challenges within the system of community care and public safety, the goal is to find a balance and to keep the system working and striving toward a common good.

Marc Parent, Chief, Service de police de la Ville du Montréal (SPVM), began by stating that the service is undergoing a transformation. Within the police service delivery levels legislated by the Quebec government, the SPVM is a level 5. This means that the City's police deal with everything from crowd control, high risk of disturbance and riot to specialized investigations into acts of terrorism and intervening in hostage situations. Chief Parent provided some context and demographic information; for example, the SPVM's 4,600 officers represent nearly half (49%) of all the municipal police in the province. With regards to operations, the Service is seeing a high number of calls related to conjugal violence and an even higher number in connection to people with psychological distress; there are also issues related to homelessness, substance abuse and street gangs.

Similar to many major Canadian cities, police are being called on to intervene in a much more complex operational environment. The SPVM's response to these challenges has been to establish several unique partnerships and teams to respond to problems on the City's streets. In 2009, the SPVM launched a mobile team consisting of 10 police officers and four social workers who work the streets to help the homeless. In 2012, a team was formed to support officers responding to calls dealing with individuals with mental health issues. The SPVM also has a crisis intervention response team, made up of officers who are trained in partnership with local health and social service providers to respond to emergencies involving people in serious or acute crisis. There are many other strategic partnerships to facilitate the sharing of expertise and knowledge and to launch more effective interventions on prostitution and human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation.

Chief Parent also touched on the number of partnerships that have emerged for example with universities and citizens groups that are changing the way officers react and interact with communities. In closing, Chief Parent stated that the solution is to ensure that we continue to develop our policing model and that despite the constraints police services face, they need to continue to be accountable and transparent to the citizens they serve.

Innovative Approaches to the Police-Justice Interface

Martin Bain, Vice-President, Ontario Provincial Police Association, introduced the panel discussions by outlining the importance of a strong police-criminal justice system partnership to reduce crime.

Curt Griffiths, Professor and Coordinator, Police Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, discussed the results of a study involving a literature review and interviews to identify opportunities and challenges within the police-justice interface. The literature review, Mr. Griffiths noted, indicated that many issues currently discussed by police services are already documented in literature and he questioned why they had not been acted upon. With regard to interviews, Mr. Griffiths began by observing that police, Crown, and justice officials identified disclosure as the biggest challenge facing the criminal justice system. Other major issues included the scheduling of officers for court; the effective integration of technology; relations between police and the Crown; and defense counsel activities. In addition, interviewees identified challenges with regard to the police-justice interface in remote areas, in particular, the limited degree to which city-based models can be applied in remote contexts, the absence of standardized practices in such areas, and the diversity and disparity of practices that are found. Police interviewees also spoke of the need for better performance metrics and standardized police practices. Mr. Griffiths compared the justice system to a perpetual motion machine, in that it keeps operating as it always has even when one tries to induce it to change.

Graham Abela, Inspector and Operational Commander, Taber Police Service, began by sharing his understanding of the police-justice interface from the perspective of a small town police service. Inspector Abela noted the challenges of police services in the face of growing expectations and the increasing complexity of policing. Among his concerns is that certain responsibilities are being downloaded to police services, which are already stretched and do not have the time and resources to assume more. He also noted the need to address the growth in areas of policing and justice, and in doing so, pointed to the need for administrative and other reforms to take pressure off both institutions.

With regard to social return on investment, Inspector Abela observed that there is a need in policing to engage a wider range of human services stakeholders, and pointed to a number of examples in Taber, Alberta, in which further building of community capacity is being pursued. Previous examples in Taber are the establishment of an addictions health centre, a women's shelter, and the Taber Community Against Drugs group. While evidence of social return on investment through such initiatives has been demonstrated in larger centres, it is difficult to measure the success of such programs in smaller communities, and it remains unclear whether they result in any significant cost savings.

In closing, Inspector Abela noted that there needs to be better evaluation of police success or social return on investment and since not every service has these abilities, there is a need for better relationships with academic researchers and institutions, which can ensure that strategies are built from evidence-based research.

Barry Nordin, Chief Federal Prosecutor, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, discussed areas for improvement in the way police and the justice system work together. Among his observations, Mr. Nordin noted the importance of recognizing that police and justice officials have different priorities in investigations, different roles, different expectations, and work within different time frames. Awareness of these differences, he insisted, will better enable police and the Crown to establish a good working relationship. One area to which he called attention was the administrative process and the exchange of documents and materials, which he observed could be made more effective and efficient by implementing standardized processes. One such area where improvements could be made is in disclosure. Mr. Nordin noted the effectiveness of E-disclosure and pointed to the potential for the use of cloud-based E-disclosure. Another area that requires improvement is the handling of confidential informants. Mr. Nordin also called for continuity on the part of both police and the Crown on case management; the ideal would be for police and the Crown to each assign one person to a case and to have this individual remain responsible for that case from beginning to end. Mr. Nordin stressed the need for individuals to recognize their respective influences, and recommended better communication between prosecutors and all other participants in the investigation process.

Innovation in Remote, Northern and Aboriginal Policing

Panel moderator Curt Griffiths, Professor and Coordinator, Police Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, opened the session by noting the different challenges and opportunities associated with remote, northern, and Aboriginal policing, including high rates of crime and differences in infrastructure.

Doug Palson, President, First Nations Chiefs of Police Association and Chief, Dakota Ojibway Police Service, opened by noting that the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association speaks with one voice for the advancement and sustainability of self-administered First Nations policing in Canada. The goal is to develop innovative methods to enhance public safety and wellness, while embracing communities' unique cultural and traditional values. Chief Palson spoke of the challenges faced by First Nations police services in light of limited resources and high crime rates in many First Nations communities. In particular, Chief Palson noted the degree to which First Nations police services find themselves limited to a responsive approach to crime as opposed to employing preventative measures to deal with community issues.

A number of innovative approaches have been successful in First Nations communities. Among them, Chief Palson pointed to community justice committees, prisoner transport, and the establishment of a distinct category of special constables that has been successfully integrated into a number of communities. He also provided some examples of community-based initiatives, including mobilization action committees that have helped develop community safety plans; various youth training and intervention programs such as a cadet program aimed at developing potential police recruits; and, volunteer-based community involvement in the construction of a boat launch. Chief Palson concluded by noting that innovation and community-based partnerships are proving essential in efforts to meet the challenges of policing, especially with limited resources.

Peter Clark, Chief Superintendent and Commanding Officer “M” Division, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), centered his discussion on policing in Yukon. He emphasized that in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and competency, the measure of a police service's success comes down to the level of engagement it has with the community it serves and the level of trust it inspires. Statistics, he insisted, capture only part of the picture. To illustrate his point, Chief Superintendent Clark discussed how a number of events in the north had shaken the community's trust in its police services; there was a general feeling that the public didn't know the RCMP and that their voices were not being heard. As a result, the RCMP found it necessary to rebuild relations with the community through an emphasis on listening and earning the public's trust and confidence. Citing “Sisters in Spirit” as an initiative that allowed the RCMP to regain the public's trust, Chief Superintendent Clark discussed how this and other outreach processes have taught the police that engaging the public places them in a better position to serve their community. In this regard, Chief Superintendent Clark addressed the need for a frank dialogue with the public. As an example, he pointed to an advisory panel that brought the RCMP together with people who were in disagreement with approaches taken by the police. Through this process, the RCMP learned that the public wanted the police to immerse themselves in the local culture, to engage with the community, and to learn more about the way of life in the north, including the impact of residential schools. Clark's message was to encourage police services that are searching for efficiencies through numbers not to lose sight of the importance of community engagement, trust and confidence.

William Moffatt, Chief, Listuguj Police Department, focused his presentation on the challenges of policing in northern Aboriginal communities. He began by noting that many of the challenges faced in the north are different from those in southern communities and that best practices and crime prevention measures used in southern Canada often do not work in northern communities. As a result, policing should be tailored to meet the needs and risks that are specific to communities of Canada's north. These challenges range from extreme cold, isolation, and language barriers to greater rates of unemployment, crime, violence, addiction and higher infrastructure and administrative costs.

Similar to Chief Superintendent Clark, Chief Moffatt emphasized the need for police to engage with the communities they serve. Learning the history, culture and traditions of each community, sharing stories and creating dialogue will open doors to trust and respect. Establishing bonds with youth, elders and offenders is critical to this process. Chief Moffatt concluded by noting that once trust is achieved, partnerships with stakeholders in the community and other organizations become possible, and the role of the police officer changes.

Crime, Costs and Performance Measurement

Panel moderator Paul Brantingham, Associate Director, Institute of Canadian Urban Research Studies, Simon Fraser University, opened this session with observations on the problems associated with measuring police costs. As an example, Dr. Brantingham noted that because the Statistics Canada Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR) only collects data on criminal code offences, it records about 18% of calls for service in British Columbia, leaving 82% unrecorded. This is not enough to measure the range of required policing duties or the costs associated with them. Overall, Dr. Brantingham noted, policing costs have grown at the same pace as education and health, and are not out of line with other publicly funded services.

Vince Hawkes, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), began his presentation by commending participants' efforts to broaden the scope of the Economics of Policing debate to include Community Safety. Noting the importance of building community trust, Commissioner Hawkes underscored the difficulties in doing so, given the limited resources available to police in their efforts to respond to emerging crime trends and threats. As examples of the growing pressure on policing resources, the Commissioner pointed to the low police to population ratio in Canada; the degree to which declining crime rates are offset by increasing calls for service in other areas; the demand that stems from increased reliance on data collection and technology; and the growing number of investigations into areas of business and politics. Commissioner Hawkes also noted the increasing importance of anti-terrorism initiatives, crime prevention, youth programs, and Aboriginal policing, and pointed to two specific areas that are drawing greater amounts of time and resources: distracted driving, which now accounts for more deaths in areas under OPP jurisdiction than drunk driving; and child sexual exploitation, which requires police to deal with immense amounts of data.

The Commissioner noted the growing costs of policing and the fact that these costs are primarily police salaries, which is justifiable given the risks that the occupation entails. He noted that it is not all about policing costs. We need to continue transforming public safety by focusing on leadership, legislation, standardization, coordination, alternate service delivery, outsourcing, technology, partnerships and the private sector. Commissioner Hawkes concluded his presentation by noting the potential to increase efficiencies by addressing overlap between the OPP, the RCMP and municipal police services, and underscored the role of the Shared Forward Agenda in developing a framework to manage the growing pressure on police services and in addressing the broader transformation of policing.

Lynn Barr-Telford, Director General, Health, Justice and Special Survey, Statistics Canada, addressed police performance metrics and calls for service. Her presentation centered on how we move away from crime-oriented measurements to develop approaches that take into account the increasing scope and expectations of policing. As an example, Ms. Barr-Telford pointed to the need to better understand police workload and return on investment when we look at crime rates going down and expenditures going up. There is an over-reliance on traditional policing metrics and an attempt to measure 'everything and anything'. At the same time, there are no legislative requirements on the use of specific performance measures, no common model or framework for measuring performance, and few frameworks that focus directly on core strategic policing outcomes.

According to Ms. Barr-Telford, the intersection of policing and mental health requires a better understanding and sound statistics. As a means to address these issues, Ms. Barr-Telford underscored the need for institutions such as the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) to continue to develop partnerships, and pointed in particular to the work that is being done with Public Safety Canada and other partners to develop a national framework that will better enable us to strengthen police performance metrics. This work is reflected in the Shared Forward Agenda's emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness. She also discussed the National Justice Statistics Initiative (NJSI), which provides information on the nature and extent of crime and victimization and the administration of criminal and civil justice, as a unique partnership in which all jurisdictions share authority and responsibility for developing and achieving common criminal justice objectives.

In terms of best practices, Ms. Barr-Telford noted that a national framework for police performance metrics needs to be broad enough to: apply to all police services; incorporate stable, long-term reporting objectives that will identify trends; and focus on core strategic policing outcomes. She also discussed next steps for the CCJS and the NJSI, which center on engaging with federal, provincial and municipal stakeholders and continuing the development of a national police performance metrics framework.

Michael Halinski, Ph.D. Candidate, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, began by discussing the difficulties associated with implementing partnerships and coming to terms with the changes they entail. He then turned to the findings of a case study he conducted with the Peel Police Service which set out to address the wait times associated with the admittance of people with mental health issues to local hospitals. Observing that the average wait time at the start of the study was over three hours, Mr. Halinski discussed the various strategies adopted in order to reduce wait times and the savings associated with those reductions. In particular, Mr. Halinski pointed to the need to focus on transfer points in order to most effectively reduce wait times and increase efficiencies. In the process, he noted how competing institutional perspectives contributed to the long wait times, and that establishing effective partnerships among the various stakeholders was key to reducing wait times and improving overall patient care.

Brad Woodside, Mayor, Fredericton, New Brunswick and President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), began by pointing to the FCMs' role as the voice of nearly 2,000 (90%) of Canada's municipalities. Mayor Woodside went on to discuss some of the FCM's initiatives and challenges in areas of policing. In particular, he noted that meaningful changes to policing must take into account municipal budgets and the growing costs of policing. Police services, he indicated, account for 25% of municipal spending, and any increased policing costs have an effect on other municipal programs, given the budgetary limitations with which municipalities work. Additional financial challenges are introduced in the form of indirect costs related to provincial downloads (e.g., border security, mental health, terrorism, major events), as well as costs related to unforeseen emergencies, municipal officer secondments, and the need to make up for the diversion of RCMP spending from federal policing. The Mayor concluded by pointing to the need for a policing system that is free of jurisdictional boundaries or challenges.

Smart Policing: Academic, Private Sector and Police Partnerships

Panel moderator Fred Biro, Executive Director, Peel Police Services Board, opened the session by observing that while there are multiple views of what constitutes smart or core policing, there is a consensus that policing is a local activity and that the costs associated need to demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency in the face of change. He also noted the limits of partnerships without adequate legislation to support them, and called for legislative frameworks that would better enable services to accomplish their goals through enhanced collaboration.

Ryan Prox, Special Constable, Vancouver Police Department, and Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University, discussed opportunities and challenges of bringing together academia and police. He began by observing that these two groups work best together when they are focused on shared outcomes. He also noted that it helps for police to understand the motivating influences for academics, who are focused on the long-term and on building bodies of knowledge. In terms of partnership potential, Special Constable Prox noted that academic research offers the policing community the kind of baseline measurements, data and analysis that police need in order to implement actions that are based on evidence.

An important part of this relationship is technology and, in particular, technologies that allow instant access to information in ways that increase efficiencies. This, Special Constable Prox observed, forms the basis of intelligence-led policing, which he discussed through the example of GeoDash, a project linked to the Vancouver Police Department that centers on a mobile dashboard that is integrated into police desktops. GeoDash provides instant access to relevant information in order to target crime faster and to better enable officers to locate chronic offenders and persons of interest. By bringing together people, processes and technology, it supplies police with operationally-relevant information on where crime is occurring, along with critical information needed to plan activities and investigate incidents. As a result, officers using GeoDash can self-direct their patrol activity to times and locations at which they can be most effective; detective units are empowered to examine trends and analyze crime incidents through an easy-to-use interface, and analysts can better apply sophisticated methods to uncover persons of interest and quickly identify crime problems. Among the most striking aspects of this intelligence-led model is the way in which it changes frontline officers from report writers into active participants in the investigation process. In addition to better equipping officers to do their job, this approach focuses on enabling change from the bottom up, as opposed to a more conventional and disconnected process driven from the top.

Dale McFee, Deputy Minister, Corrections and Policing, Ministry of Justice, Government of Saskatchewan, spoke of the need to celebrate successes and to work together in order to influence change. He observed that partners need to evaluate services using evidence-based methodologies to ensure a value for money perspective. In particular, Deputy Minister McFee pointed to the need for police services to understand and focus on the broader needs and expectations of the community. On this subject, he acknowledged the change from 'economics of policing' to 'economics of policing and community safety' as an important step in this direction. Policing, he noted, is becoming increasingly connected to community safety which is raising a wide range of issues, from the utility of the data we collect to the ways in which police are called upon to deal with issues for which they have little training, and for which other service providers are better suited to handle. Using data to drive and focus service delivery is the key to aligning the delivery of services. Addressing these issues involves aligning resources toward common outcomes, to ensure our research informs our practice while our practices are aligned to achieve the targeted common outcomes. The Deputy concluded by noting that when we bring partners to the table with the common vision of alignment, we shift the focus toward meeting local needs and gain collective understanding on what drives our work, and thus our value.

Devon Clunis, Chief, Winnipeg Police Service, began by characterizing the Winnipeg Police Service as an advocate for change. He observed that the greatest challenge facing a police chief is the cultural contexts of policing, both within the police service and in the community. From there, the Chief focused on the culture, mission and purpose of policing in order to discuss our understanding of what constitutes effective policing. Acknowledging the degree to which the media shapes popular perceptions of policing, with a primary focus on the investigation of crime and disorder, Chief Clunis noted that police services themselves contribute to these perceptions by virtue of the fact that most police resources are applied to these areas. Chief Clunis stated that moving beyond these perceptions involves revisiting our understanding of the greater purpose of policing, which he defined as community safety and wellbeing. Understanding this is the first step toward redefining who police officers are and what they do. To this end, the cultural understanding and expectations of policing need to change in ways that better enable police to engage with the communities they serve. Chief Clunis concluded by noting that police need to be the drivers of change, and he pointed to smart policing initiatives, increased citizen contact, attention to prevention and to proper administration, and leadership as the means to build stronger and more symbiotic relationships between police services and the community.

Strategies to Engage the Community

Panel moderator Matthew Torigian, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Government of Ontario, opened the session by discussing efforts toward community engagement at the provincial level. As an example, he pointed to Ontario's community safety and wellbeing initiative, which focuses on a multi-sectoral strategy for community safety that relies extensively on partnerships and community input.

Clayton Pecknold, Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Police Services, Ministry of Justice, Government of British Columbia (BC), discussed community engagement and lessons learned in BC in light of that province's unique challenges. Following a number of recent inquiries, the province came to recognize policing as a compendium of different services. In particular, the BC government required the Ministry of Justice to develop a more strategic approach to its management of the criminal and civil justice system. The result has been a justice reform and transparency act, the mandate of which is to see that justice and public safety is managed and directed in a more strategic manner. To do so, the Ministry began with a series of summits focused on identifying shared values among stakeholders. Among their findings, these summits revealed key differences between public safety's focus on outcomes and the justice system's focus on process. The Assistant Deputy Minister noted that plans were then established to cross the divide between these two objectives and to set priorities that would ensure these areas are aligned in a way that is meaningful for clients and for Canadians in general. Key areas of attention included Aboriginal justice, domestic violence, a strategic plan for policing and the engagement of local governments.

As part of the process to redefine public safety in BC, Mr. Pecknold noted that the province is spending a lot of time examining its system of community policing. This process involves managing relationships with the RCMP, as well as independent police services. The BC Ministry has been examining the future of policing and has been looking at legislation to determine whether there was a need to redefine provincial responsibilities for public safety. The results showed that there is little correspondence between legislation and current practices and, therefore, to better assess this area, the Ministry brought together the police and other stakeholders to look into policing activities across the province.

Numerous reports are coming out of these consultations, and the Ministry is now trying to merge this material into a comprehensive strategic vision for the province. In terms of lessons learned from this process, Mr. Pecknold pointed to the challenge of putting consultations into action, and emphasized that the Ministry's next step will be toward charting strategic directions and implementing change.

Peter Sloly, Deputy Chief, Toronto Police Service, began by observing police cannot provide services in a community without first understanding that community and its various networks. In order to do so, Deputy Chief Sloly argued that police need to build trusting and meaningful relationships through direct engagement with community organizations and with individuals. He also noted that there is a growing need for police services to engage with the community virtually. On this topic, he discussed the Toronto Police Service's establishment of a social media team that links the virtual world to operational policing. Initiatives and practices in this area include 'Wanted Wednesdays,' in which pictures of individuals wanted by the Toronto Police Service are posted online; a crime prevention Twitter account; videos showing police engaged in a variety of community activities; and neighborhood policing practices that involve networking through social media. Much of this work, Deputy Chief Sloly noted, is facilitated by neighborhood police officers' use of personal electronic devices.

The Deputy Chief then turned to the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. Assessments of the Toronto Police Service are showing that officers are making a difference and that street level violent crime has decreased. He discussed the benefits of the Hub model and emphasized that the evidence-based evaluation of the Hub is proving to be an effective means of distributing issues brought to the police and to other stakeholders. Specifically, the Deputy Chief noted that while 80% of Hub cases were brought to the table by the Toronto Police Service, it was only responsible for follow-up actions on 8% of the cases. He also noted the Hub's usefulness in countering extremism and spoke in general to its role in community mobilization. Finally, Deputy Chief Sloly pointed to the need to engage in a positive manner with all parts of society by police integrating into the community. He concluded that there is a need to build community relationships in ways that encourage the community to engage with us and not against us.

Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner, Northamptonshire Police, UK, began by observing that the Summit's objectives pointed to the more basic interest in making Canada “the safest place in the world”. To this end, Mr. Simmonds discussed recent efforts to do the same in the UK. He then pointed to some radical reforms to the policing sector in the UK, which had a reputation for being traditional, conservative and conventional. Describing how the existing system had become ineffective in practice, Mr. Simmonds outlined how the UK government established a system of elected Police and Crime Commissioners in 2012 that has since given him and other elected Commissioners the ability to set the strategy for policing at the local level. This includes a voice on the budget and taxation, hiring and firing of chief constables, and criminal justice approaches to victims and the public. As the product of a new initiative, he noted, the work of Police and Crime Commissioners is being watched closely, and the hope is that they will be able to deliver change at the local level not only by reducing crime, but also by inspiring further public service reforms in ways that will reshape the very notion of local accountability.

Mr. Simmonds then moved on to the topic of policing, community engagement, and the importance of connecting organizations and stakeholders to tackle the root causes of crime. On this subject, he talked about the importance of working with, and learning from, leaders in police services and then focused on some of the new partnerships and approaches that would improve public safety, including the integration of police with fire and others services; designing a criminal justice system that meets the needs of victims, witnesses, service users and communities; and expanding and developing the volunteer police officers or 'Special Constables' program.

In closing, Mr. Simmonds turned to the issue of evidence-based research, policy, education, recruitment and leadership, all of which are key to the development of best practices in the UK. Among the examples he discussed were the newly established Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, the first research institute of its kind that has since become a regional hub for the new national College of Policing in the UK; the establishment of a charter school in Northamptonshire; and the need to change managerial structures to make policing and other public services more flexible and innovative.

Developing the Next Generation of Police Officers and Leaders

Panel moderator Paul McKenna, Adjunct Professor, Dalhousie University, opened the session by pointing to the need to think about the future of policing. Future candidates, Mr. McKenna observed, offer a regeneration of policing, and that understanding should be embedded in policing by way of selection, training, acculturation, integration, promotion and respectful leadership. With that comes the need to recognize how recent significant events are contributing to the redefinition of policing in ways that make research, as well as judgment and skill, increasingly important to police work.

Charles Bordeleau, Chief, Ottawa Police Service, began his presentation by noting the importance of partners and supporting organizations in meeting the unique challenges that are associated with policing the nation's capital. From there, he turned to initiative and innovation as key to the positive transformation of policing. In particular, the Chief identified recruitment; talent management and development; and resiliency and wellbeing as the three main areas police services need to address in order to affect positive change. Regarding recruitment, Chief Bordeleau underscored the importance of a diverse workforce in order to improve police services' effectiveness in an ever-diverse and technologically oriented society through: outreach through community policing volunteers and policing champions; programs for women that are guided by female officers; speed recruiting sessions and 'discover policing' events; emphasis on recruiting individuals with high levels of technological expertise; member surveys, census reports, and gender audits to understand police services' composition and any systemic barriers to progress in policing. On talent management and development, the Chief focused on the implementation of individual learning plans for officers and on succession management, which he indicated needs to encompass the entire senior officer core. Here, he noted the usefulness of bringing in speakers from private industry to discuss how they are dealing with change in their workplaces. On resiliency and wellbeing, he discussed a variety of programs aimed at supporting officers for on the job and personal issues. They include a peer support network; a prevention program called 'The Real You” run by a multi-disciplinary team including medical practitioners; and a variety of programs to help members in times of crisis. The Chief closed by noting that the most important aspect of policing is protecting the community. At the same time we need to ensure that police officers on the frontlines are able to do their jobs productively and that they can access help if they need it.

Adam Palmer, Deputy Chief, Vancouver Police Department, discussed a range of issues related to the changing dynamics of police work. Deputy Chief Palmer focused on the changes that police services are facing with recruitment. The hiring pool is a generation that has grown up with technology, is well educated and is in many ways different from the preceding generation of recruits. In terms of early recruiting, the Deputy Chief spoke of the cadet program that brings in kids from grades 9-12 from across Vancouver who have an interest in policing but whose lives may not be on the right track. Some of these kids come from difficult personal, family, and community situations, and the program offers mentorship and guidance, and teaches them new life skills. Deputy Chief Palmer also spoke of some of the changes to how Vancouver Police Department deals with issues operationally including at-risk youth, public safety, and the intersection of mental health and crime. The service is relying on evidence-based research, data and technology to rollout better plans and strategic and tactical initiatives.

Deputy Chief Palmer talked about several initiatives underway to better respond to community needs. The establishment of a pilot project involving 'community safety personnel,' a unit of non-sworn officers who respond to low level calls and tasks is proving to be a support to frontline officers. The unit helps to alleviate the workload of regular officers and operates on the premise that “you don't need a doctor to change a Band-Aid.” In closing, Deputy Chief Palmer pointed out how traditional police experience involving a combination of patrol, community policing, administration and training is increasingly expanding to include a wide range of expectations in areas of education; analytics; project management, planning and finance; technology and social media.

Sandy Sweet, President and CEO, Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN), discussed the impact of economics, demographics, and technology on developing the next generation of officers and police leaders. While noting that police services are well served by their Learning and Development units, the current, largely traditional, approach to training is not sustainable in an increasingly complex and fiscally challenged future. A collaborative, coordinated approach to police learning and education will improve consistency and access to learning while reducing duplication of effort and pressure among services. A universal, competency-based approach to professional development will provide officers in any part of the country with a clear path to achieving their career goals. While not a silver bullet, technology will play a significant role in the future of learning. There are many solid examples of partnerships and innovative thinking at work in the community and CPKN continues to facilitate community dialogue, infrastructure, and initiatives such as the National Police Training Inventory to support a strategic approach for the next generation of police learning. Sector-wide collaboration, enhanced technology, partnerships, and innovation are not a choice; they are a necessity.

Future of Canadian Policing Models

Tijs Creutzberg, Program Director & Director of Business Development, Council of Canadian Academies, discussed the findings from the multi-disciplinary expert panel report on the future of policing in Canada. The report highlighted that the policing model of the future will need to adapt to the wider landscape of actors and organizations that deliver safety and security, which the report calls the safety and security web. To do so, police can no longer operate in silos and instead, must be flexible and adaptable to this web in order to deliver services efficiently and effectively. From this perspective, police form part of a public safety collaboration framework and police need to see themselves as team players that alternate between leading and supporting roles depending on the issue at hand. This, Dr. Creutzberg suggested, is going to become increasingly common to policing in the future. To meet these expectations, police services will have to continue to pursue their current objectives while responding to new ones in the context of partnerships, collaboration and innovation. Police services will also have to modify their current hierarchical approach to allow new skills into their organizations, in particular to allow for lateral entry of specialized skills.

Dr. Creutzberg also discussed the professionalization of policing and compared the training context to that of nursing, in which accreditation and education are the norm. Professionalization in policing would allow for a tiered approach, which would see accredited community police officers take on specialized training that is different from regular officers, and would also permit people from other professional backgrounds to obtain accreditation in order to join the police. That process, he pointed out, will require investment in research and education and the need to ensure that those obtaining accreditation have access to the latest information. In closing, Dr. Creutzberg discussed accountability and oversight that would focus on the whole safety and security web and the need for new governance as a means to ensure accountability, support and the effective integration of the web's stakeholders and their various regulatory and policy contexts.

Town Hall – Future of Policing and Public Safety

The heads of the three national police associations were asked about their vision and the challenges for the future of policing.

Cathy Palmer, President, Canadian Association of Police Governance, began by highlighting a number of areas of common concern and interest. From a police governance perspective, these include the inability of board members to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their police service; the predominance of personnel costs in police budgets; privacy issues; the need for leadership in the implementation of new technology like body-worn video, given its impact and the issues it raises; and further support for cybercrime teams and greater research and collaboration. With regard to community issues, Ms. Palmer noted ongoing challenges related to gangs and drugs and the need for better research and social support structures in these areas; the need for a multi-faceted training program and better community-based resources to address mental health; attention to issues affecting Canada's seniors; and the continuing spread of organized crime. All of these issues, Ms. Palmer continued, demand innovation, such as Edmonton's Heavy Users of the System (HUos) model and the liaison program in Delta, BC, which can be shared as best practices. Ms. Palmer concluded by outlining some of the challenges related to First Nations communities, in particular the impact of limited resources and training on First Nations police services and the need for research to effectively address Aboriginal women's heightened risk of being victims of violence.

Clive Weighill, President, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and Chief, Saskatoon Police Service, presented a big picture perspective on policing and community safety. He began by discussing the CACP's four pillars for the future: discussion beyond policing and into community safety; partnerships; innovation; and effectiveness. From there, Chief Weighill considered a number of issues and challenges in policing. Many of these were related to perceptions of policing. For example, the Chief noted the need to address misinformation generated in the media by so-called “experts” by better explaining the role of police services and by educating the public. He also drew attention to the situation of police in the United States, where the most important issue at hand is public trust. On this topic, Chief Weighill noted that Canada is fortunate to have robust oversight because it builds public confidence. In terms of public perceptions of crime, Chief Weighill pointed out that it is difficult for people to admit that crime is the result of systemic social issues, including poor housing, racism, disadvantage and poverty. As an example, he pointed to the issue of missing and murdered and Aboriginal women in Canada. With regard to community partnerships, the Chief spoke of the need for frontline members of all social justice agencies to be better educated on the rules and opportunities to share information. Chief Weighill concluded by pointing to a number of indicators to measure the effectiveness of policing, including low crime; a sense of community safety; efficient use of partnerships; public trust in police; the ability for police to spend time with citizens; and a workplace that is motivated both mentally and physically. He cited the comparison of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and needs of a disadvantaged neighborhood. The comparison shows that both require their physiological and safety needs be addressed if they are to progress through the hierarchy. He described the shift in policing as a move toward community safety that is centered on the perspective of the people in the community.

Tom Stamatakis, President, Canadian Police Association, commented on the common challenges for policing and direction for the future. Part of Mr. Stamatakis' discussion focused on the work of policing. Here he noted the growing demand in police services for people with high levels of skills, training and education, and suggested that recruit training should be addressed in order to better meet these demands. He also pointed to the need to recruit diversity into police services, and to build capacity to deal with the needs that come with hiring women and other underrepresented groups. Mr. Stamatakis noted the need to better take into account the mental health of officers, and mentioned areas including anxiety, depression and sleep disorders, as well as the general frustration among frontline officers who feel that they have the least amount of influence but bear the greatest brunt of police work. Other areas Mr. Stamatakis addressed included the impact of the law on policing; challenges related to immigration; the importance of partnerships; the need for effective performance metrics; and the funding model for policing, which he described as antiquated. Regarding changes to policing in general, Mr. Stamatakis emphasized the need to be open to change, to be informed, and to make sure that any changes that are being introduced are thoughtful, evidence-based and subject to evaluation. At the end of the day, he stressed, policing is about people dealing with people to solve problems.

Town Hall Discussion

Norm Taylor, Senior Advisor to Deputy Ministers, Governments of Saskatchewan and Ontario, facilitated the Town Hall discussion which began on day two of the Summit with a table exercise where participants were provided with the Economics of Policing and Community Safety Shared Forward Agenda and asked to discuss and identify two to four issues that need to be part of a future vision for policing in Canada. The identified issues were collected and grouped together in the following table:

Future of Policing: Issues

Multi-sector Collaboration

  • Information sharing among social system agencies and community service professionals
  • Prevention focus – Shift toward a Community Safety and Well Being (CSWB) mandate
  • Active engagement of other sectors in the future plan (a “Lead but not Own” philosophy)
  • A community outcomes focus
  • Adequate funding for mental health services and community supports
  • Capacity and excellence in protection, response and law enforcement


  • Internal – at all levels
  • External Influences
  • Political Engagement and Will

Culture Change

  • Innovation and transformation as standard operating procedures (flexible, nimble and swift)
  • More openness to appropriately tiered, specialist and civilianized models
  • Expansion of research and evidence-based decision-making
  • Resiliency and respect for members and staff


  • Data-driven and intelligence led community safety
  • Investment and deployment of operational analytics and business intelligence
  • Integration and interoperability (within and across public safety and national security actors)
  • Affordable and appropriate roles and capacities in cybercrime
  • Greater use of automation and robotics


  • Education beyond training - both operational and leadership
  • Greater use of Standardization across the system
  • Better accountability for misconduct to ensure public confidence

Aboriginal Community Safety

  • Achieve and sustain equitable funding
  • Expanded, culturally appropriate support for communities, services and local authorities

Measurement and Governance

  • Common metrics with a greater focus on victimization and CSWB
  • Reformed funding and investments models

Community Engagement and Police Legitimacy

  • Public education, engagement and trust-building on CSWB focus (incl. expanded use of social media)
  • Enhanced community ownership and responsibility for CSWB

The Shared Forward Agenda (SFA) – A Common Course of Action

  • SFA should become more prescriptive – a “charter for action” – moving forward on multiple fronts
  • More specific deliverables and initiatives in pursuit of the vision
  • Measurable Effectiveness – by all SFA partners – as a 4th pillar

These issues were shared with the participants who engaged in a broad discussion on the future of policing in Canada. A number of them raised issues related to the place of victims in future policing and community safety models and emphasized the need to better integrate the victim into future conversations. They also noted that the structure of policing in Canada makes leadership difficult, but that there is considerable opportunity within the policing community to demonstrate leadership by presenting new ideas, models for change and sharing best practices. Participants observed how in the context of multi-sector collaboration, leadership applies well beyond police services to other community partners. Others stressed the growing importance of shared leadership, as demonstrated through Public Safety Canada's role in this conference.

First Nations Policing was among the issues where there was agreement that more needs to be done to support policing efforts under challenging circumstances. It was noted that there is a lack of resources, poor response times and little data for policing in northern, remote and Aboriginal communities. It was acknowledged that given these conditions, it is difficult to find ways to translate these discussions into actions.

Several participants identified issues of funding, costs, and value as central to the efforts of the Shared Forward Agenda. They noted that there is a financial price to pay to build the kind of society Canadians want, and that the majority of citizens do not mind paying that price if they see that the money is being well spent to get at the roots of crime. In this sense, the focus is about getting value for money and a stronger inclusion of multi-sector partners working together for improved public safety and community well-being outcomes.

In closing, participants recognized that the Shared Forward Agenda is a priority for federal, provincial and territorial Ministers. It is a national framework that can incorporate these new issues and ideas and ensure there is collaborative action and momentum to continue to shape the future of policing.

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