City Council holds five days of non-statutory public hearings on the role of policing in Edmonton’s community wellness and safety ecosystem. Council heard from over 140 registered speakers.
“When we live in Canada, we will be treated equally... When we live in a community, we belong... When we call for help, someone will come.” -Safer for All, A Work Plan for Community Safety and Well-being
Edmontonians have shared that ‘belonging’ and ‘thriving’ are what they imagine for their community. They envision a progressive and compassionate city where both individuals and organizations make conscious efforts to provide opportunities for everyone.
Community safety and well-being have been front of mind for many Edmontonians, both during the pandemic and moving forward. Some Edmontonians have made it clear they are in pain or have seen others experience pain. The issues that affect people’s safety and sense of belonging are diverse and interconnected. As a community working together, we are prepared to take action in response.
Community Safety & Well-being Strategy
All Edmontonians benefit when more people in our city feel safe and included. Edmonton is moving towards becoming the safest city in Canada by 2030; the Community Safety and Well-being strategy was developed to help achieve this objective by taking a whole-system approach.
City Council passes a motion to: (1) reduce the 2021 Edmonton Police Service budget by $11 million, (2) suspend the EPS Funding Formula policy pending a review and analysis-informed update, (3) redirect the funding harvested from the police budget to community programs, partners, and to end homelessness, and (4) initiate the establishment of a Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force to provide external subject matter expertise and deliver a report on ways to better leverage monies spent to achieve better system outcomes.
The Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force is formed with 11 appointed community members, two members appointed by the Chief of Police, two members appointed by the City Manager, and one appointed by the chair of the Edmonton Police Commission.
The Task Force presents their report to City Council, which included 14 recommendations for the Edmonton Police Service and the City of Edmonton. Council directed Administration to work with the Edmonton Police Commission to review the Task Force’s recommendations, develop a strategy to enhance safety, well-being, inclusion, and anti-racism, and report back to Council in the first quarter of 2022. Council also directed Administration to return in 90 days with a report identifying quickly actionable items.
The City presents Safer for All Interim Report - Community Safety, Well-Being, Inclusion and Anti-racism to Community and Public Services Committee, identifying in-progress and quickly actionable items that support community safety and well-being outcomes. Based on feedback from the public, Council directs Administration to collaborate with the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee and other Black, Indigenous and People of Colour community partners to identify tangible actions and outcomes aligned to the Task Force’s 14 recommendations.
City staff meets with community-serving organizations and partner representatives for exploratory and relationship-centred conversations.
On May 24, City Council approved the Community Safety and Well-being Strategy and is providing $8.7 million in funding for 11 related projects to address immediate needs for the remainder of 2022.