The police want to engage you – which is probably better than having them arrest you.

December 14, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. The Halton Regional Police Services board has released the Draft of the 2014-2020.  The Police Service, in cooperation with the Police Services Board is in the process of undertaking a review of its goals and objectives for the next three years. These goals are important as they guide the service in the delivery of services that are vital in maintaining the safety of the residents of Halton.

The the public are encouraged to have a say on what they feel is important by contacting Keith Moore, Senior Planner at 905-825-4747 ext. 4830 or by email at

The material is organized into four themes with a series of points listed under each theme.  Unfortunately, there is no comment on any of the points.  The draft consists of a list of things the police plan to do during the next four years.

Community safety, Outreach and collaboration, Organizational capacity and Organizational excellence

Under Community Safety the Board lists:

Identity theft and bank scams are a continuing public threat.  HAlton Regional Police have led a number of successful multi-jurisdictional investigations. 

Ensure that Halton maintains the lowest overall crime rate and Crime Severity Index of any comparable-sized community in Canada.

Deter criminal activity— strengthen crime prevention, community policing and safety initiatives – and relentlessly pursue criminals.

Improve crime clearance rates.

Focus on key areas of concern to the community;  traffic safety and enforcement, growth in illegal drug activity, gangs and organized crime,assaults and sexual assaults, domestic violence,  youth and young adult crime, victimization of seniors/youth/children, technology-based crimes (e.g. Cyber-bullying; internet financial crimes and fraud). , monitoring and tracking of offenders, hate crimes and human trafficking.

Engage and mobilize the community to collaboratively share responsibility for keeping our region safe.

Establish and practice leading-edge emergency preparedness measures, including ongoing business continuity during emergencies and special events.

Under Outreach and Collaboration the board lists:

The  police are out at hundreds of community events.

Build public awareness of and trust/confidence in the Halton Regional Police Service and policing in general.

Educate the public about safety and security issues through an inclusive approach that respects the diverse composition of our community.

Reduce the fear of crime — help those who live, work and play in Halton to feel even safer.

Define and clearly communicate the areas for which the Halton Regional Police Service is responsible.

Strengthen communication and community dialogue (e.g. using social and other media).

Collaborate with our communities in the prevention and solving of crime – and contribute to overall safety and wellbeing.

Strengthen relationships with youth and diverse communities to establish a solid foundation leading to improved understanding of policing, recruitment opportunities and other policing initiatives.

Continue to strengthen working relationships and information exchange with other law enforcement agencies.

Under Organizational Capacity the Board lists:

There are community police stations throughout the Region.  Police appear to want a new headquarters building as well.

Ensure that police resources and funding responsibly address operational requirements and changing demographics.

Enhance the use of police analytics to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.

Be the leaders in the application of new technologies and maximize innovation, responsiveness, outreach and service delivery.

Ensure that all employees are well-trained and well equipped in accordance with provincial requirements and in areas of emerging concern — and that support of the front line remains paramount.

Strengthen police ability to effectively address situations of elevated risk (e.g. mental health-related incidents).

Embrace human resource best practices and customize them in support of: employee recruitment/retention, diversity, career development, succession planning, performance management, and positive labour relations.

Strengthen employee understanding of the Halton Regional Police Service and its initiatives, and secure support for future strategic directions.

 Ensure that police facilities adequately meet current and future needs.

Under Organizational Excellence the Board lists:

Do the police deliver the service the public needs?  The RIDE program is a proven service.

Ensure that the Halton Regional Police Service demonstrates the highest levels of ethical and professional standards.

Strengthen service delivery and positive interactions with the community.

Ensure that our Police Service is an employer of choice for both uniform and civilian positions.

Strengthen employee motivation and engagement — foster a sense of employee pride and high job satisfaction, and a belief in the value of individual contribution.

Ensure that our police service culture emphasizes respect, responsibility, accountability,relationships and results.

Meet or exceed all current and future provincially mandated police service requirements.

Be the leader in identifying and implementing innovative policing practice

What is the Police Services Board telling us?  Is this list a collection of clichés and self-serving statements?  Is the Board, which oversees policing in the Region, calling the people who police the community to account?

Government services employ people to communicate with the public.  Major corporations have public relations departments that are in place to tell their story to the public.  These are companies that are in business – they are there for the most part to make a profit for their shareholders which are often large pension groups.

Public services are considerably different.  They are in place to SERVE the public and to seek the advice of the public they serve.

This DRAFT plan for the next three years is the first step in the process of making their plans public.

Let us see how the public reacts to the document.

The following data for the fiscal year 2011 puts who the police serve and what the public pays for that service into perspective.

There are 178,232 households in the Region

The police budget for 2011 amounted to $116.4 million.

There were 629 men and women in uniform .

There were 282 civilian people working  for the police service.

Calls to the police for service amounted to: (2009): 124,503; (2010): 129,971; (2011): 128,202.

The annual cost to each person in the Region for the police service we get amounted to: (2009): $224.66;(2010): $225.83 and (2011): $236.08

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