Throughout the campaign, safety is one issue that’s come up time and time again. Let’s face it: not all Edmontonians feel safe in our city right now. And that needs to change. A vibrant and connected city is a safe city—for everyone, in every neighbourhood.
Community safety is a complex issue—one that can’t be reduced to a matter of just putting more beat cops on the streets. Edmonton needs a leader who gets this; a collaborative leader who will bring together all stakeholders—regional partners, law enforcement, and our non-profit sector—to the table with Council and City Administration to find the right course of action. We need a balanced and bold leader who has a track record of challenging the status quo and solving problems. I am that leader, and with my Plan for Safe Communities, we will take real action and get real results.
There are five parts to my Plan for Safe Communities:
I’m committed to working with regional leaders to pursue the establishment of an Edmonton Metro Police Service. Crime doesn’t stop at city limits. Criminals don’t respect jurisdictional boundaries. In an era of digital crime and the unrestricted flow of goods and people, we need a collaborative, regional approach so we break down siloes and build up a unified front.
A regional police service will find efficiencies and cost-savings, driving down costly duplication and allowing police to redirect funds to other pressing needs—such as the current condition of our downtown core. I will work with our regional partners—including the municipalities of Beaumont, St. Albert, Strathcona County, Leduc, Leduc County, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Devon, and Fort Saskatchewan—and the provincial government to explore a new funding and governance model in support of a regional policing approach. This important conversation begins by bringing all municipal players together to form a task force, the seats of which can be shifted to the Police Commission to ensure all regional players have a voice to share concerns, feedback, and solutions.
I want to be clear: this isn’t about funnelling resources away from the City of Edmonton. With our communities so close together—both in proximity and shared interests—it’s time for us to finally work together and challenge the status quo to better protect our residents. That means breaking down barriers, consolidating data, and joining forces in service of safer communities.
The best way to fight crime is to stop it before it starts, which includes tackling the societal root causes that drive individuals to lives of crime in the first place. We know that in order to have a safe city, we must have a city where everyone can live with dignity and has a legal path to economic and social opportunities. We need an improved team approach, leveraging insights from community leaders and data models to truly understand, and address, the root causes of crime.
It’s time to harness our local innovators and data, apply innovate approaches, and leverage the technology available to us so we can improve the efficiency and outcomes of our safety services. We must respond promptly and effectively to emerging issues such as the tough conversations we’re having about the relationship between racialized communities and police.
A safe community is a safe community for all Edmontonians. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you pray, who you love or what you believe in, you have a right to feel safe in the place you call home.
The sad reality is that our neighbours are increasingly being victimized in hate-motivated attacks. From 2014 to 2020, Edmonton has had a 219 per cent increase in police reported hate crimes.
Our diversity is our strength and an attack on our diversity is an attack on the heart and soul of our city.
To address hate crimes in Edmonton, we will:
Edmonton used to be known for our community policing approach. Members of EPS have a presence, but as community members. As Mayor, I’m committed to working with the Police Commission and EPS to continue to implement the Community Safety and Well-being Bureau. A first of its kind in Canada, this bureau moves vulnerable citizens away from the criminal justice system and towards community agencies that can provide the supports that are required. This is achieved through a strong community policing model.
For our city to realize its vast potential, all of Edmonton’s communities need to be safe communities—for everyone. We need focused, data-driven strategies—not ideology, fearmongering, and rhetoric. We need common sense innovation and solution-oriented leadership. With a balanced and bold leader, we can curb this recent spike in crime while keeping our compassion for vulnerable Edmontonians in need.
A vote for me is a vote for a safer Edmonton.