Thursday , October 21 2021

The Edmonton police are working to overcome the problem of public road supervision, the commission said


Edmonton police still stand with the effectiveness of road checks, controversial practices that have faced criticism from the public.

Edmonton police officials told the Edmonton Police Commission Thursday that EPS had begun implementing measures – some new, some ongoing – in response to 17 recommendations found in a recent road checking practice audit.

The review recommendations include better dialogue with community members and increasing diversity within the police force. It also recommends overcoming privacy issues around road checks.

Officials said they planned to tackle the problem in various ways.

One way is through public education campaigns including pamphlets that describe the function of road inspection and how the data collected is used.

But the campaign will not be launched until after the provincial government releases its framework around road checks and data usage. The government has not announced a schedule for the launch of the road inspection framework and did not respond to requests from CBC News.

Police officials on Thursday talked about values ​​in educating the public about carding.

"I can tell you that road inspection is a very important tool to monitor and really keep the community safe," said Kevin Brezinski, who acted as police chief.

Road inspections were carried out under surveillance last year after information obtained by CBC News through requests for freedom of information showed the police disproportionately stopped blacks and Natives.

Bashir Mohamed has been vocal about using road inspection data. He reviewed the EPS response to the audit on road inspection practices on Thursday.

He said the police offered little new information.

"I didn't see anything that surprised me," he said. "It looks like the response is quite generic."

Community policing

Police say they want to work with the community and address concerns about racism and discrimination. They proposed a Strategic Plan for Community Policing.

Brezinski said he wanted to see officers out in the community more often.

"If we have adequate resources, we will have more time to proactively engage with the community and possibly prevent crime from happening, which will then reduce the burden of calls for us," he said.

Road inspections and community policing are something that will be handled by the new police chief, Dale McFee, in his new role, said Brezinski.

"With our new head coming in, he will have a different idea too," he said. "He is very community driven so I think some of our policies can change with his term here."

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