Advertisement

Saint John community policing returns with focus on crime reduction

Click to play video: 'Community policing returns to Saint John' Community policing returns to Saint John
WATCH: It was once a victim of the budgetary axe in Saint John, but community policing has now returned. However, the model has changed to a focus on crime reduction. As Andrew Cromwell reports, that is leading some communities to raise concerns about the level of service – Jun 6, 2018

It was once a victim of the budgetary cut in Saint John, but community policing has returned to the port city.

The model will now be referred to as Community Based Crime Reduction, with officers working as a team with a more focused service.

“The focus becomes when they’re asked to do lots of things, and when they’re asked to do those things they can look at it through the lens of, ‘Is this an opportunity to reduce crime, or is this something that maybe isn’t going to have an impact on crime reduction?'” said Jennifer Carhart, chair of the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners.

WATCH: Saint John neighbourhood groups make plea for return of community policing

Click to play video: 'Saint John neighbourhood groups make plea for return of community policing' Saint John neighbourhood groups make plea for return of community policing
Saint John neighbourhood groups make plea for return of community policing – Feb 8, 2018

That difference had to be explained in some communities, where residents felt they weren’t getting enough support.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s a community-based crime reduction, not specific to specific communities where folks would have access to support at any given time,” Carhart explained.

Budget cuts earlier this year resulted in community police officers being pulled from the streets. Public backlash and an infusion of cash from the province led the police department to re-examine the situation and put officers back into the communities.

“People are coming through the door every day,” said Anne Driscoll of the Crescent Valley Resource Centre, in the city’s north end. “They’re absolutely happy.”

READ MORE: Neighbourhood groups in Saint John push for a return to community policing

Sgt. David Hartley-Brown has been involved in community policing for years. He says the relationships within the communities remains critical.

“More or less over the last 10 years, it’s still becomes the emphasis of everything we’re trying to do and to address all the other social issues and criminal activity, and things that have been going on in certain trends,” said Hartley-Brown, who co-ordinates the Community Based Crime Reduction initiative.

The new model has been in place for several weeks.

Sponsored content