Kingston Police have released their strategic plan for the next four years.
It spells out five key objectives and how they plan to achieve them.
The list includes reducing downtown crime and solving crimes fast.
The new strategic plan is focused on addressing one key issue identified by the police services board.
“We saw that crime is up, we saw that arrests for those crimes are down and we knew that the status quo had to change,” said Jarrod Sterns, Police Services Board Chair.
It was up to Acting Chief Scott Fraser and senior management in consultation with community stakeholders to come up with a plan to tackle that issue.
The end result is five key benchmarks over the life of the four year plan like improving the weighted clearance rate to 45 per cent and reducing the crime rate by 10 per cent, particularly in the downtown core.
Fraser said some steps spelled out in the report have already been acted on, like increased traffic patrols along with police on foot.
“The bicycle or on foot gives us that opportunity to interact with the public, interact with the store owners and really get a feel of what’s going on,” said Fraser.
The head of the Downtown Kingston BIA said she feels the police have listened to the concerns they’ve raised.
“A lot of my members had met with him individually. I’ve been working closely with the city on some of the challenges that we have with crime, mental health, addictions, homelessness in the downtown core and Chief Fraser definitely heard us,” said Downtown BIA Executive Director Marijo Cuerrier.
Other key pieces in the plan include working with marginalized communities to improve relations and make them feel safer.
Also a priority is transferring non-criminal low-risk cases away from police, freeing up officers to focus on core policing activities.
Fraser said community volunteers are helping with issues like property recovery and events.
“Parades now we see a lot of our volunteers out where instead it used to be officers,” he said.
The annual police chief’s report will also serve as an opportunity for the police services board to oversee progress on the strategic goals.
“We’ll look at those weighted crime rates and if things are getting better or not and the action plans that go with it,” added Sterns.
Aiding police in attaining the goals of the strategic plan is 2023 budget approval to hire eight new police officers.