March 18, 2021
The City of Edmonton, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and community partners continue to further enhance safety and security measures on transit, while taking a compassionate approach to support the city’s most vulnerable.
As part of ongoing security enhancements, additional Transit Peace Officers were recently deployed, and, in the coming days, further security enhancements involving more Transit Peace Officers and members of the EPS will be deployed based on data analytics. Officers will conduct joint, full-time, proactive patrols on the transit system. This enhanced deployment approach will be in effect for several months and monitored on an ongoing basis.
In addition, more security guards will be deployed to select transit facilities to provide additional surveillance and support, and liaise directly with the ETS Control Centre if further support is needed. These security guards are in addition to the extra security guards deployed in late February.
In early March, the EPS Community Engagement team, along with Centre High students, began public engagement sessions at some transit facilities to help activate spaces and provide safety information. Sessions are occurring weekly in March, and will continue throughout April. The EPS Crime Disruption Teams also currently deploy proactive policing on the transit system.
“We’ve been working hand-in-hand with our community partners to further enhance safety and security measures on our transit system,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service (ETS). “We’ve been taking action, and will continue to take action, to keep transit riders, staff and contractors on transit safe. Everyone has the right to belong and feel safe on our streets, in our public spaces and on transit.”
As part of the City’s ongoing bylaw enforcement, Peace Officers will continue to lead interactions with education, compassion and understanding.
“Every interaction with an Edmontonian begins with a respectful conversation, education and, where it’s needed, providing help and support,“ said David Aitken, Branch Manager of Community Standards and Neighbourhoods. “However, enforcement may be necessary in some situations to protect public safety and the safety of the individual. Every situation is different, and our officers are well trained in determining the appropriate action.”
The City is also collaborating with community partners to deploy further social support resources on transit. It’s important to strike the right balance between security resources and social support resources.
“The pandemic has been especially hard on individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Jackie Foord, Branch Manager of Social Development. “We’re actively creating more permanent and suitable housing options for vulnerable Edmontonians to ensure they have appropriate shelter. Malls, transit stations and shelters are no substitute for a home.”
The City remains highly committed to providing safe public spaces for Edmontonians and will continue to focus on public safety, recovering from the pandemic and providing tangible solutions to support the City’s most vulnerable.