Written by: The Community Safety and Well-being Task Force
On March 31st, 2021, the Community Safety and Well-being Task Force, a temporary Committee of Council appointed by the City of Edmonton, released a report titled “Safer for All”. The purpose of this report was to provide anti-discriminatory recommendations concerning the future of community safety in Edmonton. In anticipation of the report, the City of Edmonton Youth Council (CEYC) has taken on an initiative that would conduct research, analyze the report in detail and provide an independent assessment of the report based on the opinions of Edmontonian youth.
CEYC has decided to approve this initiative due to the long-standing, static discriminatory nature of the Edmonton Police Services (EPS) and its negative repercussions on the youth population. Although the youth demographic only comprise a minor portion of the overall population, they will arguably be most affected by these recommendations as a majority are raised and will continue to live within these communities throughout their adult lives. Therefore when it comes to policies that touch upon this subject, it is crucial to consider and to implement a youth perspective.
The response written by this initiative team is based both on extensive research and outreach to youth residing within Edmonton. Prior to the release of the report, CEYC has put out an official community safety and well-being survey which was spread around social media to gather the perspectives of youth on issues. This includes the School Resources Officer program, street checks, community safety, divestment/ defunding of the EPS and services which lack government funding.
Members of this initiative team also listened and recorded noteworthy sections of the June 2020 non-statutory hearings, which were released on the City of Edmonton’s Youtube Channel. Moreover, the initiative team attended external meetings with other committees such as the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee to gain insight on group perspectives and how they came upon it. Outside public engagement, the CSWB initiative team conducted research that revolved around proven practices against discriminatory principles, the integration of social services with policing and Canadian contextual examples of divesting and defunding.
You can read the CEYC response here. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us!