Ridge Meadows RCMP have released a strategic plan to guide the detachment and their priorities for the next three years.
The plan comes after months of community consultation started in July. It also includes safety priorities identified by City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden and council members.
Initial video presentations explained why police officers do the work they do and how they collaborate with community partners.
The final plan explains what police officers and staff will be doing on a daily basis in support of the community.
The RCMP have identified five areas they will be focusing on until 2024. These include: communication and education; crime reduction and community safety; diversity and inclusion; partnerships and collaboration; and organizational excellence.
As part of communication and education, the detachment will be engaging with all media platforms and sources and increasing their online presence, holding community consultations, showcasing police work, bringing more awareness of the police process and bringing more awareness of programs targeting community issues.
With respect to crime reduction and safety police will focus on road safety around school zones and high traffic areas, illegal street activities and prolific offenders, more education and crime prevention initiatives and increase their resources using data analysis to identify key targets.
Diversity and inclusion will include a focus on Reconciliation and honouring Indigenous peoples, opportunities for cultural learning for officers and employees, more engagement with diverse populations, more support for programs and partnerships with youth and seniors, the support of safe spaces for the LGBTQ2S+ community and more accessibility of police information.
Through partnerships and collaboration they are hoping to increase collaboration with their emergency services partners such as the fire department and BC Ambulance Service, support services for victims of crime, focus on more public participation in crime prevention programs, look at partnerships for cross- and- joint training opportunities, and to continue to participate in community engagement events.
Finally under the category of organizational excellence the force intends to promote employee health and wellness, provide more professional development and training opportunities, allow for more opportunities for employee feedback, become more transparent through internal communications and information sharing, enhance their emergency preparedness, obtain resources to make their daily operations exceptional and to streamline the internal process.
‘We sought public input and the public delivered,” said superintendent Jennifer Hyland with the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment, in a press release thanking everyone who took time to complete the online survey and who participated in the collaboration sessions.
“The overwhelming participation has been inspiring and we are proud to deliver on what the community has helped to create,” she wrote.
Mayor Morden said he can see the city’s municipal police priorities in the document. As a city, he said, they are very clear on what their expectations are of the RCMP and there are six priorities they expect to be looked at as part of the service they pay for.
“The main ingredient is engaging and working with us on our community social safety initiative,” said Morden about the city’s multi-faceted program to ensure crime is properly attended to and that residents and business owners can get the help that they need and feel safe and protected. The initiative includes community safety officers, CSOs, who patrol the downtown streets and are operated out of the bylaws department.
The main measure of success, added Morden, will be feedback from the public advising them about whether their initiative is working and whether the police are responsive to their concerns for public safety along with the needs of the business community.
“We have developed what we call a public safety program so it’s not just police. It’s police officers, it’s the CSOs, it’s private security, it’s a whole parcel of pieces that go together to provide a safe community,” he added.
Ridge Meadows RCMP were unavailable for comment before publication. They advised that they would be available to comment further on the strategic plan next week.