This is a must-read about a police department in the small Canadian town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, pop. 35,000, that was dealing with 35,000 calls a year, which was double the number in 2001. The calls were on track to double again in eight years, until the department instituted what they call Community Mobilization, a concept they borrowed from police in Glasgow, Scotland.
Here’s an excerpt from the excellent story by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Randy Turner.
Seated around the table are representatives from every policing and social-services agency in the city: addictions, municipal police and RCMP, mental health, child services, probation, education. The works.
The analyst cites the first “case” — a 13-year-old girl recently reported missing by a guardian and found intoxicated by patrol officers. The girl was returned to her home. She had been truant and recently adopted a “poor attitude.” An investigation revealed the teenager had been a victim of abuse at the hands of a stepfather who had recently moved into the home.