The Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) developed a series of Community Safety Forums with the objective of engaging the public, encouraging open communication, and discussing policing initiatives and strategies. The Burnaby RCMP met with cultural group leaders from the Sikh, Korean, Islamic and Chinese communities to discuss their concerns and developed presentations tailored to their needs.
The Burnaby RCMP embraces diversity and multiculturalism and recognizes that a diverse community brings enrichment and strength to a city. It wanted to better connect with faith-based and cultural groups, build trust and raise awareness about public safety.
The RCMP held its Community Safety Forums at community centres, shopping malls and business complexes throughout Burnaby, British Columbia. The objective was to engage the public in an open town hall forum to encourage communication, and bring important information about policing initiatives and strategies into targeted communities.
To reach a broader diverse group, the RCMP held a Community Safety Forum at Metrotown Mall, which is the second-largest shopping mall in Canada. Organizers modified the presentation method from a PowerPoint presentation to one of personal, one-on-one engagement. They ran a presentation on a continuous loop and used items to draw in the public (such as a gang vehicle, RCMP members in Red Serge, and Safety Bear). Presenters then discussed issues of concern with the public and reached 2,000 persons from many diverse cultural groups and communities in one afternoon.
The Burnaby RCMP has also developed and implemented a Safe Community Series program, which consists of public safety information sessions that are focused on specific issues or concerns of the respective communities or cultural groups. These sessions are smaller in nature than the Community Safety Forums and provide an opportunity for more dialogue on specific community issues or concerns.
The RCMP used persons in the organization with a connection to the cultural groups and used these resources to reach out to the specific groups to gain buy-in for, and ensure attendance at, the Community Safety Forums.
Making a Difference
The results have been positive. Persons in the targeted communities and cultural groups are more comfortable in reporting crime and criminal activity, and the police have a more positive relationship with these groups and persons.
The main challenge was getting attendance from representation of the cultural groups to the Community Safety Forums.
Vision for the Future
The Burnaby RCMP has invited persons from the targeted groups to its Community Police Advisory Committee meetings, which are held monthly in each of its four districts, to address problems in the communities with representation from various stakeholders.
About the Burnaby RCMP Detachment
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Canada's federal police force and it is also contracted out to provide policing services to provinces and municipalities such as Burnaby, BC.
Best Practice Contact
Inspector Michael Labossiere, RCMP
6355 Deer Lake Ave. Burnaby, BC V5G 2J2