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Dear Friends and Members,

Dave Cassels and I first wrote to you a year ago about the Coalition for Canadian Police Reform (C-CPR).  At that time I asked you to consider becoming a member and many of you did.  Thank you for that!  Your membership fees supported start-up costs and as a result we are now a registered charity, able to issue charitable tax receipts!  

I am writing to you now to share more about what our team of volunteers has accomplished to date and to ask for your continued support for a specific project that will help move the C-CPR mission towards achieving the vision.

Over the past 24 months, the team at C-CPR has been busy:

  • The “First Conference on Canadian Police Reform” occurred in June, 2022. 

  • We have a series of six webinars underway with the theme The Future of Canadian Policing.

  • We just completed seminar three, which was well received by pracademics, academics, officers and citizens with an interest in policing. You can watch it here I hope you will gain a good understanding of what we see as the ideal for police training and professional development.  I hope you will understand in your heart why I and my fellow volunteers are passionate about police reform.

  • We have met virtually with Canadians in policing, academia, the social sector and politics about the deep need to enhance professional status for police akin to nurses, teachers, lawyers and doctors.

  • We have been incorporated for 18 months and a  registered charity for 3 months.

  • Our membership count, including many of you, is now 110  in 11 months.

  • Our email contact list contains about 200 individuals in 11 months.

  • There are 1,000 followers on LinkedIn achieved over 15 months of frequent posting. 

One example of the ongoing work we are doing involves a fourth year Communications student from MacEwan University in Edmonton. Hannah Steffes was recruited through an application process and chose C-CPR's need for a communications plan as her capstone project!

Hannah’s questions are:

What do Canadians think of police training and how could it be improved?

What do officers think about the adequacy of their training? 

Hannah’s advice will be available to us next spring:  How should C-CPR best communicate with Canadians and with police officers?

Hannah is surveying as many Canadians as she can and making every effort to include some of the most disadvantaged peoples who have had more contact with police.

To that end, Hannah and I visited homeless people in Edmonton's central library. The first interview was with Steve, a 61-year-old Indigenous man from Maskwacis Community near Edmonton. He was a member of the Indian Posse gang in his youth and rose to a position of influence in the gang. One night he had a nightmare of being shot; two days later he embraced Christianity.  Eventually he left the gang and is now homeless. We met him in a quiet corner of the library with his boots off and socks drying; a guitar sat beside him; a backpack probably contained all his possessions.

Our survey was estimated at 10 min for self-completion on-line.  Our conversation with Steve lasted 30 minutes. Steve shared with us some of his personal experiences with police; his view being that only some are prepared to de-escalate difficult situations and do not understand the experiences of homeless and/or indigenous people in Edmonton.

Why is it important to survey citizens about their perceptions of police and the training police receive?  Polls indicate that, sadly, citizens have declining TRUST in police.  Hannah is asking what events or interactions form the individual’s perception of police.  

Hannah will complete her data gathering in December and report back in her class (where I hope to be in attendance because being amongst young adults is always fun). In the new year Hannah will use her knowledge to develop and present a communications plan for the C-CPR.

What's next: 

Hannah provides one example of the work C-CPR is doing on a limited budget (mostly by volunteers and students). But some projects cannot be done without additional resources!

Dr. Tam Pozzobon of Royal Roads University (and recipient of the Order of Merit of Police Forces during her successful career with the Calgary Police Service) is launching an extensive literature review to help answer two questions relevant to C-CPR's mission.  Those of you who have met Dr. Pozzobon will know she is highly motivated to help her previous profession of policing move to new heights.  

Her questions:  

  • What information did governments in any jurisdiction use to inform previous amendments of policies related to policing?  

  • What academic work, consultant’s reports or internal perspectives of public servants have government’s considered and what did they hope to achieve with legislative action?

Dr. Pozzobon is applying for an internal grant from Royal Roads University to help fund the project. C-CPR is committed to matching the $2500 grant. Successful funding will enable Dr. Pozzobon to employ a Masters student to complete the review. 

We need your help to raise $2500 to match this grant.

Once the review is completed, giving us a clearer understanding of why governments amend policing legislation, C-CPR will have the knowledge (and ammunition) we need to create evidence-based lobby activities that will move us toward achieving our vision and mission. 

On Black Tuesday, November 29, Eileen & I and Dave and Micki will be making a gift to kick-off 

C-CPR’s Giving Tuesday “Uplift Our Police Campaign.”  Dave Cassels, President of C-CPR and I will be asking all board members to join in giving.  This is our demonstration of commitment to you that the volunteers of C-CPR are prepared to invest in our work in the hope that you will too! 

Please join us with a Giving Tuesday gift to support an essential project.  

Dr. Pozzobon’s project is a critical first step towards the development of professional policing in Canada. Our goal of uplifting Canadian police officers and enhancing the trust in which they are held by each and every Canadian is possible, but it will be a long road. 

Whether Canadians are long standing citizens, new immigrants or recent refugees, whether their stories come with a fear of police, unfounded bias from social media or television dramas or simply a different culture of policing, we must work to create the environment of trust and hope that the police should provide in our Canadian landscape.

Please support C-CPR’s first ever “Uplift Our Police Campaign”!  Your $50 or $100 or $500 will be invested wisely and I promise you that we will report on the results.

Please do call me if you would like to learn more.  I enjoy describing C-CPR’s dream of a Canadian police profession that is known the world over for the quality of training and the national standards that guide the training. Canadians will be proud and trusting of each and every officer!

That’s the dream and the passion of every C-CPR volunteer! 

Thank you for reading!  And thank you for supporting an important first step on the long road of police reform!

May this season be restful and peaceful for you and your family.

Thanks!

Sincerely,

Dave and John                                 

 

LINKS:    C-CPR Website      More on C-CPR’s work      Donate Now or on Nov 29 Giving Tuesday!

CALL JOHN AT 780-951-5663 for more information.