The Community Services Unit is comprised of a Community Development Co-ordinator and four officers that focus on four different pillars: education, inclusion, opportunity and functioning families.
- The primary focus of the Unit involves school programming that includes VIP: Values, Influences and Peers program, as well as Elmer the Safety Elephant, CBC-Challenges, Beliefs and Change program, CAA Safety Patrol, and School/Community presentations based on specific requests. Our Programs are constantly being revised to ensure up-to-date information and service delivery.
- The Service’s interactions with youth are managed using a proactive and preventative approach, with the concentration being on a restorative justice perspective rather than enforcement.
- The Unit ensures that lockdown procedures are revisited in every school in case of emergency with a total of 72 lockdown drills conducted annually. Students from secondary and post secondary schools are also provided with meaningful placement where they are able to address current issues in the community.
- The Community Services Unit also manages different events in the Peterborough area during Drug Awareness week, Week without Violence, Family Week, Crime Prevention Week, and Police Week. In addition, the Community Services Unit represents the Police Service on 13 community committees.
In 2019 the Community Services Unit was comprised of four sworn officers and one civilian member. All sworn members are responsible for approximately 10 schools each; handling education and enforcement issues with elementary and secondary institutions in Peterborough, the Village of Lakefield and in the Township of Cavan Monaghan.
The Unit continues to see the benefit of having a Community Development Coordinator as part of the Community Services team, specifically in areas of relationship building with our community partners and having a finger on the provincial pulse of trends and cutting edge projects that benefit our community as a whole.
In 2019 the Community Development Coordinator was once again involved in a number of important projects including the Peterborough Situation Table, projects around diversity, equity and inclusion and coordinating a two day Emergency Management and Safety Forum delivered to approximately150 participants.
School lockdowns have continued to be a priority. In 2019 Community Services officers conducted 80 lockdowns in elementary and secondary schools. Officers continued to work with schools to ensure that Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service guidelines are met. Each Community Service officer is responsible for performing two lockdowns in each of their schools yearly.
All officers in the Unit have received the level two training in the Community Threat Assessment Protocol. The amount of threat assessments that officers have participated in has increased slightly over the past year. Officers are seeing an increase in the number of level two assessments. This is an additional time commitment for the responding officers.
Officers always attempt to deal with the majority of calls for service at the schools they serve. At the high schools, officers spend a good part of their time assisting students and providing support that may otherwise require a front line officer. Officers use a restorative justice process to assist in resolving problems. In 2019 Community Services officers continued to supplement the Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit, Intelligence, Crime Analyst, Asset Forfeiture and Drug Unit, Court Services, and special events when requested on a routine basis.
In 2019 officers once again developed and delivered a variety of community presentations on topics including sexting, anti-bullying, internet safety, dealing with emergencies, elder abuse, fraud and traffic safety. The Unit also delivered a number of programs in area schools including the KIDS (Knowledge, Issues, Decisions, and Supports) program for Grade 6 students. The Unit was also active in planning a number of themed weeks including Crime Prevention Week, Family Week and Drug Awareness Week.
Upon request, officers attended the New Canadians Centre to speak with new citizens about the role of police in Ontario and how to navigate policing in Peterborough. Officers also attended each new intake of the International Student program at Fleming College to deliver a presentation on our Service.