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.
The Community Services Unit consists of one Sergeant, four officers and one civilian Community Development Coordinator. One officer is assigned to the area high schools while three officers are assigned to the elementary schools in Peterborough, Lakefield and Cavan Monaghan.
In December 2014 the Unit saw the addition of a Community Development Coordinator who is responsible for the development and coordination of strategic community engagement and partnership approaches to build and enhance relationships between the police service and community stakeholders. Our Service continues to see the benefits of having this position as part of the Community Services team in many ways specifically in relationship building with our community partners and having a finger on the provincial pulse of trends and cutting edge projects that benefit our community.
In 2018 officers in this Unit developed and delivered a variety of presentations to the community on topics including dealing with emergencies, elder abuse, fraud, sexting, anti-bullying, traffic safety and internet safety.
The Unit also delivered a number of programs in area schools including KIDS (Knowledge, Issues, Decisions, and Supports) – a new cutting edge program for Grade 6 students that replaces the VIP program with up-to-date and current messaging. 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.
Our school officers always attempt to deal with the majority of calls for service at the schools they serve. Our high school officer spends 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. The John Howard Society continues to be a great resource in providing programming that is not within the structure of the Youth Criminal Justice Act
School lockdowns have continued to be a priority with our school officers conducting 76 lockdowns in local elementary and secondary schools in 2018. Officers continued to work with schools to ensure that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service guidelines were met. Each Community Service officer is responsible for performing two lockdowns in each of their schools yearly.
Our Community Development Coordinator was involved in a number of vital projects throughout 2018 including the Peterborough Situation Table, projects around diversity, equity and inclusion, responding to sexual violence and harassment and hosting the Service’s fourth annual forum for service providers who serve youth in Peterborough. In 2018 our Community Development Coordinator took on the important role as Chair of the Peterborough Drug Strategy