The Chatham-Kent Police Service is set to embark on a new community mobilization project across the municipality.
Sgt. Jim Lynds along with consultant James Cox created a plan to help engage community partners in Chatham-Kent, with the goal of enhancing community safety.
Cox said this is the next step in community policing.
“It is about creating resilient communities in Chatham-Kent,” he said. “We’re talking about connecting residents so they have access to the supports they need.
Cox said the program has four guiding principles: Risk-driven, problem-oriented, collaborative, and asset-based.
“We look at what the root causes are for the particular problem,” he said. “Each community and neighbourhood may need a different strategy to address the issue.”
Cox said the project will enhance community safety with several techniques, including emergency response, social development, ensuring the community is getting involved, prevention, risk intervention and mitigating elevated risk situations when they arise.
Cox said the police don’t necessary have the lead role with every one of the projects.
“Depending on the issues, different groups, organizations or levels of government will take the lead,” he said. “It’s putting some structure around the good work that is already being done.
Coun. Marjorie Crew said this is a solid framework for developing a path and a strategy.
“It’s important that we don’t have a cookie-cutter strategy,” she said. “It’s a starting point for discussion. This won’t work without community participation. That’s the whole idea… you have to have the community buy-in to mobilize them.”
Prior to joining council, Crew co-founded the community group East Side Pride.
East Kent Coun. Jim Brown said he has meetings coming up with people in Ridgetown who have different concerns with college students’ behaviour in the community.
“This fits into the type of process we’re looking to start soon,” Brown said.
The project started in October last year and was funded by a grant from the province.
Cox said the project will be implemented over the next two years.