October 21 Update
Listening Sessions and Community Meetings
On October 6th, we held our first EPS Hosted Listening Session with Chief McFee at Alberta Avenue Hall. We want to sincerely thank the folks who came out and were willing to share their stories, experiences, and ideas for solutions and change with us. We want to honour the stories shared within sessions- so when we provide updates on sessions, we will not ever share the personal stories we heard, we will only share the themes and solutions discussed. Some of the themes we heard October 6th were:
- Different folks had very different experiences; we heard both very negative and very positive experiences, sometimes from the same individual
- Gaps in understanding police (role, responsibility, services) are many and varied. They include: language, cultural differences, fear, no previous interaction, lack of communication.
- Trauma – current and intergenerational trauma, negative experiences with child welfare system and policing that have carried through generations
- Humanization of us all – community participants and police officers in attendance in some cases shared similar stories, personal circumstances, and experiences. Our humanity connects us.
There were many solutions and ideas for change that were discussed at the session. All of the suggestions have been posted in the “Ideas” section of our website under the title of “October 6th Session”.
We have also had a few exciting zoom calls and community meetings that generated new and exciting ideas, and relationships, that we are grateful for and excited to keep building. We have more community based sessions being scheduled over the coming weeks that we will share as we are able, with permission from the organizers.
Build Bridges Podcast
Our team is extremely excited for the release of the Building Bridges Podcast. Shortly after the launch of our Commitment to Action, Chief McFee, Enyinnah Okere and Cst. Jacqui Buchanan had the opportunity to be guests on this new and exciting podcast by the Commudio studio. Chief McFee and the team shared some of the changes happening with EPS, and the vision for policing that Chief McFee brought to Edmonton when he accepted the role of Chief in 2019. The podcast is being released as a series of 4 episodes. You can watch/listen here.. Thank you to the team at the Commudio for inviting us to your space, and for the many valuable learnings we have gained through our conversations with you.
Effective October 8th, new voluntary public health measures were put in place for Edmonton and surrounding areas due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. We take these measures extremely seriously, and will continue to abide by all mandatory, recommended, and voluntary precautions. As a result of these recent measures, we have reduced the number of participants for our EPS hosted sessions to ensure we remain under the recommendations of holding gatherings with no more than 15 people. We will continue to monitor the situation, and work closely with the EPS Pandemic Response Team to ensure our approach is up to date with evolving restrictions, and safe for all those involved. We will also be exploring the opportunity to host more virtual conversations over the coming months.