Downtown social issues, crime preference for Edmonton police, McPhee says


Police chief Dale McPhee says the newly elected council of Edmonton can expect greater support from the city’s police service for dealing with social issues and criminal boxes.

The Edmonton Police Service has been an advocate for the underprivileged for the past two-and-a-half years and is “relentless” about crimes such as gun crime, he told reporters Wednesday.

McPhee said his contract was recently extended to June 2026. “

He said police are “non-political” but will work with whoever is elected in the upcoming municipal elections. However, the “status quo” is not working.

The vulnerable population, for example, needs solutions and interventions that go beyond residential and safe use sites, McPhee said.

“The investment in the middle of this system is gone, and it’s been missing for a long time,” he said.

“We have to bring our voices to do something different, because it’s not getting better.”

In the coming days and weeks, police will work with the city and other partners on how to do things differently, he said.

During his availability with reporters, McPhee confirmed that firefighters were investigating the Alberta Avenue neighborhood and spoke of efforts to address the escalation of violence in the city.

He said the number of calls to the police was not high, but that the so-called police incidents were more violent, referring to gang-on-gang violence.

“A lot of it … is that organized criminal unit. We work teams for 24-7 hours. We make it really uncomfortable for them,” he said.

Municipal elections in Edmonton Oct. 18. Advanced polling stations are open until Oct. 13, including Thanksgiving on Oct. 11.

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