Nearly a year since its inception, the results are promising, but there is still work to do.
As with many of EPS’ Vision 2020 goals, the Crime Suppression and Investigation Division (CSID) was developed to help relieve the frontline from duties that could be handled by other investigative and problem solving teams, thus improving our customer service to our community.
In 2020, CPB was reorganized by pulling investigations, projects, and community response work out of patrol. CSID Superintendent Shawna Grimes explained why this was done, “We know that putting more tasks onto our frontline hasn’t worked for us historically. Our goal was to allow patrol members time to focus on the calls for service and investigate them well. Nearly a year since its inception, the results are promising but there is much work still to do.”
Inspector Shannon Dechamplain describes how the Investigative Response Teams have succeeded so far, “Originally, you’d have one or two detectives running a major file. Now there is an entire team dedicated. We are doing a good job with front-end loading and assigning an entire team at the onset and as a result, the work being done in the first hours and days of an investigation is creating huge efficiencies.
Frontline members are taking control of initial investigations. Once stabilized, the file is transitioned to the Investigation Response Teams. Whenever there are opportunities, patrol is staying engaged in the investigation to promote the development of skill sets. As result of the work being completed, we have noticed an increased in confidence in us from other areas throughout the EPS.”
Supt. Grimes explained the Division’s focus for 2021, “We have built and implemented the structure of CSID, so the focus for 2021 is evaluating and addressing identified gaps in our service delivery. We are working closely with Community Safety and Well-being Bureau (CSWB) as we see their success as vital to CPB.”
The Crime Suppression Branch, led by Inspector Angela Kemp, focuses on the identification and investigation of problem places, people, and trends. “We want our focus to be communication with our partners and solve problems in a timely manner. We are collaborating with our stakeholders internally and externally in order to achieve lasting positive impacts for our community.”
The three leaders agree that the full potential of CSID has yet to be realized; however, with the ongoing collaborative support across bureaus within EPS, we are working together to reach the goal of creating a safer Edmonton.
What many have also noticed is that for the first time in EPS’ history, we have three sworn females leading an area of our organization. This is not a focal point for the leaders of CSID, as they recognize the talent of future female leaders with EPS.
They are proud of the numerous accomplishments they have had throughout their careers, acknowledging there were substantial barriers when they each first joined EPS. Supt. Grimes expressed, “I know we’ve moved the bar. The women before us paved the way and the women who follow will continue to do the same. There is a satisfaction to that.”
Collectively, Supt. Grimes, Insp. Kemp and Insp. Dechamplain hope their example will inspire future female leaders to find satisfaction in their career and recognize the leadership opportunities available to them.