November 12, 2019

Calgary Police Commission Statement - Budget Adjustments 2020

The Calgary Police Commission has a duty to ensure that the Calgary Police Service has the resources it needs to keep our City safe and to prevent crime.

We recognize the difficulties our community faces and take seriously our responsibility to protect public safety, while holding CPS accountable to manage finances, deliver value to citizens, and keep Calgary a safe place to live and do business.

The Commission has worked closely with CPS leadership in recent years to create an organization that is as lean as possible, while still providing citizens with the services and supports they expect from their police. CPS has already contributed more than $20 million back to the city since 2017 and did not request a budget increase in 2020.

We appreciate the City’s efforts to minimize reductions to CPS and we will continue to do our part to look for ways to contribute to the City’s need for budget reductions. At the same time, we must do so in a thoughtful manner that minimizes the impact of budget reductions on the safety of Calgarians.

In recent months, the Commission has been clear with the City that any cuts greater than the $7million reduction in July would impact both public safety and employee positions.

More cuts would likely mean losing police officer and civilian staff positions and putting a stop to hiring, resulting in fewer officers to respond to calls for service as CPS would not be able to replace members who resign or retire. This could leave CPS with one of the lowest citizen-to-officer ratios in the country at a time when calls for service and crime are increasing.

Crime rates in the Calgary region increased in 2018 and are outpacing the crime rate increases both in Alberta and nationally, with notable increases in violence. The rates of vehicle theft are the highest in Canada while break and enters are the second highest in Canada. The organization’s ability to respond is largely based on the number of police officers available.

An inability to hire new members would also hamper efforts to modify the composition of the organization to better reflect the diversity of the community. This has been a priority for the Commission as it has a significant impact on the community’s trust and confidence in our police in the future.

Additional reductions may also mean that CPS looks at closing units and facilities, withdrawing from some community partnerships, restricting some investigations, and slowing implementation of recommendations from independent reviews aimed at improving officer and citizen safety through improvements in training, equipment, and structures.

The ability to maintain an elevated presence to support safety in the downtown core is also at risk, which likely has impacts on the long-term economic prosperity of the City.

We know citizens value safety communities and investment in the Calgary Police Service. At this time, we believe there is simply no more flexibility to make cuts without changing the trajectory of Calgary’s police service.


March 18, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE + BACKGROUNDER

CALGARY–The Calgary Police Commission has appointed Mark Neufeld, M.O.M., as the city’s new Chief Constable following ratification of the appointment by Calgary city council.

Incoming Chief Neufeld is a respected leader in policing in Alberta, having spent 24 years with the Edmonton Police Service, and two years as Chief of the Camrose Police Service. He is currently the President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, a leader of its Women in Policing committee, and Chair of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) provincial board of directors.

In addition to 21 formal recognitions earned while working for the Edmonton Police Service, he has been appointed to the Order of Merit for Police Forces, and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, a Police Exemplary Service medal, a Leadership Excellence Award from the Province of Alberta, and the Integrity Award from Rotary International.

It was incoming Chief Neufeld’s well-rounded career that elevated him above all other candidates. The Commission saw a people-first leader with decades of achievements building the resilient, high-performance cultures critical to enhancing community safety. He has also supplemented his accomplishments in policing with a Master’s degree in criminology and police management from Cambridge University.

The Commission recommended this appointment to city council after completing a competitive national search. Part of the process involved extensive engagement with the citizens of Calgary, CPS staff and key partners to ensure that those who have a stake in the safety of the community could share their thoughts on the skills and characteristics desired in a new Chief Constable.

Incoming Chief Neufeld will begin the position no later than June.

QUOTES:

Brian Thiessen, Calgary Police Commission Chair

“The Commission conducted an extensive national search and found a gem in our own backyard. Mark Neufeld is one of the most respected, experienced, and educated police leaders in Alberta. We set the bar very high, calling for a progressive, experienced team builder and expert communicator who acts with the highest level of respect, fairness, and compassion. Incoming Chief Neufeld checks all those boxes. We are confident that he is the right person to lead CPS into the future.”

Mark Neufeld, Incoming Calgary Police Service Chief Constable

“I am thrilled to be joining the Calgary Police Service – a highly respected organization comprised of great people in a beautiful city. Working together, we will create a safe, respectful, and inclusive culture where people come first. Our collective efforts will have a strong and positive impact on the communities we are so privileged to serve.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi

“The Chief sets the leadership for a service that does great work, builds communities for all Calgarians, and provides meaningful careers for all its members. I know that the Calgary Police Commission had all of this in mind in making this choice and I look forward to working with the new Chief to strengthen the service and keep us all safe.”


BACKGROUNDER

BIOGRAPHY – INCOMING CHIEF MARK NEUFELD
March 18, 2019

Incoming Chief Neufeld believes strongly in providing top-quality police service to the community through professionalism, innovation, and inclusive leadership that is supportive of employees. The women and men - both sworn and civilian - who deliver frontline police service have been particularly special to him throughout his career and his priority is to serve and protect not only the community, but also those who commit themselves to serving and protecting the community.

Neufeld joins the Calgary Police Service after two years as the Chief of the Camrose Police Service, a smaller community that gave him the opportunity to build strong partnerships with staff and residents to improve quality of life in the city.

Neufeld is well and positively connected within police circles provincially, nationally, and internationally. He is currently Interim President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, Chair of the ALERT board of directors, and a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police board of directors.

Neufeld recently completed a Masters in criminology and police management at the University of Cambridge. He has also completed the CACP Executive Global Studies program, where he studied international approaches to cybercrime, and the International Executive Development in Policing program from the Canadian Police College and Hong Kong Police College. Upon completion, he was invited to join the faculty of this program where he led a syndicate of senior police leaders from both Canada and Hong Kong through the program.

In 1992, Neufeld’s police career began with the Vancouver Police Department. The illness of a parent brought him to the Edmonton Police Service the following year. He spent 12 years as a frontline patrol officer, including in Edmonton’s diverse inner-city where he worked with residents and community partners to address neighbourhood crime, disorder, and social issues.

He also has experience in undercover operations, incident command, crisis negotiation, and as a member of the EPS Public Order Unit working on the G-8 and G-20 summits, Stanley Cup and Grey Cup deployments, as well as the 2006 riot.

Neufeld was promoted to the role of detective in Internal Affairs in 2004 and to Staff Sergeant in the Intelligence Section in 2007. A secondment in 2007 brought him to the Province of Alberta where he successfully assisted with the implementation of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector and assigned to Professional Standards where he led the development of a strategic planning process that resulted in the restructuring of the branch, the civilianization of numerous investigative and administrative positions, and an increased emphasis on alternative dispute resolution and complaint prevention. Along the way, Neufeld made sure staff were actively engaged in setting direction and priorities. He celebrated successes and acknowledged the efforts of individuals and teams.

As an Inspector, he also spent time in the Human Resources Division where he developed a recruitment strategy for the police service before being seconded to ASIRT for a second time as the Director of Investigations.

In 2014, Neufeld was promoted to Superintendent, Criminal Investigations Division, where he was responsible for all EPS major and serious crime units, including homicide, missing persons, robbery, arson, sexual assault, child protection, domestic conflict, Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE), elder abuse, economic crimes, auto theft and support units including the Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT) and the Police and Crisis Team (PACT). In this role, he made it a priority to encourage strong working relationships between frontline officers and specialized investigative units.

Two years later, Neufeld moved back to operations as Superintendent of the Southwest Division, a large, diverse area of Edmonton that stretched from the University district to the southern city limits. In this role, he made a point of being visible, accessible, and approachable. He applied an approach to problem solving that involved encouraging open and honest conversations, and moved the division forward through patience, compassion and consistency.

Neufeld was invested as a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2014. He is also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Police Exemplary Service Medal, and the Alberta Law Enforcement Long Service Medal.

He and his wife Lynn have four adult children. They are all active community volunteers, and together they enjoy fitness, travel, and friends.


February 19, 2019

NOMINATE CALGARIANS WHO ARE MAKING OUR CITY SAFER

CALGARY – The Calgary Police Commission is inviting Calgarians to share stories about individuals, groups, youth, or businesses who are working with police to make our city safer.

The Commission’s Community Policing Awards are celebrated annually to honour the exceptional efforts of individuals and community groups who are helping to make our community stronger and more secure.

Nomination categories include:

  • Youth
  • Individual (volunteer)
  • Individual (compensated)
  • Community organization
  • Business
  • Calgary Police Service sworn member

Nominations will be accepted until March 29, 2019. Share the compelling stories happening in your area by completing the form found here.

“These awards allow us to bring amazing stories of community connection with police out of the shadows. Amazing work is being done quietly in every corner of our city to build safe neighbourhoods and resilient relationships. We want to hear those stories so we can celebrate their work, show our gratitude, and give these citizens some well-deserved recognition.” – Brian Thiessen, Calgary Police Commission Chair

The Community Policing Awards ceremony will take place in June as part of the Calgary Police Commission’s annual community dinner. The event is a catalyst for meaningful discussions where more than 400 community members from across the city are given a voice in addressing public safety topics at a grass roots level.


November 22, 2018

Calgary Police Commission Posts Chief Constable Position Profile

CALGARY – The Calgary Police Commission has posted a position profile that outlines the requirements for Calgary’s next Chief Constable.

Applicants are invited to review the position profile as well as the reports summarizing the extensive engagement activities the Commission conducted about the priorities and qualities necessary for the next Chief to be successful. Feedback from more than 2000 points of contact* gathered through online surveys and direct conversations were considered in the development of the job posting.

“This position profile reflects the values and priorities of citizens and employees,” said Richard Sigurdson, Chair of the Commission’s Search Committee. “Before submitting an application, I would encourage all applicants to review the feedback we received, which is an essential part of understanding the state of policing in Calgary and the expectations of our community.”

Individuals with an interest in further exploring this opportunity should submit an application by December 21, 2018. Applications will then be screened and a shortlist of candidates will be interviewed by the Commission in January. Once the Commission selects a candidate, the decision must go to City Council for ratification before a new Chief Constable is introduced publicly.

The position profile is available here: https://www.mnp.ca/en/career-opportunities/chief-constable


October 9, 2018

Calgary Police Commission Appoints Interim Chief Constable

CALGARY – The Calgary Police Commission has selected Acting Deputy Chief Steve Barlow to take on the role of Interim Chief Constable when Chief Chaffin retires. Calgary City Council has ratified the decision.

Acting Deputy Chief Barlow is a 29 year veteran of the Calgary Police Service. He has held senior positions in patrol, specialized investigations, major crimes, professional standards, and human resources. In his current position as acting deputy chief of operations, Barlow has focused on getting front-line officers the support they need to keep Calgary safe, including sponsoring the roll-out of body worn cameras and hard body armour.

“We are grateful that Chief Chaffin gave us six months’ notice of his plan to retire,” said Commission Chair Brian Thiessen. “It gave us an opportunity to identify a strong interim chief early in the process who could fill the gap until a new chief is appointed. Acting Deputy Chief Barlow is a well-rounded, experienced and respected leader. We are confident that he will provide steady guidance to CPS during this stage.”

Barlow will be sworn in as interim chief on October 19 after a transition period with Chief Chaffin, and will serve until a replacement is found. With an interim chief identified, the Commission believes it is appropriate to support the leadership transition at this time to enable a smooth handover of responsibilities.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to have been asked to fulfill this role,” said Acting Deputy Chief Barlow. “I know it will come with challenges, but I accepted the opportunity without hesitation because of the strength of the amazing people within CPS. Chief Constable Chaffin has been a tremendous leader and mentor. I’m looking forward to working with the strong leadership team he has developed to help set up the incoming Chief for success.”

“Thanks to the amazing work of the women and men of the Calgary Police Service, I have been incredibly proud to serve as Chief Constable,” added Chief Roger Chaffin. “They work tirelessly to help keep Calgary a safe and vibrant city and I am indebted to them for their commitment to the community. Under the interim leadership of Acting Deputy Chief Barlow, I am confident that they will continue do all they can to make this city safe.”

With this decision made, the Commission will continue its focus on finding a new Chief Constable to lead the organization. An executive recruiting team from MNP has been selected to assist the search process. The next steps involve creating engagement opportunities for citizens, employees, and community partners to share their thoughts. Details will be posted on the Commission website when they become available later this month.


July 26, 2018

Calgary Police Commission Releases 2018 Citizen Survey Results

CALGARY – The results of the 2018 Calgary Police Commission citizen survey are in and citizens remain positive about safety and policing in our city, and offer insight into areas for improvement.

The Commission conducts comprehensive research annually to understand how citizens feel about safety in Calgary, the Calgary Police Service, and to identify opportunities to improve services for the community. This research is one tool, among many, that the Commission and Calgary Police Service use to inform decisions about budgets and priorities.

Citizen survey by the numbers:

  • The vast majority of citizens feel that Calgary is a safe place to live, are satisfied with the Calgary Police Service, and have confidence that the Calgary Police Service can deliver the services needed to keep Calgary safe. However, these measures have been declining.
  • Citizens suggest CPS could improve services with a greater visible police presence, more transparent and accountable communications, more officers, and improved officer training.
  • House break-ins, illegal drugs, and vehicle thefts are the top crime and safety concerns in 2018.
  • Nearly half of Calgarians feel CPS is not adequately staffed, which is the lowest rating CPS received in the survey.
  • CPS received the highest ratings from citizens who had in-person interactions with police.
  • Citizens want greater financial investment in violent crimes, drugs, and gangs, as well as crime prevention and community partnerships.
  • While 91 per cent of citizens agree that CPS has a good understanding of their community and its concerns, they suggest CPS could better address community needs through greater presence, involvement, tolerance, and diversity.

Quotes:

Brian Thiessen, Chair, Calgary Police Commission

“We appreciate the time that hundreds of citizens took to give us their feedback. Input from the community is an essential part of keeping police responsive and accountable, especially at such an important time for the Calgary Police Service. This information will inform the direction of CPS and budget in the coming years, as well as the priorities of the next chief of police.”

Ray Robitaille, Acting Chief, Calgary Police Service

“We are currently in the process of developing our next business and action plan for 2019 to 2022 and this feedback from the community will play a key part in how we prioritize and manage our services moving forward. It is no secret that we have been facing some significant societal issues connected to drug use and related crime in our city. However, I am extremely proud of the commitment shown by members of the Service as they tackle these problems with limited resource and increasing calls for service.”

Yvonne Brouwers, President & CEO, Illumina Research Partners

“The quality of information that citizens provide to the Commission through this survey is exceptional. After eleven years conducting this research, CPS is still performing well. Citizens support the Calgary Police Service. However, the strength of that satisfaction and confidence has been slipping in recent years, which is noteworthy for the Commission and CPS leadership.”

Quick facts:

  • The Calgary Police Commission provides independent, civilian oversight of the Calgary Police Service.
  • The Calgary Police Commission partnered with Illumina Research Partners, an accredited gold seal member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, to conduct this research.
  • Data was collected from 1000 residents of Calgary over an eight week period between March 15 and May 6, 2018.
  • The 19-minute telephone survey asks multiple rating questions along with open-ended questions to better understand the reasons behind certain ratings.
  • The results are predicted to be accurate for the general population to within +/- 3.1 per cent 19 times out of 20 (a 95 per cent confidence level).
  • The Alberta Provincial Policing Standards Manual requires formal consultation with the community every four years. Surveys can take the form of phone, interview, or forum. Since 2008, the Calgary Police Commission has been conducting citizen research annually.

October 6, 2017

Calgary Police Commission Releases 2017 Citizen Consultation Results

CALGARY – The results of the 2017 Calgary Police Commission citizen consultations are now available and they provide a valuable snapshot of perspectives about safety and policing in our city.

The Calgary Police Commission partnered with Illumina Research Partners, an accredited gold seal member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, to conduct online community consultations with a cross-section of Calgary citizens. The online community consultation allowed participants to communicate their feelings about safety, crime, and the Calgary Police Service, and to explain why they hold particular views.

Citizen surveys conducted annually by the Commission from 2008 to 2016 showed that citizens felt the city is a safe place to live and that confidence in the Calgary Police Service was high. However, those feelings have been declining over recent years and the Commission wanted to dig deeper to understand why.

Citizen consultation highlights:

  • A visible police presence is one of five factors that impacts feelings of safety. The others are: familiarity with neighbours, being with a group, well-cared for and well-lit areas, and feeling in control of the environment.
  • The perception that Calgary is a safe place to live is eroding based on a perceived increase in crime, the economic downturn, changing demographics, media coverage, and the growth of the city.
  • There is uncertainty among many participants that CPS has the resources necessary to meet increasing demands.
  • Gangs, drugs, and violent crime are priorities for participants, along with community programs aimed at prevention.
  • Many participants believe that more officers with increased visibility in the community will make Calgary safer.
  • Participants want more police engagement with the community to build relationships and break down barriers.
  • Most participants hold CPS in high regard and are empathetic to their work challenges.
  • Some participants indicate there is room for officers to improve when it comes to being more polite, helpful, patient, respectful and approachable.
  • Media stories can play a role in how safe participants feel. Many participants value direct communication from CPS to better understand police actions and to get a complete and balanced perspective.
  • There is a lack of awareness about the Calgary Police Commission.

This research is one tool, among many, that the Commission and Calgary Police Service use to inform decision-making about budget and strategic priorities.

Quotes:

Brian Thiessen, Chair, Calgary Police Commission

“We want to thank the Calgarians who took the time to share their views with us. Hearing citizens express experiences and concerns in their own words allows us to understand the evolving needs and expectations of our community so we can plan for the future.”

Roger Chaffin, Chief Constable, Calgary Police Service

“We are grateful to serve a community who are happy to take the time to provide us such in-depth feedback. Their open comments, as well as data from previous surveys, will help us move forward and ultimately serve them even better. I am also hugely appreciative of all our members who are working tirelessly to keep our growing City safe. It’s a massive compliment to all of them and their hard work that the community continues to show their support. This is also backed up by the complimentary letters and positive social media posts we receive almost daily.”

Yvonne Brouwers, Illumina Research Partners

“When it comes to this style of research, success is measured by the quality of responses and the depth of information. Participants in this study were highly engaged and passionate about the safety of their communities. They gave us insight into the trends we were seeing from previous research and helped us understand the factors underlying perceptions of safety, confidence, and professionalism.”

Quick facts:

  • The Calgary Police Commission provides independent, civilian oversight of the Calgary Police Service.
  • Eight two-day online consultations were held with more than 100 participants between May 25, 2017 and June 21, 2017. Unlike previous telephone surveys, these results cannot be projected to the population at large.
  • Participants were recruited from professional market research general population panels and screened to ensure a diverse mix of citizens with positive and negative opinions and experiences with the Calgary Police Service and different perspectives about safety in Calgary.
  • The Provincial Policing Standards Manual requires formal consultation with the community every four years. Surveys can take the form of phone, interview, or forum.
  • Since 2008, the Calgary Police Commission has been conducting a citizen survey annually as part of its civilian oversight role.

Media Contact:

Calgary Police Commission
Phone: 587-888-1345