The Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) and City of Prince Albert introduced a new video and information campaign on Friday designed to help residents and business owners report crime and suspicious activity in a more efficient manner.
The new video was developed with the help of Aspen Films in Prince Albert and includes information about the Prince Albert Police Service’s new Proactive Policing Unit, Community Policing Unit and Community Safety Officer program.
Prince Albert Police Chief Jonathan Bergen said the video shows where to a call depending on what concern residents have and what their needs are. Along with the Police Service, residents can call Municipal Bylaw which operates out of City Hall. They can also call either 911 when it is appropriate, or the non-emergent line at 953-4222.
In addition to supporting officers on patrol, these three proactive sections often work closely to investigate and find solutions to concerns around property maintenance and addresses with high calls for service that can lead to crime and illegal activity.
“We worked on a video that just brought some clarity to which line might be the right one to call and at what kind of times,” Bergen explained.
Bergen said they want to make sure the public understands the importance of continuing to report any crime, and that these are the different avenues that are available to them. He said the recent transition of Municipal Bylaw back to City Hall is one of the things that’s increased the need for clarity when calling.
“At times there is confusion on when to call 911 or which number to select on the phone tree,” he explained. “We just wanted to bring some clarity to that.”
Bergen said police also want to be more proactive and encourage more people to call in when they do report a crime.
“It’s always important to call the police when you do need to report crime,” he said. “We can’t respond to things that we are unaware of. When we do understand, it helps us link trends and make sure we are well tuned to the community.”
Knowing who to call and how to reach police in emergency situations is critical to the safety and security of the community. Bergen said there has been some confusion about which number to call, which made the information campaign necessary.
PAPS also has online reporting, a feature that’s increased in use since the start of the pandemic. The online reporting limits personal contact and allows for a complainant to file when works best for them, while also creating efficiencies for the service.
“A police officer still reviews the incident, still takes a look at what investigative response could occur and assesses any follow up investigation from that online reporting,” Bergen explained.
“That is something where we see some increased use over the last couple of years. We think it’s a really convenient feature for the public, but also creates some efficiencies for the police as well.”
The video includes information about when to call 911, how to report incidents of theft, fraud and property damage through the police non-emergency line at 306-953-4222, and how to report crime anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
Bylaw concerns involving unsightly yards, boarded up homes, and loose pets can be reported to the City’s Bylaw department online at citypa.ca, or by phone.
Bergen said residents are the eyes and ears of our community, and Police want to hear from the community about what they are seeing in their neighbourhoods. If you see crime happening, learn more about how you can report it to police at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fltn80O9Dek