Regina Police Service (RPS) Chief Evan Bray has now completed his first full year in the role.
In a year-end interview, Bray told Sarah Mills there were many highlights to look back on.
There has been a reduction in crime in some areas and plans in place to tackle what he calls the “reoccurring crime we have in terms of drugs, gangs, firearms within the city.”
On a personal level, Bray is pleased with the community presence that he has fostered since becoming chief, including hosting a round dance, and a stakeholder consultation which lets Regina police figure out what they are doing well and what they can improve on.
“That really gives us an opportunity to reflect upon ourselves, see how the community looks at us, see how our partners in community safety see us,” Bray explained.
Bray doesn’t want to take his foot off the gas pedal when it comes to that work and the difference it can make to public perception of police and what they expect from officers.
“The essence of policing is understanding the community’s needs, having the community feel like they trust you as an organization, that you are responsive to crime challenges in the city,” Bray maintained.
Moments in 2017 that stood out for Bray include the crime stats trending down, notably that attempted murder has decreased 56 per cent in the last ten years. There was also innovative programming like cops on buses checking for distracted driving and the firearm amnesty this past summer.
Bray is particularly proud of the work undertaken to reduce domestic conflict in the city. Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence in the country.
“We’ve put together a new approach that I think is quite responsive. It not only helps victims and their families but it also prevents recidivism, which is a big part of it. Being able to work with offenders to try and find ways to tackle the root causes of why they are offending in the first place,” Bray said.
Along with the purchase of the old Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) depot in Regina, which is across the street from the current RPS headquarters, Bray called 2017 a “busy year.”