Community Constable Pilot Program Evaluation - Summary
About the program
The Community Constable (CC) pilot program was one of three new enhanced service delivery models developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to address gaps in policing services. It was launched as the Aboriginal Community Constable (ACC) pilot program in 2009 in an effort to enhance community engagement and community policing. The ACC pilot program was re-branded to the CC pilot program in 2013, to reflect the program's expansion to non-Aboriginal communities.
A CC is an armed, uniformed peace officer, at the rank of Special Constable Member, with local knowledge of the community in which they serve, including its language, culture and geography. CCs are to place an emphasis on crime prevention through community engagement, but have the skills and ability to provide tactical, enforcement and investigational support, if required.
The pilot program became operational in D, F, K, G and V Divisions in 2011 and 2016 in E Division. As of April 2016, there were a total of 20 CCs.
What we examined
The evaluation assessed the governance structure, the mandate, the roles and responsibilities and the performance data of the CC pilot program. Multiple lines of evidence were analyzed to support the findings and recommendations of the report.
What we found
National Crime Prevention Services (NCPS) within the Contract and Aboriginal Policing business line was identified as being responsible for national coordination and leadership of the pilot program; however, the governance structure and the mandate of the pilot program were not clearly defined or understood.
For the purpose of the evaluation, the mandate of the pilot program was defined as, "focus on crime prevention through community engagement." While there was evidence that crime prevention activities were occurring across the divisions, the time dedicated to crime prevention activities was not available; therefore, the evaluation was not able to determine the extent to which CCs fulfilled the pilot program's mandate.
Although, CCs participated in more enforcement occurrences than prevention activities, overall community representatives interviewed were satisfied with the pilot program and indicated it positively impacted relationships between the RCMP and the community, it made the RCMP more accessible and it positively impacted the communities' views about police officers and improved communications.
The CCs' roles and responsibilities were established but it was unclear how effectively these had been communicated internally. The evaluation also found that while the interviewees were able to list certain key activities, the CCs' roles and responsibilities were not clearly understood.
While there was some evidence of performance data collection and reporting, this was not consistent across divisions. NCPS periodically reported to senior management on the progress of the pilot program; however, there was no evidence that performance data being collected in the monthly reporting logs was used to inform decision-making at National Headquarters.
What we recommend
Based on the findings of the evaluation, the following four recommendations were made to the Program:
- Establish and communicate a clear governance structure
- Establish and communicate a clearly defined mandate
- Communicate the roles and responsibilities of a CC
- Track and report performance information to help inform decision making
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