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RISK MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY

The primary role of the Halton Regional Police Board is to exercise governance and oversight functions to ensure that you, as members of the Halton community, receive the high caliber of police services you deserve. Our goal is the long-term safety and security of all our citizens.

As we head into the summer season with more residents out and about on the roads, using our beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, and attending large festivals and other events, public safety is top of mind for the Halton Regional Police Board. While our community is one of Canada’s safest, there is always some degree of risk involved in these kinds of activities, and residents deserve assurance that all risks to public safety are continuously identified, monitored, and mitigated, when possible, by our Police Service.

It is the Board’s responsibility to establish policies for the effective management of the police service, including the effective identification and mitigation of risks. These Board policies inform police risk management procedures, which in turn guide all operational planning and day-to-day policing. In this way, risk are identified as soon as possible and effectively dealt with, and continued public safety is assured.

We’re often asked if it’s necessary to have such a large and visible police presence at events when we live in such a safe community. Is this an unneeded tax dollar expense? It’s a great question, and residents deserve to understand the rationale behind risk calculations.

To identify and classify risks to both the public and officers, the Halton Regional Police Services has adopted a framework designed by Gordon Graham, whose company, Lexipol, consults police and local governments about risk management and public safety. Graham’s risk frequency matrix (see below) identifies four different kinds of risk events confronted by police. They range from low-risk, high-frequency events such as traffic infractions or which require a frontline response, to high-risk, low-frequency events such as hostage situations, kidnappings, or acts of terrorism, which require a crisis response. These types of events, while rare, are most concerning. They often require split-second decisions, and although they don’t happen frequently (thankfully!) our police still need to be ready to act and protect at a moment’s notice.

Risk management starts with Board policies for the police service, and that is one of the ways your Halton Police Board has your best interests at heart.

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