Blood Tribe Police - Strategic Plan

Vision Statement

To be the best mid-sized police service in Alberta

 

Mission Statement

To be culturally responsive to the needs of the Blood Tribe community as its police service and challenge all staff to provide effective and accountable policing that meets the mandates of legislation and our policing agreement.

 

Responsibilities of the Blood Tribe Police Service

  • Maintain an adequate number of police officers trained consistent with the level of training of other police officers in Alberta
  • Police throughout the Blood Tribe Territory
  • Preserve the peace, protect life and property, prevent crime and enforce the laws of the Blood Tribe, Canada and Alberta and apprehend those who may be lawfully taken into custody
  • Provide the residents with a sense of security and safety from crime;
  • Provide assistance to victims.

 

The Values of the Blood Tribe Police Service

  • Accountability
  • Ethical Behavior
  • Performance Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Community Commitment
  • Respect

 

Introduction

The Blood Tribe Police Service (BTPS) is responsible for policing the Blood Indian Reserve  (Reserves 148 and 148A) which is located in south western Alberta and is the largest Indian Reserve in Canada (136,264 hectares or 1364 km2).   There are almost 12,000 band members living on and off of the reserve. 

The BTPS has the responsibility of being the primary policing authority for the entire Blood Tribe Territory.  The BTPS is headquartered in Standoff which is a centrally located village on the Blood Indian Reserve that hosts local band government offices and services including the Fire Service, Health Department, Children's Services, an Extended Care Hospital, and the administration of the band.

With a current authorized police officer strength of 31 officers the BTPS attends an average of approximately 8,000 calls for service a year.  Each of the 22 patrol officers attends over 350 calls for service with over 190 criminal cases a year per officer.  One of if not the highest ratios in Canadian policing.

Under the Alberta  Law Enforcement Framework and the Policing Standards all police services must supply certain services to the public and conduct specific functions in that regard.  With the current call for service volumes and the criminal case load an additional five positions are required to fulfill required activities such as crime analysis, traffic safety, crime prevention, VICLAS and domestic violence coordination.

The strain on limited resources  within the BTPS will be increased over the next five years with the expected population growth and increased territory being acquired by the band.  In general First Nations communities across Canada are one of the few sectors of society which will continue to have more youth than elders as their numbers increase.  As well, the BTPS has already been approached by the band to police a new land acquisition which is currently part of the County of Lethbridge.  Plans are for a significant sized subdivision, golf course, shopping centre and entertainment complex to be placed on that land as it is annexed.

Although the Government of Canada First Nations Policing Directorate considers the program to be  "... a program delivered in partnership with the Provinces, Territories and First Nations communities to enhance existing provincial policing services—provided policing services to our First Nations and Inuit communities"   it is  in reality providing primary policing services to the community.     The BTPS is an autonomous full service policing agency which Canada, Alberta and the Blood Tribe have agreed in the policing agreement "...has attained full policing accreditation." 

The following strategies represent a road to the future which will enhance the effectiveness of the BTPS as the perceived current and  future challenges  present themselves.

 

Twelve Month Goals  

Tripartite Agreement

Be prepared to engage the tri-partite partners to facilitate the negotiation of a pertinent and effective agreement that meets the needs of the community and staff.  Attempt to move Government of Canada funding to "A" based funding from grants and contributions.

Tasks:

  • Justify funding increases based on costs of operation  and remuneration of staff based on a comparison of police services in Alberta and estimated cost of living and inflation numbers. Provincial Policing Agreement is a required document for comparison. Assigned to Chief of Police and Bookkeeper.
  • Obtain band and other government source predictions on population increases and demographics  over next 10 years for BIR and First Nations in General. - Assigned to Policy Manager 
  • Compile estimated costs of required new equipment and ever greening of current equipment. - Assigned to IT Contractor for schedule of IT ever greening with equipment lists, to S/Sgt Support for Vehicle/Police Equipment/Building Systems
  • Compile estimates of required civilian and sworn positions based on demographics and increased responsibilities considering factors such as policing standards, increased complexity of tasks and the necessity to expand. - Assigned to S/Sgts.
  • Seek input from Commission and Negotiation Committee for required information prior to start of negotiations. - Assigned to Commission and Chief of Police.
  • Present packages for approval of Police Commission and forwarding to negotiation committee.  - Assigned to Chief of Police and Executive Assistant.

Time Lines:

  • 15 July 2012, items 1, 2, 3
  • 20 July 2012, items 4, 5
  • 30 July 2012, present to Police Commission item 6 for presentation to negotiation committee.

Measures of Success

A prepared negotiation team going into Tri-Partite negotiation with an understanding of the future financial and operational needs of the BTPS. 

 

Policing Standards

Be fully compliant with provincial policing standards and prepared for the 2012 Provincial Standards Audit.  This includes implementing systems that maintain BTPS concurrence with Policing Standards as well as rebuilding policy and procedures to reflect current legislation, best practices and the Alberta Law Enforcement Framework.

Tasks:

  • Review and updating of all Policing Standards and their related proofs and policies. - Assigned to Policy Manager
  • Provide assistance to the Policy Manager as required in relation to implementing compliance and updating policies and procedures. - Assigned to Chief of Police and S/Sgts.

Time Lines:

  • 30 Sept 2012

Measures of Success:

Fully prepared for Provincial Policing Standards Audit and full compliance achieved.

 

Capital Investment

Source and acquire new administrative office space, making room for operational units in current space,  API3/CAD and GPS vehicle tracking implementation, replacement and upgrades to radio systems.

Tasks:

  • Obtain cost estimate on new admin space from Blood Tribe Housing - Assigned to Chief of Police  Executive Assistant
  • Prepare Package for Finance requesting band funding for building. - Assigned to Commission Executive Assistant.
  • Budget Analysis of year end to determine amount available within our own budget, if any for furnishings etc. - Assigned to Bookkeeper. 
  • API3, CAD and GPS are inclusive. - Assigned to Chief of Police for entire overview, Sgt. Halcrow for implementation and training operationally and IT for technical specifications and site preparation. 

Time Lines:

  • 15 April 2012, item 1
  • 28 May 2012, items 2,  3
  • 15 December 2012, item 4 (dependant on provincial API3 implementation)

Measures of Success:

New administrative annex by year end.

Implementation of API3 and ancillary systems by 01 January 2013.

 

Personnel

In order to provide the public with effective policing the staff of the BTPS must be competent, well trained and committed to the tasks assigned.

Remuneration and benefits;  both must be competitive with those paid by other police services to recruit and maintain a stable and competent workforce.

  • Both the civilian and police officer staff of the BTPS have entered into collective bargaining for the first time through their respective agents, the Teamsters Union and the Blood Tribe Police Officers Association. 
  • It is important to provide competitive remuneration in comparison to other police services.  The BTPS has lost four police officers to Lethbridge, Tsuu T'ina and Taber within the last 18 months and three other police officers have been known to make inquiries with other agencies.  The BTPS has lost officers to other agencies including other First Nations, RCMP and municipal police services.

Accountability;  All staff will be introduced to an increased accountability standard that emphasizes the necessity to complete work in a timely and quality manner .  The  accountability will be enforced through the chain of command emphasizing responsibility through the entirety of that chain.

Performance levels; All staff are expected to perform at peak levels of performance which will be monitored and assessed on an ongoing basis.  

Hiring standards; The BTPS will enforce hiring standards for police officers as set out in the Alberta Policing Standards and agreed to by the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP).  All staff hired will meet the requirements of the job description for the position being hired for.  Band members will receive preference in hiring if all other criteria is equal. 

Training standards;  Recruit Training will continue to be acquired through the RCMP Academy for the foreseeable future as this is a nationally recognized training program which has worked well for this service in the past.  The BTPS will obtain relevant ongoing  training for all members of the service.  All officers are required to complete a battery of courses through the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) which is an online police training tool.  members are being selected to complete provincially sponsored investigative courses ISEP 200 and ISEP 300.  Select members will also be trained in criminal analysis, gang suppression and other specialized investigative and analytic fields.

Increased sworn member establishment;  The BTPS does not currently have enough police officers to fulfill its mandate as required under the policing services agreement  and the policing standards of Alberta.  There has not been an increase in the number of funded police positions since 2004.

1 Chief, 

1 Deputy Chief or Inspector, 

2 Staff Sergeants (Operations-Support),

4 Patrol Sergeants, 

1 Sergeant, Support staff supervision,

20 patrol constables -(5 per squad),  

3 constables, (CIU - Domestic Violence, Gangs, Crime  Analyst), 

1 constable - Crime Prevention/Schools, 

1 constable - Administration/Desk Duty

2 constables - (Traffic Safety, Enforcement, Collision Investigations)

TOTAL  36 members. (Currently 31)

Tasks:

  • Ongoing collective bargaining with the Teamsters (Civilian) and Police Association to achieve collective agreements.  This includes monitoring pay and benefits that other similar agencies provide. - Assigned to Collective Bargaining Committee  
  • Negotiations of Tri-Partite agreement which should include particular attention to the cost of providing competitive pay and benefits. - Assigned to Tripartite Bargaining Committee (yet to be named by Chief and Council)
  • Increased accountability for work done and assigned for quality and accuracy. - Assigned to Chief of Police and Staff Sergeants.
  • Performance levels to be more closely monitored through regular assessment and statistical research. - Assigned to Unit Level Supervisors through Staff Sergeants. 
  • Maintain hiring standards to the provincial standards. - Assigned to Staff Sergeant in charge of recruiting.
  • Assessment of training needs of the service and individual employees on an ongoing basis and access the appropriate training as available. - Assigned to Staff Sergeants. 
  • Through negotiation of the Tri-Partite agreement negotiate an appropriate staffing level of police officers. - Assigned to Tripartite Bargaining Committee 

Time Lines:

  • 01 September 2012, item 1
  • 31 December 2012, items 2,  7
  • 15 December 2012, item 3 & 4 (ongoing increases in levels of accountability and performance over the time range)
  • 15 June 2012 item 5
  • Ongoing item 6.

Measures of Success:

Collective agreements with both bargaining units.

New multi-year Tri-Partite agreement by year end which includes an appropriate increase in police officers and funding to provide appropriate remuneration and benefits for staff.

 

Traffic Safety

Enforcement, assumption of responsibility of Provincial Highways, joint force operations through cooperation with Treaty 7 Traffic Safety Coordinator.  Reduction of injury and fatal collisions.  

Tasks:

  • Implementation of a defined traffic safety plan and enforcement schedule based on the Treaty 7 Traffic Safety Plan - Assigned to Staff Sergeant i/c Operations
  • Resume full responsibility and jurisdiction of the provincial highways through the Blood Indian Reserve. - Assigned to the Chief of Police 

Time Lines:

  • 15 June 2012, item 1 & 2

Measures of Success:

Increased enforcement statistics and reduced injury and fatal collissions

 

Cultural Awareness & Responsiveness

Through in-service training and cultural exposure.  Extensive use of elders along with an established First Nations Awareness program will be utilized along with an ongoing requirement that all officers be involved in the community in some way. 

Tasks:

  • Assign each police officer to become involved with one ongoing community project per year which will be documented and submitted in occurrence report form. - Assigned to Chief of Police
  • Prepare and present a cultural awareness package to each new police officer. - Assigned to Staff Sergeants
  • Ongoing assignment and encouragement of  officer involvement in community related matters. - Assigned to all officers.  

Time Lines:

  • 15 June 2012, item 1 implementation.
  • 01 June 2012, item 2 completion.
  • 15 April 2012, item 3 and ongoing

Measures of Success:

Increased numbers of community projects over previous 12 months.

Presentation of a cultural awareness package for new employees that can be easily transferrable and applicable to other law enforcement agencies in the area.

 

Five Year Goals

New police station - that meets or exceeds national standards and provides for expansion/growth  over the next 25 years.  The current police station consists of the original round building as well as three additions.  This presents issues in maintaining a secure and safe police building.  The prisoner cells and processing area is located in the middle of the string of buildings causing staff to have to walk through the cell area to move from the front reception/administrative/dispatch and victim services areas to the operational offices on the other side, an inefficient and possibly unsafe requirement.  Current Chief and Council has offered to build a new police station but financing is not available through traditional sources because of the current lack of a long term policing agreement.

"A" Based Funding - move the Tri-Partite agreement on policing from a Grants and Contributions project to an "A"  based program with ongoing funding. 

Personnel -  achieve and maintain a staffing level that is at least equal to the national per capita numbers of officer to population levels for standalone first nations police services and appropriate support services.   Keeping in mind the planned expansion of the Blood Reserve to new lands and the development of those areas. Likely over 50 officers.

APSLET (Fort McLeod Training Centre) - play an active role in staffing and curriculum development, particularly as it relates to First Nations Policing. - All recruit training for BTPS members. - Develop subject matter expert members for in service training instructors at APSLET. 

Blood Tribe Bylaw/Peace Officer Service Development - managed by the police service to enforce band bylaws and provide developmental opportunities for band members to become police officers. (Sometimes applicants need employment while they mature or gain workplace experience before becoming police officers.  This also fills a gap in enforcement on the reserve. To be funded by Chief and Council.)

Development Through Secondment - second BTPS members as subject matter experts to serve with outside joint force agencies such as United Nations, ALERT, ASIRT, CISA, IBET etc. and accept members from other agencies on secondment to BTPS for mutual development.

Ongoing Cultural Awareness Training - for the members of the BTPS about the Blood Tribe and its people with the ability to export that training to other agencies both on and off of the reserve.

 

Fifteen Year Goals 

National Recognition - as an established, efficient and well run midsized police service in a unique community that polices in a culturally sensitive manner. 

"A" Based Funding - move the Tri-Partite agreement on policing from a Grants and Contributions project to an "A"  based program with ongoing funding.

Cultural Relevance - To have a well developed cultural awareness element that can be administered locally and to other services. 

 

In Closing

A yearly review of the strategic plans will be conducted to determine progress and ongoing validity.  The tasks and measures for the long term plans will be reviewed and implemented as appropriate upon the completion of the interim yearly reviews.

  

Blood Tribe Police Service Agreement - paraphrased from Section 7
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2007-2008/inst/psp/psp-eng.pdf
Blood Tribe Police Service Agreement, 2004,  page 1.

 

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