Brandon’s new police chief has been caught on camera.
Ian Grant, who was sworn in as chief last Friday, spoke about policing challenges, his goals and vision in a YouTube video that the city posted on Wednesday.
A Grant-led force will be efficient and collaborative, the new chief said, and will work closely with other agencies in the community to meet social challenges like mental health issues and homelessness.
One of the ways police could do that, he said, was by improving their communication — and that could include social media like Facebook and Twitter.
"We haven’t had a lot of experience dealing with the social media and I think that’s a way that more and more people are communicating," Grant said. "That’s something I think we’re really going to have to take a serious look at, moving forward."
Other police forces, like Regina and Toronto, have found success with popular Twitter accounts that combine day-in-the-life insight into what it’s like to be a police officer with public outreach and requests for tips.
Tight budgets, Grant admits, will pose policing difficulties.
"We have to find new and innovative ways of keeping the boots on the ground, but additionally keeping the boots in classrooms and schools and working with community groups," he said. "I see that really as being probably one of the biggest challenges as we move forward."
He hopes that working more closely with community groups will help.
"I think a lot of the issues in terms of domestic issues or domestic problems or family issues or homelessness issues, or mental health issues, could potentially be dealt with by the appropriate social agency before it becomes an issue for the police," he said. "And by doing that, I think that will lead to us working in a more efficient manner."
The full video is available online at police.brandon.ca.
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