News about half of all employees who admitted in a survey they considered quitting the Edmonton Police Service within the last year shouldn’t deter people from pursuing a career in law enforcement, said Edmonton’s top cop in an interview with Metro this week.
Edmonton Police Chief Mike Boyd said issues about low morale and huge workloads that are pushing some to consider leaving the service is only a temporary issue as police are currently training more than 100 new recruits to fill vacant positions left by retiring officers.
“In the short term, there is no question that our officers, within two to three years in particular, their work and family life hasn’t been in the kind of balance,” said Boyd.
“But I think in the next 10 months, we are going to start to see these issues diminish, whereby officers will be able to enjoy for the next however how many years they want to be members of the Edmonton Police Service.”
Boyd said the service is in a period of transition and many officers are feeling the pinch when it comes to overtime, but added city cops and those just joining the service will get new supports not seen in many cities across the country.
Those supports could include childcare, something that could be a huge incentive for those considering a career in policing, said Boyd.
“We want to do some things that are innovative, in another means of saying ‘come to the EPS,’” said Boyd.
Bill Pitt, a criminologist at Grant MacEwan, says the Edmonton Police Service is in “need of immediate and long-term help.”
“Edmonton has been understaffed for 10 years, and there is simply no more give in the organization, so here we are almost at the breaking point,” said Pitt.
“We need all levels of government to sit down and see what can be done immediately to assist this organization and a long-term plan to ensure we don’t get into this situation again.”