The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is aiming this year for a 10 per cent reduction in violent gang and drug crime, and the laying of charges against 40 key gang associates.
The 2012 Strategic Plan, presented Tuesday at the monthly police board meeting, also calls for 10 per cent reductions in property crime and robberies, and a 25 per cent drop in crashes resulting in injuries.
Deputy Chief Rick Lucy said, although the APD has made great strides in reducing gang-related crime in the last two years, there is more work to be done.
“We are still of the strong belief that we are not out of the woods with gang crime,” he said.
He said police laid charges against more than 30 key gang associates in 2011 and want to increase that number this year. They had also hoped to record another year with no gang- or drug-related homicides, but that goal is already unattainable.
The murder of 21-year-old Ryan Saint Ange on Jan.13 has no connections to organized crime. But the death of 31-year-old Jimmy Chau, whose body was found over the weekend in an Abbotsford field, is believed to be targeted and gang-related.
Lucy said another priority issue for police is traffic safety. Following 15 vehicle-related fatalities in 2010, the APD hired four more officers for its traffic unit, and those members were phased in through 2011.
Now that they are all in place, the APD can focus on further enforcement and increased awareness of issues such as pedestrian safety.
Lucy said property crime and robberies are also a focus this year, with a goal of recording fewer than one residential break-in and one stolen car per day.
Other goals laid out in the strategic plan include:
- increasing support for victims of domestic violence;
- increasing fiscal efficiency by reviewing infrastructure expenses and patrol shifting;
- increasing community engagement through the use of social media and surveys