Edmonton Police Service presented with Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award

News release

Edmonton Police Service presented with Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award

August 26, 2022 – Fredericton, New Brunswick – Department of Justice Canada

Across the country, governments and police are working in close partnership with communities and families to prevent youth crime and to ensure a fair and effective youth justice system. The Government of Canada is proud to support the innovative work done by its partners to help youth who have been in conflict with the law.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Police Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, presented the Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award to Sergeant Kendall Booth, Leeanne Harvey, Youth Programs Coordinator of the Edmonton Police Service, and Michael Peters, Program Manager of YMCA of Northern Alberta. The award recognizes their innovative policing approach and efforts with their DIVERSIONfirst program.

The DIVERSIONfirst program is a partnership between the Edmonton Police Service, the YMCA of Northern Alberta and the Boys and Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters. The objective of the program is to hold a young person accountable for their actions while connecting them with new opportunities and better preparing them for their future. DIVERSIONfirst connects youth who have committed their first non-violent criminal occurrence with community and family supports, and helps them build the foundation for a positive future away from crime. The program uses a restorative justice approach that helps youth recognize the connection between their behaviors and the harm caused to themselves, the community, family, and victims.

The award recipients were recognized yesterday evening at the Canadian Police Association’s Biennial Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick. 

Quotes

“The work the Edmonton Police Service is doing with its community partners makes a real difference in the lives of youth. The DIVERSIONfirst Program is a great example of collaborative work that delivers a restorative justice approach. I want to congratulate this year’s recipients for their innovative policing approach and efforts to support our youth.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada 

“The Canadian Police Association is proud to work with Justice Canada to recognize the achievements and ingenuity of front-line law enforcement personnel who are innovating new approaches, particularly with respect to how youth interact with the justice system. For those of us who work in law enforcement, we know that Canadian police personnel, both civilian and sworn, regularly go above and beyond the scope of their duties, and it is a pleasure for us as a national association to be able to share these kinds of successes.”

Tom Stamatakis
President, Canadian Police Association

“The CACP believes in the importance of steering Canada’s young offenders toward more positive, healthy and law-abiding paths and outcomes through alternative youth justice responses. We support approaches that are age-appropriate and focused on achieving positive behaviour rather than guided by punishment and justice. This award salutes those who offer the innovative approaches we need to support Canada’s youth, prevent crime, and reduce recidivism.”

Chief Danny Smyth
President, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

Quick facts

  • The Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award recognizes police officers and others involved in police-led initiatives who, individually or as a team, develop innovative approaches or promising practices that go beyond the formal court system when dealing with youth in conflict with the law.

  • The award is presented in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association.

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
(613) 992-6568
Chantalle.Aubertin@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.

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