Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)

Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

The Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach (OCR-GO) gave a presentation to council proposing a Situation Table for Kitimat.

The main objectives of Situation Tables are to reduce long-term demand on emergency and police resources; increase vulnerable peoples’ use of services; and proactively connect people to agencies and services before any negative or traumatic experience takes place.

Also known as ‘Hubs’, a Situation Table helps front-line staff from public safety, health, and social services sectors to identify and help vulnerable people.

Although Kitimat RCMP are already using local partnerships for high-risk domestic violence cases, some are still ongoing and need additional support.

“We’ve had experience in Kitimat with [an inter-agency case assessment team] but sometimes we still have acute cases in Kitimat that don’t fall under that umbrella, so this a way for us to handle those cases in a collaborative manor,” Staff Sergeant Graham Morgan of the Kitimat RCMP told the Northern Sentinel.

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The program seeks to address community issues before they become police issues or require emergency services.

Maja Langrish, a policy analyst for OCR-GO, who presented the proposal, stated about 54 per cent of police cases are transferred to Situation Table’s and are directed to more suitable agencies.

“Local police departments still play a major role in the ongoing cases but about half of the cases they receive come to us and we all work together to resolve the issue,” said Langrish.

Neighbouring communities, such as Terrace, have already taken advantage of the provided opportunity and have started the program.

“The Province will provide funding for program training, and each agency will be responsible for ensuring they have a representation at the table,” Mayor Phil Germuth said. “We feel that the timing is right to implement a program of this nature in Kitimat as we have heard that other communities have tested this model and have reported the program to be successful in supporting the community, especially while working with complex cases.

“Of course, you never want your community to have a need for this type of resource, but the reality of the world in which we live in, is that most communities could probably provide a more succinct level of support to some of their most vulnerable residents by implementing a resource like this.”


 


jacob.lubberts@northernsentinel.com

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