Police, human services, schools working to help at-risk individuals
© Justin Crann
Moose Jaw Police Chief Dale Larsen addresses an audience about the new Moose Jaw and Area HUB, an interagency effort to help at-risk citizens in Moose Jaw.
Several Moose Jaw officials were on hand at the Moose Jaw Police Station Tuesday to inaugurate a new community organization aimed at assisting at-risk individuals.
“The HUB is a multidisciplinary team that meets twice weekly and is comprised of agencies in our community,” said Christine Boyczuk, co-ordinator of the Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC) and the individual who spearheaded the launch of the Community Mobilization HUB.
“These agencies have designated, authorized and empowered well-informed individuals within their (ranks) to participate in these meetings twice a week, identify social issues rooted in the community, enhance the provision of human services to those of elevated risk, and expediently implement strategies to address those risks,” said Boyczuk.
The HUB includes delegates from the Moose Jaw RCMP, Moose Jaw police, Prairie South and Holy Trinity school divisions, Social Services, Mental Health and Addiction, Public Heath, EMS and Moose Jaw Fire, Boyczuk said.
The goal of the HUB is to promote interagency communication and co-operation in order to assist at-risk community members, said MLA Greg Lawrence (Moose Jaw Wakamow).
“This includes those who are involved in crime, at risk of becoming involved in crime, or those who have been or are at risk of becoming a victim of crime,” he said.
“While crime remains a concern in all Saskatchewan communities,” Lawrence added. “Moose Jaw already has the lowest crime severity index (rating) of any other city in this province … (this) is just another tool that we can use to help those individuals that are affected.”
Moose Jaw Police Service Chief Dale Larsen echoed the MLA’s sentiments.
“Community mobilization in Moose Jaw is something that the agencies have participated in for a long time,” said Larsen. “By building the formal model of the HUB … we just add another toolkit to the whole community mobilization process that we have going already.”
Boyczuk said the HUB would not be possible without the already strong interagency co-operation within Moose Jaw.
“We have a really good history in Moose Jaw. Our agencies are amazing at working together,” she said.
But, Boyczuk said, “there are a lot of cases that can fall through the cracks” because of the fact that different agencies are handling their own case loads and may not have time to effectively communicate with each other.
Still, said Boyczuk, the agencies are gung ho about assisting at-risk members of the Moose Jaw community.
“All of the agencies that have signed the agreement are very committed to doing their best to help and support people,” she said, “and this is one of the ways they can do it.”
“I am confident that this approach will have a positive impact here and in other communities looking at this approach to reduce crime,” said Lawrence. “I look forward to more communities following in Moose Jaws footsteps.”