- 2023–24 Policing Priorities
- 2022-23 Policing Priorities
- 2021–22 Policing Priorities
- 2020–21 Policing Priorities
The Minister of Justice identifies policing priorities for the Yukon RCMP on a yearly basis. These are based on the work provided by the Yukon Police Council and the Department of Justice.
2023–24 Policing Priorities
1. Strengthening relationships and increasing public trust
Continued efforts to build trust and strengthen relationships that support Yukoners and communities.
The primary objectives include:
Continuing to develop and invest in initiatives that support a trauma-informed and appropriate police response to sexualized assault, and gender and race-based crime.
Initiating and participating in interagency meetings where applicable to support collaborative and community specific relationships.
Strengthening relationships between RCMP and communities to cultivate a deeper understanding of the land, culture, existing relationships, and the priorities of each community.
Responding to all crimes in all communities and conducting proactive outreach patrols in a manner that is designed to meet the unique needs of Yukon communities.
Maintaining a positive presence within communities through ongoing participation in community gatherings and events.
Working to increase meaningful communication regarding policing efforts to the public through available channels, including social media, which allows for transparency to build greater trust.
Continuing to build trust and relationships with children and youth through positive, interactive engagements to prevent and/or deter gang involvement.
Continuing to take accountability for mistakes, and where possible repairing relationships with individuals and communities to demonstrate a police service that is responsive to the public’s needs.
Ensuring continued access to timely mental health and other supports for RCMP members as a component of self-care.
2. Enhancing policing targeted at toxic illicit drugs and serious crime
The Substance Use Health Emergency continues to negatively impact Yukoners and their loved ones. The toxic illicit drug supply and serious crimes that plague our communities require ongoing efforts by Yukon RCMP to ensure the safety of Yukoners. Maintaining collaborative efforts with partners, such as the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Unit (SCAN) and the Mobile Crisis Unit “Car 867”, will support increased safety for Yukoners and is necessary to combat the illicit drug supply and reduce serious crimes.
The primary objectives include:
Collaborating with partners and seeking solutions or assistance with resources to help as required.
Improving and enhancing police response through continued deployment and support of dedicated resources used to address drug and gang-related crimes facing communities.
Continuing to support and work with communities and partners such as Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services, hospitals, the Mobile Response Unit “Car 867” and the Yukon Substance Use Health Emergency declaration as proactive responses to the opioid crisis.
Continuing efforts to investigate the Yukon’s most serious crimes, both current and historical.
3. Policing with First Nations
Continued attention, effort and collaborative work remain necessary to further strengthen relationships with Yukon First Nations.
The primary objectives include:
Participating in the development and implementation of community-specific orientation through collaborative efforts with First Nations leadership.
Improving efforts to collaborate with First Nations on new, existing, or future community safety initiatives to foster trust, and build and maintain relationships.
Continue to encourage Yukon First Nations citizens to apply to the RCMP through RCMP recruitment strategies including the Indigenous Pre-Cadet Training Program, alongside any future initiatives to attract and retain First Nations members.
Continued support for the enhancement of the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program throughout the Yukon.
Ensuring effective engagement with Yukon First Nations and other community leaders to identify and address their specific and unique needs relating to the consumption and sale of drugs and alcohol.
2022-23 Policing Priorities
Enhanced policing targeted at the opioid and hard-drug crisis
To continue successes achieved in 2021, the RCMP must maintain efforts to collaborate with health care partners in the interest of increasing the safety of residents of the Yukon. In addition to supporting new and existing prevention and harm reduction programs, the RCMP is encouraged to continue the Community Policing pilot and to focus specifically on reaching children and youth.
Primary objectives include:
- Recognizing that drugs and gang-related crimes contribute to a number of other criminal activities that concern citizens of the Yukon. Improving police response to these areas of concern demonstrates to the public that public safety issues are being addressed.
- Working to increase communication to the public through available channels regarding policing efforts to address the opioid and hard drug crisis. This includes using social media.
- Actively participating in the partner-led opioid strategy for the Yukon. The effective implementation of the outcomes of that strategy.
- Ensuring effective engagement with Yukon First Nations and other community leaders. They will help to identify and address their specific and unique needs relating to the consumption and sale of drugs and alcohol.
Increase public trust
The Yukon RCMP must make additional efforts to provide consistent levels of service to victims of crime, no matter the severity of the crime. This will ensure victims feel their concerns are heard.
Primary objectives include:
- Adopting system-wide and measurable strategies to improve relations with youth; Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC); vulnerable populations; and LGBTQ2S+ demographics.
- Building trust through meaningful and respectful interactions between the RCMP and the public. These interactions must include responding effectively to all crimes in all communities, regardless of their perceived severity. Conducting proactive outreach patrols in a manner that’s seen and scheduled to meet the unique needs of communities in the Yukon.
- Receiving training in trauma-informed practices. Utilizing these skills to approach policing with kindness and empathy.
- Working to identify personal biases and acknowledging the power and privilege inherent to their position. Ensuring each interaction with the public is compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive.
- Building diversity within the RCMP to ensure that the territorial police service is more representative of the populations served. This includes a commitment to a workplace that’s healthy and supportive to all members and recruitment of:
- members of the LGBTQ2S+ community; and
- people who self-identify as BIPOC.
- Accessing mental wellness services as an essential component of self-care, including for those members who identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQ2S+.
- Increasing public awareness of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission process, including how to file a complaint.
- Including in each quarterly report, a progress update on any specific activities the Yukon RCMP has undertaken or policies it’s implemented pursuant to the RCMP’s Vision 150 initiatives. Of particular interest are things related to the themes of:
- addressing systemic racism;
- advancing reconciliation; and
- improving accountability, transparency and conduct.
Enhance prevention, investigation and enforcement activities related to violence against women, girls and the LGBTQ2S+ population
It’s imperative that the RCMP continue to focus efforts to decrease violence against women, girls and members of the LGBTQ2S+ population. RCMP reporting has indicated ongoing support for victims and effective investigations.
Primary objectives include:
- Implementing Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ People Strategy in a meaningful way, particularly as it relates to:
- Section 2 - Community Safety and Justice subsections 2.1, 2.2, 2.5 and 2.6; and
- Section 4 - Community Action and Accountability, subsections 4.1, 4.2, 4.6 and 4.7.
- Committing to ongoing liaison and constructive collaboration with prosecutors and other partners. This will ensure the RCMP’s investigative approach aligns with the justice system requirements so that prosecutions are:
- effective; and
- Developing internal policies so that experienced investigators with the Specialized Response Unit (SRU) have the responsibility to guide all sexualized assault files, not just those considered internally to be complex in nature.
- Members assigned to the SRU and designated investigators should work with partner agencies to enhance the levels of support provided and to ensure victims are respected and supported.
- Developing and implementing specialized training for members assigned to the SRU and any members expected to investigate domestic violence and sexualized assaults. This will also ensure evidence meets the standards of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), and compliance with this training schedule.
- The schedule and number of members trained by community will be reported in the quarterly reports as well as the number of cases that PPSC is unable to pursue due to lack of and/or improper gathering of evidence.
- Collaborating with First Nations and community agencies to support victims of sexualized assault and domestic violence by securing safe spaces within each community to interview victims.
- Improving capacity to investigate and improving the approach to investigating sexualized assaults. This includes participation in the Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART).
- Coordinating services for child and youth victims during investigations of child abuse and where children and youth are victims of crime.
- Quarterly reports will include:
- an updated list of all participating organizations on the Sexual Assault Investigation Review Committee;
- the number of files reviewed;
- subsequent recommendations; and
- a description of any actions taken following file reviews.
- Participating as a co-chair of the Sharing Common Ground Implementation Review Steering Committee, as stated in the review of the 33 recommendations made in Sharing Common Ground: Review of Yukon’s Police Force (2010).
Engage with and support children and youth
There is a need to engage with young people in a positive, formative manner before they become involved with the justice system. Children and youth in the Yukon must be exposed to consistent and positive policing experiences in order to develop meaningful and respectful relationships with law enforcement. Feedback on the Community Policing pilot project has been overwhelmingly positive. The continuation of this pilot and extending services to communities will allow for enhanced visibility of the RCMP throughout the Yukon. This would provide real opportunity for youth to build positive relationships with law enforcement. Primary objectives include:
- Enhancing community policing initiatives, local engagement activities and youth-focused programming that aligns with each community’s cultural needs. Particular focus should be made to engage with First Nations governments, First Nation youth councils, First Nation children and youth, and youth serving organizations.
- Building trust and relationships with children and youth by increasing positive interactions with this population, which could prevent or divert youth from involvement with drugs and crime.
- Partnering with interagency youth stakeholders to prevent, respond to and advance investigative capacity for instances of youth exploitation, youth sexualized assault and cyberbullying.
Strengthen relationships with First Nations and First Nation governments and continue to implement First Nation policing activities
There is an ongoing need for training that contributes to the professional capacity and personal development of people assigned to work within the territory. These development opportunities must be offered consistently and in a transparent manner. This will demonstrate respect for cultural traditions and the historical values of each First Nation. Efforts towards recruitment made throughout the year have been noted and this must continue throughout the upcoming year.
The primary objectives include:
- Actively engaging in and supporting safety initiatives led by First Nations including community safety and security officers, and community safety planning.
- Proactively engaging with and supporting First Nations community justice workers and restorative justice initiatives.
- Participating in the development and implementation of local letters of expectation through the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program that align with the accountability provisions of the Community Tripartite Agreements.
- Ensuring detachment commanders and all members funded via the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program review the Community Tripartite Agreements (CTAs).
- Build collaborative relationships with First Nations partners in the development of letters of expectation for community policing services.
- Providing cultural orientations that tell the story of the local First Nations, as well as providing broad training related to both the historical and current experiences of First Nations in the Yukon. The development of this training should be realized through proactive engagement and consultation with Yukon First Nations.
- Expanding on the progress achieved in 2021-22 by the Historical Case Unit towards solving historical homicides within the Yukon, in support of commitments made in the MMIWG2S+ strategy.
- Ensuring that members integrate within communities through positive personal interactions and respectful communication with:
- Elders; and
- First Nations leaders.
- Collaborating with First Nations to build effective relationships and trust within First Nations on:
- any existing community safety initiatives; or
- in the development of future initiatives.
- Actively recruiting Yukon First Nations citizens to apply to the RCMP.
Strengthen relationships with communities and partners and continue to implement community policing initiatives
Engagements throughout the year have pointed to a common theme: the need for the RCMP to work closely with all communities and partners. The groundwork for these relationships exists, but there’s a need for more effective and consistent communication and collaboration to deliver services that are coordinated and relevant for the population.
Primary objectives include:
- Actively engaging in and supporting community-led policing and safety initiatives.
- Establishing a positive presence within communities through ongoing participation in gatherings and events.
- Initiating and participating in interagency meetings in Whitehorse and elsewhere that include emergency management services, bylaw and Protective Services.
- Exploring options to reduce turnover of RCMP members in communities to support the development of trusting relationships and consistency of service.
- RCMP rotations should be staggered to reduce negative impacts on communities and allow for more effective transition.
- Supporting the development of restorative justice programming by:
- making pre-charge diversion referrals;
- supporting post-charge referrals by the Crown; and
- providing the necessary support and follow-up.
2021–22 Policing Priorities
1. Increase public trust
The Yukon RCMP must make additional efforts to provide consistent levels of service to victims of crime, no matter the severity of the crime, to ensure victims feel their concerns are heard.
In addition, primary objectives to increase trust include the following.
- Adopting system-wide and measurable strategies to improve relations with youth; Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour (BIPOC); vulnerable populations; and LGBTQ2S+ demographics.
- Building trust through meaningful and respectful interactions between the RCMP and the public. These interactions must include responding to all crimes, regardless of their perceived severity, and conducting proactive outreach patrols in a manner that is meaningful and effective within Yukon communities.
- Members receiving training in trauma informed practices and utilize these skills to approach policing with kindness and empathy.
- Members working to identify their personal biases and to acknowledge the power and privilege inherent to their position to ensure each interaction with the public is compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive/competent.
- Building diversity within the RCMP to ensure that the territorial police service is more representative of the populations served. This includes not only recruitment of Indigenous, women, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and members that self-identify as BIPOC, but also a commitment to maintaining a workplace that is healthy and supportive to all members. Members must be assisted to access mental wellness services as an essential component of self-care.
2. Build on previous successes through increased policing efforts targeted at the opioid and hard drug crisis, as well as responses to serious and organized crime
To continue successes achieved in 2020, the RCMP must maintain their efforts to collaborate with health care partners to increase the safety of Yukoners. Ongoing efforts must include prevention programs that focus on reaching children and youth. Targeted prevention programs funded by the Government of Yukon helped to decrease the Yukon’s youth crime rate by 30 per cent in 2019, as reported in Statistics Canada’s 2019 report on crime rates.
The primary objectives to support this recommendation include the following.
- Continuing investigations, through the Historical Case Unit, that demonstrate progress towards solving historical homicides and missing person’s cases within the Yukon.
- Ensuring ongoing training is available to members to support effective and timely criminal investigations.
- Recognizing that drugs and gang related crimes contribute to a number of other criminal activities that concern Yukon citizens.
- Working to increase communications to the public through available channels such as social media.
3. Engage with and support children and youth
There is a need to engage young people in a positive, formative manner, before they become justice involved. Children and youth in the Yukon require exposure to consistent, positive policing experiences to develop meaningful and respectful relationships with law enforcement. Stakeholders have reported that the termination of the youth liaison role has had a negative impact on the youth population. Until this liaison is re-established and normalized, there will be missed opportunities within the youth demographic that have far-reaching effects, potentially increasing costs to the Yukon in both the justice and health care systems.
Primary objectives to engage young people include the following.
- Building trusting relationships with children and youth, through consistent, proactive engagement in collaboration with community partners, to prevent, deter or divert youth involvement with drugs and organized crime.
- Partnering with inter-agency stakeholders to prevent, investigate, and respond to instances of youth exploitation, youth-sexualized assault and cyberbullying.
- Enhancing community-policing initiatives, local engagement activities and youth-focused programming that aligns with each community’s cultural needs. This must include identifying a dedicated liaison program.
4. Strengthen relationships with First Nations, including Elders and youth
While the efforts towards engagement and reconciliation with First Nations have been ongoing, there remains a need for continued attention in order to foster relationships for the future.
Primary objectives to build on relationships with First Nations include the following.
- Participating in the development and implementation of local Letters of Expectation through the First Nations Policing Program that align with the accountability provisions of the Community Tripartite Agreements.
- Providing community-specific orientations as well as broad training related to the historical experiences of the Yukon’s First Nations through proactive engagement with local First Nations.
- Ensuring that members integrate with host communities through positive personal interactions and respectful communication with children, youth, Elders and community leaders.
- Collaborating with First Nations Community Safety Officers to build effective relationships and trust within host communities.
- Exploring options to keep members in communities for longer periods of time so there are improved opportunities to invest in trusting relationships that offer additional consistency to communities, upon agreement by both the member and community.
5. Collaborate with community and justice partners to maximize the use of Restorative Justice
As the Government of Yukon coordinates the territory’s approach to offering restorative justice services, it is imperative that these services are available to those who are eligible. Recommendations regarding the need for restorative justice practices are not new and the RCMP remain essential partners in the advancement of restorative justice initiatives within the Yukon.
The primary objectives include the following.
- Actively engaging in and supporting community-led safety initiatives.
- Ensuring the implementation of pre and post-charge diversion processes in all communities and that appropriate matters are diverted with the necessary support and follow-up.
- Proactively engaging with First Nations Community Justice workers, Government of Yukon’s restorative justice program and community programs to collaborate in community-led restorative justice initiatives.
- Working towards the Government of Yukon’s commitment to increasing the use of restorative justice by five per cent.
- Providing of statistical data on restorative justice practices by community as well as a report on RCMP involvement in each process.
6. Enhance prevention, investigation and enforcement activities related to violence against women, girls and the LGBTQ2S+ population
This final priority is arguably the most vital in the year to come and will require significant investments from the RCMP. Rates of sexualized assaults in the Yukon are unacceptably high. It is imperative that the RCMP continue to focus efforts towards decreasing all violence against women, girls and members of the LGBTQ2S+ population as well as sexualized violence that affects all populations. Investigations must be timely, sensitive and effective to manage reporting requirements, to ensure all cases are pursued and victims are supported. In light of the termination of the Yukon Advocate Case Review, enhanced efforts to collaborate with women’s advocacy groups regarding sexualized violence in the Yukon must be made.
The primary objectives identified to realize this priority include the following.
- Implementing the Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ People Strategy in a meaningful way, particularly as it relates to Section 2 - Community Safety & Justice subsections 2.1; 2.2; 2.5; and 2.6, and Section 4 - Community Action & Accountability, subsections 4.1; 4.2; 4.6 and 4.7.
- Collaborating and liaising with prosecutors and other support agencies to ensure that the RCMP’s investigative approach aligns with the justice system requirements so that prosecutions are successful, transparent, timely, effective and conclusive.
- Developing internal policies that includes a focused training schedule for the Specialized Response Unit (SRU).
- The SRU has the responsibility to guide all sexualized assault files, not simply those considered internally to be complex in nature. Designated investigators and the SRU must work collaboratively with all partner and stakeholder agencies to address sexualized violence and with First Nations and communities by securing safe spaces within each community to interview victims.
- As recommended in section 2.2 of the MMIWG2S+ Strategy, participating in a third party evaluation of the status of implementation of recommendations of the Sharing Common Ground – Yukon’s Police Force Review (2010). The results must be made available to the public.
2020–21 Policing Priorities
1. Improve engagement to increase public trust
The primary objectives for this priority include:
- Trust – so that RCMP members are visible and approachable to the public.
- Proactive engagement – so that RCMP members commit to outreach, interactions with partner agencies, and collaboration with First Nations resulting in meaningful engagements that are focused on the needs of all Yukoners.
- Response – so RCMP members are able to contribute to a trauma-informed focus that supports unbiased, respectful and culturally sensitive police response.
- Wellness – since police are exposed to some of the most challenging and traumatic events in the course of their work, the RCMP must advance self-care, mental health and member wellness strategies as being essential for all members of the RCMP.
- Public awareness – the RCMP must contribute to public education related to individual rights and responsibilities when interacting with the RCMP. This will help to promote safety and comfort during RCMP interactions. Education sessions should include information on how to make an effective complaint and how to offer comments about RCMP conduct.
2. Strengthen supports for vulnerable persons and victims of violence, and continue the implementation of SART services
The primary objectives for this priority include:
- Continuing to implement the Government of Yukon’s Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) in Yukon communities, including training for front line RCMP members who are investigating sexualized assault.
- Strengthening the Yukon’s existing support network for vulnerable persons through increased coordination and cooperation with relevant government departments and non-government organizations. Possibly implementing a case management or situation table approach (in the spirit of FOCUS, the Forum for Collaboration and United Services) as a tool to this end.
- Engaging with youth and working collaboratively with partners to recognize and increase support for children and youth who may be vulnerable to violence, child exploitation, or the influence of organized crime.
- Fostering recognition within the RCMP that a consistent culture of compassionate and trauma-informed interaction with vulnerable persons and victims is necessary to address the undercurrents of fear and mistrust related to the RCMP.
3. Foster meaningful relationships with First Nations, including Elders, and throughout the communities
The primary objectives for this priority include:
- Strengthening lines of communication between First Nations, community members and the RCMP to ensure that the delivery of policing services is professional, dedicated and responsive to the needs, traditions and cultures of Yukon First Nations.
- Engaging partner First Nations to develop meaningful policing priorities for each community participating in the First Nations Policing Program.
- Including First Nations in the screening processes for RCMP members who are going to communities, and ensuring that new police officers receive a community orientation delivered in collaboration with First Nations, community leaders and other local stakeholders.
- Supporting RCMP members in all detachments to contribute to community safety planning processes undertaken by their communities.
- Refining the RCMP’s role to help maintain healthy, safe communities; alongside other community supports such as the auxiliary policing program, community safety officers, community safety guards, and the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods unit (SCAN).
4. Continue enforcement efforts to combat serious, drug-related, and organized crime
The primary objectives related to this priority include:
- Enhancing the response to, and investigations of, violent crime.
- Enhancing the response to, and investigations of, territorial crime connected with the drug trade and/or criminal groups.
- Collaborating with other agencies such as the City of Whitehorse Bylaw Services, the Government of Yukon’s SCAN Unit, and First Nations Community Safety Officer programs to develop proactive approaches that combat organized crime.
5. Increase the use of restorative justice practices in the Yukon
- Ensuring that we explore options for pre-charge diversion in all communities, and that the RCMP consider diversion whenever appropriate community supports are in place.
- Engaging with First Nations Community Justice workers proactively, in a manner that enables them to collaborate in community-led restorative justice initiatives.
- Working towards the Government of Yukon’s commitment to increasing the use of restorative justice practices by five per cent.