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Building resilience to extreme violence


April 1, 2016
By Clair Seyler

284 words – MR

Building resilience to extreme violence

by Clair Seyler

Edmonton Police Service (EPS) recently hosted 150 community members for an afternoon conference that educated and engaged attendees on violent radicalization, also known as extreme violence or violent extremism.

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“The goals of the conference were to identify the potential for radicalization, to understand our community assets and discuss opportunities for collaborative responses across the city,” says Insp. Dan Jones. “It was a chance to learn about what EPS and communities are doing to build resiliency to extreme violence.”

Working with the community through education and engagement has been beneficial in identifying issues, especially among youth aged 12-24, when individuals are most influential. Jones says open dialogue and awareness helps identify the push factors and when to step in to stop the radicalization process.

“Radicalization is about violence, nothing else,” says Jones. “It is found in all sectors of society, despite race, religion or socio-economic status.”

Several speakers focused on the importance of knowing the warning signs, building community outreach and engagement and meeting the needs of victims and families.

“Community contact and building trust with police are imperative when dealing with the potential of radicalization,” says Jones. “That’s how we change lives without trying to arrest our way out of the problem.”

Feedback on the conference has been very positive. Several attendees stated it was an excellent opportunity to share ideas and strategy, something that is always beneficial to the clients we all serve. They were very pleased that the EPS engaged the community in this manner, and hope to see more of it in the future.

BIO

Clair J. Seyler is a communications advisor in the EPS Corporate Communications Section. Contact: clair.seyler@edmontonpolice.ca