Regina police aim to improve community engagement with once-a-month patrols

The Regina Police Service is going to send more than 80 officers out to walk the streets to improve community engagement — for one day once a month.

To start, officers are out on the streets of the Cathedral and Centre Square neighbourhoods on Wednesday from mid-afternoon to about 10 p.m. CST. The police said this exercise will help them get feedback, analyze it and work on area-specific situations.

"We get an opportunity to listen and hopefully alleviate their concerns … also what we want to be able to do is we want people to have the trust and confidence when things do go wrong," said Regina police Chief Farooq Hassan Sheikh.

Sheikh said they'll be circling a different area in Regina next month, with an aim to cover all the neighbourhoods in the city eventually. He didn't give a timeline for when this initiative might end.

 Farooq Hassan Sheikh, Regina's police Chief, said they'll be circling a different area in Regina next month, with an aim to cover all the neighbourhoods in the city eventually.
Regina police Chief Farooq Hassan Sheikh says officers will be circling a different area in Regina next month, with the aim to cover all the neighbourhoods in the city eventually. (Alexander Quon/CBC)

A 2023 report on community perception of the Regina police said that 19 per cent of 454 people surveyed said they wanted more police visibility, a greater police presence and more officers and patrols on the street.

Sheikh said the police service referred to that report to come up with this one-day-a-month plan.

"Today, we tried to free up our calendars. It took a while," he said. "We can't do it every day for all of us because our roles are difficult."

When asked about sustained efforts to increase police presence, Sheikh said the service will be recruiting six officers in October to patrol Regina's downtown.

"Once we do that, we might establish we need more, but our long-term plan in the next few months is to have dedicated officers to give the visibility in the areas that we need more," he said.