The Taber Municipal Police Commission are promoting Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and how that can impact a child’s health into their later years. At the commission’s Sept. 15 meeting, Taber Chief of Police Graham Abela noted he has been taking a course relating to development and is excited to incorporate Trauma-Informed Policing into the force. “We want to incorporate a one day clinic to present Trauma-Informed Policing to the new cadets. We, as police, need to amend, change and adapt our practices to make sure we don’t induce trauma into children. We need to strive to mitigate that as much as possible.” Abela showed the board a video going into detail on how a child’s development can be stunted or interrupted due to trauma they experience at home. “We are looking at how crime starts and we want to focus resources towards that in an effort to have healthier communities and reduce criminality. It is very important to have proper brain development early and we feel it is our job to introduce policies and practices to have positive interactions with children and to reduce the impact of ACES on children. Not make them worse,” said Abela. “ACES are a huge part of development. The more you have, the more likely you are to have a hard life. I’m glad the police are becoming more aware of it,” commented Coun. Garth Bekkering. Abela also noted it does take a community and a family to raise a child, but supporting that as a police force may be good, too. “We want to focus on how we can introduce practices that have longevity,” Abela commented. “We want to bring people off that cycle of arrest and release. It does take a community to raise a child, and the family is the main responsibility but supporting them as police may have some merit, too. We want to steer away from that cycle of arrest and release.” Member of the Board Daniel Remfert also commented. “I think it’s just great the police are focusing on this. I think that’s amazing.” The board accepted the presentation and implementation of practices as information.
Kenyon Stronski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times