Calgary, AB,

Calgary Police Commission Releases 2017 Citizen Consultation Results

The results of the 2017 Calgary Police Commission citizen consultations are now available and they provide a valuable snapshot of perspectives about safety and policing in our city.

The Calgary Police Commission partnered with Illumina Research Partners, an accredited gold seal member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, to conduct online community consultations with a cross-section of Calgary citizens. The online community consultation allowed participants to communicate their feelings about safety, crime, and the Calgary Police Service, and to explain why they hold particular views.

Citizen surveys conducted annually by the Commission from 2008 to 2016 showed that citizens felt the city is a safe place to live and that confidence in the Calgary Police Service was high. However, those feelings have been declining over recent years and the Commission wanted to dig deeper to understand why.

Citizen consultation highlights:

  • A visible police presence is one of five factors that impacts feelings of safety. The others are: familiarity with neighbours, being with a group, well-cared for and well-lit areas, and feeling in control of the environment.
  • The perception that Calgary is a safe place to live is eroding based on a perceived increase in crime, the economic downturn, changing demographics, media coverage, and the growth of the city.
  • There is uncertainty among many participants that CPS has the resources necessary to meet increasing demands.
  • Gangs, drugs, and violent crime are priorities for participants, along with community programs aimed at prevention.
  • Many participants believe that more officers with increased visibility in the community will make Calgary safer.
  • Participants want more police engagement with the community to build relationships and break down barriers.
  • Most participants hold CPS in high regard and are empathetic to their work challenges.
  • Some participants indicate there is room for officers to improve when it comes to being more polite, helpful, patient, respectful and approachable.
  • Media stories can play a role in how safe participants feel. Many participants value direct communication from CPS to better understand police actions and to get a complete and balanced perspective.
  • There is a lack of awareness about the Calgary Police Commission.

This research is one tool, among many, that the Commission and Calgary Police Service use to inform decision-making about budget and strategic priorities.


Brian Thiessen, Chair, Calgary Police Commission

“We want to thank the Calgarians who took the time to share their views with us. Hearing citizens express experiences and concerns in their own words allows us to understand the evolving needs and expectations of our community so we can plan for the future.”

Roger Chaffin, Chief Constable, Calgary Police Service

“We are grateful to serve a community who are happy to take the time to provide us such in-depth feedback. Their open comments, as well as data from previous surveys, will help us move forward and ultimately serve them even better. I am also hugely appreciative of all our members who are working tirelessly to keep our growing City safe. It’s a massive compliment to all of them and their hard work that the community continues to show their support. This is also backed up by the complimentary letters and positive social media posts we receive almost daily.”

Yvonne Brouwers, Illumina Research Partners

“When it comes to this style of research, success is measured by the quality of responses and the depth of information. Participants in this study were highly engaged and passionate about the safety of their communities. They gave us insight into the trends we were seeing from previous research and helped us understand the factors underlying perceptions of safety, confidence, and professionalism.”

Quick facts:

  • The Calgary Police Commission provides independent, civilian oversight of the Calgary Police Service.
  • Eight two-day online consultations were held with more than 100 participants between May 25, 2017 and June 21, 2017. Unlike previous telephone surveys, these results cannot be projected to the population at large.
  • Participants were recruited from professional market research general population panels and screened to ensure a diverse mix of citizens with positive and negative opinions and experiences with the Calgary Police Service and different perspectives about safety in Calgary.
  • The Provincial Policing Standards Manual requires formal consultation with the community every four years. Surveys can take the form of phone, interview, or forum.
  • Since 2008, the Calgary Police Commission has been conducting a citizen survey annually as part of its civilian oversight role.

The full report is available at