The Beach has a new face in the leadership of community policing. Staff Sergeant Adrianne Johnstone has taken over from Staff Sergeant Grant Burningham, who is leaving for Afghanistan for one year as part of a NATO mission.
Johnstone, who previously filled the position of Detective Sergeant at 55 Division, is looking forward to being more involved with the community in a more ‘hands-on’ role as leader of the Community Response Unit (CRU).
“It’s a great opportunity for me to take my investigative skill sets, the knowledge and experience that I have, and translate it into working directly with the community,” said Johnstone, who lives in 55 Division.
The 12-year police veteran has worked within the TPS Sex Crimes Unit, Professional Standards and at Headquarters.
As part of a new trial at the division, Johnstone is now also leading the Major Crime Unit (MCU).
“It’s more of a holistic approach to policing, where we’re involved not only in the reactive end of things, but also in the crime prevention end of it,” explained Johnstone.
The sergeant said that because the CRU is often out at community events and happenings, they are able to gather information from the public which can then be passed on to the MCU, who tend to, more often than not, look for the ‘bad guys’.
“It’s a natural brotherhood of the two units,” said Johnstone. “As a result, we end up with a much stronger unit with excellent communication between the two sides – the plain clothes side and the uniformed side.”
The community complaint system is something that Johnstone is hoping to promote in a bigger scale.
“The community provides us information, and we can then identify where our problems are, and we can then dedicate resources appropriately to correcting those problems,” she said.
Working with community groups and the local councillor is also high on the list of priorities for Johnstone, who is looking forward to a busy event season in the Beach.
“We are talking to local residents about events such as the Jazz Festival and the fireworks and listen to their concerns so we can address them,” she said. “Because our community comes first.
“The better the relationship is with our community partners, the better the service we can provide,” concluded Johnstone.