RCMP introduce Kelowna Outreach and Support Table (KOaST) to the Kelowna community

B.C. Southeast District, Kelowna

2019-03-01 10:30 PST

Based on a successful model created in Saskatchewan in 2011, since adopted across Canada, in municipalities like Surrey, Mission and in recent months Penticton, the Kelowna RCMP and the City of Kelowna are pleased to announce the roll out of KOaST, otherwise known as Kelowna Outreach and Support Table, a collaborative risk driven, community safety and well-being initiative.

KOaST Practitioners gather inside the Kelowna RCMP Detachment following their first Situation Table;

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Cpl. Carrie Seale of the Kelowna RCMP and co-chair of KOaST believes the time was right for a situation table to be created in Kelowna. This was the natural next step, she states, our partners are already extremely collaborative and committed to helping our community. Now we can be proactive in identifying those experiencing acutely elevated risk and reaching them sooner to prevent the need for a future emergency response.

Representatives from law enforcement, community corrections, public health, housing, social services, income assistance, public education, youth justice and the local municipality will meet regularly to provide coordinated assistance to those in the community who are believed to be at risk.

Following in depth training sessions hosted by representatives from Global Network for Community Safety, practitioner’s gathered around the first Kelowna Outreach and Support Table hosted Tuesday morning. Four situations of acutely elevated risk were identified at the table and a collaborative action plan was implemented by a variety of key stakeholders.

(left to right) Norm Taylor and (gesturing) Brent Kalinowski of Global Network for Community Safety present to Practitioners inside the Kelowna Detachment in February 2019;

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Brent Kalinowski, Partner and Strategic Advisor of Global Network for Community Safety, is pleased to see how quickly Kelowna and the Province of British Columbia, has recognized the opportunity to adopt these collaborative principles in order to connect those in the community that are at acute levels of risk. He says that with the recent training and launch of KOaST, there is now a mechanism in place in Kelowna to identify acute risk sooner and mitigate those risks, before having to activate an emergent response to an imminent crisis situation. He further adds it’s collaboratively moving upstream to address the causal factors that lead to crisis by providing supports. KOaST and its partner agencies have embraced that opportunity and now belong to a growing network of community safety and well-being communities across the country.

Our government is committed to funding new, collaborative interventions that will help connect vulnerable people to the services and support they need, said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Many of the issues that negatively impact community well-being and safety, such as chronic social issues, public health concerns and crime, require collaborative multi-agency responses and evidence-based, best-practice approaches like these help front-line workers anticipate when a coordinated effort can prevent significant harm to vulnerable people in a specific community.

Kelowna RCMP Constable Genevieve MacNeil and Interior Health Nurse Mike Wood from the Kelowna RCMP PACT team interact during a Situation Table;

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Interior Health is pleased to collaborate at the KOaST table with community agencies and the RCMP to proactively recognize and respond to situations of risk, says Danielle Cameron, IH Mental Health and Substance Use Administrator. Through the process of identifying and problem solving risks at the table, we are better positioned to launch outreach efforts and support earlier interventions that are individualized to the situation and involve all community agencies. Through the focus on crisis aversion and early intervention, we move upstream from traditional reactive crisis response.

The situation table model will allow the City to continue to work collaboratively with local partner agencies to focus on people's well-being in order to build our community up one person at a time, says Lance Kayfish, City of Kelowna Community Safety Director. We all have the same goals of keeping people safe. We are aligned better than ever to focus our collective energy into helping our residents most at risk when they need it most.

Released by

Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey

Media Relations Officer
Kelowna RCMP
kelowna.bc.rcmp.ca (English only)
1190 Richter Street, Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 2K7
Office: (250) 762-3300
Fax: (250) 470-6348

Email: jesse.odonaghey@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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