Orgins of REACH

In 2008, Edmonton City Council and community leaders received a presentation from Dr. Irvin Waller, a noted criminologist. Waller's primary message was that municipalities who make the shift to investing smartly in prevention will not only save money, but will also reduce crime.

His call for investment in prevention was a key factor in the establishment of the 25-person Edmonton Taskforce on Community Safety. The Taskforce, created by Mayor Stephen Mandel, began its work in September 2008.

The Taskforce consulted with more than 500 Edmontonians and over 45 community groups including: front-line workers, the business community, at-risk and high-risk youth, Aboriginals, immigrants, refugees, families, the public sector and both victims and perpetrators of crime.

In September 2009, the Taskforce presented its findings (along with nine recommendations) in the REACH Report, which was unanimously adopted by Edmonton City Council.

Recommendation #7 in the REACH Report calls for a new coordinating council for community safety; one that's community-driven and apart from any order of government - and that, is how REACH Edmonton came to be.

REACH is not an acronym. The name was chosen to reflect reaching out to help and include all Edmontonians, and reaching for new goals and ways of working.