Neighbourhood Resource Teams are part of the problem-solving happening at the community level

Posted On Wednesday February 03, 2021
There are six Neighbourhood Resource Teams

Since the start-up of Neighbourhood Resource Teams (NRT) in 2019, which assigns officers to specific neighbourhoods, the members have come to know residents on a first name basis. Knowing their stories means they can help – be it with problem-solving or accessing resources to improve their lives.

After two years of living in a west-end family shelter with one bedroom, a mini fridge and only a microwave to prepare meals, a woman learned a townhouse would be available in January for herself and her two kids, both under the age of ten and one with special needs.  Her immediate challenge now was finding furniture.

That’s when the west-end NRT and the City of Ottawa’s Integrated Services Neighbourhood Team (ISNT) stepped in.

Cst. Paddye Magill had a contact with Mattress Mart and she arranged for the donation of three new beds, complete with mattress, box spring, frame and headboard.

Other members found gently used living room and dining room furniture and household supplies. ISNT members went into the house to repair the walls, riddled with nails needing removal.

“I am so grateful for everything you have helped me and my children with. May you and your team and families be blessed. Thank you so much,” said the woman, who needs to protect her anonymity so no one from her past can find her.  “I am healing because of your relentless police work. You didn’t know me when I met you. You have something. Now I am open and healing because of you so thank you for that.”

Now that the family is living in another part of the city, the west-end NRT officers introduced them to the team working in their new neighbourhood.

“You and your friends have helped me so much, it means a lot. This is the missing piece…support,” she said.

The woman is getting help through ISNT to access employment services. She is hoping to get a job in the same field in which she worked in the country she immigrated from.

Over the past 15 months, officers have seen first-hand the positive impact of neighbourhood policing.

“We have been able to build trust and recognize the needs of the people we serve,” says Cst. Magill, known simply as Paddye in the community. “Through a collective effort with our city partners, we have successfully collaborated to assist all those that live in our neighourhood. Familiarity builds trust. We take pride in these relationships and will continue to work toward making our neighbourhood a safe and happy place to live.”

Currently there are six Neighbourhood Resource Teams, with plans to expand into more communities in 2021.