The Hamlet of Fort Liard to host the Community Safety Officer Pilot Program

News Releases

Yellowknife — July 21, 2021

R.J. Simpson, Minister of Justice, today announced that the Hamlet of Fort Liard has been selected to host the Community Safety Officer Pilot Program.

The Community Safety Officer Pilot Program is an innovative, community-driven initiative designed to explore alternative approaches to community safety and crime prevention. Community Safety Officers will respond to non-criminal safety concerns, develop and implement crime prevention strategies, build and promote the community’s relationship with the RCMP, and patrol the Hamlet. Community Safety Officers do not have authority to enforce laws and are not a replacement for police, but act as a community safety enhancement service who work collaboratively with the RCMP to better address the Hamlet’s needs and to promote safety and wellness.

The Hamlet of Fort Liard will be responsible for the implementation of the program, tailoring it to the unique needs of the community. The GNWT will provide funding and a framework for the pilot project.

The three-year pilot program is scheduled to start in 2021-2022. The hiring process and training will start in summer 2021, and rollout and monitoring of the program is planned to take place between summer 2021 and April 2024.

An Expression of Interest was shared with NWT community leaders in April 2021. Proposals received were reviewed by a selection committee, based on community needs, ability to implement the program, community vision for the program, and liability management.


“As part of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to enhancing community safety and resiliency, I am pleased to be moving forward with the Community Safety Officer Pilot Project. This innovative program will be designed and driven by the leadership of Fort Liard as they understand the unique needs of their community and its residents. The Community Safety Officers will be strong community advocates for Fort Liard as they know the Hamlet, the people, and the culture best.”

- R. J. Simpson, Minister of Justice

“The Hamlet of Fort Liard Council’s strategic vision is to have a progressive, healthy, and safe community. The employment of a Community Safety Officer will further enable Council to achieve this vision and we are pleased to move forward with this pilot.”

- Cathy Kotchea, Mayor, Hamlet of Fort Liard

Quick facts

  • The Community Safety Officer Pilot Program will run for three years, starting in 2021-2022.
  • $303,000 annually will be allocated by the GNWT to conduct the 3-year pilot.
  • Toward the end of the pilot, the project will be evaluated to determine whether it has  successfully enhanced community safety. The evaluation will also determine what  overall impact the program has had on the community.


For media requests, please contact:

Ngan Trinh

Senior Communications Advisor

Department of Justice

Government of the Northwest Territories


Phone Number: 867-767-9256, ext. 82083