Job Title: Director, Alberta Gang Reduction Strategy
Why He’s Top 40: He is pioneering a new crime strategy to ensure safer neighbourhoods in Alberta through partnerships with various levels of government, police and communities.
Key To Success: “I try to live my life guided by ethics and integrity, and I am most inspired and engaged when I’m doing what I love.”
Darren Caul is in a unique position, not just to Edmonton but all of Canada.
As director of the Alberta Gang Reduction Strategy, a role he undertook in 2010 when the one-of-a-kind initiative was launched, Caul liaises between multiple levels of government, communities and police to address issues of crime prevention, intervention and law enforcement. Though he says it’s too early to gauge the strategy’s impact, Caul is already seeing increased interest from community members to protect their neighbourhoods.
Twenty years ago, only a handful of people would come out to a community crime-prevention meeting, but Caul attended a recent event that brought out 100 community members.
“Now we are engaging so many more people,” says Caul. “That mental shift is starting to occur in society.”
Caul sees himself as a broker of relationships. His skill lies in building bridges between groups with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Caul has spent the last 20 years working and volunteering in the criminal justice system with the National Crime Prevention Centre, RCMP Crime Prevention and RCMP Victim Services, an organization with which he volunteered early in his career.
The father of two young boys, three and five, Caul considers volunteerism an essential part of a strong community. Besides the 100 hours Caul dedicates annually to volunteering with organizations like Capital City Clean Up, he recently donated his time to the mayor’s task force on community safety. Between all that, he still finds time to mentor two U of A practicum students each year, along with organizing a running club in Heritage Valley.
Caul feels his passion for volunteerism has not only helped his career, he says it’s a lifelong lesson he learned from his late friend, Aric Hayes. Hayes was a high-school teacher who taught students about the judicial system and led volunteer graffiti clean-ups and mock student elections. But, more than anything, he showed Caul the ripple effect one person can have.
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.