© Guardian photo
Souris Mayor David MacDonald
SOURIS — With growing support for a police presence at urban high schools, some smaller towns around the province are seeking a rural response.
Charlottetown and Summerside have their own police forces, while the majority of smaller municipalities across the province are served by the RCMP.
“I think it’s a very valid question,’’ said Mayor David MacDonald at town council here Monday night. “If we’re going to see a police officer in city high schools, doesn’t rural P.E.I. deserve the same treatment?”
The push for a police presence at the high school level has been increasing following the success of a city officer working the beat at Colonel Gray in Charlottetown. Charlottetown council is now anxious for the program to spread to Charlottetown Rural, while Summerside is considering such a program at Three Oaks. The provincial government was pressured this past spring to maintain and even expand funding for such a program.
“We don’t have a town police force and we rely on the RCMP,” said MacDonald, a former high school teacher. “I’ve even raised it with them about providing an officer one day a week for high school work.”
Councillors will send a letter to Attorney General Janice Sherry and appropriate officials to raise the question about the staffing of officers in rural schools.