Strategy to deal with drugs, crime in capital
© Guardian file photo
Police Chief Paul Smith talks with Councillor David MacDonald during a city council meeting in this Guardian file photo.
Charlottetown Police Services is working on a new five-year strategic plan to address issues such as drug use and property crimes.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel, who represents Ward 4, says the drug problem is out of control in his area.
“Somewhere along the line we have to deal with it and deal with it effectively,’’ Tweel said.
Coun. David MacDonald said the police department is aware of the increasing problem with drug addiction and crimes and is working on it.
“They are in the process now of developing a new five-year plan,’’ MacDonald told The Guardian in an interview.
“A large portion of that plan obviously will deal with combating crime and much of that crime in this province involves drug use. At one time, 90 per cent of the crimes against property probably were drug related (with) people trying to finance their drug habit.’’
MacDonald met recently with Police Chief Paul Smith and his deputies where the councillor was assured there is a plan and it will be released to council. For its part, the City of Charlottetown came up with enough money to put a full-time police officer in Colonel Gray High School for the 2012-13 school year and for the first three months of the current calendar where an officer was also stationed at Charlottetown Rural High School. Both schools will continue to see those officers for four hours per week for the remainder of the school year.
Const. Tim Keizer, the officer stationed at the Gray, has previously told The Guardian prescription drug use is high in the school, noting the majority of students have at least tried drugs.
MacDonald said even though the public isn’t hearing a lot of action the department is planning that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. He added the drug issue is a citywide concern and not isolated to specific wards and it isn’t something a bunch of public meetings is going to solve.
“The police department knows it’s a problem. Much of what the police do is undercover work, work that most people don’t know anything about and I think they are better positioned to develop a long-term strategy than residents are.’’
In other words, if there are issues with the so-called house next door, chances are the police know about it but acting on it requires evidence and a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
“The police department is working every day on these issues but until they make arrests and shut the thing down they can’t go public with it.’’