City police working on operational plan

Dave Stewart
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Strategy to deal with drugs, crime in capital

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.’’

Organizations: The Guardian, Police Services, Colonel Gray High School Charlottetown Rural High School

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Yeah sure
    December 09, 2013 - 16:04

    It just a bandaid fix for public eye candy . Nothing changes in the good old boys and girls clubs . This is not a major city it not even like Halifax . It's not rocket science that for a small town there is a big drug problem . It because they nothing done for a reason . Because they don't want to . I think that municipal police should not stay in the same city until they retire and be transferred like the RCMP even better get rid of municipal and just hire RCMP to get the job done and clean up the town properly . I don't see how these kids live in rooming houses with scum drug landlords . Most people already know this goes on but seems police don't . Imagine that . I'd believe that if it was Montreal or Toronto but I don't buy it . And it shouldn't take that long to figure out or investigate . When the whole general public knows but the police don't that rubbish .

  • Charlottetown resident
    December 09, 2013 - 13:57

    Drugs is an Island wide problem,affecting the WHOLE island ...why does'nt the city force do more Joint forces with the RCMP...the National Federal Force with the resources....isolated busts,limited targeting,and trying to do it local will just NOT has not in the past....and will not resources will bring limited results.I see the difference in Halifax where I frequent a lot for business and where we have joint HRP /RCMP policing each brings expertice to the table...what's the thinking here ....where is the partnership in policing.There is only so much a local force can Police management guided by a municipal agenda or good intelligence based policing??Municipal officials,managers , and city administrators should not be running police will take money and resources to deal with his horrific problem.A change in thinking is needed. I year from now there will be no change the city will still be under siege by substance abuse driven crime.