Editor: Recently I received a phone call from the police association asking for a donation to support the programs in schools about bullying and drug use.
These are two important educational programs funded and delivered by the RCMP which may be cut. My three children benefitted from the DARE program in elementary school and the lessons they learned stuck.
Drug use and bullying are issues critical to school-age children and, perhaps more importantly, taught by the real professionals in the field: police officers. These are the people it’s most important for students, from kindergarten to Grade 12, to meet.
There isn’t a better way for us to learn about the benefits of the police force than to be introduced to them at an early age in a learning environment. These folks are members of our rural, municipal and Island communities who we need to get to know, regardless of what part of Canada they’re from.
Going to the public with fundraising to support these school programs is sad and I think shameful. Every November we celebrate our veterans who served us well; the police forces perform a very similar front-line service. It goes without saying that they be properly funded to go about their duties, particularly in educating our young children, community outreach and setting an example of civic duty.
There are few on P.E.I. who haven’t been touched by drug abuse, bullying or other crime. Even in the small rural community I live in, I and my neighbours have experienced break, enter, theft, arson and vandalism.
If the province finds it too expensive to properly fund the RCMP, they need to realize how expensive to all Islanders it will be not to fund them. Maybe the province can train their own provincial police force instead of the RCMP.
Either way these are some of the most important people in our communities, trained and able to educate, enforce and lead. Without enforcement of the rule of law, we have no civil society.
Peter W. Baker,