City police return to zone system

Nigel Armstrong NArmstrong@TheGuardian.pe.ca
Published on January 14, 2013
Police block Allen Street in Charlottetown Sunday afternoon following a propane leak at the Irving tank farm. Firefighters can be seen in the background pouring water on the tanks.
Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald

Charlottetown Police Services is now back to a zone system, with a series of staff promotions to administer the revived community policing process.

The change was presented to the January city council meeting Monday by Councillor David MacDonald, chair of the protective and emergency services committee. 

The promotions include the first woman to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in the history of Charlottetown Police Services, being Michelle O'Donnell. Also promoted to sergeant is Shane Carr and Walter Vessey.

The newly appointed corporals are Dean Field, John Flood, David Pound and Chris Watts.

"What Police Services has done is set up a number of zones that incorporate the various wards within the city and the sergeants and corporals have been assigned to the zones," said MacDonald.

Those officers will be the go-to people for issues that council members and the public want to bring to the attention of police.

"Those officers will be in charge of those zones for community-based initiatives or targeted enforcement," said Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan after the presentation.

Some examples of community policing programs include helping seniors dispose of unused prescriptions or receive help to shred sensitive documents, said McGuigan.

The new promotions helped bring about the necessary administrative structure to support the zone system, said McGuigan.

"This all ties in with the police report that was prepared (in January 2009)," said MacDonald. "My understanding is that this virtually is the end of incorporating all the significant aspects of that report."

The promoted officers were on hand at the council meeting to be recognized. MacDonald also paid tribute to Marvin Cameron who retired from the force this past December after a 37-year career in Island policing.