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Tignish council wants RCMP to make better use of surveillance equipment

Tignish Council chair, Allan McInnis
Tignish Council chair, Allan McInnis

TIGNISH, P.E.I. - Recent vandalism at Bicentennial Park and its new splash pad has prompted Tignish Town Council to invest in an additional surveillance camera.

Council hopes to have it installed an operational prior to Halloween.

Mayor Allan McInnis informed council the camera, which a town business has offered to cost-share 50-50, will cost the town about $4,500.

The vote to purchase the additional equipment wasn’t unanimous. Councillors Lloyd Gavin and Angel Murphy voted against the motion, expressing concern the $35,000 worth of surveillance equipment the town already owns is not being used to its potential.

During a discussion with Prince District RCMP operations officer, Sergeant Darrell Gill, earlier in the meeting, McInnis and councillors complained officers are not checking the cameras as often as they should, suggesting the cameras hold evidence officers could use in building cases after instances of vandalism and disturbances are reported.

“How much are these cameras getting used now?” Councillor Gavin inquired, as council considered adding to the equipment.

“Not as much as they should be, I’ll be honest with you,” McInnis responded.

“It’s a struggle with the RCMP to get them to come in and do it,” he said, referring to reviewing the information the cameras capture.

Pointing to the $130,000 of equipment recently installed in the park, the mayor said he is in favour of adding a camera.

Councillor Judy Morrissey-Richard pointed out that when all of the playground equipment and other infrastructure are added on, the value of the park is closer to a half-million dollars.

“It could be a million dollars worth of stuff there, but if you don’t use the camera…,” Gavin responded, letting his thought trail off.

“The camera is a wonderful idea,” said Murphy, “but, unless the RCMP starts and makes practice of using it, we may as well just take our money and burn it.”

There was some consideration given to simply moving an existing camera and leaving a decoy at the original location, but on a motion by John McInnis, council voted 4-2 in favour of buying an additional camera.

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