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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — After months of discussions, Charlottetown is seeking to contain police extra in dealing with the complaints and fears about medication and drug customers within the metropolis.
Deputy Mayor Alanna Jankov raised a discover of movement on the finish of the Aug. 14 council assembly, proposing so as to add a movement to the agenda for the following assembly on Aug. 28.
The movement referred to as for council to direct Charlottetown Police Providers to create a group plan to share with the general public.
“(It is going to deal with) illicit drug use and associated unlawful behaviours, to assist residents really feel safer of their properties and neighbourhoods,” the movement stated.
Whereas Jankov wasn’t certain simply what this can appear like, she hopes to ease fears in regards to the shoppers of the Group Outreach Centre, but additionally the fears of these shoppers, she stated in an interview after the Aug. 14 assembly.
“Quite a lot of questions that we simply don’t have the solutions to. Quite a lot of it’s operational. Quite a lot of it flows by a number of ranges of presidency.”
Jankov stated it’s untimely to say what the police will really do, however the course of will contain reporting and statistics and making an attempt to reply the council’s many questions.
“Police providers have many aspects of their division. They’re coping with psychological well being and addictions. They deal straight with the completely different ranges of presidency on the subject of well being and the cellular (psychological well being) unit.” – Deputy Mayor Alanna Jankov
Requested in regards to the message it sends by involving regulation enforcement in a well being and social service, Jankov stated extra police involvement isn’t nearly extra enforcement, although she did say hiring extra police may additionally assist.
“Police providers have many aspects of their division,” she stated. “They’re coping with psychological well being and addictions. They deal straight with the completely different ranges of presidency on the subject of well being and the cellular (psychological well being) unit.”
Outreach centre location
Coun. Mitchell Tweel sees the position of the police and the outreach centre in a extra simple gentle.
“Police want to have a look at, primary, what’s unlawful, what’s not unlawful,” he stated in an interview after the Aug. 14 assembly.
“We’ve acquired to get again to old style policing and begin to defend the residents. That’s why they’re paying taxes.”
For Tweel, the movement is a great tool within the council’s toolbox. Nevertheless, he stated there is just one reply to the issue: transferring the outreach centre and associated providers to a non-residential space.
The hospital space is a chance, however he desires extra public session, saying the province uncared for this up to now.
Taking a look at transportation for individuals who could also be unhoused or unable to move themselves, Tweel stated the province presently buses outreach centre shoppers to some providers.
Within the quick time period, although, the town must do extra enforcement, he stated.
Earlier this 12 months, Charlottetown police employed two full-time officers to deal with points surrounding the outreach centre, and the centre employed two of its personal safety earlier this month.
Charlottetown police Chief Brad MacConnell has additionally informed SaltWire and the council in latest months that police are seen on the outreach centre on many events for non-emergency outreach visits the place officers drop in to construct belief with shoppers earlier than a disaster occurs.
MacConnell additionally famous throughout the Aug. 14 assembly the province had Charlottetown police set up E-Watch cameras overlooking the outreach centre.
However none of this has made a distinction, Tweel stated.
“Completely not. I imply, it’s been two years and I haven’t seen any enhancements or any enhancements, and neither do the residents.”
Roxanne Carter-Thompson, government director of the Journey Group which runs the outreach centre, just lately informed CBC the service sees nearly 300 shoppers every month.
Since Jan. 1, 2022, P.E.I. has had 90 opioid-related unintended overdoses, with 24 deaths.
Logan MacLean is a municipal reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He may be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @loganmaclean94.